. . . where nutritional supplements are concerned. You want to know something about the people behind the company you buy nutritional products from. Look for formulas designed by qualified professionals with credentials you can trust. Learn to read labels. Look for pure and unadulterated formulas free of artificial colors, fillers, preservatives and other unnecessary ingredients you probably can’t pronounce.
Unfortunately, most big box retailers are not willing to pay a higher price to get quality products into their stores because too many consumers have been brainwashed into believing that questionable bargains are more important than the quality of their purchases. The old adage continues to be right: we get what we pay for.
The big box attitude was responsible for first-rate supplement designers and manufacturers to start selling their products through licensed medical practitioners who genuinely care about their patients having access to high-quality products that work.
Fortunately, some medical professionals are now far better educated about nutrition science and supplement manufacturing than they were a few years ago. Thanks to those in the ocular-focused supplement industry who are committed to supporting educational organizations like The Ocular Nutrition Society, which provides six hours of high-quality continuing nutrition science education for eye care professionals twice a year, as well as a 150 hour Fellowship course in nutrition science for eye care professionals.
And thanks to organizations like the Washington, D.C. based Council for Responsible Nutrition who mandate their members become their own industry “Sheriffs” and report supplement companies to the FDA and FTC who don’t manufacture to GMP standards, make misleading health claims, or make label claims for nutrient forms or amounts that are false.
Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) vs Percent Daily Value (%DV)
Suzy Cohen, America’s and my most favorite pharmacist, and the author of “Drug Muggers,” a fantastic book that focuses on all of the nutrients destroyed by prescription drugs, suggests in her book that too many people are obsessed with meeting the old USDA’s Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for each vitamin and mineral because they have been taught that getting 100 percent of the RDAs means they will stay healthy.
Remember this: the RDAs were outdated years ago.
Those numbers refer to the amount of vitamins and minerals required to stay alive and prevent some diseases like scurvy and beriberi. They have little or nothing to do with maintaining optimal health. The RDAs were originally developed during World War II based on the minimum amount of nutrition our military needed to stay alive since food was rationed to both the military and to the public. These recommendations evolved over the years from RDAs to %DVs based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet), but these amounts are still inadequate for optimal health, particularly given the sad state of U.S. food policy, and the profit-above-all driven companies who control our nutrient-deficient food industry.
Questionable corporate farming practices have virtually depleted our soils of nutrients. Industrialization has contaminated our rain and our rivers. Many oceans and rivers are tainted with pharmaceuticals in addition to radioactive waste, mercury, and other toxins. These are just some of the reasons why it’s so important to supplement with high-quality multiple nutrients that help detoxify our bodies, over the big box lower quality supplements mass produced with chemicals and synthetic ingredients,
We can’t live in fear of all this, but we can all work harder to clean up our bodies. Eating right, exercising, and avoiding processed and junk foods from the center of the supermarket is also a good start.
Suzy Cohen suggests, “If you are going to make the effort and investment in supplements, please choose a well-formulated nutritional product that’s pure and active.” This type of product is rarely available in big box stores.
Size Also Matters
I wrote a column a couple of weeks ago called Sex Matters because more than 65% of our customers are women over the age of 50. It looked at nutrient-depleating drugs prescribed to menopausal and post- menopausal women that were never clinically studied, or were only studied on males.Size matters because natural raw ingredients. like a lot of things, vary in size - with minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium being the largest. These big boy molecules require a huge amount of leg room. When these minerals are included in vitamin, mineral, antioxidant multiples in capsule form, the daily dosage is always going to be between four and six capsules a day or more, for optimally effective full-spectrum nutrition.
Space becomes particularly important when supplements are presented in capsule form that meet United States Pharmacopeia (USP) dissolution standards. Common sense suggests this type of capsule with loose raw ingredients would more easily dissolve in the stomach with a higher level of bioavailability than multiple nutrients compressed into pill form with binders and covered in some outer chemical substance to keep them from disintegrating.
Ellen Troyer, MT MA
Biosyntrx CEO / Chief Research Officer
Voting Member - Council for Responsible Nutrition
Founding Board Member- Ocular Nutrition Society