Clients often ask us if they should be taking vitamins and/or other supplements.  The short answer is: yes.  Even if you’ve got a near-perfect diet, you can still benefit from vitamins.
A really good quality multivitamin is part of your foundation of good nutrition,” says holistic nutritionist Katie Chemij. “Even if you tried your hardest to have the best diet possible, the way we grow and manufacture food now is not as nutritionally dense as it was even a couple of decades back.  It’s really hard to get optimal levels of nutrients from food alone.”

Therefore, she recommends combining a good quality supplement with good quality food.

But be warned though – all vitamins are not created equally.  The vitamin industry is massive and unregulated, and there are a lot of products on the market that are of very poor quality.

How do I know if a vitamin is a good one?

When looking at a multivitamin, there are some telltale signs of a good product, and a poor product, according to Katie. 

Look for:

  • A wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals
  • Ingredients derived from pure and natural sources
  • A DIN number – this is present on all products that are considered pharmaceutical grade and means they are recognized for being safe and well-manufactured

Avoid:

  • Products that contain sugar or corn starch – a common filler in low quality vitamins.
  • Any kind of a one/day option.  Higher quality absorbable products will have a dosage of multiple tablets, to be taken at different times throughout the day.  This is for good reason – it is impossible to absorb the vitamins and minerals in a single tablet.

There is a book on the market called The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, which includes product ratings for virtually all of the vitamins on the market.  The rating criteria is complicated and includes many factors such as completeness, potency, immune support, antioxidant support, among others.  It is an excellent resource for determining the quality of a product. 

Here are the ratings for a few of the more commonly-used vitamins on the market here in Toronto:

Centrum: 0.5 out of 5
Jamieson Vita-Vim regular: 2 out of 5
One-a-day men: 1.5 out of 5; women 0.5 out of 5
Kirkland (Costco) signature daily multi: 1 out of 5
Progressive Adult: 3.5 out of 5
Usana Health Sciences Essentials: 5 out of 5

Does this surprise you?  Many of the (not inexpensive) products on the market today really aren’t doing much for the people taking them – except lightening their wallet every month.

This is why we take, and recommend, Usana supplements.  Based on research we’ve done, our experience taking them, and feedback from clients, we can tell you that these products are the real deal.  The quality is impeccable and the price is comparable to other inferior health food store options. 

And – just like us – they come right to your door. They also have a monthly (or bi-monthly) auto-order, which means never having to worry about running out. 

In our next installment on supplements, we’ll touch on what else can benefit the average person.  (Preview: the trifecta is a multivitamin, fish oil, and a probiotic.  But we’ll get into more detail on why in a couple weeks’ time.

In the meantime, if you’d like more information on the Usana line of products, click here.