How to Select Good Vitamins

The 3 most important issues concerning selecting a vitamin/mineral supplement:

#1 Is the supplement safe to take?

Vitamin supplements are simply an encapsulated group of ingredients taken from plants or created ina laboratory. The capsule may contain substances that are not listed on the label.

#2 Does the supplement get absorbed?

Supplements, as well as food, travel from the stomach to the intestines, to the blood stream and to their final destination-if everything goes right. There is a lot that can go wrong.

#3 Is the company science-based and credible?

Companies will boast that their products have superior ingredients ,that liquid vitamins are better than capsules,that capsules are better than tablets,or that their juices are made of exotic berries from around the world. Don’t be distracted by the hype. Bottom line: Do they have research and science, third pary testing and verification behind their product?

#1 Is the supplement safe to take?
What to look for:

Contamination: science-based nutrition companies will test ingredients for contaminants.This will help ensure the quality of the product.

Types of contaminants:

  • E.coli- a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
  • Salmonella-can cause diarrhea,fever,abdominal cramps
  • Pesticides – cause everything from mild skin irritation, vomiting, tremors, coma to long term accumilative disease as well as birth defects. 300 different chemicals are sprayed on 95% of the crops in the united States every year. (Reference:Living Organic/Clarke, porter, Quested and Thomas)
  • Steroids,stimulants/such as ephedra/ and other banned substances.Traditional testing cannot detect these banned substances.

Only a few labs in the world have the special equipment that can find them.
While this is extremely important for athletes,because many are drug tested. It is also important for the average person who takes nutritional supplement.

Toxic levels can result from inconsistencies in the strength of raw materials.Therefore, science-based nutrition companies will test every batch of pills to confirm that not only does each pill contain the same strength and purity but that when the consumer reorders the product next time,they will still receive the exact same strength and purity.

Call the company: As a consumer it is difficult to know whether companies do their own testing for contaminants and toxic levels or they rely on the manufacturer’s claims. You must call the company and ask or look for independant third party testing and verification.

#2 Does the supplement get absorbed?
What to look for?

The supplement you choose should meet the USP/U.S. Pharmacopeia specifications which means the supplement will break down in the body. This is better way for absorption.

The label should read something like” meets USP specifications for..”This indicates that the product meets one of the following high standards:

  • Disintegration- indicates how fast a tablet or capsule breaks down into small pieces, so the nutrients can dissolve. If the supplements have not disintegrated they might remain in the colon for some time.
  • Dissolution- it is measurement of how fast a supplement dissolves. If a tablet or capsule does not dissolve, the nutrients can not be absorbed.
  • Strength- is the amount of a specific vitamin,mineral or herb in each tablet or capsule.
  • Purity- assures that the product is within an acceptable range for empurities /from contamination.
  • Bioavalibility- meaning that supplements are fully and quickly dissolved and completely absorbed.

If you pay $20.00 for supplement ,which has biovalability 10%,meaning that you are absorbing only 10% for the $2.00 worth. In other words, you are wasting $18.00.

# 3 Is the company credible and science-based?
What to look for?

There are several thousand brands of vitamin supplements, many claiming to be “the best”. But most vitamin brands use the same few suppliers for their ingredients.  So what’s the difference between all these companies other than packaging? Well, not much. However there are a few companies that do things differently such as:

  • The company is research and science-focused

Some other things to look at would be:

  • company founder
  • company size
  • expertise of the scientists who formulate the final product
  • They have testing and certification done by independant agencies to quarantee what’s on the label is actually in the product.

NSF International is an independent, non-for-profit organisation that helps protect consumers by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, air quiality and consumer goods.

The company manufactures the product themselves and does not outsource to a manufacturer overseas.

The company voluntarily meets the highest manufacturing standards.

The higher standards is known as “Pharmaceutical Good Manufactoring Practices/GMP/
This standard applies to prescription drug and over-the-counter medications as well.

Food Grade vs.Pharmaceutical Grade:
What does it mean to you?

Pharmaceutical grade tablets and capsules must meet certain standards for quality as set by the United States Pharmacopeia or USP.

The USP is a non-profit organization that works closely with Food and Drug Administration, FDA,the pharmaceutical industry and health professionals to establish authoritative standards.

These standards are enforceable by the FDA and the goverments of more than 35 other countries and are recognised world wide as the hallmark of pharmaceutical manufacturing quality.

It is crucial to understand that since 1994 the FDA has not fully established a ND or ENFORCED GMP REGULATIONS FOR DIETARY suplements, DS,meaning that supplements ARE CURRENTLY MONITORED ONLY UNDER FOOD GMP.

When looking at the 2 current regulations/Food GMPvs Drug GMP/ THERE ARE SEVERAL DRAMATIC DISTINCTIONS.

If you want to research the differences yourself,or just verify the next statements,you can find these rules in the Code of federal regulations-21 CFR110/Food/, 21CFR 211/Drug

Food GMP’s focus more on products as “safe’ food items. Basically they ensure that no poisons or pathogenic biological elements are introduced to the product.

Food GMP do not mandate vitamin company to TEST EACH BATCH or its ingredients for these harmful ingredients.

The rules for manufacturer are:

  • that they use ingredients generally recognised as safe for human use
  • that they mantain good hygienic practices.

For example,when you order a pizza, the maker uses flour, yeast, salt, water, tomato paste, cheese. It is not necessary to test these ingredients individually for safety because they are all generally recognised as safe.

Since dietary supplements are regulated under Food GMP,that means finished dietary products or ingredients used are not tested to verify label claims.

Let me give you an example: if you manufacture a 100 mg vitaminC product, under the current law you are not required to test the vitamin C raw material or the finished product to verify that it actually contains 100 mg of vitamin C.

Many manufacturers do not go to the added expense of testing this because it is not required.

As a result; cheap, low grade, non-potent dietary supplement products have flooded the market place.

Drug GMP”s as contrast, are focused not only on safety but also on potency, purity and bioavailability. They test not only raw material for each of these categories but also test finished product. (example: penicillin/). The above mentioned information should assist you to make informative decision in selecting a nutritional company.

In conclusion I would like to suggest:
always use the highest quility supplements for yourself and loved ones!
It is your investment in your health.
It is always easier to prevent disease to occur
than to treat already existing condition.

Dr. Tatyana Sutherland has designed a variety of packages to fit each need and budget.  All sessions with Dr. Tatyana are provided over the phone for your convenience.


Dr. Tatyana will customize your vitamin & supplement need based upon your age, your physical activity and your current health conditions. This package includes 2 additional follow up consultations.
BONUS:  Dr. Tatyana will provide you with a Free Gift called “Health Nuggets” which will arrive via email once a week from Dr. Ray Strand. This is an educational newsletter and you may can unsubscribe at any time. The investment for this package is $ 29.95

After you purchase the package, please fill in the health questionnaire.