Magnesium Hydroxide: This form is often used as an antacid and/or in laxatives. It can be found in over-the-counter products, such as milk of magnesia. Because it has poor bioavailability, it is considered one of the least optimal forms to use as a supplement. Magnesium Oxide: This form of magnesium is one of the most commonly used in supplements. It is desirable because it is inexpensive and the compound is very small, so large amounts of elemental magnesium can be delivered without taking up much space in a tablet or capsule. Magnesium oxide has long been considered a poor source of magnesium,
All supplements are not created equal. To expand on this idea, it is my opinion that well-formulated multivitamins meet five major criteria:
- Optimal Bioavailability: Bioavailability describes how well a nutrient is broken down, absorbed and entered into the body’s bloodstream. Ultimately, a high bioavailability means that there is a greater amount available to be delivered and utilized by the body’s tissues. Every vitamin, mineral and nutrient can be absorbed at different rates depending on its form, whether it’s taken with or without food or other minerals, and on other factors. Higher quality supplements use the most bioavailable forms.
**Note: Many bioavailable nutrient forms are physically much bulkier and, therefore, take up much more capsule space. This alone can lead to a daily dose requiring a higher number of capsules.
- Evidence-Based Dosages: While it may seem straightforward, products can be manufactured much cheaper when a less active ingredient is added. Additionally, it is more marketable when selling a one capsule per day product vs. a two (or six) capsule per day product. For these reasons, lower-quality supplements skimp out on ingredient amounts and fall short of the targeted evidence-based levels.
- Totality of Nutrients: To have a multivitamin complex with most nutrients or just the important ones doesn’t make sense. It’s like saying that only calcium is important for bone health (it’s not, by the way). Many multi’s lack trace minerals, phytonutrients and ‘non-vitamin’ antioxidants that have also been shown to be necessary for optimal health. The best multi’s include everything.
- Discernible Ratios: Certain minerals and vitamins are known to deplete or block the absorption of competing nutrients. Therefore, it is important to not just add in an arbitrary amount of each nutrient and hope for the best. Instead, based on high-quality science, well-formulated complexes have specific ratios of each nutrient for maximal absorption and retention within the body.
- High Quality Raw Materials: This is a no-brainer, but still an important factor in developing a high-quality complex. Simply put, a product is only as good as its individual components.
Now, when we consider these criteria, AOR’s Ortho Core is one of the rare multivitamin products that meets all of the requirements. And by meeting all of these criteria, it is impossible to fit all of the contents into only a few capsules. OrthoCore contains optimal amounts of nutrients and additional nutrients not commonly found in multivitamins, while simultaneously achieving tremendous bioavailability of each nutrient.
Let’s review some specific examples to best understand its value as a core foundational supplement:
- All B-vitamins present in Ortho Core are found in their active coenzyme forms (ie. B12 as methylcobalamin, B6 as P-5-P and folate as 5-MTHF). This increases bioavailability and the body’s ability to utilize the B-vitamins.
- Vitamin E is found as a full complex of all four tocopherols and all four tocotrienols. Most multi’s only use alpha-tocopherol, which has actually shown to be detrimental on its own by depleting other vitamin E forms such as gamma-tocopherol.
- Phytonutrients and mitochrondrial support such as R-lipoic acid, N-Acetyl Cysteine, ECGC (Green Tea Extract), Coenzyme Q10 and Sulphoraphane (Broccoli Extract) are found in Ortho Core. Most multi’s do not include any of these crucial factors.
- Zinc and Copper are found in their optimal ratio of 10:1, respectively. Many supplements use a much lower ratio (ie. 20:1 or 30:1), which has actually been studied and shown to lead to a variety of metabolic disorders including elevated cholesterol levels.
- Vitamin’s like D3 and K2 are included in their maximum allowable amounts (“maximum” as determined by Health Canada for a daily dosage)
Overall, the best way to explain why the product is a six capsule per day formulation is this: AOR’s Ortho Core is almost like taking Advanced B-complex, Total E, Vitamin K2, Vitamin D3, R-Lipoic Acid, SeMet, Antioxidant Synergy and Zinc-Copper Balance all in one product! Clearly, you’re packing a lot of punch in one bottle! And the cost of that punch is six capsules – which is a heck of a lot better than the 12-14 capsules that you may be taking if you supplemented with each of these products individually.
As a final note, for those not interested in such a comprehensive formula, AOR also offers Multi Basics 3 (a formula without phytonutrients and mitochondrial factors).