It’s no secret that the vitamin industry is booming. The dietary supplement industry over the last 20 years has become a multi-billion dollar industry and the growth continues. While the major growth in popularity and demand is a wonderful thing, as with all industries in which there a large dollars to be earned, the cheap imitators and the tricksters creep their way in.

 



Combined with the simple truth that most everyone on earth, in one way or another, makes most of the purchasing decisions based on price, rather than on quality, means that the incentive for many vitamin manufacturers is to produce the cheapest product possible, and not necessarily the most effective one.

 




As consumers, when we stand in the health food store and stare at the hundreds of vitamin bottles of vitamin C, how do you know which one is the best? Do you read the label and look for certain certifying marks? Do you read Internet reviews? Or do you just compare prices and go with the cheapest one that has, at least, an attractive label? Don’t be ashamed if you fall into the last category. Many of us do this exact thing with most of our shopping. We all want to save money and make every penny count.




When it comes to vitamins, there are a number of things that everyone should know in order to make sure they are actually getting what they pay for. The old saying, “you get what you pay for” is even more true in the world of nutritional supplements. Because the nutritional supplement industry has unique regulations, there are a number of ways that manufacturers can produce extremely cheap products, but at the cost of medical efficacy.




Before certain regulations were put in place, it was not uncommon for vitamin manufacturers to use unethical practices to lower costs on production, but seriously compromise the quality, effectiveness, and safety. Many of the cheaper manufacturers would dilute the purity of the nutrients, use untested ingredients contaminated with toxins like pesticide residues and heavy metals like lead.




There is an FDA certification process for nutritional supplements called cGMP which stands for current Good Manufacturing Processes. This is the highest certification possible for nutritional supplements. While pharmaceutical drugs are required to be manufactured to cGMP standards, this process only just recently became mandatory for nutritional supplements. The process is expensive, but it conclusively proves that the manufacturer is producing the highest quality products.
In order to become cGMP compliant, the manufacturer has to submit all of their facilities to frequent routine inspections by the FDA to observe that all of the criteria are met.




In 2007, the FDA announced that nutritional supplements were going to have their own additional set of criteria to even further ensure that the products being produced were free of contamination, had accurate labeling, and the purity and quality of the nutrients were of the highest standard. Even though the trustworthiness of the labeling has greatly improved across the supplement market, the general understanding among consumers about the information on the label can still be improved.




One of the common bits of information on the label that causes confusion is the RDI information. RDI stands for Recommended Daily Intake. The RDI is a number developed by the Food and Nutrition Board of the FDA that is only intended to serve as a guideline of how much of a particular nutrient 97% of the healthy American population needs to consume on a daily basis in order to maintain normal health.




The RDI has certain inherent flaws. It doesn’t consider the different dietary demand of different lifestyles, activity levels, occupations, and certainly not individual genetic uniqueness. It is an arbitrary “one-size-fits-all” number that at best is a reference point from which to begin. It also doesn’t indicate any of the increased nutrient demands of a person who is ill, or nutritionally deficient. An excellent example is vitamin C. The RDI of vitamin C for a 35 year-old man is 75mg. Linus Pauling, the only man to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes in two separate fields, did extensive research on intravenous vitamin C in the late 1960s. He used mega doses, in the range of 10,000mg per day, on terminally ill cancer patients and was able to extend their life span four times longer than the control group of untreated patients.




There is a tremendous volume of research conducted on many nutrients that show that for certain medical conditions, taking very high doses of various nutrients can have tremendous benefit. ‘Megadosing’ as it is sometimes referred to, is something that should only be done after consultation with a qualified professional, as there are risks with certain nutrients that if taken improperly can cause side effects. Also, the RDI is simply a reference point, and can in no way actually ascertain what your individual nutritional demands are. You may have a genetic uniqueness that increases your body’s needs for certain B vitamins. For you, the RDI may not be enough, possibly by several orders of magnitude.




It is also interesting to note, that the RDI is only for North America, in England, and in Europe they have their own health departments that have compiled their own RDIs. Some of the amounts differ significantly, which just goes to show that different people have different dietary needs, and considering the diverse environments even within just the United States, the RDI cannot be taken literally. Another problem is the fact that some nutrients that have incredible health benefits have no RDI. Supplements like fish oils, evening primrose oil, glutathione, and others have no RDI, yet can be extremely
beneficial for certain people when taken on a daily basis.




This is why our wellness center is so successful when it comes to utilizing nutritional supplements in our treatment protocols. We use individualized programs designed after your body’s unique nutritional demands and deficiencies. We use our knowledge and expertise to recommend which nutrients will best improve your health and well being.
The products we sell and recommend were manufactured to cGMP standards well before the new regulations were implemented, on a purely voluntary basis, because we were not interested in making cheap and ineffective products. We wanted top-quality products that we could actually use to help you improve your life.



We specialize in truly individualized programs that address your unique nutritional needs. We do thorough testing in all forms, blood, urine, stool, and genetic tests to really understand how your body works and what it needs in order to make the most effective recommendations.



In order for us to really make you well and healthy, we need products that have the highest quality, maximum bioavailability, as well as competitive prices to make health and wellness affordable. Spending hours on the Internet, wandering through the health food store aisles, and purchasing cheap and ineffective products is the perfect recipe for wasting money and getting very little health benefits. With us you actually save money because you are getting exactly the nutrients you need, in the proper dosage, and the products have maximum bioavailability, and the prices are very competitive. This way your dollars aren’t wasted, and your money takes you much further. It’s just good sense.




© Nutrikon, Inc. 2012 All rights reserved.