There are numerous health supplements that claim to target certain populations of people or target diseases with specific minerals in them. If you read the nutritional facts on the back, you will see the formula out of a fancy bottle with multiple numbers (i.e. RDS for resveratrol) and letters denoting what mineral should be taken according to the recommended dosage. These “mineralized” supplements may not contain the minerals your body actually needs. Here are some tips on how to evaluate the minerals in these supplements.
When looking for minerals supplement doses, you need to know how much of each nutrient your body requires. If you aren’t an expert on your own vitamin and mineral intake, consult a health care professional who is able to help you evaluate your nutritional needs. Keep in mind that while there may be a nutrient requirement, it can vary depending on age and overall health.
The first thing to look at is the RDS value of the mineral. This stands for the Recommended Daily Allowance. It is important to remember that these supplements are meant to supplement and not replace a healthy diet and regular exercise. The RDS does not account for the mineral content of a multivitamin, because each multivitamin only lists a minimum amount of minerals that are required to be absorbed. Look for the RDS value to determine whether the minerals in a multivitamin will be sufficient for your daily needs.
The second thing to look at is the PDCA rating for iron and the corresponding letters denoting the levels of iron in a multivitamin. The higher the number, the higher the concentration of iron in a tablet. The lower the number, the lower the concentration of iron in a tablet. The difference in these marks is a measure of the difference in absorption rates between tablets that contain different amounts of iron in them.
The third thing to check out is the contents list of the vitamins and minerals contained in the supplements. In addition to the minerals contained in the tablet, you want to identify what percentage of the minerals contained in the multivitamin is from the tablet, and what percentage is from one or more of the ingredients included in the supplement. The mineral contents that are listed should be consistent with the target populations represented by the target population in the supplement. If there is a significant difference in the mineral contents, you may want to consider a different multivitamin.
Checking the dosing recommendations on the back of the container is another good way to be sure you are purchasing enough of a product to meet your needs. The US FDA allows manufacturers to list maximum daily doses of any vitamin, mineral, herb, food color, or flavor, as long as they do not suggest the maximum daily dose can be harmful to you. However, the dosing recommendations are not effective when it comes to choosing the best multivitamins. A good rule of thumb is to take the recommended dose for the age of the person who will be using the product, without considering the effects of other factors such as pregnancy, nursing, or even your level of physical activity. It is also important to check the dosing recommendations on the back of the container and not rely on the label claims.
Labeling statements can sometimes be misleading. One thing to look for is whether or not the manufacturer lists all the mineral contents in grams (g), ounces (oz), or both. Allowing the manufacturer to make generalized claims based on unspecific information, such as ‘uses X% of Z’ and ‘Contains Z% of Z’ is misleading. More often than not, manufacturers use larger amounts of some minerals than they specify, which can lead to greater risks or benefits for the consumer, but they are allowed under the law.
Finally, be sure to read the fine print. Look for information such as the manufacturer’s guarantee, or the specific minerals target population, and the list of ingredients. Often, these are the only details you need to know, but it never hurts to double check. Minerals Supplements should be a part of a balanced diet and not used solely as a source of nutrients, but they do provide a number of necessary vitamins and minerals that help to keep the body functioning properly.