What to Look for in a Supplement

carolCarol B Blair, BS. DiHom, CNC
Wellness Educator

Some of us spend a fair amount of money on supplements to keep us well but are you getting what you pay for?

Here are a few tips in what to look for:

  • Are the minerals in forms that your body can absorb such as citrate, glycinate, or another chelated form (not oxide, carbonate, sulfate which are poorly absorbed by the body)?
  • Vitamin D should be the more easily absorbed D3 as opposed to the cheaper and synthetic D2.
  • Vitamin E should be mixed tocopherols and even added tocotrienols if possible. How do you know if E is synthetic? Look for an “l” after the D such as Dl-alpha tocopherol. The natural form would be D-alpha tocopherol. Studies show the synthetic form to be useless and possibly even harmful.
  • Is the nutrient in an amount that is useful or is it what I call pixie dust – enough so they can put it on the label?

Be sure to check the “other” ingredients. You may be surprised at what you find there:

  • Artificial colors, flavors, and dyes should be avoided. Why do you want to give you body more work to detoxify these non-foods?
  • Fillers such as propylene glycol (think antifreeze!) are not in there for your health. They are in there for economical purposes – so they can run supplements through the machines faster. Time is money.
  • Some supplements even contain artificial sweeteners!

Natur-Tyme carries only high-quality supplements and you won’t find any of these ingredients in our Natur-Tyme brand.

Speaking of that, our Natur-Tyme brand of supplements is a superior line. They are from GMP-certified labs that are FDA-approved, and you won’t find any “junk” in them. I use them myself because I know they are top-shelf.

So don’t waste your money buying substandard supplements that aren’t doing you any good. If you can’t afford a quality vitamin, mineral, or herb, do your body a favor and wait until you can get a good one.

Black Cohosh For Easing Menopause Symptoms

By Laurel Sterling, MA, RD86531501

Black cohosh is an herb that is mainly associated with assisting hot flashes. I have numerous clients using black cohosh per their doctor’s, friend’s, sister’s, television, etc. recommendation. I have seen that it works for some… and not for others.

Black cohosh is typically used for a wide variety of women’s health conditions related to menopause. It has emerged in the last 25 years as the most-studied herbal alternative for menopause to use in place of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There have been approximately 100 studies on its use with menopause resulting in mixed reviews, particularly related to its efficacy in alleviating hot flashes. Despite two negative studies in 2006, most study findings and anecdotal evidence show its effectiveness for hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep issues.

The jury is still out on how exactly it works. Early studies found it to have estrogenic activity; however, more recent studies have demonstrated that it does not have phytoestrogens in it. More recent theories are that it has an effect on serotonin levels. I have seen many of my clients that had been put on antidepressants from their doctor solely for ameliorating hot flashes, and it works for many. However, these meds have other side effects and are difficult to get off once on them. So if black cohosh has this ability to inhibit serotonin reuptake, this may be how it helps decrease hot flashes.

Very occasional adverse side effects are gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. The average recommended dose of standardized extract is 40-80 mg per day. The dosage used in most clinical trials to date is 20-40 mg of the standardized extract twice daily. Standardized liquid extract ½-1 tsp twice per day. Results are usually seen within four weeks. Black cohosh can be used safely with hormone therapy if one is on HRT, and lower doses of HRT can be achieved along with black cohosh.

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