Q: Every time I walk into my local health food store, the supplements section overwhelms me! It’s not just the sheer number, but also the different types of the same vitamin or supplement. How do I know which to buy? Are all forms of a vitamin created equal?
A: I feel your pain. Even with my Ph.D. in nutrition, shopping for supplements can still overwhelm me. Generally speaking most supplements are created equal (vitamin C is vitamin C), but there are several important exceptions to note. Here, five supplements that can be especially confusing and how to pick the best bottle for you.
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I’ve covered the different levels of calcium in milk and milk alternatives in the past, but diet alone often isn’t enough to meet the daily recommended intake of calcium (1000mg/day for women ages 19-70). Like magnesium, calcium comes in several different forms, each one containing different levels of actual calcium.
The best buy: Dosage is the most important factor here. Make sure to check the nutrition facts label to see how much calcium you’re actually getting and only supplement with 500mg at any given time, spreading your 500mg doses throughout the day until you hit your calcium target.