Multivitamins: Don’t Succumb to False Economy

In the pursuit of health and peak performance we exercise diligently (some of us even use personal trainers), eat correctly and always take our vitamins (if we are sensible!). However, whilst most consumers are now savvy enough to take care when buying their weekly groceries, aware that a cut of organic, grass fed beef is a world apart from a frozen supermarket beef burger, they remain in the dark about what constitutes quality in the increasingly competitive and global multivitamin industry. We happily snap up the discount vitamins, but are we really getting the bargain we hope for?

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Charles Poliquin, whose line of Poliquin Performance supplements are in our opinion amongst the very highest quality products available to today’s consumer.

Nick & Roman Mitchell

The increasingly well known Mitchell Jnr, Roman. Ensuring the health of those you love is another excellent reason for never skimping on multivitamins! 

“It is important to ask tough questions when looking for the best multivitamin for you.

First, consider the ingredients. Here’s a nightmare scenario.

What if you were a typical, large, unscrupulous supplement manufacturer and you decided to make a multivitamin/mineral (MVM) to be sold in a mass merchant like the local grocery store or major nutrition center? How would you decide what to use in your MVM? How would you compete in this market where the corporate buyers aren’t interested in health; they’re all about the bottom line? You know that their consumers are relatively unsophisticated regarding supplement quality and nutrient absorption. They aren’t individuals trying to optimize their health and function. They aren’t athletes trying to maximize their performance and recovery. Instead, you know that their buying decision will be based on two things: taking one tablet a day and price.

You don’t want any risk of tablets breaking inside the bottle so you would use chemical fillers and make sure that the tablets are compressed extra hard, even if it means they aren’t broken down as well in the gastrointestinal tract (or at all).

You would buy the cheapest raw materials, regardless of bioavailability or health implications. You wouldn’t hesitate to use cheap synthetics like dl-alpha tocopherol and you definitely wouldn’t waste space on the more expensive gamma tocopherol (or beta or delta). You would choose cheap, small molecule minerals like magnesium oxide so you can fit it all into one tablet instead of using a large (well-absorbed) molecule like magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate. You wouldn’t raise the cost of production by assaying raw materials or finished products; you would just assume it’s good enough knowing that the “Average Joe” consumer will do the same. You would laugh at raw material suppliers that try to sell you a mixture of natural carotenoids and would instead use a little bit of synthetic beta-carotene (even if it may raise the risk of lung cancer), just so it can be on the label.

You would assume that all a consumer wants to see is the 100% mark next to the RDA if they even look at all. You would cut corners wherever you could in hopes that the unsuspecting consumer would see a cheap price and say “good enough”.” 

This all makes for a rather alarming reading, if you are like the countless number of people who have been blithely going about their business consuming products that are at best substandard. However, there are alternatives out there – Poliquin’s line of products pass every exacting standard we can think of and a quick check on multiple internet health forums will corroborate that view, so there is no excuse to keep that jar of Centrum in any other place than your kitchen bin!

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