Here is some news that will shock you. Approximately 90% of supplements sold on the shelves of health food stores, drug stores and supermarkets contain vitamins that are literally ground up rocks or mineral salts.
There are a lot of people with expensive urine today because they aren’t absorbing the vitamins they are taking!
Not all vitamins are created equal, and they will effect your body in a different way. There are several different types of calcium including: calcium citrate, calcium malate, calcium carbonate, and calcium chelate, just to name a few.
Companies can extract calcium from green vegetables, cultured dairy, or by grinding up limestone and taking the minerals from there. The same minerals that cause scum to build up in your shower is what you may be consuming in many supplements today.
This is a picture of scum in a shower similar to the scum that is building up in arteries from synthetic vitamins some people are taking.
Most nutritional suppliers will spend pennies on their products and millions on marketing claiming to give you the best, when in fact they’re giving you something that could actually damage your long-term health.
For instance, new evidence is coming to light that not only do calcium supplements do very little to protect bones, these supplements are now being shown to actually increase the risk for heart attacks.
In a new study out of the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom and Dartmouth University in the United States researchers have found that people taking calcium supplements have a 20-30% increased risk of heart attack. 1
Now not all calcium compounds would cause this but 70% of calcium in nutritional supplements today is calcium carbonate that is take from finely ground limestone rock. Only 5 to 30% of calcium carbonate is actually absorbed by the body so the extra calcium is excreted or can bind to plaque in your arteries causing “calcification” of your arteries increasing your risk of a stroke or heart attack. 2
Your body knows just what to do with the calcium from cabbage, spinach, and raw cheese, but not from synthetic man-made sources.
Vitamin C Scam
Another mind blowing vitamin that is almost always fake is Vitamin C. Most “vitamin C” in supplements today is ascorbic acid. This man made chemical is not found in lemons, broccoli, or anywhere else in nature.
Ascorbic acid is created by applying high heat, pressure, and chemicals to sugar (glucose) extracted from corn starch, which turns the sugar into ascorbic acid. This isn’t the same thing as eating an orange! Since Ascorbic acid is a chemical it isn’t absorbed or utilized the same way as food.
Over 90% of the ascorbic acid in North America is manufactured in Nutley, New Jersey and is owned by Hoffman-LaRouche a massive drug manufacturer. Each company then gets this ascorbic acid and makes their own claims and marketing ploys.
Dr. Timothy O’Shea says Ascorbic acid isn’t in fact vitamin C. He also states that ascorbic acid will damage the lining of your digestive tract.
Research published in The Lancet states, “Whole food vitamin C as found in onions and citrus fruits is able to quickly cure any case of scurvy. By contrast, the fractionated chemical ascorbic acid has been shown to be insufficient in resolving a scurvy condition, simply because it does not act as a nutrient.” 3
Pharmacological Grade Vitamins
These man-made vitamins we are talking about can be termed “USP” which stand for United States Pharmacopoeia. Many medically based nutritional companies will boast that their products are pharmaceutical grade which means they are highly processed and not found in nature.
So how is it that some people who take synthetic vitamins can sometimes at first notice a health improvement? In some instances your body can find a way to utilize a small amount of the nutrient but the problem is these vitamins aren’t really vitamins. They will effect your body more like a mild drug where you might notice a small improvement initially but long term it will actually have a negative side effect on your health.
According to Dr. DeCava, “You can take a synthetic form of vitamin B1 like Thiamine Mononitrate and initially it can improve fatigue. But it will eventually cause fatigue because of a buildup of pyruvic acid which leads to a vicious cycle of you thinking you need more thiamine and your problems continue to get worse.”
A few other labels you must be weary of are “Organic” and “Food Based”. Even though some of the companies with these labels produce REAL quality vitamins many of them don’t. What some of the companies will do is create their own man made vitamins and then add in soy or alfalfa that are organic then call it whole food based or organic.
But in general, most supplements with an Organic Seal and that have foods and herbs as ingredients are of much higher quality.
According to health pioneer Royal Lee, “Vitamins are not individual molecular compounds. Vitamins are biological complexes. They are multi-step biochemical interactions that are dependent upon each other. Vitamins working properly happens when all co-factors and components are working together.” 4
For an example of this let’s take a look again at calcium. In order for calcium to be utilized by your body you also need:
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin K2
So taking an synthetic isolated calcium supplement is not the same as taking a synergistic calcium complex or consuming raw cheese which has all of the above nutrients.
How Real Vitamins are created
When you plant spinach in the earth it’s roots grow down into the soil and rocks. The roots pull minerals like magnesium out of the earth and transform that undigestible mineral into a form of magnesium our body can utilize. This is the natural circle of life that goes from soil to plant to nourish our body.
In order for a nutritional company to create a high quality vitamin or mineral they must bring the nutrient through the same process.
For instance, good magnesium today is produced by mixing the mineral with plants high in magnesium and feeding it to live yeast organisms or live lactobacillus cultures. This is very similar to how we would make yogurt, kefir, or cultured veggies today. By doing this the minerals become part of the plant then can be ground into a powder and packed as a quality whole food based supplement.
Getting more specific if you want a high quality vitamin C you will mix a food based vitamin C in a complex of citrus fruits, acerola cherry, kiwi, broccoli and other vitamin C rich foods then ferment the compounds to create a high concentration of vitamin C that is in the very same form found in nature.
Steps for finding a good brand of supplements
If you want to find a good quality brand, you need to be a researcher and label reader. Look for these 5 things when shopping for your vitamins:
Find the “food source” on the product label. For instance, if you want a good vitamin C then look for the food forms like lemon, acerola cherry, bell peppers, and kale.
Look for Enzymes and Probiotics on the label.
Consider price. You typically pay more when buying quality. It’s pretty inexpensive to pulverize rocks and put it in a pill form.
Look for the Organic seal or other whole food based certifications.
If a vitamin is in it’s dl- or D- form, that means it’s synthetic. Here’s a common list of synthetic vitamins to try and avoid:
- Vitamin A: Acetate and Palmitate
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
- Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
- Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
- Calcium: Calcium Carbonate
- Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
- Biotin: d-Biotin
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
- Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol
- Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate 24
Here is an example of what you’re looking for in a product:
Here is an example of what NOT to take:
Supplements can be a tremendous benefit to your health if it’s the right type of supplement. And remember your best source of vitamins are always going to be whole foods like vegetables, herbs, fruit, nuts, seeds, raw pastured dairy, and organic meat.
Bolland MJ ,Avenell A ,Baron JA ,Grey A ,MacLennan GS ,Gamble GD ,et al. Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis. BMJ 2010;341:c3691
Gueguen L, Pointillart M, Pointillart A, . The bioavailability of dietary calcium. Journal of the American College of Nutrition.2000;19(90002):199S-136S
The Doctor Within. Natural whole food vitamins: Ascorbic acid is not vitamin C. http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/vitaminc/ascorbic-acid-is-not-vitamin-c/ (accessed 2 June 13).
Lee, Royal. “What is a Vitamin?” Applied Trophology 1956.
DeCava, Judith. The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants 1996.