The term ingredient sourcing has been cropping up more and more in the past couple of years. As people are looking for organic, non-GMO and other healthful types of food, where our food comes from becomes more and more important. In years past we bought our food at the market, prepped and ate it without a lot of thought to where it came from. Now we know that our food, medications and supplements should come from the most natural sources possible.
What is Ingredient Sourcing?
The most basic definition of ingredient sourcing is where a food or ingredient is sourced, or where it comes from. Ingredient sourcing can be as simple as a farm-to-table restaurant touting locally grown produce or it can be as complex as kobe beef imported all the way from Japan. The purpose of paying attention to ingredient sourcing is to have a heightened level of awareness of where your food comes from. As we better understand what is in our food and what impact it might have on our health and our bodies, we are paying more and more attention to the particulars of what we consume.
How Are Supplement Ingredients Sourced?
When we think of food sourcing we generally think of knowing where the lettuce in our salad came from or trusting that our organic meat is in fact, organic. However, one place that it is very important to have all the facts about ingredient sourcing is in our vitamins and supplements. Because the FDA is not required to test or report on supplements, vitamins and minerals, where the ingredients come from can remain a mystery. This is why ingredient sourcing in supplements becomes very important.
If you pick up a supplement bottle in your local superstore, chances are the words ingredient source will be quietly missing. The vast majority of mass-market supplements avoid making any reference to where their ingredients came from. This is probably because their sources are not as high quality as they should be. In all likelihood you won’t even know if the ingredients came from nature or if they were made in a lab.
The Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Vitamins
This brings us to a very important distinction that should be made when we talk supplement ingredients. There are two kinds of vitamins – those that are found in nature and those that are created in a lab (synthetics). While many manufacturers would have us believe that synthetic vitamins act the same in our bodies as their natural counter-parts, this just isn’t the case. Because of the synthesis process of man-made vitamins, some of the transporters and co-factors that are found in naturally occurring vitamins are absent in synthetics because they have been “isolated” during the process. This means that your body can’t benefit as much from vitamins made in the lab as those found in nature.
So Where are the Ingredients Sourced From?
While we are suggesting that you should pay close attention to where your supplement ingredients come from, there is a catch. We are also suggesting that most manufactures will keep this information from you. So where does that leave you when deciding on a supplement or multi-vitamin?
The best way to make sure your supplement components have been sources from the best possible places on earth is to simply look for the words ingredients and sourcing. If a manufacturer puts those words together on a bottle, chances are they want to brag about the ingredients inside. If your ingredients are sub-par, chances are you will skip that information on the bottle.
How Do You Know Your Ingredient Sources Are High Quality?
When you finally find that elusive supplement that is proud to include high quality, naturally sourced ingredients you have hit a home run. This information means that what you are putting into your body is safe, natural and of the best possible quality. Make sure to choose a supplement that outlines where the ingredients come from and what measures the company takes to make sure they are of the highest possible quality.
What Exactly Should I Look For in Sourced Ingredients?
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to supplement ingredient sourcing. First make sure they clearly state that the ingredients inside the supplement are naturally sourced. Second, raw ingredients are best when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Third, look for a company that takes the time to test their ingredients and finished product to know that you are getting the very best. Unlike prescription and OTC medication, no governing body tests for quality or accuracy when it comes to supplements. You must rely on the manufacturer for this safety assurance. By choosing a supplement company that creates their own strict guidelines, you can rest assured that you are helping boost your body with the best possible ingredients.
While ingredient sourcing might be relatively new to your vocabulary, it can offer important information in many areas of your life. Knowing where your food is sourced from will help you steer clear of things like chemicals, pesticides and GMO’s. Understanding where the ingredients in your supplement come from can help guarantee you are getting the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need each day. Once you find a company that sources only the highest quality ingredients on the planet you will know you are doing right for your health.
Unlike prescription and OTC medication, no governing body tests for quality or accuracy when it comes to supplements.