Why The Vitamins And Supplements In Your Cupboard May Be
Doing You More Harm Than Good And How You Can Find Out.
In my last article I shared some extremely important information with regards to breast cancer, Vitamin D and Fish Oils. Each of these substances can have an ENORMOUS impact on both the risk of developing cancer as well as affecting the recovery of someone who has developed the disease.
You may recall that Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all, but rather a hormone that can literally control over 2700 genes. Also, it is important to know that not all omega-3 oils are the same and it is actually the oils called EPA & DHA that are found in fish oils that have the most profound health benefits of omega-3 oils.
The bottom line is that reaching adequate levels of both vitamin-D as well as the beneficial omega-3 oils in fish oil can impact your health both now and in the future in very dramatic ways.
“Well Doc, I take my vitamins and supplements almost every day so I’m good, right?”
How can I say that with such confidence?
Because I know some dirty little secrets about the supplement industry that I will bet you don’t, AND I will bet that not even your doctor knows about them either!
What EXACTLY am I saying?
In a nut shell, what these “dirty little secrets” of the vitamin and supplement industry mean to you is that what you THINK you are paying for and getting in your vitamin and supplement and what you are ACTUALLY getting may be worlds apart. In other words you may not only be getting TOTALLY ripped-off but you may be consuming some potentially very bad chemicals.
How can this be?
Because what the label on your vitamin bottle SAYS is in the pills or capsules doesn’t even have to actually be in the pill or capsule!
What this means is that you and a lot of other people are buying and consuming vitamins and supplements that may not even contain what the label says it contains and so the health benefits you think you are getting…you may not be getting at all!
Want to know the REALLY scary part?
By taking these supplements you may actually be ingesting a whole bunch of chemicals that have actually been proven to be damaging to your health!
So, by taking something you THINK is doing you good may actually NOT be doing you any good at all AND, may be damaging you instead!
“But how can this be? How can they sell it if it’s not any good?”
“I mean, isn’t someone watching this stuff?”
The short answer is…No, nobody is watching this stuff.
The long answer is…de-regulation of the supplement industry in 1994 meant that basically the only thing a company selling a supplement had to make sure of was that they didn’t claim a “cure” for anything.
Aside from that manufacturers and sellers of vitamins and supplements can put just about anything they want to on their labels which means it is…
Now, before we throw the baby out with the bathwater let’s take a step back and remind ourselves of something; there are literally thousands of studies backed by decades of research and the latest advances in science that show an ENORMOUS beneficial impact certain supplements can have on our health.
Vitamin D and fish oils are two of the most researched and most impactful in terms of health benefits. However, it takes an educated consumer to make an educated decision about buying supplements to make certain that you not only get your money’s worth but, to make certain you aren’t taking something that can potentially be harmful.
Welcome to “Nutritional Supplement Education 101”
There are three basic pieces of information you want to obtain about your supplement before you make the purchase. I will first tell you what they are and then explain to you what each means.
The 3 “Insider-Secrets” To Buying A Supplement:
- Label Claim to Content Match
- Dissolution Curve
- Contaminants, Impurities, Microbes
Label Claim To Content Match:
This refers to how accurately what the label claims is in each capsule or pill or drop actually is in each capsule, pill or drop. In other words if a label on a bottle says that each capsule contains 500 mg of Vitamin C, that does not necessarily mean there is actually 500 mg of vitamin C in each capsule. There could be more or there could be less. Way less sometimes. In fact a study done on Glucosamine supplements looked at over a dozen different brands and compared what the label CLAIMED was in each capsule and what ACTUALLY was in each capsule.
The results of the study were alarming to say the least. What the results showed was that MOST ALL of the brands had far less of the effective ingredient in the capsule than the label actually claimed was there.
Some actually had much less than 50% of what was actually claimed on the label!
These weren’t just the really cheap “off-label” brands either. I’m talking well known and expensive supplements that people were spending BILLIONS of dollars on each year and, what they were actually getting was MUCH less than what was claimed on the label.
The sad part about it is that these findings were just the tip of the iceberg which means that the vitamin and supplement industry as a whole is guilty of the same shenanigans!
In short, you cannot trust what the label on your supplement bottle states is in each dosage.
This is a fancy way of saying “does the pill dissolve in time for your body to actually absorb the useful materials?”
Believe it or not but in our clinic when we need to take an x-ray of a patient’s low back, we very often times see lots of pills that are in the person’s colon and, shall we say, “On their way out”.
That is, ready to go down the toilet, literally.
It is not uncommon at all for pills to be produced in such a way that they are compressed so tightly and then coated with a covering that makes them easy to swallow but, the body is unable to even dissolve them. So, they move on down the line without so much as a chance of any of the good stuff being absorbed by the body. This is truly a case of flushing money down the toilet.
Contaminants, Impurities and Microbes:
Strange as it seems, but your supplement may actually contain so much BAD stuff that it makes any of the good stuff that might actually be in them a complete waste.
Toxic chemicals residues, binders and fillers and even bacteria can be present in supplements without you knowing at all about their presence. Often times the chemicals used in production are petroleum based. You know…OIL…GROSS!
And, many of those residues actually follow the pill all the way into YOU!
As if that isn’t bad enough, some of the substances in synthetically made vitamins (those NOT from actual foods) have been proven to be carcinogenic! Yes, that means linked to causing cancer.
So, what does all this mean?
Well, in a nut shell the information on the labels of nearly all supplements are really worthless and it is up to an educated consumer to know how and what to buy and…NOT buy.
“So, how exactly do I find out about the supplement I am taking?”
The answer is something called an independent third-party assay.
That is a fancy way of saying that somebody OTHER THAN the company selling the product takes a FINISHED pill or capsule out of the bottle and tests it for those three things discussed above.
Literally, a company will take the finished product, that is, an actual bottle of the supplement just like you would buy and does a series of tests on it. They look specifically for whether or not the right amounts are present, if the body can absorb it and if there are bad things there as well.
You can obtain this by contacting the supplement company and asking them for a copy of a “Third Party Assay” on the supplement. If they don’t have any idea about what you are speaking, then it’s time you consider changing whom you get your supplements from.
We research this all the time in our clinic for patients. Literally every day a patient will bring in a supplement they or a family member have been taking and ask us to research it and find out if this “assay-thing” is available.
The sad part is that less than 5% of the ones we contact even know what we are talking about. That means that they simply do not care enough about what they are selling to folks to have it tested. And THAT means that NOBODY should be consuming them!
Unfortunately with hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth sold every year it’s not likely to change anytime soon.
Look, the truth is, there are a handful of supplements that are absolutely required for optimal health and wellness of us all. Vitamin D and Fish-Oils are two of the most potent AND most important. But, you need to make sure that what you and your loved ones are putting in your body is moving you closer to health and not farther from it. So, get those supplements checked!
It’s Your Health, Fight For It!
Mason Orth, DC
HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab & Wellness
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” Romans 12:2