Taking nutritional supplements is now commonplace and it is known that regular use of multivitamins with minerals can be essential for long-term vitality and health. A nutritional supplement is distinctly different from an herbal remedy, which uses natural materials to treat an illness or condition, such as the use of herbal teas sometimes used to clear mucus from a baby’s lungs. A supplement is precisely what the word suggests. It supplements the diet and ensures the provision of the range of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, such as antioxidants, required for the body to function as it is intended to do.
For example, vitamin B12 is present only in animal tissue, so vegans will require a vitamin B12 supplement to avoid a deficiency. The same is true of alcoholics, where intake and absorption are reduced.
The benefits of such supplements are well known and accepted and many people need to supplement their daily diets in some way. However, while nutritional supplements can be carefully chosen to provide the substances that are required to ensure good health, how do you know that what you are buying is actually doing you good? In fact it is very difficult, and the form they come in is important.
Many nutritional supplements come packaged in a gelatin capsule. The problem is that gelatin is not easily digested and can form sticky glue that results in the supplement itself being difficult to digest and result in reduced assimilation into the body. Gelatin is made from raw materials like hooves and other parts, and can contain the various chemicals, such as hormones and antibiotics, used in many forms of animal feed. Gelatin capsules are bad news to many people.
The common tablet can also contain toxins, in the form of the binders needed to hold it together. Also, the high pressures required to form the tablet also give rise to high temperatures, which can destroy part of the nutritional value of the main ingredient. Nutritional supplements in tablet form can be difficult to assimilate into the body, and if they are taken regularly, the toxic ingredients can accumulate in the body, giving rise to longer-term problems.
Many nutritional supplements contain flow agents, such as magnesium stearate, which allows a powder to flow freely, titanium dioxide as a whitening agent and flavoring agents such as monosodium glutamate that some people are allergic to.
You will note that all of these ingredients are present either to present the product in a more palatable or better-looking form, or as a means of delivery to the mouth. It should seem obvious that the simplest way to do this is in the form of a liquid.
The main problem with the individual vitamins and minerals, supplied as individual chemicals in a mixture, is that they are easily destroyed by stomach acid. Gelatin, particularly, can increase stomach acidity. Natural substances are absorbed at well over 60% compared to around 10% of individual chemicals. This is because the natural materials come attached to proteins that the body easily assimilates. Therefore, nutritional supplements in form of liquids, extracted from the natural fruits and vegetables, are significantly more effective than the individual mixtures that most people take.
Liquid supplements can provide a wide range of nutritional needs in a form that is very easily absorbed the body. Mixtures of minerals and vitamins are readily available in liquid form, and can be flavored with natural fruit juices. In addition to these traditional supplements there are many others, such as the acai berry, a very rich source of amino and fatty acids, essential for the generation of enzymes and proteins that ensure the correct chemical balance in the body for the production of enzymes and proteins. These are necessary for the development of strength and energy.
Pomegranate and blueberry juices are very rich in antioxidants. These are necessary to destroy the free radicals that form in the body and that can cause cancers and heart disease. Other supplements rich in antioxidants are ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), beta-carotene, grape juice and cranberry juice.
When choosing which nutritional supplement to buy, determine first where your diet may be failing you. Most people who eat a balanced diet do not need to take daily vitamin and mineral supplement, since there are enough vitamins in their diet. Occasional individual mineral supplements might be required for specific conditions and antioxidants are always a useful supplement to take, though even with these, overuse can cause problems.
The form in which they are supplied is important to how much benefit you get from nutritional supplements, and to what degree they are absorbed in a useful form by the body. Liquid supplements are undoubtedly the best form, though not all vitamins are water-soluble. However, where available, this should be the preferred method of consumption.