What Is The Vitamin C Rda For A 3-Year-Old Girl Vitamin Supplements That Work

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Vitamin Supplements That Work

Are your vitamin supplements helpful? Are you wasting your money?

You might think that vitamin supplements are a bit off topic when it comes to heart health. But really they are not. Various vitamins have been studied for their importance to heart health. Vitamin B6 has been associated with a reduction in heart attacks in women. Vitamin C is known to help lower blood pressure. Vitamin D and vitamin E have also been mentioned when discussing heart health.

How to know which and how many vitamin supplements to take

We have the government’s RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance). And we have other recommendations from various experts. Some of the government’s RDA numbers are considered inaccurate by some experts. Most experts recommend that you try to get as much of your vitamin and mineral nutrients from food as possible. And many recommend adding supplements to fill in the gaps where you may not be getting enough of these nutrients from food.

I’ve always thought it makes sense to take vitamin supplements if I’m not getting what I need from the food I eat. As I continue to learn more about what is in our food, I am more and more convinced that we need supplements. I am also more concerned, and confused, about the quality of supplements. More on that below.

Here is a short list of supplements that I have seen recommended. Especially for heart health.

– Multivitamin

– Vitamin D (2000 IU or more, up to 8000 IU)

– Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements (1 to 3 grams of DHA and EPA)

– Vitamin C and vitamin E supplements if the multivitamin is short on these

How to know which brand of vitamin supplements to buy

If you take supplements that don’t work, you’re just wasting your time and money. So you want to get this right.

Think about it. If you take the same supplements for many years only to find out that they did not contain nutrients, or your system could not absorb those nutrients, it is a waste of time and money. And you’ve also lost health benefits you could have otherwise achieved with better supplements or foods!

You need to know which supplements work. And who don’t. Finding the answer is not easy.

When looking for supplement reviews, you will find websites that claim to have reviewed them. They provide their results with a chart that ranks the best through the worst. Sometimes, looking closer, you will also find that these sites also sell supplements. And of course what they sell is usually recommended. Reviews are only part of the picture. Studies involving actual documented cases are very difficult to do. There are so many variables involved.

Consumer Labs offers top-rated brand reports here: http://www.consumerlab.com/news/Supplement-Users-Survey/2_1_2012/

These reports appear to be based on consumer ratings. Not a scientific study. Some of the information is provided on this web page but the full report is available for purchase. Consumer Labs has other studies that may also be helpful. They charge a fee for much of their information.

Vitamin supplements and quality control

The USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) is a non-profit organization that sets standards for drugs, food ingredients and food additives manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide. You will see their label (USP) on some bottles of supplements they have tested. Their stamp means that they have tested the product and approved it according to their testing. It means the product has met their standards. However, it does not mean that the product is what you need. For example, I have a bottle of vitamin E pills that has the USP stamp on it. But, the vitamin E in the bottle is the synthetic type. This is stated as the main ingredient on the bottle label. The synthetic type (di-alpha tocopheryl acetate) is not recommended by nutrition experts. So I have a bottle of vitamin E with the USP stamp of approval on it. A bottle of vitamin E I’m going to throw in the trash!

Grades of Supplements

There are 2 categories of supplements that are often discussed. Food grade that meets standards set for human consumption. And pharmaceutical grade that meets pharmaceutical standards. According to Wiktionary, pharmaceutical grade is “A standard of purity suitable for use as a medicine.” Apparently most supplements are not labeled with either of these 2 degrees. Some say that the pharmaceutical grade claim used by some supplement vendors is simply a marketing ploy. Others say it’s an important consideration.

Multivitamin brands

I am currently taking Silver +50 Centrum multivitamin supplements. I have seen Centrum rated well on many sites. However, according to one article Centrum is rated very low in a book by Lyle MacWilliam called the “Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements”. It is a book that came out at the request of the Canadian Parliament to provide the public with information to make good decisions when it comes to supplements. The article is here: http://ahealthieryou4life.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-vitamins-what-is-your-supplement.html. The article also lists some of the top multivitamin supplements as follows…

1. Usana Health Sciences (96.1 in the 3rd edition)

2. Create a Benevolent Alliance (not included in the 3rd edition)

3. Douglas Laboratories (75.1 in the third edition)

4. TrueStar Health (not included in the 3rd edition)

Recommendations

I was hoping to come away with some good recommendations on supplements and brands. Through the process of researching this article I discovered that there are more questions than answers. I am more suspicious of the supplements sold. I’m not convinced that spending more gives better quality. Claims of “pharmaceutical grade” and “USP” labels do not convince me that a product is useful.

I think the only good recommendation I can give is to try to get more important nutrients from the food you eat. That’s one way to be sure you’re getting quality nutrients. More specifically unprocessed foods, such as fruits and vegetables. You don’t need to worry about pharmaceutical grade or nutrition labels when you buy blueberries and apples!

Vitamin Supplements that work

As for nutritional supplements, I still believe in them. But I’ll keep it simple. No mega dose with dozens of pills a day. A multivitamin and some fish oil supplements will help. As my search for the best supplements continues, I will report my findings on my website. If you are wondering if vitamin supplements are necessary, I wrote more about it here: Are vitamin supplements necessary?

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