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Recommended Supplement Manufacturers:

Ratings derived from the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements compiled by Lyle MacWilliam

Comparative Guide To Nutritional Supplements - sample featuring the "blended standard" (PDF: 256Kb)

American Medical Association Bulletin

What to Look for When Shopping for Vitamins & Other Supplements

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Properly chosen vitamins and minerals can make the difference between a long, healthy, productive life and an unhappy, painful, and disappointing life. Invest some time NOW by learning some of the basics. It will pay you back more than you can imagine.

The issue of nutritional supplements is one of the most confusing and controversial issues in medicine. Few people, including health care professionals, are able to provide competent, up-to-date advice on these issues. Doctors, in particular, have very little training in nutrition. They are trained to make patients feel better by treating the painful symptoms reported to them. The ugly fact is that most of the prescription drugs so freely administered today treat only the symptom, while creating other serious side-affects, some not seen for a number of years. The information below will provide a guide to help you navigate the foggy waters leading to optimal nutrition.

The Label Should Say

  • “Potency Guaranteed”
  • “Meets U.S. Pharmaceutical (USP) specifications for potency, uniformity, and disintegration”. (Note: Not food grade guidelines or food grade G.M.P.’s).
  • Multivitamins should say “Take Three (3) Tablets Daily”. A once-a-day tablet simply cannot provide the levels of potency needed for optimal nutrition without being too large to swallow.
  • Multivitamin ingredients should be similar to “The Blended Standard” below.
  • What is the manufacturer’s independently evaluated ranking in third-party publications, especially in the “Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements” compiled by Lyle MacWilliam. (This readily available compendium of products available in the U.S. and Canada is the most respected and comprehensive guide to “sorting out the wheat from the chaff”. Available through public libraries, bookstores, and internet.)

MRE does NOT sell anything. However, purchasing low quality supplements can actually damage your health. People continue to ask, “What’s best?” At this time, USANA Health Sciences holds the highest rating in the “Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements”. You can find product descriptions, factory-direct pricing, and how to order at USANA.

Additional Factors to Consider

  • Label should state a specific shelf-life.
  • Label should state no ingredients that may have accumulative toxicities, i.e. they should contain no preformed vitamin A or iron.
  • Label should state ingredients provided in their most bio-available form. (Beware of liquids. Additionally, mineral salts are not as well absorbed as chelated minerals or minerals bound to an organic carrier.)
  • Is the product manufactured in-house? (Or, is the product sub-contracted to the lowest bidder?)
  • Is the product manufactured in the U.S.A.?
  • Is the product one of the few listed in the prestigious “Physicians Desk Reference” (P.D.R.) found in all doctor’s offices. (This is another “sorting tool”.)
  • If a fish oil product, is the fish oil “certified by the U.S. Pharmaceutical Ingredient Verification Program”, to be from COLD water fish and free of mercury, heavy metals, and pesticide residue?
  • Does the fish oil label tell you exactly how much “EPA” and “DHA” (the active ingredients) are in each capsule?
  • Does the company provide a guarantee that its products are free of any substances banned by the International Olympic Committee?
  • Is there readily available testimony from local consumers reachable by telephone (or in person), verifying the potency, quality, and effectiveness of the product?

Note: Specific supplemental recommendations are available by request.

 Copyright 2006 Medical Research Education Assocates LLC