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Vitamin Research Products, Vitamin, Nutritional Supplements

Do You Want Ford Or Cadillac Vitamins

 By Dr. Gifford Jones

“What brand of vitamins should I buy?” is a question readers often ask when I write about them. I’ve never been able to provide any good answer with so many brands available. But I recently read “A Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements” written by Lyle MacWilliam. I was shocked to learn that some well known brands I’d often purchased failed to make the grade. As a Scot, wanting to get value for the dollar, I interviewed MacWilliam who gave me course 101 on how to buy vitamins.

MacWilliam, a biochemist, used the published recommendations of seven nutritional authorities to determine what vitamins, minerals and other nutrients should be present in a multivitamin pill considering our state of scientific knowledge. He then analyzed over 500 nutritional supplements sold in Canada and the United States. The perfect score was 100 and no vitamin product reached that goal.

I’d never heard of the brands that were rated the best. For instance, Vitamin Research Products’, “Extend Plus”, scored 93.1 I’m sure my Scottish ancestors would have taken me to task when the ones I’d spent my dollars on didn’t even hit a 10!

Faced with such an incredible difference between these scores I asked MacWilliam the obvious question, “Had I been mislead for years thinking I was buying a Cadillac vitamin and only getting a Ford?” His answer, “Quality is a function of price”. Or as we have been told many times, “you get what you pay for”.

MacWilliam added, that in terms of purity, safety and quality there is no problem with the brands I’d been taking. What these products say is in the bottle, is in the bottle. The problem is that their potency is based on old outdated recommended daily allowances (RDAs). They do not recognize that most people today fall short of recommended nutritional intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

MacWilliam continued that these old potencies were developed 50 years ago to avoid diseases such as scurvy and rickets. But these strengths fall woefully short of meeting the nutritional needs of today’s toxic world. Now we are talking about optimal health.

But what makes Vitamin Research Products and other high ranking vitamins so different? MacWilliam says that many popular products do not contain the full spectrum of minerals, or fail to use bioavailable chelated minerals that are more easily absorbed. Or if they contain the right minerals their potency is below ideal standards.

He cited other cases in which popular brands fail to fully look after cardiac health. For instance, they contain synthetic vitamin E rather than natural E, have insufficient magnesium and no coenzyme Q10, all three vital to proper functioning of the heart.

Consumers also have to ask whether the product they’re taking contains adequate amounts of flavonoids, vitamin C and the B vitamins. And is there sufficient vitamin D, calcium, boron and silicon necessary for bone health?

Lyle MacWilliam admitted the large brand names were not happy with these findings. But the facts are supported by scientific studies.

Some readers may be tired of opening several vitamin containers daily to swallow a bucket-full of pills. If so, Vitamin Research Products and other higher potency brands get around this nuisance. It also takes the guess work out of what vitamins to buy and provides a balanced intake of vitamins.

Buying vitamins “a la carte” can also be like flying by the seat of your pants and may trigger unknown consequences. For instance, taking iron can interfere with the absorption of several minerals. And high amounts of folic acid can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency.

MacWilliam reports that when researchers initially started this study the price of purchasing individual vitamins was more expensive than the more up-to-date multivitamin pills. That got my Scottish blood working overtime. But I couldn’t find the high potency brands in any pharmacy.

I obtained information on Vitamin Research Products’, “Extend Plus”, a multivitamin multimineral formula from the toll-free line 1-800-877-2447.

For information on The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements see the web site http://www.comparativeguide.com or call the toll-free line 1-888-391-3947. It contains a huge amount of useful health information.

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Dr. Gifford Jones  Bio
Dr. Gifford Jones Most recent columns

W. Gifford-Jones M.D is the pen name of Dr. Ken Walker graduate of The Harvard Medical School. He’s been a ship’s surgeon, hotel physician and family doctor and later trained in surgery at McGill in Montreal, University of Rochester N.Y. and Harvard. His medical column is published by 60 Canadian newspapers and several in the U.S. He is the author of seven books. Dr. Walker has a medical practice in Toronto. His Web site is: http://www.mydoctor.ca/gifford-jones

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