Whether you are taking vitamins, minerals, hormones, amino acids or other supplements, it is vitally important that anything that is ingested into the body be of the highest quality you can afford. You can research on the internet and determine if the ingredients are of the quality you need.

However, you should be aware that many manufacturers try to save money by obtaining one or more of their ingredients from sellers who may not have the highest quality standards. Always look at the ingredients and ask about their source and quality.

It is for this reason that many people purchase their vitamins, minerals, hormones, amino acids and other supplements through compounding pharmacies that, although probably more expensive, use only the best ingredients.

An example of this is that people taking HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced by women during pregnancy) in connection with dieting often have different results. Despite eating only 500 calories a day, people taking injectable HCG from a compounding pharmacy that uses the right ingredients and proportions are often not complaining of being hungry. (The HCG diet assumes that the body will convert an additional 1500 calories a day from fat.) However, others who obtain their HCG in tablet or liquid form over the internet do not know the quality of the HCG and often complain of being hungry all the time. When they switch to the higher quality injectable HCG, the feelings of hunger normally disappear.

DELIVERY SYSTEMS

Most substances can be taken in chewable and non-chewable tablets, capsules, sublingually (dissolving under the tongue), transdermal (through the skin), injectable intra-muscularly and intravenously (IVs). Each of these methods involve different bioavailabilty (the extent or speed which a substance can be used for its purpose in the body.)

Delivery methods matter. Many people only can absorb and use between 20% to 30% of the content of tablets or capsules because they must go through the gastrointestinal system (down the throat and through the stomach) before reaching the bloodstream. Generally, the best way to get a higher concentration of the substance into the body is to by-pass the gastrointestinal system. Sublingual and transdermal applications generally get much higher absorption rates than tablets or capsules.

Most agree that higher absorption rates are obtained when the substance is injected intra-muscularly but the highest absorption rates is intravenously (IV). Because the substance goes directly into the bloodstream, between 80% to 100% of the substance is rapidly available for use by the body.

One of these methods is to take vitamin C by placing a specially designed tablet or lozenge under the tongue and letting it dissolve (sublingual method). In this manner, much of the vitamin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and does not go through the gastrointestinal system. While the amount of vitamin passing into the bloodstream varies widely from person to person, your body can utilize more of the vitamin.

The other method is to inject the vitamin intra-muscularly. For most people this is second only to the IV as a delivery method for getting the vitamin into the bloodstream and available for use by the body.