supplements the same

Dr. Sterling answers the question: “Aren’t all supplements the same?”

I was standing in the check-out line at one of those variety stores that are open 24 hours a day. You know the stores that mainly exist to sell greeting cards and fill prescriptions. No, no, I wasn’t there to get any prescription filled. I was buying a battery for my Mom’s watch.

The gentleman behind me was holding 2 giant bottles of multi-vitamins. Now you know with my experience formulating supplements over the last 35 years, I couldn’t resist asking him about the purchase he was about to make.

I asked him, “what made you choose that particular brand of vitamins?” His answer floored me, he said, “all supplements are the same, I just buy the cheapest ones”.

Wow, just like all cars are the same. So, an entry-level Hyundai is the same as the finest Rolls Royce? All cuts of meat are the same like the toughest, chewiest piece of cowhide is the same as a perfectly cooked filet mignon?

What difference does it make what supplements we put in our body?

The answer lies in the word Bio-availability. The best supplements contain highly bio-available ingredients. This means the vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients can be easily absorbed and used by our body. Only the purest and highest quality ingredients are the most bio-available.

Five steps for finding quality supplements that we can trust are:

1. Can we determine how the supplement was formulated? Is there evidence of certifications and testing with the manufacturer?

2. Are the ingredients clearly listed and can we find out where they came from?

3. Are there research studies that can verify how the ingredients will help us?

4. How absorbable or bio-available are the ingredients?

5. This is sometimes the tough one – we have to pay for quality.

Unfortunately, some supplement companies don’t have bio-available formulations and ingredients. Thus, even though the bottle says there might be 1,000 mg of a particular vitamin in a bottle, that does not mean all of it gets used by our body. Sometimes, none of the key ingredients are available to be absorbed by our body. So, we take a supplement thinking it is doing us some good and it goes right through our body and we watch it go down the toilet. Just like the money we just wasted.

After this brief explanation to the gentleman standing in line with me, he left the 2 giant bottles on the counter. I told him to make sure whatever was in the bottle actually got used by his body (Bio-available).

I know he will be healthier and enjoy more life because of our conversation. Be Blessed.

- Dr. Zane Sterling