supplementAccording to the National Health and Medical Research Council 2 in every 3 Australian adults are estimated to use at least one complementary and alternative medicine product (e.g. vitamin or mineral supplements and natural or herbal remedies).

Have you ever wondered why supplements are more expensive at your health care provider such as your kinesiologist, naturopath, homeopath or chiropractor than the chemist or health food store? Let me clear this up for you. They seem more expensive, but are they really?

I will give you an example about Vitamin B12. A very popular brand sells at an online chemist for $8.39 for 75 capsules. Pretty reasonable, right? We sell Vitamin B12 for $22.60. The popular over the counter brand includes 100mcg of B12 per dose (tablet). The practitioner brand includes 500mcg per dose. There are 294 doses in the practitioner brand. I don’t think I’ll need to do the maths for you to realise which one you are better off with.

 

Over the counter brand 55cents 500mcg
Practitioner brand 7 cents 500mcg

 
There is another very important point to make though. The reason why a lot of people are deficient in Vitamin B12 is that their stomach has trouble absorbing it. Taking Vitamin B12 in tablets form is therefore not a great idea as the stomach most likely will not be able to absorb the tablets either. This is the reason why the practitioner brand comes in spray form, so that it bypasses the body’s digestive system and gets absorbed straight into the blood stream, where the body can make full use of it.

Another example is Vitamin C, generally known as ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is a fractionated, crystalline isolate of Vitamin C, it is not Vitamin C. Vitamins cannot be isolated from their complexes and still perform their functions. The ascorbic acid you buy over the counter is generally just a chemical copy of the ascorbic acid naturally occurring in food. It most likely doesn’t come from anything growing in the ground.

For the body to absorb Vitamin C, it needs to come from the whole food, most likely fruits such as oranges, lemons, rose hip or acerola cherries, including the rind and the pulp. They include the cofactors necessary for your body to absorb it.

Additionally to being produced from real food, the practitioner brand also has an 8 hour threshold, which means it gets slowly released into the blood stream for up to 8 hours. Normally the half-life of Vitamin C in the blood is 30 minutes, which means it takes 30 min for half of the vitamin C to be depleted from the blood stream.

Don’t be fooled by high potency claims on some supplements. If it is synthetic and your body cannot absorb it, it also can’t absorb it in high potency.

Admittedly the practitioner brand is much more expensive at $51 for 200 tablets as compared to an over the counter brand at $12.99 for 300 tablets. But let me assure you, the over the counter brand will not be utilised by your body. In other words you are paying $12.99 for something that your body will not recognise as food and it may even be toxic to your system over time.

When researching popular brands and looking at the ingredients I also discovered that some of them use artificial sweeteners, not just one, but two in some cases.

Of course supplements are only of value if you are deficient in them. Many times Dr Google or something someone heard on TV is what makes people buy these supplements. I would recommend to seek professional advice to find out if and what you may require.

Evelin work May 10

Evelin Liddell is a Homeopath and Fertility Specialist with over 15 years experience in the natural health field mainly working with women and children.

Evelin has great success and built an excellent reputation with infertility, hormonal problems, glandular fever and children’s health (asthma, colds, tonsillitis, ear infections, fevers, colic, behavioural problems).

Evelin also has a special interest in nutrition and is currently the only metabolic balance® coach in Queensland, Australia. Bracken Ridge Natural Therapies, www.brnt.com.au

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