The world of fitness and supplements seems to be a never-ending branching path of recommendations and retractions. Some products seem to stand the test of time and are always on the top of health-conscious lists. But like with most things, the devil is in the details and you can be throwing away hard-earned money and maybe even worse, getting little to no benefit from your chosen supplement. Read on to learn more.
Benefits of fish oil include:
- Joint health support
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Increased immune system function.
- Reduces heart disease risk
This is one of the most popular supplements and probably one of the easiest to wind up taking wrong. There are so many companies offering fish oil supplements and it’s understandable that a person will just buy the top-rated sellers on Amazon and be done with it.
The major problem with this is that most of the top sellers are on the cheaper end of the spectrum and in this case, you really do get what you pay for.
There are two major kinds of Fish oil ethyl ester(EE) and triglyceride(TG). This seems like a very small detail but the implications are big.
The industry created ethyl ester because they are a more malleable form than triglycerides. They have a much higher boiling point and are easier to work with when processing for supplement distribution. And most importantly for them, it’s cheaper to produce.
The triglyceride form is what is naturally occurring in fish. It’s much more expensive to convert EEs back to TG.
Research shows that fish oil products in the triglyceride form are absorbed up to 70% better than the ethyl ester form (which is typically what you will find in most fish oil supplements).
So despite your best efforts on being healthy and trying to save money you are basically throwing away 70% of your fish oil and the benefits along with it.
Remember, triglyceride fatty acids have been eaten safely, and for great benefit, for millions of years. Hard to argue with that.
Benefits of vitamin b-12 include:
- Energy production
- Helps maintain healthy nerve cells
- Promotes normal brain function
- Essential for producing red blood cells to decrease tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath or dizziness
- Helps maintain healthy blood cells
- Supports the body’s ability to fight infections and produces DNA for new cells
A common go-to for boosting one’s energy along with a bunch of other important positive effects. Just like fish oil, there happen to be two different versions of b-12. They are:
Cyanocobalamin — The most commonly supplemented form of vitamin B12 and is chemically synthesized.
Methylcobalamin — Found in animal-based foods and is therefore obviously naturally occurring.
As you can imagine the naturally occurring version of this supplement is what will provide the best benefits.
Methylcobalamin is the most bio-available form of Vitamin B12, i.e. it is the most readily absorbed. Research has shown that it remains in the body for a longer period of time and at higher levels than cyanocobalamin, which means that your body is supplied with vitamin B12 for longer if you use methylcobalamin than if you use cyanocobalamin.
Methylcobalamin is used primarily in your liver, brain and nervous system, in fact, methylcobalamin is the specific form of B12 needed for nervous system health.
Benefits of flaxseeds include:
- Helps with blood sugar
- Aids in digestive health
- Reduce inflammation from arthritis and autoimmune disorders
- Increase your fiber intake
- Lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol)
While this would be considered more of a food item than a supplement, I feel that most people are taking this for its purported health benefits than for taste.
The big issue with this product is choosing a version that is not ground and getting whole seeds instead. Again, something that seems minor and easy to overlook but will really wind up costing you.
Most nutrition experts recommend ground over whole flaxseed because the ground form is easier to digest. Whole flax seeds will still have their outer shell and they may pass through your intestine undigested, which means you won’t get all the benefits.
So in this case you can literally be flushing your money down your toilet.
Also remember, ground flaxseeds are best stored in the fridge or freezer and for no longer than 3 months after opening. After about that time they begin to lose potency.
I wished we lived in a simple world but things are complex especially regarding our health. It would be nice to take magic pills perfectly formulated that make us live longer and healthier but I have yet to find any (let me know if you do).
There are numerous factors to consider and everyone is different but what is listed above shows that not all supplements are created equally and can be providing almost no value at all no matter who you are.
Always be on the lookout and question why some products are so seemly cheap compared to others.
Remember, always consult your doctor or physician before starting or changing any supplementation to your diet.