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Supplements: how do you select a good one from the multitude available?


Do you walk into a health food store and get intimidated by aisles of supplements?

Do you have trouble knowing what to look for when purchasing a supplement? This is a common concern of many consumers as selecting the right supplement can be challenging!  Herbal or nutritional supplements are used to replace nutrient deficiencies or are used at specific dosages to have a therapeutic effect in rebalancing the body.

How to know if a supplement is good quality and safe?

In Canada these products should have an eight digit NPN (Natural Product Number) which means its quality and safety have been approved by Health Canada. Before stepping foot into a store, you want research the product, such as what dosing is required for the desired effect, sourcing, and best form.            Some brands may be low cost, but are only able to deliver these low prices through lower quantity dosages, lower quality product, and with the use unwanted fillers.

Be sure the supplement has good bioavailability

In addition you will want to research the bioavailability of the supplement, as some products are absorbed or utilized better in certain forms or with a specific manufacturing process.  One common example are iron supplements in which better absorption is obtained with iron bisgylcinate versus iron sulphate, or mushroom supplements are best manufactured through hot water extract.

Brand research is very important

Professional line products will have research behind their products, will undergo third party testing and test both the raw and final product for contamination of heavy metals, pesticides, molds, and correct use of plants.  Quality brands will consider the sourcing of the supplements and use sustainable agriculture or harvesting practices. Decreased soil quality, increased time from farm to table, and the popularization of convenient processed foods all amount to an overall decrease in consumption of nourishing vitamins and minerals.

If you are having difficulty knowing what supplements are best for your health, our naturopathic doctors at Marine Drive Naturopathic Clinic are licensed in the implementation of nutritional or herbal supplements tailored to your personal needs.

Elizabeth Miller, ND


  1. Mellisa Jacobs Reply

    I found the style of writing and the content very refreshing, with a really good vibe. Selecting a good supplement is one of the most hectic and difficult tasks as so many options are available with several confusing tips from experts. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Marine Drive Naturopathic Reply

      Thank you Mellisa,

      We are very happy if this article helped you.

      Have a good healthy day and Happy New Year!

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