Vitamins, minerals and herbal products boast lots of benefits―a healthier heart, pain-free joints, complete nutrition. But how do you know if those supplements are high-quality, safe and effective? Lake Health Integrative Medicine naturopathic provider Jacob Wolf, ND, (440-255-5508) recommends that you read supplement labels carefully and research products before you purchase them. To evaluate a supplement, review and consider each of the following:
• What is the main ingredient? Sometimes it’s not what you expect.
• What inactive ingredients are in the product? Does it contain talc, artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring and preservatives?
• Look for specific nutrient forms and amounts on the label. For example, “Magnesium citrate 200mg” is better defined than “Magnesium.”
• What is the dose? Instead of a one-a-day multivitamin or a handful of supplements, try to find a balance of the nutrients you really want.
• How is it available? Capsules break down easier than tablets and can be absorbed better. Liquids and chews are convenient, but often have added sweeteners and flavoring.
• Purity: Look for a statement about manufacturing and testing processes.