Friday, July 31, 2009

Supplements: Hints on Label Reading

There are mind-boggling numbers of supplements available on today's market. In addition to the primary ingredients, many products contain other questionable ingredients in the form of fillers, additives, and excipients. An excipient is a substance added to the supplement as a processing or stability aid.  One ingredient, magnesium stearate (also know as stearic acid), is a potentially toxic metal additive from pill production.  Another ingredient, Dibasic Calcium Phosphate (DCP), may even inhibit the absorption of essential minerals within your system. There are others you may find as well, but you don't want or need these ingredients in your supplements. Some pose potential health risks, and really are unnecessary.  

Make Sure Your Herbal Supplement Comes from a Certified Organic Producer Committed to Quality Processes. The key to delivering an organic-based supplement rests in the manufacturer's commitment to quality and excellence.  In fact, without these quality processes in place, it really doesn't matter what organic herbs are harvested. You simply won't end up with a top-notch consistent organic formula. And in turn, you won't receive the maximum potential value of the herb. 

It's also important for you to highly scrutinize and research the manufacturer's credentials. And don't stop there -- Bear in mind the total organic process involves planting, cultivation, selective harvesting, and then producing and packaging the final formula. Reputable companies will know their sources.  They may even grow their own organic crops to maintain quality control. According to Dr Joseph Mercola, here are some types of certifications to look for:  

• Hazards and Critical Control Points (HACCP) -- International food safety certification that World Health Organization (WHO) standards are met.

Safe Quality Food (SQF) -- HACCP-based food safety and risk management system covering the identification of food safety, quality risks, and the validation and monitoring of control measures

• Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) -- International certification verifies all required practices necessary for an effective food safety program are followed.

• International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2000 -- International standard for quality, safety, ecology, economy, reliability, compatibility, inter-operability, efficiency, and effectiveness

• Orthodox Union (OU) Kosher -- Certifies compliance for Kosher observers and followers.

International organic certifications such as: USDA, EU, and NSOP (India)


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