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Are all nutraceuticals equally effective?

No, not all supplements or nutraceuticals are equally effective and there is a big difference between the products you can buy over the counter (OTC) and the one’s offered by licensed health care  professionals. There are market costs and liability issues with many OTC products that make it necessary that they are of little or no clinical effect. That is right, and here is why.

Liability is a key factor that the public is unaware of. Let’s talk minerals because they are critical for cell replication and activity. More importantly, of all nutrients minerals are the one’s which can easily cause harm or dysfunction to the body if there is too little or too much. It gets more complex because the minerals a many relationships to each other that have specific ratios that must remain in balance, And, here’s the vulnerability – it does not take much of a change in the quantity to fix things or to cause an imbalance. Because of this delicate balance, most manufactures do not use the most effective forms of the minerals and the dosage that they specify can be 20-40 times less that the necessary mount to have a clinical effect. By significantly under dosing their products it is impossible in a liability lawsuit for a customer to hold the manufacturer liable for harm cause by the product. This is true because if the customer were harmed, they would have taken 20-40 times the recommended dosage on the label, thus the customer must have been at fault for not following directions. Because of this common practice in the nutritional supplement industry the AMA has consistently claimed that the public is being taken advantage of.

A major scientific difference relates to minerals and it is not discussed in the main stream media or marketing of OTC products. A highly effective supplement is easily absorbed, is targeted to specific tissues and cannot be altered by the chemistry within the body into an unusable salt.

Easy absorption requires that a mineral is less than 1500 daultons in molecular size to pass through the intestinal lining. The absorption is enhanced when it is bound to an amino acid. The name of the binding is ‘chelation’ and the label will state “…an amino acid chelate of Calcium, or Magnesium, ZInc, etc”.  A mineral which is in this amino acid chelate form it is less than 1600 daultons in molecular size and many other chelate forms such piconeate are a large size and must be partially digested into a smaller size to be absorbed. Most manufactures do not use amino acid chelates becase they are more expensive than the other forms, yet the product is less efficient and thus less effective.

Also, another feature of the mineral form that is important is that has a neutral charge. A neutralized mineral cannot make an ionic (+/-) bond with another mineral and that prevents it from randomly combining with other minerals into a salt and thus unavailable to do the job that was intended.

In my practice use only the most effective nutraceuticals available. The practice of good medicine is being effective – getting the job done for the patient.

For in depth reading about minerals, physiology and health visit Albion