Do your supplements stand the test?
By: Dr. Michael Mason-Wood, ND
My cousin keeps telling me, if you buy a cheap drill, you will be replacing it next year. However, spend a little more money and buy a good quality one, it will last you for years. The same can be said about supplements. Just the other day I was looking at a cheap brand of garlic pills. One of the harmful ingredients that I found was hydrogenated oil. With all the bad press about the dangers of hydrogenated oil, why would it be in a supplement? Yet, there it was! There are a couple of simple home tests that can be done with any solid tablet supplement. In the first test, put the solid supplement you are taking into ¼ cup of vinegar. It should dissolve within 30 minutes as vinegar approximates the acidity of our stomach in which we digest food. If it doesn’t dissolve, it is unlikely you are breaking it down properly to assimilate the essential nutrients it contains. What complicates breakdown of supplements is a condition called “hypochlorhydria” where not enough stomach acid is produced. A large amount of people who experience “GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease)” or “Heart Burn” have hypochlorhydria, this makes it even more imperative for the supplement to dissolve faster in a lower acidic environment. Another test we recommend is to place the solid tablet onto a piece of tin foil (multiple tablets can be tested at once) on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 15 minutes. The tablet should change color mildly and look “baked” as food would. Many poor quality products burn into a black mass because of the fillers and sugars used in manufacturing which are not recommended. It is recommended to take properly manufactured products from reliable, reputable companies. It is important to note that at Natural Terrain we only prescribe professional quality products to our patients. If you are taking pharmaceutical medication, it is best to be under the care of a physician who knows as much about pharmaceutical medications as they do about herbs and supplements, such as Naturopathic Doctors who are trained and knowledgeable in both these areas.