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Which Vitamins to Buy?

Choices, Choices, Choices

When it comes to choosing which vitamins to take, it is pretty confusing out there. Our first choice is where we buy our vitamins. We can go to the drug store, the health food store, buying clubs like Costco or through direct sales/internet where they are delivered to our homes. After we make that choice, there are dozens of the same type of vitamins to choose from. What criteria should we use? Most people think price. But when it comes to quality, price is not the standard to go by.

Most people do not realize that there are three main ways of manufacturing vitamins on the market. So to the untrained eye, these vitamins all look the same except for the price point. So here are some pointers to help you choose more wisely.

Typically if you are shopping in a drug store or some buying clubs, you are going to find the synthetic type (test tube type) of vitamins.

Features of Synthetic Vitamins:

  • Use man-made, inorganic substances, chemically derived, often petroleum-based products
  • Often contain sugar & unnatural flavours, colours, fillers, binders, preservatives, sweeteners
  • Chemical, high-heat or high-pressure processing destroys active ingredients & enzymes
  • Very poor dissolve-ability
  • Very poor bio-availability
  • Do not build long-term health
  • May act as a stimulant (temporarily feel ‘better’)
  • May have negative side effects in some people
  • Unrecognized by body, not found in nature, ‘unnatural’ to self

When vitamins are made synthetically, it costs very little and that is passed along to the consumer. But when you think about it, are you really saving money when the money you just spent is not being utilized in your body? To me that is a waste of money.

If you are shopping in a typical health food store and some direct sales companies, you are going to find natural isolates using the extraction method.

Features of Extracted Vitamins:

  • Isolated nutrient; no co-factors present; poorly balanced formula
  • ‘Natural’ sourced – only a small portion must be natural, according to government labeling regulations
  • May contain questionable fillers, binders, etc.
  • Processing methods questionable; active ingredients & enzymes often destroyed
  • Often poor dissolve-ability
  • Often poor to fair bio-availability
  • Better than synthetics, but do not build true long-term health
  • Portions recognizable by body but have to steal co-factors from your body for true absorption; so gives to you and steals from you.

When you are buying the extracted version, it is a toss-up whether you are getting ahead or not as it depends on how much your body needs to “spend” in order to get the extracted vitamin metabolized. So the potential for losing money is there if your body does not have adequate stores of nutrients to help with the processing of the extracted version.

If you are shopping through some direct sales companies or getting your vitamins from a practitioner of some kind, then you are probably getting whole food, nutrient dense concentrates.

Features of Whole Food, Nutrient Dense Concentrates:

  • Nature’s balance; high potency; nature’s co-factors present
  • High quality, pure, organically sourced raw materials
  • Low heat or no heat, low pressure processing ensures active ingredients and high enzymatic activity
  • No harsh binders, fillers
  • No refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colours, flavours
  • Ideal, effective dissolve-ability, available when & where needed
  • Ideal, effective bio-availability, easily utilized by cells
  • Body recognizes as ‘belonging to self’ or ‘natural’, highly usable
  • Builds long-term health by supporting body’s innate wisdom

When you compare whole food concentrates with real food, you see that you save money while being nourished. For example, one of my Vitamin C tablets costs me 22 cents and it is equal to my buying 7 and half oranges. My body feels the difference when I nourish it properly which is my biggest saving.  Since the food values have decreased due to food becoming a business and the soils being depleted, my body loves the whole food nutrient dense concentrates to supplement what I am missing from my diet.

Bottom line; when it comes to choosing your vitamins, you get what you pay for. If you are interested in exploring this further, I have a list of scientific questions that will help you confirm whether or not you are getting your money’s worth when buying vitamins. Contact me and I will send you this list.

I’d love to hear from you or answer any questions.  Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv.  That’s great for all bloggers out there. If you leave a comment, you can provide a link back to your own blog.  But you don’t have to be a blogger to leave a comment; I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you.

To your good health!

Charlene Day

12 Responses to “Which Vitamins to Buy?”

  1. Great blog on the differences in the vitamins available on the market. Puts into perspective the value of a vitamin versus the cost of the vitamin! Thanks Charlene.

  2. Charlene says:

    Thanks Nadia, so glad you found the article helpful.


  3. Hi Charlene,

    You make the comparison very clear. So glad I just bought some raw food derived vitamins. Looking forward to seeing how my body feels after a few months on them.

  4. Charlene says:

    Glad you found the comparison helpful. Did you get the food derived vitamins in a health food store? I hope they are of the quality that you are expecting. If you want a list of scientific questions to send the manufacturer to verify that quality, please let me know. Thanks for your comment.


  5. […] Here is a detailed professional and expert Nutritionist’s report on the different types of vit… […]

  6. Toni says:

    Unfortunately many of us in our time we tend to forget how important it is to give ourselves the best nutrition which includes ingredients so helpful like the vitamins. And that so that to be able to avoid future undesirable diseases. Thank you for the detailed analysis because money=time=results.

  7. Charlene says:

    You are welcome. You are right it is very important not to waste our money on poor quality that does not give the body what it needs.

    It looks like you are doing a great job in educating on a very important subject as well. Keep up the good work.


  8. Alex Tretter says:

    Hello, Can you send me the questions to ask the manufactures about there supplements and vitamins so I can understand which ones to purchase and which ones to stay away from. Thank you so much for your time, Al

  9. Charlene says:

    Your cells can tell if your supplement is real or not. Unfortunately with all the good marketing these days, we cannot tell at first glance if a product is good for us or not. It is important to ask questions that go beyond the hype to see if you are going to get your money’s worth.

    Here is a list of questions that have been sent to many companies in North American. Feel free to do your own research. But if you find that you do not have the time, you can ask for the results of the companies presently polled.

    1. How much has been spent in research to date?
    2. How many full-time research staff does the company employ?
    3. Do independent research scientists evaluate new product concepts? If so, who?
    4. Does the company have a medical advisory board? If so, who’s on it?
    5. Do all product label claims have documented substantiation?
    6. Has disintegration time of nutritional supplements been tested?
    7. What quality controls are in place on raw materials?
    8. What quality controls are in place for product stability during the manufacturing process? (e.g. temperature and humidity)
    9. What quality assurance tests are run throughout the manufacturing process?
    10. Are all supplements made by your own manufacturing group or are they sub-contracted out? If sub-contracted, what input do you have in quality control?
    11. Is clinical testing done on the finished product?
    12. Please send a complete bibliography of all research that has been accepted for publication in refereed or peer reviewed professional journals. Is this published research done by scientists employed by your company or those on your advisory board concerning work on actual products being manufactured?

  10. Ronnie says:

    I never buy the cheap multivitamins, no “one a day” vitamins for me. It’s definitely worth it to spend a little extra on your health, as synthetic and cheaper multivitamins might do more harm than good in some cases. I like the optimum nutrition vitamins, but I have also started taking a pine pollen supplement as is has liver, prostate and hormone benefits.

  11. Charlene says:

    Thanks for your comment. Best to go for vitamins that are food based as they will give your higher usefulness in your body. I also know there are plenty of plant components that when harvested properly, can be very beneficial to the body. The earth is exceedingly abundant that way. We are very blessed. I always make sure that the company who produces the supplements can answer my scientific questions. That way I know that what I am ingesting is pure, safe and always works. So make sure you do your research and don’t just buy into the marketing of a product. Be well.

  12. Alex Bears says:

    Part of the problem for selecting and finding good vitamins can be traced to the lack of proper regulations by the FDA. Most manufacturers can claim anything and get away with it. It is a shame that bicycles are more regulated than a substance we consume on a daily basis.

    Another good point your readers should keep in mind, never take the recommended daily dosage regardless of the brand. Once or twice a week should suffice. Get your other vitamins from proper healthy dieting.

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