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Why Some Supplements Are Better Than Others

Pills on pink background; why some supplements are better than others.

As taking supplements becomes more common, it’s important to understand that not all supplements are equally effective. Most of the supplements sold in regular grocery stores or drug stores are typically less absorbable and less effective than the ones available only through a licensed practicioner. While the grocery store supplements may be cheaper, they often use forms of certain vitamins and minerals that are less absorbable because they are cheaper to manufacture. Let’s look at a few examples of how some supplements are better than others.


Some forms of vitamins and minerals are more bioavailable than others. Bioavailability essentially refers to how much of the substance is actually absorbed into the bloodstream and bodily tissues. For example, many magnesium supplements use magnesium oxide as the main or only form of magnesium because it’s cheaper, but very little is actually absorbed in the body. Using the more bioavailable forms of magnesium like magnesium citrate and magnesium aspartate in supplements helps ensure enough is being absorbed. Another good example of differences in bioavailability is vitamin B12. Many B12 supplements and multivitamins use a synthetic form of B12 called cyanocobalamin because it’s typically cheaper for the manufacturer. However, methylcobalamin is much more absorbable, and the brain, nervous sytem and liver are able to use it more efficiently than cyanocobalamin. These are just a couple examples of how not all supplements are equally effective, and the same goes for other minerals, fish oil, and many other supplements.

Third-Party Testing

Many of the supplements available in grocery stores and even health-food stores do not undergo the rigorous third-party testing that medical-grade supplements do. This extra testing certifies that the product actually contains what the bottle claims it does. This is important because the FDA doesn’t have as many restrictions on natural supplements as they do on prescription medications, so it’s often left up to the companies to prove the quality of their products. Certifications are also important because we use supplements to move values on lab tests. To do this we need strong, pure supplements that contain the most absorbable forms of vitamins and minerals so the body can actually absorb and utilize them. While the health food store may have a few good supplements, you can never really be sure of what you are getting without testing and certifications done outside of the company that manufactures the products. The manufacturers we purchase our products from will only sell to a person with a current medical or chiropractic license because they are much stronger and should be taken under the guidance of a trained professional.

Due to soil depletion, many of the fruits and vegetables are lower in nutrients than they were a few decades ago, so eating healthy foods doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have nutrient defiencies, but taking a good multivitamin that contains the bioavailable forms of vitamins and minerals like Active Mega Multi each day can help fill in some of the nutritional gaps. However, supplements alone cannot offset the negative effects of a poor diet and lifestyle, so eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, high-quality meats and healthy fats each day, and remember to drink plenty of filtered water and get at least seven hours of sleep each night. The nutrients you take in are essentially the building blocks for all the cells and energy your body makes, so make sure you’re getting enough of them!

You can listen to our Were You Sold Snake Oil? podcast episode here. You can also listen on our YouTube channel here.

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