Review: The Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements

The Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements 2011-12 Consumer Edition by Lyle MacWilliam is a helpful resource for learning how to evaluate nutritional supplements and how they may enhance optimal health, disease prevention, and anti-aging defense. The book is an abridged edition of the 4th Professional Edition of the Comparative Guide, which is more useful for the reader who does not have a background in nutritional science or the biological sciences.

Lyle MacWilliam, MSc, FP is President of the Nutrisearch Corp., a Canadian company that serves the natural products industry. He is a former member of Parliament and Member of Legislative Assembly for British Columbia. Mr. MacWilliam has served as an advisor to a number of Canadian government health agencies.

In this edition, over 1600 US and Canadian supplements were scientifically rated and compared, using 18 critical health supportive criteria to evaluate each product.

I found the Comparative Guide to be an excellent source of information when considering the various scientific ratings conducted of nutritional supplements for this book. The Guide includes comparative ratings of many popular brands of supplements, including those sold in drug and health stores with other less well known brands which are not available through such venues.

What I liked the most in this edition are the two chapters on the Short History of Vitamin D and New Discoveries, the latest scientific findings on Vitamin D. There is an excellent summary of the overwhelming research confirming the beneficial effects of vitamin D in disease prevention, boosting immunity and strengthening bones. Some of the topics addressed by Mr. MacWilliam include: Vitamin D and cancer, Vitamin D and heart disease, Vitamin D and immune support, and how much is enough?

Mr. MacWilliam makes a compelling case that Vitamin D deficiencies contribute to many chronic and degenerative health conditions. He wrote, “Despite the rapid advancement in our knowledge about Vitamin D, chronic insufficiency of this important nutrient remains the most unrecognized and misdiagnosed nutritional deficiency in the world. Marginal improvements in the daily intakes, issued recently by the United States and Canada, appear insufficient to address the problem.”

Although the recommended daily intake of vitamin D has been raised to 600 International Units per day, there are many experts who believe it should be higher yet. While the best way to get vitamin D is still from the sun, everyone living outside the tropics or a predominantly indoor lifestyle must supplement for the sake of health, according to Mr. Macwilliam.

I recommend this guidebook as an excellent resource for anyone who is interested in the science of nutritional supplementation.