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Why knowing where to buy natural vitamins, minerals and herbs is only half the battle...

Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD says that instead of asking "Where to buy natural vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements?" we should be asking "Which are the best absorbed vitamins, mineral and herbs?"

According to Dr Glenville, one of the world's leading nutritional therapists, ensuring you get the best absorbed vitamins, minerals and herbs is crucial as it is the only way to absolutely guarantee the quality of your supplements.

"Lots of clients ask me where to buy natural vitamins" says Dr Glenville, "But I tell them that it's not the where, it's the what: it doesn't matter where you buy your supplements from as long as you make sure that you're buying the highest quality. You may be swayed by the cheaper prices of lower quality vitamins and minerals but if your body can't absorb the supplements you take then you're actually wasting your money."

So how can we tell which are the best absorbed vitamins, minerals and herbs?

"Vitamin and mineral supplements like calcium should be in the form of citrates, ascorbate or polynicotinates because they are more easily absorbed by the body. Avoid chlorides, sulphates, carbonates and oxides as they are not so easily assimilated and mineral supplements in this form may pass through the body without being absorbed."

For instance, calcium in the form of calcium carbonate isn't one of the best absorbed vitamin forms (because calcium carbonate is just chalk!). Far better to boost your calcium intake with calcium citrate the form best absorbed by the body.

The other crucial thing to look at, Dr Glenville says, is the list of ingredients:

Read all the lists on the pot, not just the list of nutrients. Make sure that your supplements don't contain:
-Artificial Colours-Marnitol
-Artificial Flavours-Soya
-Artificial Preservatives-GMOs
-Artificial Sweeteners-Peanuts

"Leaving out lactose, soya, yeast, gluten and peanuts means they are hypoallergenic - so they're safe to use even if you have a food allergy to these substances."

"An easy rule is to make sure you buy vitamins, minerals and herbs as capsules rather than tablets. Capsules are usually better because they are filled with only the essential nutrients. Tablets on the other hand can include a variety of fillers, binders and bulking agents. But remember: always check the label."

Know your labels/Understanding the labels

The label on a pot of Vitamin B6 we bought from a high-street store reads:

"Calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate, rice starch, microcrystalline cellulose, pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), stearic acid, hypromellose, magnesium stearate (vegetable origin), talc, titanium dioxide, glycerol, ferrous oxide red."

Not good. It's mainly just fillers and binders (in fact, almost everything except the magnesium stearate and the B6). Plus, the B6 isn't even in an easy-to-absorb form (pyridoxine hydrochloride - the clue is in the 'chloride' - NOT one of the best absorbed vitamins).

Compare one of our pots of vitamin B6 vegi-capsules - the label simply says:

"Pyridoxal-5-phosphate (B6), cellulose, silica, vegetable magnesium stearate"

As Dr Glenville confirms, the B6 in these capsules is in the active form that your body actually uses (pyridoxal-5-phosphate), so it's the best absorbed form of vitamin B6.

And the other ingredients? You need the cellulose to make up the vegetarian capsule, the silica prevents the ingredients from getting too sticky and the magnesium stearate helps the ingredients flow properly during the manufacture of the supplement. (Not perfect, but it's the best we've found).

Why is quality so important?

Don't be fooled into thinking 'a vitamin's a vitamin' and by buying a bargain pot and ignoring the ingredient list you can still pat yourself on the back for taking care of your body. It has been proven that only the highest quality supplements contain the most effective ingredients.

"Many of the poorer quality brands contain large quantities of fillers and other non-essential ingredients. The vitamin and mineral levels tend to be in very low, ineffective dosages and often in a form that is not easily absorbed by your body."

So don't be too hasty to polish your halo as you pop another vitamin supplement in the morning - you could well be wasting your money and gaining little or no benefit. Always check the quality of the vitamins and supplements you're buying.

Know that you're buying the highest quality and best absorbed vitamins

Calling on Dr Glenville's 20 years of clinical experience we have followed here advice to ensure we offer only the most effective and highest quality supplements. All of our products have received Dr Glenville's exclusive Seal of Approval - which means...

Know that you're taking the right supplements

You need to be sure that you're taking the right supplements in the right amounts, the right dosage and the right quality. The best way to do his is to have a tailor-made supplement programme designed specifically for you.

On their own, individual vitamins and minerals aren't usually very effective. But when you have the right combination they can work wonders (e.g. your body can only absorb Calcium properly when it's combined with Vitamin D, Magnesium and Zinc). Having a supplement programme tailor-made to your needs takes into account which combination of vitamins, minerals and herbs will be most effective for you. This means you will only be taking the supplements you need. So you won't be missing any out and you won't be taking any unnecessary extras (healthier for your body and your wallet!).

To find out more about the tailor-made supplement programmes we offer click one of the links below:

Instant Online Test:

The Health Detective
Online test for general health. A tailor-made action-plan. Including, dietary guidelines and a three-month supplement programme designed specifically for your needs.

Instant Pre-made Supplements Programmes:

Specific Supplement Programmes
24 common women's health issues with a specific supplement programme for each condition.

Health Tests by Post:

Laboratory Health Tests
By Post. Non-invasive laboratory tests for specific health problems. Designed to help determine the cause of your symptoms and what you can do about them.

Alternatively, click here to view our wide selection of Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs.
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