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How to Assess Health Supplements Based on Their Nutrients

With countless health supplement products in the market today, picking the best ones can be a daunting task. It’s not just a matter of knowing what supplements you need, but rather how to know which supplements are the safest and most effective for you.

Types of Nutrients

To know what particular nutrient forms come with the product, you have to read its label carefully. For certain nutrients, there’s no particular form to look for. For example, any kind of Vitamin C – whether natural or synthetic – is acceptable. However, when it comes to Vitamin E and beta-carotene, however, natural is superior. Most mineral forms are acceptable as well, but they may differ in bioavailability, depending on your current health condition. And since people absorb nutrients in different ways, you should get mineral supplements that come with an entire range of sources.


Some products take pride in their great variety of really good ingredients. Yet upon checking their labels, you may find that the individual amounts of these ingredients are so small that they couldn’t possibly impact your health in any way, let alone a therapeutic way. For example, an arthritis supplement be promoted as a product that provides tons of great ingredients, including 500 mg of glucosamine sulfate. If you know nothing about these things, you may just get impressed. However, according to clinical trials, you need about 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate for you to experience benefits. So while you think you’ve got a great product out there, it’s not actually doing you good. Don’t fall prey to deceptive marketing tactics.

Know the recommended dosages for the essential nutrients before buying any health supplements. Another thing you need to know is how to interpret the numbers linked to chelated minerals like magnesium succinate and calcium citrate). Keep in mind that chelated mineral doses do not always indicate the mineral’s elemental amounts. By “elemental,” we mean the actual mineral found in a product as opposed to the chelated mineral compound’s total weight. For example, about 40% of calcium carbonate is made up of elemental calcium–in order to get 500 mg of elemental calcium, 1,250 mg of calcium carbonate would be required.

If you see on the label “(blank) mg calcium (from calcium carbonate),” “(blank) mg calcium (as calcium carbonate)” or “(blank) mg elemental calcium,” that means you will get (blank) mg of elemental calcium. If you see only “(blank) mg calcium carbonate” though, you should assume that the actual calcium will only compose 40% of it.


Yes, there must be an expiration date on each health supplement you consider. Though certain nutrients, like calcium and other minerals, can stay potent for years upon years, others such as vitamins B and C expire much earlier.

Source: 1st Phorm