In the pursuit of a healthy and wholesome lifestyle, we often end up stocking up on supplements and natural healthcare products with the firm belief that the suppliers have our best interests at heart. We take the labels at face value, easily believing the countless claims of improved health and bettered body function. We expect an effective and natural solution. But how often do we take a step back to consider whether what we’re taking is actually doing us any good?
Studies have now come to show that your supplements may, at best, be ineffective and, at worst, be doing you actual harm. In fact, there has been work done to show that some calcium supplements actually increase your risk of cardiac arrest by 20%! Many suppliers spend substantially more on their marketing campaigns than on the actual quality of the products that they are trying to sell. This results in a market flooded with subpar products. So, how do you distinguish a “bad” supplement from a “good” supplement?
What is it sourced from?
Many manufacturers use artificial substitutes for nutrients instead of obtaining them from natural sources. Most of the calcium in calcium supplements is taken from calcium carbonate in limestone rock, a common construction material. This cheaply sourced compound results in less than 30% absorption of the nutrient. The extra calcium floating around the bloodstream builds up in the arteries, causing calcification, which increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack. I have found PRL's Coral Legend Plus to be a highly absorbable source of calcium and thankfully it is from a natural source of coral and is capped in vegetable capsules.
Ascorbic acid is another example of an ineffective chemical substitution. Often advertised as having the same benefits as vitamin C, it is actually unable to replicate any of the benefits of the vitamin. In fact, it actually damages the lining of your digestive tract!
Your body often doesn’t know what to do with these artificial “nutrients” – in fact, they don’t recognise the compounds as nutritional at all.
A good way to make sure your body is really getting what the label is selling you is by checking the source of your supplement. For instance, good Vitamin C supplements will derive the nutrient from Lemon, Kale, Camu Camu and Indian Gooseberry (Alma berries) and other natural sources. M&R Essentials is a company dedicated to ensuring that all of its supplements are 100% naturally sourced so that their products are actually helping the consumer when taken. M&R Essentials Pure C derives its vitamin C from Amla berries, which makes it an easily absorbed, high efficacy supplement.
Look for Synergistic Supplements
We don’t normally consume our nutrients as isolated, highly processed chemicals. When we obtain them through food sources, they come in as mixed goody bags, with many different varieties of vitamins, macronutrients and minerals. Singular nutrients are ineffective on their own, as their functions often rely on interactions with many other vitamins and macros. Effective vitamin supplements are formulated to account for this. M&R Essentials is a company who is no stranger to the concept of synergistic supplements – their formulas are made to ensure maximum effectiveness by using the concept of synergy, seen at work in their M&R Essentials Pure B supplement for example which is extracted from Fermented Buckwheat versus other B supplements on the market which are derived from chemically treated sewage and coal tar.
Look for whole food based certifications
By making sure that your supplement is certified to be made to certain specifications, you can eliminate many risks of it being of subpar quality. For example, M&R Essentials is guaranteed to be gluten, dairy and GMO-free, with all natural organic vegetable-based capsules delivering your supplement to you. By avoiding substances like binders and fillers, many toxic and adverse chemicals are kept out of your supplements like Magnesium Stearate extracted from Cotton, which is a common free-flowing agent used in nearly every supplement on the market. These chemicals are highly prevalent in many cheaply made supplement products and are accompanied with many unpleasant side effects. Keeping an eye out for those little qualifiers can make a huge difference on your daily health upkeep.