Posted by: Carel | 2004/02/10

Vitamins & Minerals - which brand?


From your excellent Vitamins & Minerals section on Health24 I can easily determine which vitamins & minerals I need more of and less of. My question is: There are so many different brands out there when it comes to this - which one should I choose and what do I look for - except for the variety of vitamins & minerals the tablet contains? Would my body absorb all these brands in the same manner or is there something I can look for on the bottle that says something like slow release or whatever? I know the absorption rate is very important but I would I know this from looking at the bottle/packet?


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Carel
Thank you for your kind words about our site. If you are eating a balanced diet and just require additional supplementation then you can use any one of the popular brands such as Centrum or Supradyn - chat to your pharmacist about which product gives you the best value for money. Check on the container that you are not getting more than the RDA of these nutrients per dose as one wants to avoid overdosing, esp with the fat-soluble vitamins such as vits A and D. There are quite a few products which provide sustained release - check on the labels and consult your pharmacist in relation to the products available in his/her pharmacy.
Best regards

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Nutrition Nut | 2004/02/11

Mm. The RDA is not a reliable guide. Over the years, the RDA for most supplements has been notched up as research has been coming in on the specific effects of supplements.

The RDA is mainly the work of the World Health Organisation (WHO), specifically the Codex Aligmentaris. Ostensibly, the Codex is there to promote food safety and labelling standards and uniform naming and labelling of herbal preparations. In practice, the Codex has been hijacked by the Drug Cartels to suppress information about vitamin and mineral supplements, and to get laws passed to have vitamins and minerals scheduled as drugs that require a prescription.

In reality, the drug manufacturers are well aware that the increasing awareness of the benefits of nutritional supplementation is a significant threat to their profits from selling patent medicines that they know full well do not cure anything.

In the USA, about 50% of the population are now taking some sort of multivitimin supplement, and the incidence of heart disease is now dropping. Not, I might add, because Americans are eating less fat, but because they are getting more Vitamin C.

Products like Supradyn and Centrum are better than nothing, but have way less quantity than you really need.

One expert in the field is Dr Matthias Rath, who has spent more than a decade researching the causes of coronary artery disease and heart problems. See www dot drrath dot com. He has published a number of books that you can download for free.

As for the best brand, well, it varies. Manufacturers differ in the quantities and combinations of ingredients. Research has shown that most nutrients are not readily absorbed on their own and need to be taken in combination. Calcium, for example, needs to be combined with several others especially magnesium. It's a question of value for money.

In the context of South Africa, the Nutraceutical Research Foundation (NRF) produce some of the best value products, especially their Vitamin C 2000 powder. Some of the Vital products are good value, as are some of the Bettaway products. Sometimes the pharmacy house brands are also good value.

Much of the nutritional problem comes from the tendancy to consume vast amounts of empty kilojoules. For example, the average American gets 160 grams of carbs from sugar per day out of a total carb intake of 300 grams per day. There is no nutritional value to sugar, it's just empty kilojoules.

Cutting your intake of junk carbs like sugar, white flour, maize and any refined grain whilst increasing your intake of non-starchy vegetables will improve your nutritional profile dramatically.

The problem is that the food we can buy in the supermarket is a lot less nutritious than it was 60 or 100 years ago, so nutritient supplementation is pretty much unavoidable.

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