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Why choose one brand of vitamins over another?

Ninety-nine percent of all vitamins come from the same three large suppliers - so aren't the cheap brands as beneficial as the more expensive ones?  No, vitamin source is just one part of the picture.

With any vitamin product, you want to make sure that you are getting what you paid for.  If the bottle says 25,000 IUs of Vitamin A, has the manufacturer put that in the bottle?  Many manufactures will add cornstarch and lactose as fillers to vitamin C to reach the required milligram amount.  These fillers of the individual vitamins would not be listen on the label. A good brand of vitamins (like Thorne on the west coast or Traditional Nutritional Pure Formulations on the east coast) will contain 100% of the vitamin C and no fillers.  Some ingredient like CoQ10 are expensive to manufacture.  Be wary if an expensive ingredient is in a relatively inexpensive bottle - it may not be in there at all.

With minerals, you need to consider the form of the mineral.  For instance, calcium can come in many forms, citrates, carbonates, dolomite, aspartate, etc.  Some of these forms are more absorbable than others.  Also, if you have a family history of kidney or gall bladder stones, you may want the citrate form as it is the most protective against stone formation. 

Even if the bottle contains 100% of the vitamins and minerals listed on the label, it may have binders to hold the pills together or lubricants like magnesium stearate to improve vitamin flow in them.  These will be listed on the label.  Some medical research claim that magnesium stearate  inhibits your immune system. (Immunology 1990 70 379-384 - Drs. Tebby and Buttke)  Magnesium stearate is considered a hazardous ingredinet which may cause stomach and intestinal problems with overconsumption. 

 Ultimately, it's buyer beware.  I advise my patients to avoid the cheap brands and the cadillac brands.  Look out for magnesium stearate.  You don't want it in every type of vitamin you take.  And take the advice of your naturopath.

 

 

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About the Doctor
  

Dr. Juniper Martin
11825 SW Greenburg Road,
Suite A2 Tigard,
OR 97223
503-443-2332