The 4 Most Unanswered Questions about Options

How to Assess Health Supplements Based on Their Nutrients

With countless health supplement products in the market today, picking the best ones can be a daunting task. It’s not just a matter of knowing what supplements you need, but rather how to know which supplements are the safest and most effective for you.

Types of Nutrients

You have to read label carefully to know what nutrient forms are in the product. There are nutrients that can be effective in any form. For example, whether vitamin C is in synthetic or natural form, it will always be acceptable. However, when it comes to Vitamin E and beta-carotene, however, natural is superior. Most mineral forms are also acceptable, but depending on your health status, there will be differences in terms of bioavailability. And as different people have different abilities to absorb nutrients, you have to choose mineral supplements with a variety of sources.


There are products that boast having so many good ingredients. Yet upon checking their labels, you may find that the individual amounts of these ingredients are so small that they couldn’t possibly impact your health in any way, let alone a therapeutic way. For instance, an arthritis supplement may advertise itself as having many great ingredients, like 500 mg of glucosamine sulfate. If you know nothing about these things, you may just get impressed. However, according to clinical trials, you need about 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate for you to experience benefits. So while you might actually believe you’ve buying a great product, it won’t really work like you want it to. Don’t be fooled by this type of deceptive marketing.

Find out how much of each key nutrient you need so you can be guided while shopping for health supplements. Besides that, you also need to know how to correctly interpret the numbers associated with chelated minerals like magnesium succinate and calcium citrate. Note that the actual elemental amounts of chelated minerals are not always indicated by the doses listed for them. By “elemental,” we mean the actual mineral found in a product as opposed to the chelated mineral compound’s total weight. For instance, calcium carbonate is composed of 40 percent elemental calcium–in order to get 500 mg of elemental calcium, 1,250 mg of calcium is necessary.

If, on the label, you find “(blank) mg elemental calcium,” “(blank) mg calcium (from calcium carbonate),” or “(blank) mg calcium (as calcium carbonate),” that means you will be getting (blank) mg of elemental calcium. But if you only find on the label, “(blank) mg calcium carbonate,” that means only 40% of that is actual calcium.


Yes, there has to be an expiration date for every health supplement product out there. Although some nutrients, like calcium and other minerals, can remain potent for years, others, such as vitamins B and C, have a far shorter shelf life.

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