Learn how you judge the quality of fibromyalgia supplements in order to get the results that you want and need.
You might ask, "Aren't the vitamins from the grocery store good enough?"
Not in my opinion, nor in my experience. Have you ever noticed a difference in your health after taking the average commercial vitamin? I didn't think so. Cheap vitamins are synthetic, they are made in a laboratory. They do not give your body what it really needs to function properly. They sound good in theory, but they are not going to improve your health.
Some doctors will say that all vitamins are the same. This is not true. A biochemist will tell you that synthetic and natural vitamins are different. It may be only one section of the molecule, turned a slightly different way, but your body can tell the difference and will benefit more from natural fibromyalgia supplements.
Therefore, the next step up from synthetic vitamins is natural vitamins, extracted from real food. Generally, this is what you would find in a health food store. These are better than synthetic vitamins, but are still missing ingredients that are needed to work together in order for the body to use the nutrients and start to heal. You may also find extra ingredients in these supplements, like pesticides and fungicides.
I recommend looking for a company that you can trust, like Shaklee. The FDA does not regulate vitamins. A company can pick grass in their backyard and sell it to you as alfalfa, with no penalties from the FDA. This is a buyer-beware market. You need to be informed and be able to trust your vitamin source.
You also need fibromyalgia supplements that are made from whole foods that are concentrated, in the form closest to nature that your body can utilize. This is called bioavailability.
For instance, Vitamin C cannot be utilized unless it has bioflavinoids to work with. These are found in the white part of an orange. Therefore, just having the Vitamin C from the orange is not enough. You need the whole orange, including the white part, in order for your body to utilize the vitamin C.
That is why fibromyalgia supplements made from whole foods are vital. Extracted natural vitamins (like you find at a health food store) do not have all the components from food that the body needs in order to utilize them. Look for bioflavinoids in the ingredient list of your multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.
To get results from your fibromyalgia supplements, I recommend using ones that actually contain portions of food that are unnamed, unknown substances. I believe this is a huge key to getting results from fibromyalgia supplements. I only know of one company that holds the integrity of the foods that they put in their supplements to this level.
Science is always discovering new nutrients. We do not know all of the stuff that our bodies need, but our Higher Power knew and put it in food. This is why keeping food closest to it's natural state, while still allowing nutrients to be absorbed, is what you need from fibromyalgia supplements in order to begin to recover from fibromyalgia, or any other chronic condition, for that matter.
Look for whole foods listed in the ingredients of your multi-vitamin and mineral supplement like spinach, kelp, alfalfa, rice bran, beet powder, and rose hips. Also listed here should be various kinds of bioflavanoids.
A third criteria to judge fibromyalgia supplements is do they dissolve? Will your body be able to break down the supplements? Drop your vitamin in a glass of water. Yes, I mean it. Go drop one in right now. Go back in a half hour. Does it completely dissolve in 30 minutes? It should. I checked mine after 14 minutes and it was almost completely dissolved.
This is a problem with many of the cheap vitamins. They might have nutrients in them, but your body cannot utilize them because they are enclosed in a shell that does not readily dissolve. If they do not dissolve until 2 hours after your meal is digested, or they do not dissolve at all, they will not be able to support (supplement) the nutrients from the food you ate. I also urge you to take your multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with food, to get the most benefit. They are a supplement to your food, not a replacement.
Looking at the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Biotin on your multi is the fourth very telling guide as to the quality of your fibromyalgia supplements. Biotin is very expensive. Most companies cut corners here and you will see 10% of the RDA. This is one of the more recently discovered B-vitamins and very important because all of the B-vitamins work together. If you are lacking in one of them, your body will not be able to utilize the others as well. You must have a supplement with 100% of the RDA for Biotin.
Calcium can be your fifth judge of vitamin quality. Calcium takes up a lot of space in a supplement. Many companies will again cut corners and not put very much in their tablet. Look for 45-50% of your daily allowance for calcium in a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Many are at 10%. If you consume dairy products, you can usually make up 50-55% of your RDA for Calcium. However, getting 90% of your RDA from food probably will not happen daily. If you do not have dairy products in your diet you will need to add calcium to your fibromyalgia supplements program.
For a sixth check, look at the level of Vitamin A in your supplement. You do not want more than 100% of this RDA because it is a fat-soluble vitamin and is toxic at high levels (most vitamins do not break this rule anymore). Beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A and is not toxic. Your body converts it to Vitamin A as needed. Too much Beta-carotene will turn you orange, but it will not kill you.
Side Note: An example of too much vitamin A was in a recent recall of a protein bar. The amount of Vitamin A found in the bar was enough to cause birth defects in pregnant women. This also illustrates the importance of buying from a company you trust. You need a company who will check the product before it gets to you, not remove it only after there are problems.
Folate or folic acid (they are the same thing) should also be at 100% for your seventh supplement factor to consider. This is more common now that the link between a deficiency in folic acid and birth defects has become widely known. If you are of childbearing age (still menstruating), you need to have Folic Acid through a supplement, just in case you get pregnant. There are studies out now that prove that folic acid through a quality supplement is more readily absorbed by the body than folic acid that is supplemented in the foods you eat.
Folic Acid can be bound up with other nutrients in a supplement, making it unavailable for your body to use. One leading nutritional company has a patented coating of Folic Acid on its B-Complex supplement that makes the folic acid more available for the body to use. This is the type of integrity that your nutritional company should have, guaranteed delivery of nutrient--not just throwing them in whether the body can utilize them or not.
An eighth criteria is balanced amounts of nutrients. This is usually found in the B-vitamins again. If three kinds of B-vitamins (ex. Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Niacin) have over 1000% of the RDA and biotin only has 10%, it is unbalanced. B-vitamins work together and you need all of them. Again, look for biotin at 100% (I do not know if you will find more than that because of the expense).
Last of all, your ninth judge of quality for fibromyalgia supplements, the company needs to have a money-back guarantee. If the company cannot stand behind their products, how do you know you will get results?
The company that I use, Shaklee, has a four-fold guarantee. Not only are you guaranteed to feel better in 30 days or your money back, you are also guaranteed that the ingredients it states on the label are what is found in the bottle, no more, no less. You are also guaranteed that the nutrients in the product have complete bioavailability, meaning the human body can absorb and use them. The last guarantee is that any claim stated on the bottle is backed by clinical research using that product. Can you understand how this is a huge factor?
The above criteria are the must-haves for anyone's vitamin and mineral supplement, not just fibromyalgia supplements.
Can't find products that fit this criteria? Don't have time to look and research? Take my Nutritional Assessment. You will receive recommendations for products guaranteed safe and effective. The Nutritional Assessment helps you find what your body is missing, so you can get started feeling better.
It is a good idea to write down how you are doing now, regarding all aspects of your health, before starting your fibromyalgia supplements program. This provides a base, in order to compare your before and after differences. When changes are slow (over the course of weeks or months), the old problems fade away and are easy to forget.
Record how you are feeling. How's your energy? Are you easily irritated? What's your skin like? Hair? Nails? Your emotional state? Your pain? Is your thinking clear and decisive? Digestive system? Sleep problems? Write down every symptom for a few days. To help you record, there's a Fibromyalgia Symptoms Checklist when you sign up for my newsletter.
Then, after 3 to 6 weeks on a regular fibromyalgia supplements program (you must be dedicated to taking it daily!), record how you are feeling now. Are there improvements? Some fibromyalgia symptoms may need special targeting of nutrients.
If you do not feel any different on the products that I recommend, you either need to look at your digestive system or the quantity and choice of supplements. Food allergies could also be blocking your progress.
If a supplement company does not have a money back guarantee, this is your clue that they do not stand behind the quality and effectiveness of their products. Don't waste your money.
Then target any lingering symptoms with additional fibromyalgia supplements.
Sign up for The Fibro Hope Messenger below and receive a free Fibro Symptoms Checklist, to monitor your recovery progress and help you gauge what is and is not working for you.
Health Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The statements and products are not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any diseases. The information here is not provided by medical professionals and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.