10 Things About...Nutritional Supplements

Written by Deanna Latson

The body is an amazing machine, but it requires the proper fuel to function at optimal levels. Food provides fuel for the body and the type of fuel a person gives their body can mean the difference between enjoying a healthy, vital life or struggling with exhaustion and illness.

Nutritional supplements are essential when it comes to supporting optimal health, immunity, and defense against a growing number of health concerns. Adding supplements to a daily health regimen is still one of the best things a person can do for themselves and their health, especially when faced with the alarming decrease of naturally-occurring nutrients in the world today.

1. Since the Industrial Revolution, the world has undergone a radical transformation when it comes to the foods people eat and the nutrients those foods provide. Chemicals, pesticides, and pollutants in the soil are causing a critical decrease of nutrients necessary for healthy bodies and minds. Simply put, tomatoes today are not the same as tomatoes 40 years ago. Even people who eat healthy foods are probably not getting the nutrients their bodies need. Pesticides, herbicides, minerally-depleted soil, and excessive transportation and storage methods are making it almost impossible to obtain the recommended amounts of many nutrients from food alone. This lack of nutrients is what makes nutritional supplements important. Due to the lack of high-quality nutrients in natural foods, supplements can help support healthy bodies by providing additional vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, and more for optimal health.

pic-22. Nutritional supplements made in the United States are often superior. While key ingredients can and often do come from other countries, manufacturing within the United States ensures that companies adhere to strict guidelines and supervision.

3. Quality is essential. Rigorous quality checks require resources, time, and money. As a result, many manufacturers only do the minimum. pic-3It is the dirty secret many companies will not admit to their consumers: that they are willing to compromise quality and do as little as possible to meet minimum regulations. Choose companies whose products are regularly tested by third-party organizations, such as NSF International, ConsumerLab.com, and Banned Substances Control Group. These organizations are world leaders in helping protect public health by testing and certifying products based on strict quality standards, as well as providing ongoing monitoring. Many of these certification programs require regular on-site inspections of manufacturing facilities, as well as periodic re-testing to ensure products continue to meet their high standards.

4. Look for companies that demand exceptional quality for the raw materials they use in their supplements. Factors such as how the material is grown and quality control at every stage are key for creating superior nutritional supplements. In addition, raw ingredients should be submitted to testing for purity, quality, and potency to verify they are contaminant free. Again, be sure to check the company's website or contact them directly for this information. They should be happy to provide it.

5. It is important to know exactly what is being put into the body when it comes to supplements. Choose companies that are transparent about where they get their ingredients. Check company websites or informational brochures to learn about the quality, quantity, and origin of each ingredient. If any questions arise about a product, e-mail or call the manufacturer. If they do not answer, it is probably best to move on to a better company.

pic-66. Choose capsules when possible. Easy-to-swallow capsules are a perfect solution for delivering supplements in a gentle and efficient manner. The capsule's shell dissolves rapidly, allowing the uncompressed powdered content to dissolve quickly and disperse efficiently throughout the body. This action is particularly helpful for those suffering from digestive disorders.

7. What is not in nutritional supplements is just as important as what is. Watch out for unnecessary ingredients like artificialpic-8 flavors, dyes, chemical coatings, and sugar. Ensure that ingredients are GMO-free and always check labels for common allergens such as gluten, dairy, and soy as numerous supplements contain these ingredients.

8. The facilities in which supplements are made is key. When it comes to safety, nutritional supplements created in an FDA over-the-counter facility are required to meet the highest standards for purity, concentration, and pharmaceutical-grade standards.

pic-99. Do not let cost be a factor. There are many great ways to cut corners, but supplements are not one of them.

Cheap selections are cheap for a reason; they often contain useless fillers, synthetics based on coal tar, or other harmful ingredients. Be sure to check labels and verify ingredient quality. Less expensive versions may be less effective, requiring the consumer to take them more frequently than higher quality supplements, canceling out any savings they might have initially enjoyed.

10, Do not be fooled by United States Department of Agriculture Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) amounts listed on bottles. The RDA standards for supplements were established to contain just enough vitamins to avoid common vitamin deficiency diseases such as scurvy, rickets, or beriberi. They do not account for what is needed to maintain optimum health today. Instead of following their standards that pertain to health concerns of the last century, strive for optimum daily allowances that are often five to 100 times higher than government RDA guidelines.

Deanna-LatsonDeanna Latson, an internationally-recognized health and wellness authority, empowers people to create a healthy, well-balanced life. As Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of ARIIX, an international opportunity company devoted to helping others unleash their potential for good, Latson has led the development of toxic-free products through collaboration with world-renowned experts in the health, wellness, and fitness industries. Latson holds a Clinical Nutritionist degree from the Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy and her affiliations include the Wellness Council of America, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and the Speech Communication Association.

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