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3 Critical Factors of Dietary Supplement Formulations

3 Critical Factors of Dietary Supplement Formulations

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3 Critical Factors of Dietary Supplement Formulations

3 Critical Factors of Dietary Supplement Formulations

Guest Blog Post from Designs for Health

The 2002 World Health Report anticipated that by the year 2020 chronic non-communicable disease would attribute to 73% of all deaths and 60% of the global disease burden. In the report, The World Health Organization (WHO) stated the need for the “development of an integrated approach that will target all major common risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus (DM), cancer and chronic respiratory diseases in the most cost-effective way to prevent and control them.” These assertions and statistics showcase the acute need for preventative medicine, which often includes the application of dietary supplements and nutraceuticals, and the adoption of lifestyle changes and dietary habits.

Dietary supplements are nutritional substances formulated and intended to augment the diet by increasing the total dietary intake. The ingredients in dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs or botanicals, and amino acids.

According to the 2019 Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, 77% of U.S. adults report taking dietary supplements; however, a 2019 survey from AARP revealed 46% of consumers are concerned with the effectiveness of supplements. Moreover, 44% of supplement users question the purity and safety of ingredients, and 40% are concerned about testing transparency, according to the same survey.

 

Targeted supplementation implemented by Nutritional Therapy Practitioners can help to fill nutritional gaps, address nutrient deficiencies, and support the body’s vital metabolic processes where needed. Therefore, it’s critical to choose and recommend the highest quality dietary supplements available on the market to support desired health outcomes. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to identify key differentiators in innovation, formulation, ingredient selection, and manufacturing that influence product efficacy and quality. Here, we will discuss the importance of supplementation and three primary factors to consider when selecting ideal dietary supplements to ensure the highest quality for patient and client care.

Quality and Purity

Dietary supplements must meet FDA testing requirements. It is important to seek formulas and brands that go through several levels of quality control and testing before being sold to the public. Fortunately, there are practitioner-brand dietary supplement manufacturers that follow regulatory oversight adhering to current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that source only the highest quality raw materials for formulating their products. It’s essential to choose companies that are third-party audited and certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) to ensure public safety and to verify the formulas meet the highest levels of quality and purity, identity and strength, in addition to ensuring that their composition match the product label claims.

Label transparency is also a critical component in choosing the best dietary supplements for your clients/patients. For the best clinical outcomes, it’s imperative to recommend supplements that are formulated without common allergens (e.g., dairy, soy, gluten) or other potentially harmful excipients (i.e., other ingredients). Avoid products that use potentially harmful preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, artificial colors, and/or sweeteners, sugars, and other fillers that may be detrimental to desired health outcomes. Practitioners and clients must learn how to read and understand ingredient labels and supplement facts to prevent exposure to these often “hidden” ingredients.

Bioavailability

The term “bioavailability” refers to the amount or proportion of a substance, nutrient, or botanical that can be absorbed, enter the body’s circulation, and impart its physiological and biological effects. Supplements formulated to have high bioavailability will be more effective at achieving the desired health outcome, as they have better metabolic activity, remain in the serum longer, and do not break down as quickly. Manufacturing processes formulated to utilize specific nutrients, ingredients, technologies, and/or delivery methods that enhance the bioactive compound’s ability to enter circulation is an important factor when considering dietary supplementation.

 

Additionally, it’s equally important to choose products that leverage the latest scientific research and evidence and are formulated by using the optimal nutrient forms to ensure superior efficacy. Some nutrients are available in a more biologically identical and accessible form. For example, research shows that folate — specifically in the methylated or calcium folinate composition — is the more optimal, bioavailable form that promotes beneficial health outcomes over synthetic folic acid. Likewise, using amino acid-chelated mineral forms, such as magnesium bisglycinate or ferrous bisglycinate, improves bioavailability and can help decrease common unpleasant gastrointestinal effects, such as diarrhea or constipation, versus using elemental forms, such as magnesium oxide, ferrous sulfate.

Clinically Relevant Dosing

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97% to 98%) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group” based on scientific data, but when scientific evidence is not available, the Adequate Intake (AI) is used instead of the RDA, which is “based on experimentally derived intake levels or approximations of observed mean nutrient intakes by a group of healthy people. These values were calculated to avoid frank or overt nutrient deficiencies, but not necessarily to provide optimal health and wellness. The prevalence of environmental and lifestyle factors in Western societies further complicates and compounds nutrient demands, including nutrient-poor diets, improper digestion and absorption, medication-associated nutrient depletions, pre-existing conditions, inflammation, food sensitivities or allergies, and oxidative stress levels. These additional deterrents to achieving adequate nutrient status support supplementation above the current RDA and AI values established by the Institute of Medicine and the National Academies of Sciences.

 

Initial conditions of insufficiency are seen at a biochemical level often without any overt symptoms. As the duration of the insufficiency increases, additional changes appear in cellular function that can be seen as subclinical manifestations, and as the insufficiency progresses, morphological and functional changes occur that can be defined as early-stage disease. Nutrition may be the single most influential component of health maintenance since diet is the determining factor in many chronic diseases. Furthermore, certain nutrients are not efficacious unless they reach a certain amount in the serum. For these reasons, it is important to supplement above the RDAs and AIs to help replete the body with the micronutrients it needs to improve metabolic function and overall health.

As you approach client care and implement dietary supplements into your nutritional therapy protocols, consider these important factors regarding formulation (i.e., quality and purity, bioavailability, and clinically relevant dosing) to help determine the best options for your patients’ target health outcomes.

By Caitlin Higgins, MS, CNS, LDN
Technical Writer and Educational Content Developer for Designs for Health

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the NTA. They are intended for general information purposes, and are not to be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

 

 

 


 

 

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Raw Food or Cooked Food, Which is the Healthiest? Put Down that Kale Smoothie!

Raw Food or Cooked Food, Which is the Healthiest? Put Down that Kale Smoothie!

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Home » Posts Tagged "bioavailability"

Raw Food or Cooked Food, Which is the Healthiest? Put Down that Kale Smoothie!

Raw Food - The NTA

Guest post by Diana Rodgers, RD, LDN, NTP. This article originally appeared in the Winter 2012 edition of The Nutritional Therapist. 

 

I hear and read about many people making kale smoothies, consuming raw nuts, and munching salads consisting of raw broccoli. So, I decided to take a look at some research to see what the nutritional costs were of eating raw food.  I found that it may better for your body to consume primarily cooked or lacto-fermented vegetables. Breaking down the cellular structure of vegetables through these methods greatly increases the digestibility and nutrient absorption in vegetables. 

 

Potential Danger to Eating Raw Foods

 

May Lead to Thyroid Issues

Certain foods can cause disrupted thyroid hormone production. Foods belonging to the cruciferous family are called “crucifers,” and include broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mustard, kohlrabi, and turnips. These foods may reduce thyroid function by blocking thyroid peroxidase, and by disrupting messages that are sent across the membranes of thyroid cells. Cooking these vegetables greatly reduces these negative effects. 

 

May Cause Hormonal Regulation Issues

Cooking may also have a positive effect on net energy in the body. Humans on vegetarian diets exhibit higher reproductive performance when eating cooked food than raw food. Evidence of low energy intake in women eating predominantly raw food is supported by their having higher rates of amenorrhea or menstrual irregularities than those eating cooked food.

In one study, it was found that menstruation was absent in 23% of females of childbearing age who ate at least 70% of their food raw and in 50% of women reporting a 100% raw diet. Although these women were primarily vegetarian, the addition of raw meat to the diet did not change the odds of ovarian suppression. The researchers concluded that women suffered because of their relatively low net energy gain as a consequence of eating their food raw.  A nutritional analysis suggested that in traditional communities, a diet of raw wild foods would render survival and reproduction difficult.  Learn more about the energy loss through consumption of raw food here.

 

May Cause Food-Borne Illness

Constant exposure to pathogens and bacteria through raw food can overcrowd the gut flora and cause food-borne illness, food poisoning, or dysbiosis. Consuming conventionally farmed raw food can increase the likelihood of being exposed to harmful bacteria like Salmonella enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes.

 

May Cause Digestive Upset

Foods high in insoluble fibers like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. can cause some digestive troubles as they are not absorbed by the body. Instead they call on water from your digestive system and can cause inflammation to an already inflamed gut. Research shows that masticating or cooking veggies and fruit can improve overall digestibility and energy value.

 


 

Benefits of Eating Cooked or Fermented Foods

 

Research suggests several reasons why cooking might increase the energy available from meat

  • It may increase food intake through positive effects on palatability related to texture and flavor
  • Render proteins more digestible through denaturation
  • Lowers the tax on digestion through food softening 
  • Reduce immune up-regulation by eliminating food-borne pathogens

Given that textural changes are at least partially responsible for the proposed positive effects of cooking on intake, digestibility, and the cost of digestion, non-thermal processing methods that manipulate texture, such as pounding, may likewise be effective in improving the net energy value of meat. 

 

It is important to note that eating cooked, very lean meats has a nutritional cost. Archaeological evidence suggests that fat derived from bone marrow may have been preferred over muscle tissue as a source of energy and nutrients among early humans. Diets deriving more than 50% of calories from lean protein can lead to negative energy balance, so-called ‘‘rabbit starvation,’’ due to the high metabolic costs of protein digestion. 

 

Foods have been heat-treated for many centuries, since our ancestors learned, by trial and error, to master fire for cooking purposes approximately 700,000 years ago, to modify the taste and preserve nutritional properties of foods. The invention and continuous development of food treatment has had a substantial, if not major impact on the intellectual, societal, and economic development of mankind. 

 

Fermentation Improves Gut Flora 

The health benefits of fermentation have been known for centuries. In 76 A.D., the Roman historian Plinio advocated the use of fermented milks for treating gastrointestinal infections. Fermentation is a non-thermal process that produces chemical changes by enzymes produced from bacteria, microorganisms, or yeasts and is one of the oldest-known food preservation techniques. 

 

During fermentation, the carbohydrate energy source in food, such as lactose in milk, is converted to lactic acid. The same happens when pickles are produced from cucumbers. Yeasts convert glucose to ethanol and carbon dioxide. Many health-producing secondary metabolites are produced through fermentation, especially B vitamins and bioactive peptides which can be antimicrobial and immune-stimulatory.

 

In the early 1900s it was realized that bifidobacteria may be effective in preventing infection in infants and the consumption of fermented milks were seen to reverse putrefactive effects of the gut micro flora, leading to the development of the probiotic concept. Probiotics are now used in the treatment of infections and used to promote a healthy immune system. Consuming fermented foods will improve the presence of healthy bacteria in the gut. 

 

Cooking can Eliminate Toxins 

One of the most important beneficial effects of food processing is that it destroys unwanted compounds and microorganisms. Pathogenic bacteria are killed when exposed to heat. Cooking also deactivates anti-nutritional factors such as protease inhibitors and other natural toxins.

 

The second effect is enhanced digestibility of food and bioavailability of nutrients. For example, gelatinization of starch makes possible its hydrolysis by amylase enzymes. Destruction of cell walls in vegetables improves the bioavailability of compounds such as carotenoids and polyphenols. Nuts and seeds contain many anti-nutrients in their raw state. Soaking your nuts overnight will increase the bio-availability of the nutrients in nuts and seeds. 

 

Pounding, curing and cooking meat is beneficial. 

When considering meat, there seems to be some evidence that processing meat either by pounding, drying, curing or cooking is beneficial. Pounding meat and making it soft seems to reduce the expense on digestion, partly because it passes more quickly through the gut.

 

The collagen surrounding each fascicle of muscle fibers generally remains too tough for mastication until heated to 60–70° C, when collagen begins to be hydrolyzed into gelatin, a soluble protein. Although the muscle fibers themselves remain tough, meat cooked beyond this temperature leads to gelatinization of the collagen, which separates the muscle fibers and the gelatin.

 

Improved texture of meat makes it easier to chew, and easier for our bodies to break down. Also, when the fats are heated to oil from a fat, it’s easier for our bile to emulsify and ultimately leads to faster absorption. In studies, humans and chimps prefer the taste of cooked meat, leading to us eating more of it. Consumption of more protein meant larger brains and bigger muscles as we evolved. 

 

 

Cooking Kills Food-Borne Bacteria

Including strains associated with raw meat products such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus, and Listeria. The potential energy savings due to reduced immune maintenance and up-regulation could be sizable. Raw wild meat is possibly less pathogen-bearing on average than raw meat that has been raised and processed for mass-market consumption.

 

When meat is processed at the slaughterhouse, E. coli and other pathogens from the intestines can invade the ground meat. This is why most outbreaks involve burgers and other forms of ground meat but is not usually associated with steaks. These pathogens do not enter the inside of the muscle tissue (steaks). 

 

When eating industrially-raised red meat, I suggest cooking the burgers well. Slow cooking meat appears to be one of the best methods to prepare meat for optimal digestibility. 

 

Lightly cooked fish is healthier than raw or fried.  

In the case of fish, it appears that lightly cooked is optimal. In one study where edible portions of fresh fish were used raw, fried, cooked and undercooked, the researchers concluded that the breakdown of fish proteins were all fairly complete, but general digestibility was greatest with underdone fish as compared to raw, fully cooked or fried fish. 

 

Raw Food Or Cooked Food Infographic

 


 

 

In summary,

I strongly suggest cooking vegetables, consuming lacto-fermented vegetables, and other fermented foods. If you like to eat raw meat, make sure it is from a very clean source and it’s safer to stick to muscle and organs which are less likely to be contaminated with pathogens. 

If you are out at a restaurant and want a standard industrially-raised beef burger, order it cooked well. Focus on slow cooking processes and using primarily grass-fed and wild meats, where the animals are much less likely to be sick (and get you sick). These meats will also have a much better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats, thereby keeping inflammation down. Sashimi and other raw fish from trusted sources are ok, but lightly cooked fish seems to be optimal as far as protein digestion. 

 

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the NTA. They are intended for general information purposes, and are not to be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Want your recipe or article to be featured on our blog? Email our team Marketing@nutritionaltherapy.comwith your full name, article, a short bio in third person, and a headshot. We may feature you in an upcoming blog post.


 

Diana Rodgers FamilyAbout Diana 

Author, Nutritionist, Sustainability Advocate, Multimedia Producer, Sustainable Dish

Diana Rodgers, RD, LDN, NTP is a “real food” nutritionist living on a working organic farm near Boston, Massachusetts that runs a vegetable and meat CSA. She is the author of two bestselling cookbooks and runs a clinical nutrition practice. Diana writes and speaks about the intersection of optimal human nutrition, environmental sustainability, animal welfare and social justice. She is also the producer of The Sustainable Dish Podcast, interviewing experts in the environmental and health movement. Her new film project examines the environmental, nutritional and ethical case for “better meat’. She can be found at www.sustainabledish.com.

 


 

Join us for a Live Webinar with one of our Instructors and Admissions Advisors!

During this call, you’ll explore and learn:

  • How to create a rewarding career in holistic nutrition that will give you the confidence and competence to replace your full-time income (whether you’re new to nutrition or or using it to enhance your current services)
  • How our unmatched education and instructor support sets our NTP program apart from other nutrition programs​​​​​​​
  • How graduates are successfully using their education and the many career opportunities available to you
  • If the NTP program is the right fit for you and how to move forward in financing your education

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