What to Note when Choosing a Nutritional Supplement?
How to choose the right product by making sure we really invest in our own health?
For cosmetic products or nutritional supplements, it’s a good idea to obtain the best information on the products and their manufacturer. Different products with Beta Glucan are not the same. There are often shocking differences in quality. When choosing a nutritional supplement or cosmetic product, you should look out for:
- Purity of Beta Glucan – the purer, the more effective it is; a purity of over 90% means it is a good quality product.
- Quantity of Beta Glucan in each daily dose – usually 2 to 5 mg are recommended per kg of body weight. This means that the daily dose for a person weighing 60 kg starts at around 120 mg. For cosmetic products, the content of Beta Glucan should not be lower than 1%.
- Source of Beta Glucan – this is often related to purity. For example, Beta Glucan of cereal origin (oat, barley) very often has a low purity (up to 40%), and its effect is more probiotic than immuno-stimulating. On the contrary, Beta Glucan from mushrooms can be obtained with a high purity. The purity of beta glucan from yeast is often somewhere between that of cereals and mushrooms. Therefore, the source of Beta Glucan can be a relatively good indicator of the purity and effect on the immune system.
- Treatment of Beta Glucan. Beta Glucan from oyster mushrooms is insoluble. In order to get into the whole organism, it should be adapted to the conditions of permeability of the small intestine which does not let insoluble particles greater than around 60 micrometres pass through. If the particles of beta glucan are larger than this size, their effect is limited only to the activation of immune cells in the small intestine. The method of breaking a substance into micrometre particles is called micronisation. Products with micronized Beta Glucan, or other substances, have an increased effect; on top of this, a smaller amount of micronized substance is enough to achieve the same effect as a larger amount of non-micronized substance.
- Packaging. From the point of view of safety and the protection of the products against their surroundings, it is better for the tablets (capsules) to be packaged in pharmaceutical blisters than loosely packed in plastic bottles or boxes. Blister packaging is slightly more expensive but the customer can be sure that each one is individually protected against the environment or contamination until the administration of the tablet or capsule.
- Adjuvants – each preservative, artificial colouring or flavouring has to a certain extent a negative impact on human health, whether it’s a toxic component (even though this is a very small proportion in the authorised dosages), or a potential allergen. It is therefore suitable to take supplements which do not contain these substances.