By Quinn Akira Takei, Holistic Health Coach. Doctor of Oriental Medicine(NM), Licensed Acupuncturist, and Chinese Herbalist
Most of the supplements available on the market are at best a waste of money, and at worst harmful to health.
Many supplements are a waste of money because in many cases the active ingredient is so poor with a bioavailability to the body which is almost nonexistent.
Many supplements are harmful to your health because they contain chemicals, fillers, binders, and coloring which may lead to other health problems.
Supplements are not regulated and as a result there's a lot of companies that simply produce a lot of low quality garbage to make money. Unless you really Know what products you should be taking, how much of the active ingredient you need, what else should be in the product, and what should NOT be in the product, it can be very difficult to select something which is actually going to benefit you, let alone not harm you.
The supplements which I recommend are carefully selected on a wide variety of factors. Some of my criteria in choosing approved products include the following:
1. I will only use "clean" products. This means that I refuse to use products which have harmful chemicals, additives, fillers, or colorings in them. Immediately, this eliminates the majority of supplements on the market. When you start to pay very close attention to the ingredients you'll be amazed at how much substances in products have absolutely no therapeutic function at all and are in fact shown to be potentially harmful.
2. Active ingredients. Look for products that have the amount of the active ingredient I desire. The product might look great and sound great, but the reason why you are ultimately taking it is for the active ingredient and the the therapeutic effect it will have. When you begin to compare the actual active ingredients in multiple products you will find that these amounts vary immensely. With most products on the market, the active ingredients is very low and ink significant. On the other hand, there are some products where the active ingredients may be too strong for your specific needs. For this reason, I may carry the same product with different degrees of strength in therapeutic value.
3. Bio-availability. Supplements are made and manufactured in a wide variety of ways. Some of these are simply more difficult to digest while others allow them to be much more easily assimilated and used by the body.
4. Convenience. I am well aware that convenience can play a very big role in compliance with your recommended nutritional supplement program. In most cases I will try to select products for you which are easy and convenient to take. For example, there are several very high quality multivitamins that have a suggested dosage of six capsules per day. There are also other high quality multivitamins that have a suggested dosage of two capsules per day. While the product that requires six capsules per day may be stronger, I understand your compliance and convenience may be much higher with the product that requires two capsules per day. Another example, is fish oil. One could take fish oil as a liquid which may have a higher therapeutic value and ultimately very cost effective, however not all people have a desire to drink a spoonful of oil. Many people may prefer fish oil which is encapsulated.
5. Cost. For most, the cost of products is always an important factor. While in many cases, the old saying, "You get what you pay for.", is still accurate, I will do my best to get you the most effective products for the least amount of money. I typically spend a great deal of time breaking down the price per milligram of the active ingredients when comparing similar products.
These and many other factors will be discussed between us in selecting the products which best suit your needs.