1. Is it necessary?
While health supplement manufacturers might prefer you thinking otherwise, the very first thing you should consider before taking any health supplements is whether it is necessary. More specifically:
- Do you need it in the first place?
- If yes, what does your body need it for?
- Can you get enough of it in your diet?
- Can you get enough of it from other sources? (For example sun exposure for Vitamin D)
An important thing to note is that your personal nutrient needs might be different from the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). Depending on your genes, your lifestyle, your environment, you might need more or less than the recommended.
Also, most of the time, the Recommended Daily Intake shows the minimum you’d need to prevent deficiency. The value could be much higher for your body to function optimally!
2. What’s the nutrient form?
Ok, now that we’ve established that it’s necessary to supplement a particular nutrient, it’s time to look at the nutrient form it’s in. So you might be thinking what’s nutrient form and why even look at it? Fret not, we’ll cover both those concerns.
Nutrients can exist in more than one chemical form! And depending on the form it is in, your body’s absorption differs (bioavailability). For example magnesium in the aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride forms are absorbed more completely and are more bioavailable than magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate. Though as you’ve suspected, most supplements which has magnesium, contains the cheaper magnesium oxide form (despite lower bioavailability)!
Thus the importance of checking the nutrient form, depending on the nutrient in question, this could have a great impact on its absorption.
3. Is it well formulated?
Unfortunately nutrient form is not the only thing that affects your absorption (bioavailability). What you’re taking the nutrient with also affects the bioavailability.
A well formulated supplement should work synergistically together (with necessary cofactors, enzymes, trace elements, activators present), so to enhance your body’s absorption. Some vitamins and minerals should to be taken together, while others shouldn’t. For example, Zinc will impede the absorption of iron and copper, so they shouldn’t be taken together.
Another point to note is the dosage of the active ingredients in the health supplements. Sometimes, manufacturers only add a trace amount of a particular nutrient (so that they can advertise as having it). However the dosage is not high enough to actually give you the health benefits.
4. What else is in the health supplement?
You’d surprise how much of your supplement is actually fillers and bulking agents, sprinkled potentially with additives, colouring, flavourings, flow agents, etc.
Among the ingredients you should look out for and avoid are:
- Hydrogenated oils (trans fat)
- Artificial colouring
- (high fructose) corn syrup
- soy lecithin
These ingredients do not serve you any health benefits and in fact may be harmful to your health instead.
5. BONUS – Any side effects / potential interactions?
Before taking anything new, do check out if they cause any side effects or has any potential interactions with what you’re currently taking (be it supplements or medications).
For example, taking CoQ10 with anticoagulant drugs (like warfarin) may decrease the blood thinning effects of the anticoagulant and increase your risk for a clot. On the other hand, cranberry may increase the effects of blood thinners (anticogulants) like warfarin, leading to bruising or bleeding.
Not all health supplements are created equal.. How about Immunocal?
Is it necessary?
Your health relies heavily on the availability of Glutathione (GSH). It exists in every cell of your body and is essential for your life. This molecule is constantly being used up in dozens of your body’s functions and is difficult to replace.
Glutathione is your body’s master antioxidant, its chief detoxification enzyme (for many carcinogens and heavy metals) and is literally food for your immune system.
What is the nutrient form?
Now that we’ve established the importance of glutathione, you might think it’s a good idea to take glutathione pills. However consuming glutathione directly has little to no effect on your cellular glutathione levels. What happens instead is the glutathione gets digested before it even reaches your cells, where it’s most needed.
Immunocal on the other hand, provides your cells with the building blocks needed to make glutathione. It is a patented, unique, specially formulated and has been clinically demonstrated to raise your cellular glutathione.
Is it well formulated?
Many natural products claim to help your immune system, but very few have undergone the rigorous testing and published human trials that Immunocal has over the years. Over forty published scientific and medical articles attest to its remarkable credibility!
What else is in it?
Immunocal is FREE from any bulking agents, fillers, additives, preservatives, colouring, flavouring, sweetener and emulsifiers.
“There are many myths and mysteries about raising glutathione…
Let me be clear – Immunocal is the only natural patented protein proven to raise and sustain glutathione levels and help the immune system.”
Dr Jimmy Gutman
World’s best selling author on Glutathione
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