Many people understand the need for a healthier lifestyle. Many of us are trying to eat better, exercise and take vitamins to fill in the nutritional gaps in our diets. Unfortunately, you may not realize what you are really buying, unless you are reading every label. The fact is most vitamins sold in department and grocery stores are vitamins in synthetic forms with a long list of unhealthy and toxic ingredients. Some ingredients are healthy sounding and may seem harmless, but do you really know what is, or how it was manufactured? For example vitamin E in its natural form is effective against aging, oxidative stress, restless leg syndrome, diabetes, cataracts and a host of other ills. Vitamin E in its synthetic form is petro chemically derived and is capable of causing endocrine disruption. Magnesium stearate has been shown to cause kidney stones and liver abnormalities. An additional issue with magnesium stearate is that it is often found as a combined product of stearic acid. Since it is made by hydrogenating cottonseed or palm oil, you risk consuming pesticide residue, since cottonseed oil has the highest content of pesticide residue of all commercially produced oils.
Common fillers in supplements
BHT– This fat soluble compound is used in jet fuels, rubber, petroleum products and embalming fluid. Research has linked BHT to bladder cancer, DNA damage, gastric and lung cancer.
Boric acid-This chemical is used as an antiseptic, insecticide and flame retardant. It is also connected to DNA damage.
Synthetic vitamin A-Petro chemically derived product capable of causing birth defects.
Cupric sulfate– This is used as an herbicide, fungicide and pesticide. Very irritating if ingested.
Stearic acid-Is a white waxy natural fatty acid found in some vegetables and animal fats. It is a major ingredient in soaps and lubricants. If prepared synthetically by hydrogenation of cottonseed and other oils, it contains pesticide residue. It is added as a lubricant and to hold tablets together.
Maltodextrin-This sugar is obtained by hydrolysis of starch. Used to add texture and as a flavor enhancer.
Modified maize starch-This filler is a derivative of corn that has been chemically altered to dissolve quickly and serves as a thickener. Most corn is GMO.
Sodium benzoate-Synthetic chemical used as a preservative. According to Peter Piper, professor of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of Sheffield University, sodium benzoate can damage mitochondrial DNA.
Hydrogenated palm oil-Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen gas to liquid oils. Hydrogenation leads to trans fats which contribute to fat clogged arteries.
Potassium chloride-This colorless, odorless powder is used to improve fermentation. Small intestinal ulcers may occur with oral administration. Larger doses can cause gastrointestinal irritation, weakness and circulatory collapse.
You Get What You Pay For
There is an enormous difference between whole food supplements and synthetics. Ultimately you want to avoid synthetics and fillers. Look for high quality whole food organic supplement whenever possible. Consider boosting your health with superfoods and juicing whole organic vegetables and fruits.
A Consumers Dictionary of Food Additives by Ruth Winter, M.S.