“It Works”
(understanding the two different ways)

~ ‘it works’ because it’s covering, masking, or blocking the pain, the symptoms (this is the quick ‘fix’ – but it’s temporary, and often allows the damage to grow, increase, and spread).

~ ‘it works’ – because it’s supplying the basic and necessary nutritients the body requires to help the body heal itself… to improve function, to eventually eliminate the symptoms because the body has effectively healed itself to the best of its ability, because it had the necessary supplies to enhance the health of that area, structure, or eliminate the problem.

The vast amount of marketing and advertising seldom defines, or describes, HOW or WHY ‘it works’ when they tell you how good their product is. Any oral joint supplement that claims it works in hours, or a few days, can only do so by blocking pain or masking the symptoms. Healing takes time, and requires the necessary nutrients, and proper care. If you’re looking for the ‘quick fix’ – pain killers or symptoms maskers – then MD’s Choice is the wrong supplement for you. Sorry.  For those ‘in pain’ – we suggest using our product to supply the nutrients, and using a pain killer as prescribed by the professional that has actually seen the body (and evaluated the situation). Odds are, the body will recover faster on our product than not, because the MD’s Choice products supply the body the basic building blocks the body needs, in forms it can actually use.


Liquid Joint Supplements are best

There is a lot to be said for ‘liquid;’ however, there is very real science behind some nutrients being in liquid. Some are stable, some just aren’t.

Glucosamine is one such nutrient that has zero stability in liquid. Oh, you’ll see liquid joint supplements on store shelves, in ads, and marketing… but I’ll bet you if that product was analyzed, you wouldn’t find any functional glucosamine. Science as proven that glucosamine hcl has a 24hr life in liquid (meaning it’s history before it reaches the store shelf, long before the customer gets it). Glucosamine Sulphate (NACl or 2KCl) only has a 6 month shelf life, with the clock starting the moment it’s ‘in’ liquid… which means it’s highly unlikely any is really left in the product by the time it’s actually used.

If there is any ‘positive’ seen in a liquid joint supplement, odds are it’s because of some herbal ingredient or masking agent that is actively blocking the pain or symptoms.

Most people that weren’t ‘with MD’s Choice’ back in the beginning don’t know that our very first products were LIQUID… Complete Formula Liquid, and the Minerals. The Complete contains 97 different vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, ultra trace minerals, amino acids, and enzymes. With the professionals that were busy formulating and testing the MD’s Choice Products, if getting a stabilized ‘glucosamine sulphate’ product in liquid was possible that would maintain the quality, especially with the doctors, nutritionists, chemists, bio-chemists, pharmacologists involved… we would have done it years ago! Really! The doctors looked into it… seriously and really in depth. The science just didn’t work. The shelf life wasn’t long enough (only 6 months from date of manufacture), which just didn’t meet the goals of MD’s Choice. The customers deserve more, as do the resellers. Veterinarians and stores expect as much shelf life as possible. When products have a potential 30 day supply in a single container, add in the time on the store shelf, the time before it made it to the store, the shipping time from the manufacturer… liquid just didn’t make the cut.

Natural Herbs are awesome & safe

Herbs are plant derived drugs. And when used correctly, and conservatively, they have their place… but at no point do the vast majority of herbs often found in joint or digestive supplements belong in a daily supplement intended for prolonged use. The side effects, negatives, and contra indications are so much higher with over use. Check out the web site: “HerbsAreDrugs.com” for more information.


There are two different ways that the amount of minerals (such as calcium or iron) are listed on bottles:

  1. In the combined form (no mineral can be delivered to a body in its pure form), which has the name of the mineral and the name of whatever it is combined with listed after the name of the mineral.
  2. The elemental form (the actual amount of the mineral minus whatever it is combined with).


You ALWAYS want and need to know what the elemental amount (real amount of the minerals) that you will be using.

How do you tell the difference? Well, if the company is dishonest, it is nearly impossible. However, based on the March 1999 FDA labeling regulations, all nutritional supplements are suppose to designate the difference between the two forms.

However, this can still be very challenging, and not obvious. Some would say it’s ‘semantics’ – most would say it’s ‘marketing spin’ (part truths, claimed as full absolutes). Frankly, MD’s Choice believes strongly that all should be mandated to use ELEMENTAL NUMBERS (including those in the FDA)… and that some combinations of nutrients should be banned from making any type of usefulness claim (particularly when there are a lot of peer reviewed quality studies, such as the GAIT Study, that proves contrary to the claims those companies make).

Here are some examples that might help you learn how to tell the difference between the two (I’ll use ‘calcium’ for this example, as it’s one of the most common):

    1. Combined Form – “Calcium Carbonate…..500mg”. Only about 50mg is actually the calcium, approximately 10% of the carbonate version.
    2. Elemental Form – “Calcium (as carbonate)…..500mg”. There is actually 500mg of calcium, but it took about 5,000mg of the carbonate to get that elemental amount.
    3. Not Specified – In the Supplement Facts box it merely says “Calcium” with nothing but numbers after the name, yet, in the “Other Ingredients” (listed at the bottom of the facts box), it says “Calcium _______” (fill in the blank with the combined form of calcium that supplement uses, and potentially even a few different forms of calcium). In this situation, you really can’t tell how much calcium is in the product. Odds are that they listed the total combined amount. In any new nutritional supplement, this violated the March ’99 FDA label regulations, but there are still some companies that do exactly that.


The differences are subtle, and, until it was pointed out to me, I would have never understood the real world meaning of these different nutritional ‘semantics.’ Sure, I may have noticed the differences in a label comparison, but I thought it was just a “style thing” different companies did, maybe even something done to ‘save space’ on the label. NOPE! It’s important and something you, as a consumer, really need to pay attention to. Not only is it a real FDA regulation, it is also a quick way to tell just how little some ‘supplement’ company knows about nutrition (or really cares about the users of their products).

ALL science based companies employ the specific designation of ELEMENTAL AMOUNTS to express the forms of ingredients used in their products, because they know FORM IS IMPORTANT! Knowing the form is vital to any calculations for ratios and balances. Without knowing the form, a person can NOT figure out the actual (elemental) amount of a given ingredient in a product, making it impossible to approximate the amount of the actual mineral that is available to your body for actual use. Therefore, without knowing the form, it is impossible to make a very educated decisions and ensure that body is getting enough of the specific mineral (or, not too much, in some cases) that it needs to maintain optimum health, or heal when and where possible.

It is impossible for more than 250mg of elemental calcium to be in a single capsule or even compressed tablet that can be swallowed by a normal human being (not counting chewable tablets). This means that all those 500mg (or higher) compressed calcium tablets on the market are really NOT supplying much calcium, yet there are a pile of ‘one tablet a day’ type products out there claiming they do, can, are… THEY ARE FIBBING!

Nutrient FORM (type) MATTERS

Looking at the TYPE (forms) of nutrients a company uses in their products is another keen indicator of their priorities.

It is physically impossible for a nutritional supplement to deliver a ‘pure’ mineral. It MUST BE COMBINED with something (it’s ‘form’ or ‘type’). For the sake of this example, I’m going to use ‘Calcium’ since it is one of the most commonly seen, usually abused, and often completely misunderstood.

It’s necessary to understand there are many different forms (17 actually, but here are 13 of the most common forms):

  • Calcium Carbonate – This type of calcium supplement is the least expensive (cheapest) and most commonly used calcium supplement. Calcium carbonate is an alkaline-based compound found in rocks, limestone, shells of marine animals, pearls, eggshells and snails. It is not high in bioavailability.
  • Calcium Carbonate (Marine) – aka ‘Coral Calcium’ – is laughable, in that it’s been illegal to harvest ‘coral’ for decades. Most ‘sand’ is limestone.  Not bio-available.
  • Oyster Shell, Bone Meal & Dolomite Calcium – very difficult to find good quality control, often found to show unacceptable levels of heavy metals. In general, these “natural forms” of calcium should be avoided.
  • Calcium ascorbate – Not easily absorbed.
  • Calcium Citrate Malate – The water-soluble form of calcium. It is created through mixing the calcium salt found in citric acid with malic acid.
  • Calcium Lactate – This is the form of calcium found in foods such as aged cheese and baking powder. This form is often added to fruits to keep them firm, and to extend shelf life. It has a medium bioavailability.
  • Calcium Phosphate – This is the main form coming from cow’s milk. Tooth enamel and bones are very high in calcium phosphate (although supplemental forms have not shown to be readily bioavailable). This type of calcium supplement is the least likely to cause constipation.
  • MCHC Calcium – Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite (MCHC) is derived from animal bones. Its amino acid content varies depending on how it’s processed,
  • Calcium Citrate – is readily absorbable, and a good choice; especially for people with low stomach acid.
  • Calcium Gluconate – aka Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, and Calcium Gluconate are forms of calcium with a lot of “bioavailability” promotion in marketing ads, but very low levels of actual calcium in each supplement tablet.
  • Calcium Orotate – Created through the use of the mineral salts of orotic acid. Calcium orotates are found in small amounts in all living beings. It is a primary mineral for the creation of bones and teeth, and fosters cellular communications. Plants and animals use orotates to create DNA and RNA.
  • Calcium Amino Acid Chelate – highly bio-available, up to 98%, but quite expensive, and often cost prohibitive, compared to the other options.
  • Calcium Citrate Chelate – highly bio-available, usually 90 to 95% bio-available, and considered one of the best values among quality supplements.

**** However, regardless of the form of calcium, there are certain factors proven to also be required for optimum use and absorption:

However, the next most important factor I learned was that calcium requires stomach acid to be freed (on the molecular level) in order to even be used by the body, especially when in a tablet or capsule form. So, when a company combines calcium with an antacid (like Tums® has done), the benefit is the antacid, NOT the calcium! Sure, there is calcium (carbonate) in those chewable tablets, but there is also ANTACID which reduces the acid levels in the stomach (raising the Ph level) and making it very difficult (if not impossible) to break down any nutrients, much less the calcium. Talk about defying logic and marketing misinformation! There are some prenatal products and osteoporosis advertisements that actually suggest that a pregnant woman should take Tums® for its calcium content. At least one prenatal formula actually includes a roll of Tums® (stating the roll is included for CALCIUM content). Science has proven this, yet many companies either are unaware of these findings or choose to completely disregard them.

In general, a stomach acid (Ph level of 4 or less) is advised for optimum nutrient break down and absorption.

Vitamin D (which is usually obtained from sun light if a person gets at least 15 minutes a week on the skin).

Then there are the other co-factors (co-operative nutrients) that enhance Calcium’s absorption and use within the body: Magnesium, Boron, Zinc (of course, the amino acid chelate versions of those are the most bio-available). 

The combination of those factors make calcium (especially in supplements) used the most efficiently.

Any metallic mineral that is combined with “oxide” is only slightly more useful to your body than licking the side of a rusty metal building! Of course, though the lick is free, it may include other unidentifiable objects, so it really wouldn’t be advisable. So, when a company puts iron oxide in their product, they are actually putting RUST in there. How does that make you feel? There is a lot of scientific evidence that has shown that less than 10% of any mineral in an oxide form is actually usable to the human body. Example: 10mg of iron oxide only contains about 1mg of actual Iron, and only a fractional amount of it can be used by the body.

In the nutritional supplement world, it is truly a “Buyer Beware” and you better try to educate yourself, and seek facts or you are going to be wasting money trying to solve problems or maintain health with products that just aren’t doing the job, not to mention the fact that you might actually harm your health because you’re not really giving it the nutrients it needs!

See Why Supplement?