Are All Supplements Created Equal?

OK, so you take your vitamins. Good for you! You are in the two thirds majority of educated people who know supplements are necessary to bridge the nutritional gap in a healthy diet. So how do you choose which ones to buy?

Are all supplements created equal? Is it OK to sell your health to the lowest bidder and pick up the cheapest bottle? Isn’t it good enough to take one a day?

This is the fourth in  a series of posts debunking the mythology and stigma around taking nutritional supplements. Our source is an edited version of a powerful little booklet that got my attention many years ago. Robert G. Allen’s, “Your Health Is In Danger!” is a provocative title, for a reason. It is a wake up call to not lose the battle for optimal health by accepting old out dated myths about supplementation.

In this post, we will look at the fourth myth.

Myth #4. All nutritional supplements are the same.

When I began my research, I had no idea that there was such a vast difference between brands of nutritional supplements. I just thought a vitamin is a vitamin is a vitamin. Most people also believe that all vitamin brands are the same. Not true!

Sadly all vitamins are NOT created equal. There are some NOT- SO -GOOD manufacturers out there. They like to cut corners and this leads to two main problems: False Labeling and Contamination.

In choosing nutritional supplements, you must check if they contain the right ingredients, in the right amounts, in the right balance.

The Right Ingredients, in the Right Amounts, in the Right Balance.

Does your vitamin/mineral supplement contain the right ingredients? Examine the fine print on the side of the bottle. Does it contain all of the most powerful antioxidants? Does it include all of the most essential minerals? Is it really complete?

In the powerful book, “The New Super Nutrition“, respected authority Dr. Richard Passwater, makes some very specific recommendations about what supplements you should be taking to achieve optimum health. Dr. Passwater confirms that many popular products are clearly deficient in several of the ingredients that he feels are essential for optimum nutrition. Comparisons of ingredient quantities demonstrate that some products are obviously better than others. How does your nutritional supplement compare? Are you missing many of the right ingredients?
You’ll have your chance in this report to do a comparison check with your current supplement.

While product comparisons clearly show which ingredients are missing, they don’t tell you anything about the quality of the ingredients in each product. Many people are unaware of the vast difference between the qualities of vitamins and minerals. In order to compete on price, many of the supplement makers use the cheapest kinds of ingredients possible without regard to whether or not these ingredients are actually being absorbed by your body. You might swallow the pills but are the ingredients actually being absorbed into your blood stream and from there into your cells? Laboratory tests prove that many products flow right through your system and right into the toilet, untouched. Instead of protecting you from chronic degenerative disease, they do absolutely nothing. This not only wastes your money, but your life.

How can you be sure that your vitamins and minerals are being absorbed properly?

Research has proven that when minerals are treated through a special process called chelation (pronounced key-lay-shun) they are on the average three to ten times more absorbable than minerals found in cheap brands. The process of chelating a mineral increases the cost of the ingredient. But this increased cost is well worth the investment because it insures that the minerals are available to your cells.

Let me give you one specific example. Getting enough of the mineral chromium is absolutely essential to your life. Deficiencies of chromium can eventually lead to diabetes and heart disease. Yet, most inexpensive supplements use a cheap and poorly absorbable form of chromium called chromium chloride. One researcher, Dr. John MacDonald, says you get about as much chromium from cheap brands as you would by licking the bumper on your car. But research has shown that when chromium is chelated into the patented form called Chromium Picolinate, it is 3 to 10 times more bioavailable. The extra cost is well worth it. That’s why you can’t buy vitamins on price alone. Better make sure that the minerals in your supplements are “chelated.”

How about the right amounts? Does it contain enough of each ingredient?

Nutritional supplements can be divided into two major camps: cheap grocery store brands which are patterned after the US Government Recommended Dietary Allowances or RDA. The second group of vitamin supplements contain many times the amount of the RDA of each nutrient. These more advanced supplements are based upon the latest research which proves that much higher dosages of vitamins and minerals are necessary to protect us and maintain optimal health.

According to Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the creator of the jogging craze in the seventies from his book, “The Antioxidant Revolution”,

“There was a time when I joined most other mainstream physicians who opposed taking vitamin supplements in any amounts, much less in relatively large doses. Along with the majority of the medical establishment, I believed that you could get all the vitamins and minerals you needed through your daily diet. But my research into free radicals and antioxidants has forced me to change my thinking–as well as my personal health habits. Today, I take a daily “antioxidant cocktail”, a minimum multivitamin combination of 400 IU of vitamin E; 1000 mg. of vitamin C; and 25,000 IU of beta carotene. Furthermore, when I am scheduled for a heavy physical workout or for some other situation that I know will produce oxidative stress, I increase those amounts accordingly. The latest research shows that to build strong protection against free radicals, you need to take in far larger amounts of antioxidants than the official Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) provides…You simply cannot get enough vitamin(s) from the foods you eat.”

Now, let’s look at a popular brand, perhaps the most advertised brand of vitamins on T.V. The label says that it contains the “Complete Antioxidant Group.” What’s that supposed to make you think? That it meets your complete needs right? Now, let’s compare what’s in this brand to the optimum amounts that Dr. Cooper feels are necessary to fight oxidative stress, and protect our cells.

                           Popular TV brand                   Dr. Cooper

Vitamin C                    60mg                                    1,000mg

16 times more than Popular TV brand

Vitamin E                      30IU                                    400IU

13 times more than Popular TV brand

Beta Carotene            2,500IU                               25,000IU

10 times more than Popular TV brand

I’m not trying to single out this TV brand. It’s the same with almost every brand on your supermarket shelves. Almost all of them pattern their formulas based upon the RDA…the government Recommended Dietary Allowance. What is the RDA? It is the amount necessary to avoid deficiency diseases like scurvy and beriberi.

When someone tells me they’re taking one of these cheap grocery store vitamins, I say, “Good for you. Now we know you aren’t going to die of scurvy.” Do you know of anyone who has died of scurvy lately? As for me, I’m not trying to avoid scurvy. I’m trying to avoid cancer or heart disease. And according to Dr. Passwater and most experts on the subject, this requires much higher doses of vitamins and minerals. When it comes to optimum nutrition and protection from deadly disease, quite frankly, most nutritional supplements are woefully inadequate.

Now finally, the vitamins and minerals have to be properly balanced.

It’s essential to have the right ratios of ingredients to each other. For instance, we’ve all heard how we need extra calcium to avoid Osteoporosis. Hearing this, people run to the store and buy large bottles of calcium pills….or swallow large quantities of Tums tablets without knowing that if calcium isn’t properly balanced with magnesium, vitamin D and boron in the right ratios to each other, it doesn’t work! Your bones are still being leeched away and flushed down the drain with your money.

So, remember, it’s important to have the right ingredients, in the right amounts, in the right balance. Using this as a guideline, be extremely careful of all the new hot sizzle products rampaging around the country today. Liquid colloidal minerals, blue/green algae from a swamp somewhere, and exotic juice with mysterious ingredients, may have some value, but will they protect you in your fight against chronic degenerative disease? Would you bet your life on it? See if they contain the 13 vitamins and 22 minerals that your body NEEDS to fight deadly disease every day. There is a lot of confusion that exists in the nutritional supplement world. There are thousands of “miracle” nutritional products on the market, but when you look at the fine print on the labels, they rarely contain the right ingredients in the right amounts in the right balance.

Since nutritional supplements are not regulated by the government, almost anyone can start up a company in their garage. As a result, all kinds of junk is marketed to an unsuspecting public. Hundreds of nutritional supplements being marketed today are scientifically flawed. They don’t work!

Does your nutritional supplements really work? Are you sure? Are you willing to bet your life on it?

Do you really want optimum health? Do you really want maximum protection from chronic degenerative disease? It will require that you take more than just one pill a day — and this may cost you more than the 25 cents a day you’re used to paying for inexpensive but ineffective store bought vitamins. In order to get the right ingredients in the right amounts in the right balance, you may need to spend a dollar or two a day for this kind of protection.

Which leads us to the next myth and the next post.

Myth #5. Vitamins are too expensive!

Be Well,

Ken Waite

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