Nowadays more people are aware of the importance of nutritional needs in maintaining health and wellbeing. Many of us turn to vitamin supplements for nutrients that we don’t get enough of from our daily diet. However, with so many brands, manufacturers and combinations varying in prices, choosing the right vitamins and minerals supplement (VAMS) can be confusing.
“Generally speaking, you can find 2 types of VAMS—Whole-Food and Functional Synthetics,” explains Graeme Bradshaw, the Founding Director of Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI). “Each type is designed for specific uses and goals.”
Whole-food VAMS are derived from real foods, such as fruits and vegetables. They are considered safer because they are made from foods we normally consume, and more efficient because the body can readily absorb the bio-available nutrients.
“Studies demonstrated that vitamin and mineral absorption is 135%-260% more effective for whole food nutrients over the inorganic, synthetic and isolated forms,” says Bradshaw. “Vitamin C is an example where the compound is more active when flavonoids are present in the supplement; these are readily abundant in products made from oranges and other similar foods. Likewise, researchers also concluded that vitamin A is more effective in whole-food form due to the interaction between the carotenoids and secondary plant compounds.”
There are situations when a Functional Synthetic VAMS, also known as hypoallergenic VAMS, is better than the whole-food alternative. “Individuals with food allergies and sensitivities, the need for pharmaceutical grade potencies, and the need for highly targeted nutrients are just a few factors that might affect whether whole-food or functional synthetic supplements are best for you,” Bradshaw explains.
Other factors to consider when choosing a VAMS include ingredients quality and purity, research evidence, packaging effectiveness, and shipping and storage conditions. It is also a good idea to discuss your health goals with a healthcare professional.
“At our clinic we select the purest and most potent supplement products based on our practitioners’ own research and decades of first-hand clinical results,” says Bradshaw, who has been practicing as a Naturopath and Homeopath in Hong Kong for over 25 years. “We are able to find products that have passed independent tests for purity and potency—the range of products our practitioners and patients can trust.”
Naturopathic Dispensary Advisors are available at IMI to discuss your health goals and guide you towards the best supplements tailored for your needs. For more info on IMI, please visit: www.imi.com.hk Available at IMI Clinics and Online Shop.