Vitamin Quality: It Matters When Your Health is at Stake

Vitamin Quality: It Matters When Your Health is at Stake

Vitamins and other supplements are common around the world for a good reason. Humans are not very good at consuming the recommended vitamins and minerals. We need help! For example:

75% of women are magnesium deficient, with risk of fatigue, insomnia, weight gain.
85% of those with obesity are vitamin D deficient, with risk of fatigue, weight gain, depression.
90% of Americans are chromium deficient, with risk of diabetes, weight gain.
100% (Everyone!) in one study did not consume enough vitamins and minerals.

Although few scientists or well read individuals would discount the need for nutritional supplements, some people are hesitant to buy “retail chain” products (or any products) after recent news stories. Some products have been found to contain harmful contaminants. Others have caused death and serious illnesses. Mislabeled products are all too common.

So what is the wise consumer to do? Are mass-produced, retail-chain, discounted nutritional products (potentially formulated by corporate executives) the right answer? Read on, and know you can rest assured. Even though there are problem products on the market, you can be confident that quality, safety, and effectiveness are absolute priorities with the products you purchase. Here’s how…

In brief, everyone should purchase their supplements from a source that is professional, responsible, science-based, and most importantly, worthy of your trust. After all, if safety and effectiveness are the priority, a trusted resource is crucial. Nothing less will do when YOUR health is at stake!

By studying chemical engineering and chemistry prior to medical school, I am very aware of the power of nutrients, AND the crucial need for quality control in nutrient manufacturing. And, the processes involved and quality control in manufacturing are exactly what I studied… I “get it”. And I put that knowledge to use with each and every product that we offer.

(Note: Our products are all clearly labeled as Dr. Tague’s Nutrition Solutions for Optimum Health.)

For example, fish oil supplements need to undergo a rigorous purification process to eliminate the ocean’s environmental toxins: mercury, PCB’s and DDT. These toxins accumulate in fish due to chemical pollution of oceans. Fish oils must be purified. Unfortunately many are not. Many contain too little of the active ingredients DHA and EPA, too much filler (e.g. soybean oil, gelatin, soy lecithin), and the risk of pollutants.

I make sure that molecular distillation is used as the method for concentration and purification of our Omega 3 Essentials (from high quality fish oil) to guarantee high potency with maximum purity, to a level that is truly exceptional and among the “best of the best”! This level of attention to detail is true of all our products.

Let’s look at why the true value of nutritional supplements is always linked to quality, and why quality is our top priority. There are 5 criteria I require of my Nutrition Solutions for Optimum Health supplements and why I can recommend them with confidence. They include:

Tague Criteria #1: The label MUST accurately represent the true ingredients. Our labels are accurate.

Supplements can contain too little or too much of listed ingredients. For example, when tested:

  • Four well-known multivitamins had deficiencies compared to label claims when tested.
  • When glucosamine (a joint supplement) products were tested, 80% of the products would not be effective due to deceptively low amounts of glucosamine.
  • Sixteen omega-3 fish oil supplements were independently analyzed. Two did not contain amounts listed, one was spoiled, another only had 53% of its claimed EPA, making at least 25% of the products unsatisfactory.

Tague Criteria #2: Products MUST be free of harmful contaminants. Our supplement ingredients are tested and rejected if purity standards are not met.

Don’t simply trust the country of manufacture. Even products made in the U.S. can have serious contamination issues. Read on…

  • Four well-known multivitamins were found to be contaminated with lead. Consumer Lab is responsible for the January 2007 discovery.
  • A number of products have recently been found to include prescription drugs and a variety of sex hormones (anabolic steroids) that are unethical, illegal and dangerous.
  • A number of common, inexpensive calcium products were found to contain excessive lead, one of the most harmful environmental contaminants, causing brain damage.

Tague Criteria #3: Product ingredients MUST meet safety standards in the amounts provided. Safety is our top priority.

      For example:
  • Hydroxycut for weight loss – The FDA received 23 reports of serious liver damage. One death was reported, six patients had serious liver disease and two needed a liver transplant. Others had seizures, cardiovascular disorders, and severe muscle damage.
  • Metabolife for weight loss was among the most popular supplements of all time, until it was found to cause heart problems and strokes.  Safety concerns were ignored by the corporate executives.

Tague Criteria #4: Products MUST be digestible, absorbable and usable by the body. We meet these standards, which often requires more expensive ingredients.

      For example:
  • Numerous vitamins have failed to break down properly when studied, meaning they can pass through the body intact! Well-known brand names are among those tested and found unsatisfactory. Tablets should become mushy within 30-60 minutes in 98-degree vinegar.
  • Glucosamine Sulfate (in our GCH Joint Formula) has far more research evidence than less expensive Glucosamine HCl. Most products contain the HCl version for obvious reasons.
  • The superior form of chromium we use is bound to nicotinic acid (polynicotinate), not chromium picolinate or chromium chloride, which are more common.
  • Natural vitamin E, found in all our multivitamins, is the superior form of vitamin E. Synthetic forms (less effective) of vitamin E will be listed as: dl-alpha-tocopherol or dl-alpha-tocopheryl.
  • Our mineral supplements such as calcium, magnesium, and selenium include chelated versions of the compounds to assure high absorption. For example, magnesium bisglycinate and magnesium citrate are the primary forms of magnesium we use since they are two of the most absorbable forms of magnesium. Calcium carbonate absorption varies greatly among people, so calcium citrate, calcium ascorbate, and/or other chelated calcium compounds should be included.

Tague Criteria #5: Supplement manufacturing MUST maintain high professional standards. We make certain that all manufacturing maintains the highest standards in the industry.

Here are a few of the certifications held by our supplement manufacturers:

  1. cGMP: Current Good Manufacturing Practices
  2. European Union, Therapeutic Goods Administration, and Health Canada Good Manufacturing Practices.
  3. ISO 9001 certification and ISO 17025 accreditation of analytical laboratories
  4. NSF International GMP registration

Our Nutrition Solutions for Optimum Health supplements can be trusted to contain all that is on the label and only what is on the label, with natural, high quality, research-based ingredients. Look for the “GMP” symbol (Good Manufacturing Practices) on the label for reassurance. Choose your supplements from a resource that knows the science of supplements and has quality and your precious health in mind, a resource you can trust. After all, your health is at stake!

For Optimum Health,

Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M.

Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M. is a nutrition & weight loss specialist and the Founder & Medical Director of the Center for Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, P.A.

Dr. Tague is an Alpha Omega Alpha honors graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Tulane. Dr. Tague is board certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. His medical practice has focused on optimum health, nutrition, and weight loss since 1996.

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