Supplements vary in quality quite a bit. Its important that you know what you are buying and taking, so that you don’t waste your money, and so that you don’t do your body harm.
Here is a list of some of the additives to one popular vitamin that may be harmful to your health: micorcyrstalline cellulose, ascorbyl palmitate, corn starch, polyethylene glycol, sucrose, talk yellow lake 6, sorbic acid, BHT, metavanadate, hydrogenated oils.
Microcrysot what? Ascorbo who? What are these additives?
Filler and Preservatives
Starch, talc, ascorbyl palmitate , sodium benzoate, magnesium stearate, BHT and hydrogenated oils are among some of the fillers and preservatives put into vitamins. They are potentially toxic, can cause allergic reactions, and are beneficial to no one.
Lubricating and flowing agents
Stearic acid, talc, silica, calcium stearate, are examples of lubricants and flowing agents used in the manufacturing process of vitamins. They help the vitamins flow through the machines that encapsulate them or make them into tablet. These agents have no beneficial affect on the body and some may be harmful.
Binders, glues, coloring agents
Titanium oxide, FD&C no 2 aluminum lake and other food colorings, polyethylene glycol, sucrose, starch. These agents are used to literally glue the tablet together and color them to make them pretty. Maybe of these ingredients have been shown to be harmful to health.
What’s in a Good Quality Vitamin?
A good quality vitamin will have the following on its ingredients list: the vitamins, the gelatin or vegetarian capsule, and a safe flowing agent like silica. That’s it!
How about Fish Oil?
This is another supplement that I am particular about. Fish is known to have mercury and PCB toxicity, both of which are known to be harmful to health. If you are taking a fish oil supplement, you need to be sure that it has been tested for purity and is free of any harmful chemicals or heavy metals. A good quality fish oil will state on the label that is has been tested and is free of PCBs, Mercury and other harmful chemicals. Another problem you can come across with the cheaper fish oil brands is rancidity. There is nothing worse than the smell of rotting fish, and you can be sure that you don’t want to be taking it a supplements! Freshness is very important. Two brands that I recommend are Nordic Naturals and Karlsens. I know they are good quality.
Check out the labels on your vitamins today. If you have questions, contact me or your naturopathic doctor for more information about the quality of your supplements. Naturopathic Doctors are the nation’s leading experts on vitamin and supplement quality and use. Remember – Don’t take anything you are not sure you need and you are not sure is a safe, quality supplement. Vitamins and herbs can have a potent effect on the body, just like a drug can. Ask an expert– for help in deciding what is best for you.