Top Rated Supplements
Which Natural Products Work the Best?
Navigating the world of health supplements can often be a daunting task. Is a multivitamin enough? Do I need to take certain supplements right away? Should I wait until I feel ill? Most importantly, will they work? To help set you on the right track, we’ve scoured the far corners of the natural healthcare world and found the top-rated supplements for various categories to give you a leg up in finding the best addition to your lifestyle. Just as with any change in your life - be it a new exercise regime, nutrition plan or medication - it is always recommended you seek out a consultation with a healthcare practitioner before you begin your new health journey.
Cancer Prevention: It is hard to find one person these days who has not been affected by cancer, be it family or friend. It seems everything these days is credited with the ability to give you cancer and prevention is key. The most well-received natural health supplement is something you may already have in your spice cabinet – turmeric.
Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin, which is significant for its ability to trap free radicals. It also interferes with molecular pathways in cancer cells, stopping growth and spread. It has been shown in lab tests to stop specific enzymes in the cancer pathway in rats. In India, where turmeric is a very popular spice used daily in cooking, cancer rates are lower than in North America.
Runners Up: Green Tea, Resveratrol (Grape Extract) and Flaxseed.
Weight Loss: Who hasn’t been caught in the battle of the bulge? With all our modern conveniences, it’s easy to fall into a sedentary lifestyle. Busy schedules, fast food around every corner, and tempting treats all make eating healthy and exercising well a challenge. If your weight loss strategy is one based on calorie deficit, then the natural appetite suppressant garcinia cambogia is the winner in this contest.
Garcinia cambogia is harvested from the peel of the tamarind fruit. Originating from the tropical forests of India and Africa, it is known for its appetite-suppressing effects. The hydroxycitric acid molecule contained in this fruit also helps trigger the use of fat as a fuel source over stores of glucose, as mentioned on the Dr. Oz Show.
Runners Up: Green Coffee Bean, Green Tea and Conjugated Linoic Acid (CLA).
Anti-aging: Aging gracefully is an art, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try preventing loss of energy, greying hair, and wrinkles. Co-Q10, or ubiquinol, is a key element in the world of anti-aging supplements. Co-Q10 is a vitamin-like substance that is found throughout your body. It is found in every organ and mitochondria you possess.
Why? Because it’s a key component of energy production. Essentially no Co-Q10, no molecular energy! Co-Q10 is also a potent antioxidant, protecting all the other components of our system. Since Co- Q10 keeps our engine going and repairs faulty parts, it’s our best bet for anti-aging overall.
Runners Up: Collagen, Resveratrol (Grape Extract) and Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA).
Memory and Brain Health: Your brain is in charge of everything. It keeps you alive by regulating all your bodily functions, from breathing to digestion and everything in between. It also holds all your memories. Not just the cherished memories of your life, but all the things you learned like how to read, recognize people and tie your shoes.
In terms of brain structure and function, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown to play a key role. When levels drop we see cognitive decline in memory retention. The best sources of DHA are Omega-3s.
Runners Up: Ginkgo Biloba, Lecithin and Green Tea.
Cardiovascular Health: While these days the heart only symbolically represents love, you can’t deny how important it still is in your life. Without your heart pumping, blood would not be able to circulate throughout your entire body delivering oxygen, taking away by-products and delivering chemical messengers and immune system reactions where they are needed most. Perhaps surprisingly, the same component needed to keep your mind sharp is what keeps your heart ticking. You guessed it – DHA, or basically, Omega-3. Omega-3 is certainly racking up bonus points by taking care of both your heart and brain.
Runners Up: Flaxseed, Evening Primrose Oil and Green Tea.
Joint Health: Whether it’s typing, walking, climbing, or doing up buttons, the ingenuity of the joint allows the body to do so many spectacular things. A joint is any part of our body where two bones meet and there is cartilage and fibrous connective tissue to allow for mobility. Ensuring you have enough vitamin D and calcium to keep your bones strong is very important. However, it’s the cartilage that ensures pain-free movement. Adding a glucosamine chondroitin supplement to your daily regimen has been shown to maintain cartilage health in joints. Both chondroitin and glucosamine naturally occur in our bodies, but seldom in sufficient quantities to completely prevent joint deterioration.
Runners Up: Vitamin D, Calcium and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).
During our investigations we did see one particular natural health product that popped up in all these categories, and no, it wasn’t Omega-3. It was green tea. Green tea is a powerhouse of natural health benefits, and its tastiness and widespread prevalence make it an easy ingredient to integrate into a healthy lifestyle. This is why we have chosen to award it a special honour – best in show.
As always, it’s important to remember supplements are exactly that: something to supplement your existing routine. Healthy eating patterns, proper exercise, and a well-rounded healthcare regimen are still the most important factors in your health.
Tracy Gu and Erika Hild work for VITADROP™, a full line of standardized liquid herbal concentrates, sold exclusively at www.drnutrition.com.