Our patients are very committed to taking excellent care of themselves and in that regard; I get asked a lot of questions about the best way to stay healthy.
Recently, with the realization that our food supply is coming up short for the nutritional content, individuals are concerned about the contents of the vitamin and mineral supplements they are purchasing. One question I get a lot is, “Is this all natural brand the best? “
If you are eating a wholesome diet composed of raw fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, wild caught fish and raw dairy from reliable sources, then you may have little need for a multivitamin.
Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, you may find it impractical or impossible to eat right one hundred percent of the time.
While I can’t endorse the practice of sloppy eating, a sedentary lifestyle and taking a supplement to cover for reckless lifestyle choices, it is true that a good multivitamin benefits your optimal health by helping promote your strong immune system. When it’s providing the highest quality nutrients available it’s also providing support for defense against a growing number of health concerns.
Is natural really natural?
First of all, In the United States, pre-packaged foods loaded with artificial ingredients and chemicals can make it onto grocery store shelves boasting the label “natural.” Why? Because in America, there is no definition of “natural.”
Take for example, a popular pink lemonade powered drink mix. Its maker labels it a ‘natural’ product when, in fact, it contains artificial sweeteners, colors, a texturizer called maltodextrin*, soy lecithin* and a synthetic preservative called butylated hydroxyanisole. Believe it or not, now and then my patients ask me whether this mix could serve as a substitute for water, which the cells need for our body to be healthy!
You be the judge. How would you answer that question?
Are Vitamins Really Natural?
Vitamin supplements are manufactured products. The way these compounds are manufactured is not remotely similar to the natural metabolic processes that plants, gut microbes (probiotics) and animals use to create them.
The finished product is a compound that’s not exactly the same form as the same vitamin as any found in nature. Hence, they qualify to be called synthetic vitamins, no matter what they call the product on the label!
What’s the difference between synthetic vitamins and natural vitamin forms?
These synthetic vitamins, according to studies:
*Are not as bioavailable, absorbable, or usable
*Are not found in natural foods
*Are not recognizable to the body
*Are hard on the kidneys, and can often be treated as toxins
Viva La Difference!
Let’s have a little chemistry lesson for the fun of it and see how unnatural, “natural” really is.
According to Charlie Pulsipher of Sun Warrior News, the synthetic process compares like this:
Natural – Vitamin A shows up in food as beta-carotene. The body must convert it into vitamin A to be useful. While this sounds inefficient, vitamin A can be toxic in large doses. Beta-carotene allows the body to convert what it needs and discard what it does not as a natural safeguard against damage.
Synthetic Vitamin A – Synthetic vitamin A is retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate. This synthetic is made from combining fish or palm oil with beta-ionone. Beta-ionone is created using citrus, acetone, and calcium oxide.
Natural – Like B1, pyridoxine is bound with phosphate in plants to make pyridoxal-phosphate. This is the biologically active form. Any other form of B6 must be converted into this phosphate combination before our body can use it.
Synthetic – Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine hydrochloride comes from petroleum ester, hydrochloric acid, and formaldehyde. It isn’t readily absorbed or converted and has been shown to actually inhibit the action of natural B6 in the body. It also has side effects not normally found with natural food sources of this vitamin.
Natural – Cobalamin B12 is only created by micro-organisms like the bacteria that grow in soil and our intestines, as well as some micro-algae and perhaps some seaweed species.
Synthetic – Cobalt and cyanide are fermented to make cyanocobalamin. That’s correct. Cyanide. Even though it is in minuscule amounts, it is still cyanide.
A look at a popular multivitamin
Now let’s take a look at the contents of a popular multi-vitamin.
This is a once-daily vitamin that boasts of being a multivitamin specifically for women. It lists 11 vitamins, including Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6. There are also 8 minerals.
Notice the product actually has less than what the body really needs according to much research.
*Vitamin D3 – serving 1000 IU. The Vitamin D3 dose standard established 5 years ago is 5,000 IU a day.
*Vitamin C – serving 60 mg; established amount is 500 mg a day
*Vitamin B6 – serving 2 mg; established amount is 100 mg a day.
*Calcium – serving 500 mg; established 500mg 2 x a day
There are four main problems with synthetic vitamins…
*Nature intended for you to consume food in WHOLE form because all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes are together in one package. They work synergistically to give your body the nutrition it requires for optimal health.
*Your body only absorbs a small percentage of an isolate form of vitamins and minerals – and it utilizes even less. You get the best bioavailability in whole food form.
*Synthetic vitamins often give you massive quantities of some nutrients (usually the most inexpensive ones) and insufficient quantities of others, so they are not balanced.
*You can experience side effects of synthetic isolates from the additives and the unnatural state of the synthetic supplement.
Could The Synthetic Isolates Harm Your Body?
Looking at the 33 other ingredients; some of which are harmful to the body, leaves no question as to why synthetic vitamins are some times called a chemical cocktail. I believe these chemicals put the consumer at risk for allergic and other reactions. Let’s check on a few of them:
The non-active ingredients in a once-daily vitamin
Calcium Carbonate – This is the least absorbable form of calcium on the market. A very small percentage is actually absorbed.
Ferrous Fumarate – This form of iron is incredibly constipating.
Pregelatinized Corn Starch – This is used as a binder to hold all of the ingredients together. It’s most likely a genetically modified corn, which presents a number of problems for sensitive people.
DL-Alpha Tocopherol – This is vitamin E and they are using two forms. The “D” form, which is natural and the “L” Form, which is synthetic. The “L” form is used to “water-down” the more expensive more bioactive “D” form.
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHT) – This has been shown to be toxic to the liver, thyroid, kidney, lungs, and affecting blood coagulation. BHT can act as a tumour promoter.
FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake – Why is there food coloring in a health supplement?
Gelatin – Vegetarians watch out!
Hydrogenated Palm Oil – Hydrogenating any oil turns the oil rancid and makes it into a strong free radical. Free radicals promote cancer and heart disease.
Sodium Benzoate – This preservative may cause organ toxicity.
Talc – This ingredient has been shown to cause cancer.
Sodium Aluminosilicate – This food additive is used for its anti-caking effect
What Should The Consumer Do?
One of my rules when shopping for nutritional supplements is to never buy supplements in a drug store. Our example once-daily vitamin is only available in drug stores and is advertised as the “#1-recommended doctor multivitamin.”
The problem with that statement is that most doctors receive just a few hours of nutrition training! Dr. Andrews is certified in Clinical Nutrition and Supplementation through the Nutrametrix Educational Institute. She uses stringent criteria to bring you the very best nutritional supplements, including weight loss systems.
Some of these include:
*Minimal, preferably no, additives or synthetic nutrients – The products should contain nutrients from whole food.
*Must be produced by highly reputable companies, like PureTrim, Nutrametrix, Morinda, Market America and Tropical Traditions with the highest-quality control manufacturing practices in place.
*Must go beyond RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) and RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) guidelines because those amounts define the lower limits of daily nutrient intake.
*Must include the added bonus of essential minerals – Minerals add their unique layer of nutritional support.
Don’t Settle for Inferior Quality Multivitamins
When it comes to a multi-vitamin I recommend purchasing them from in our office or on line at www.pepsolutions.com/shop. See for yourself and commit to consuming only the best nutrients for optimal health.
One of our top sellers is our Isotonix Multi-Mineral which provides 14 essential multi-minerals that support your body, water regulation, electrolyte balance, muscle and nerve function and more.
Essential minerals like those found in Isotonix Multi-Mineral work together with vitamins, making the combination of a multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement important for supporting overall health.
So, are you getting the picture? I am happy to say that each of the vitamins and minerals we offer you are non-GMO and are structured to be dissolved and delivered to our cells very soon after they are consumed.