Core Vitamin Potency Comparison Information You Need to Know
by Glenn Reschke
This multivitamin potency comparison page will discuss the
important factors you the consumer should look for when doing vitamin supplement
Needless to say, there is a lot that goes into making a vitamin potent.
It is a literal science unto itself comprising many different disciplines. In order to obtain the highest
quality supplements, you need to be aware of the delivery
system of the considered supplement, the manufacturing process, and the importance of
synergy between the nutrients in the supplement.
These, we believe, are the most important elements when doing vitamin supplement comparisons.
Multi-Vitamin, Head-to-Head Comparisons
A vitamin's actualefficacy or potency comparison needs to begin with an analysis of the ingredients in the
supplement. As you may known, supplements aren't regulated by the FDA. (This has its positive and negative
Many supplement makers deliberately put inferior ingredients into their supplements, opting usually for
synthetic over pure substances. The following is a quote from a New Zealand company's newsletter, which has
provided consumers with superb information regarding vitamin comparisons. Here's what they say:
"The amount of ingredient stated in a supplement does not always reveal the amount of active ingredient
present and as such it can be quite misleading. The active ingredient is what provides the essential
nutrients... the rest are just useless (or even harmful) fillers. Here are a couple of random examples... Beta
Carotene and Bilberry. Beta Carotene is a form of Vitamin A and can vary incredibly in potency. It can
be synthetic or natural. The active ingredient present may be just a few percent or it may constitute 98% of
the weight. In other words if you have a supplement that contains 5mgs of Beta Carotene it might have active
ingredient of 0.15mgs (at 3% active) or, it may have 4.9mgs (at 98% active). In other words the 98% active
product is over 30 times more potent than the 3% option even though they both may have 5mg present. To give the
difference a financial perspective... synthetic Beta Carotene costs around $60 per kilo whereas natural 98%
pure pharmaceutical grade is around US$2,400 per kilo. The other example here is Bilberry. The principle behind
this example applies to many herbs on the market. Herbs, which are sold in capsules, are often the end product
of a process which, in simple terms involves drying the plant or parts of it, crushing it and encapsulating the
powder. However, the real benefit of herbs is in the active
ingredient, which may only represent 1/1000th or 1/10,000th of the weight of the powder. This means a
product using a standardized extract could be one to ten thousand times more potent than the
powder. Once again can be reflected in financial terms. Bilberry powder can be purchased for as little as $30
per kg...but, the standardized extract product is around $1,400 per kg."
Needless to say, now you can see why some companies' products are superior. Quality of ingredients
does make a difference for your health.
Vitamin Supplement Comparison
Another key component of the supplement potency comparison process is the manufacturing
process. There are four main areas of manufacturing that are relevant here, i.e., scientific formulation,
potency of ingredients (we've already discussed that), type of facility, and verification of ingredients on
When doing a vitamin supplement comparison, the ideal supplement should be scientifically formulated. It's critical
that in a multivitamin with many nutrients be formed with scientific knowledge at the cellular level.
Some vitamins cancel each
other out and some need other minerals to do their job. For example, Vitamin D actually enhances calcium absorption in the body, and inhibits its excretion by the
kidneys, yet boron is important for calcium utilization; vitamin B5 is critical to metabolizing amino acids,
Type of Facility
In the nutritional supplement potency comparison process you may be engaged in, look for GMP certified facilities
that are regularly inspected by government authorities. Do you think this irrelevant? Supplement fraud is utterly
rampant as this article attests. Here's one example. As reported by Medscape 1/24/2000, "High levels of
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been identified in five brands of shark liver oil capsules that are
available internationally over-the-counter." PCBs are toxic to the body.
In another study done by Time Magazine as reported July 31, 2000, eight of 21 brands tested
were found to have pesticides and lead. This dovetails into our next point, verification of ingredients.
Pharmaceutical GMP compliant facilities verify not only purity and potency of ingredients, but they also validate
the existence of label proclaimed ingredients.
Regarding potency of ingredients, look for all raw ingredients supported with a COA (Certificate of
Analysis), which guarantees their potency and safety.
Bio-Availability Delivery System
With vitamin comparisons, the biological delivery system is just as important as the manufacturing process. The
truth is that as most dietary supplements use synthetic ingredients and are destroyed by
Popular self-help guru Tony Robbins once remarked, "Many vitamin supplements are nothing more than expensive
urine" and sadly he's right.
Ideally, the nutrients of the supplements make their way through the stomach intact where they can then be
assimilated in the upper intestine. Is there a solution that makes this possible? There is -- enteric coating.
Enteric coating is expensive and sophisticated technology, which is why most
manufacturers don't have it.
Enteric coating protects the active compounds of the vitamins and minerals where it then dissolves in the upper
intestines for assimilation into the blood stream. Another important consideration are the binding agents for the
tablets themselves, called excipients.
Again, they're expensive and most manufacturers seek to avoid them. Consequently, they substitute cheap binders
that cause the supplement to go through the system unused.
When doing your nutrition supplements comparison, let's pass on one key, final point.
Don't look for one or two vitamins, look for vital minerals, trace and specialty nutrients,
and herbal extracts. Herbal extracts, for example, are densely concentrated compounds with therapeutic
Long ridiculed by the medical
establishment, they are not becoming more and more accepted due to the public's clamor for them.
We know this wasn't always the case as we've been studying herbal medicine for over 24 years including
homeopathic and nutritional supplementation as well.
In looking for a supplement for our own use, we have come across a company headquartered in New
Zealand that produces pharmaceutical-grade quality products that meets all of the above criteria.
I mention New Zealand deliberately as their government has stricter regulatory manufacturing standards for
supplements than the US has for prescription medications -- they even surpass FDA standards. Their flagship
multivitamin multimineral supplement product meets the criteria discussed on this webpage.
In addition, this multivitamin has over 90 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, amino acids,
trace nutrients, etc. In my own dietary supplement potency comparison research, I found it
I also have been using it for over a year and are pleased with the results. If you want more than just a basic
vitamin supplement or nutrition supplements comparison, or a basic multivitamin, you may want to check out this
vitamin supplement further.
I hope this page has been useful to you.
Yours in health,