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The supplement market offers a variety of products in the form of tablets, capsules, soft gels, liquids, chewables, and powders. Each has specific applications but there is confusion about the pros and cons of each of them. Consumer education can bring a better understanding of the advances in supplement research and today’s far superior manufacturing technology. Armed with knowledge consumers can make supplement choices based upon what is best for their health needs rather than product format or impressive marketing and packaging.

One major area of confusion is supplement absorption - for example, are tablets, liquids or powders better? High-quality supplements use “inactive” ingredients or “excipients” that assist in tablet disintegration and absorption. The natural coating on a tablet can facilitate better dissolution. While there are several factors determining the absorption, reputable manufacturers test their products for acceptable quality, efficacy and dissolution times by evaluation according to US Pharmacopeia standards.

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