That's it, I'm tired of seeing patients come to me with $200- $300 in unnecessary supplements that some so-called expert has decided they absolutely MUST have. Who has that kind of money to throw away every month when you are likely shitting it out or peeing it down the drain.
With all the conflicting information out there how is anyone to know what to take anymore. My question is why are you taking anything at all? I realize that the soil has been depleted, we aren't getting adequate amounts of vitamin D due to less and less sun exposure and of course sunscreen (that’s a whole other topic right there), and our food to put it simply - sucks. So we need to supplement don't we? Yes, and no. A better question is what do we really need to be supplementing, when and how much is too much.
You see, supplements can also be dangerous. Too much of one vitamin can lead to health issues, sometimes serious ones. There can be just as many contradictions with a supplement as a pharmaceutical drug, just because it's natural does not mean it is safe.
Take Vitamin E for example. One study states it naturally helps protect against the effects of aging (sign me up!), but then another study from a different source states it can lead to liver damage and complications associated with lung cancer. So which study do we believe? This is where my stance on synthetic vitamins comes into play. I'm against them, period. Synthetic vitamin E is a petrochemical derived of natural vitamin E which is very capable of disrupting the endocrine system, take the natural source and the results are very different. It is effective in protecting against oxidative stress (anti aging) and tons of other conditions.
Many of the studies on the market, put out by the company pushing the product, are completely and utterly worthless. they use isolated synthetic vitamins or low quality multivitamin supplements loaded with toxic fillers like chalk and other synthetic ingredients (did you really think you are taking calcium?)
For whatever reason the studies are being conducted using synthetic ingredients rather than high quality, food based vitamins. Ones without harmful ingredients or fillers. Is it nutritional ignorance or is about the dollars being saved? Not to mention relating to the natural source, where it is supported by other vitamins with complement and work together for the end result. Not broken down individually and therefore lacking the result published.
Take a look at one of the most popular multivitamin out there - Centrum. It’s the number one selling brand on the market, produced by a company called Wyeth which is a part of Pfizer, a well-known pharmaceutical company. As matter of fact many of the so-called vitamins and natural supplements on the market, most are produced by major pharmaceutical companies.
Now let’s take a look at the ingredients in Centrum:
BHT - a fat soluble compound found in jet fuel, rubber compounds, electrical transformer oil and embalming fluid. It’s been linked to lung cancer, bladder cancer, DNA damage and gastric cancer.
Boric Acid - a chemical often used as an antiseptic, insecticide, and flame retardant. Also found to cause DNA damage
Synthetic Vitamin A Acetate - A petrochemical produced byproduct that has been linked to birth defects.
Cupric Sulfate - Used as a herbicide, fungicide and pesticide. Copper sulfate is produced by treating copper metal with hot concentrated sulphuric acid or oxides with sulphuric acid.
The list goes on and yet we the consumer think we are doing the right thing by reaching for a multivitamin for health by a top brand. After all it's what our Dr recommends, or so the commercial tell us. Most of what is on the market is synthetic, has fillers and other unwanted ingredients. What is worse is that now we buy food or other various products that have been ‘fortified’ with these synthetic vitamins. It is being marketed as a health food, to get you healthy and get those minerals and vitamins you are lacking from not eating nutrient dense food. We are fed marketing mumbo jumbo and excerpts of poorly done studies to make us believe we are doing the right thing. Reality, we don't need half of what we are putting into our bodies supplement wise.
There is a huge difference between synthetic vitamins and ‘natural’ vitamins, by natural I mean whole food plant-based versions. There is a huge difference between high quality and low quality supplements as well.
A few more ingredients to be on the look out for are:
Sodium benzoate, sodium ,molybdate, titanium dioxide, hydrogenated palm oil, citric acid (this is not true vitamin C), calcium carbonate (remember I mentioned chalk?) Crayola has this very ingredient init’s chalk, so why is in your supplement? http://www.crayola.ca/faq/another-topic/does-crayola-chalk-contain-calcium-carbonate/
If you are as concerned as I am you may want to take a good look into that medicine cabinet. Have questions? Please feel free to set up a consultation, bring those vitamins with you and lets see how much of them you REALLY need. Remember thee synthetic ingredients can be hiding in your protein powders, milk substitutes and various other products you are consuming daily.
When I first started seeing Holly I had some pretty major stomach issues, I later found out that the supplements I was taking were making me sick. She urged me to stop and within a week I started to see a difference. I thought she was going to just switch me to better versions, and for some she did, but mostly she just took me off and had me sprouting. I can't believe the energy boost I have now and my monthly budget went from spending $275 to spending $40! All the money I saved goes into real food now. In the winter I probably spend alittle more but even then it's less than $100 and some of the supplements last more than a month too. I feel great now, have no more tummy issues and have extra money left over.
"Give people an environment where their health can flourish instead of being suppressed"
Many people take a multivitamin because someone on tv said they should, sort of like drinking milk is good for our bones… Worse yet their family Doctor has said to take a multivitamin, which baffles my mind. Go grab Jameson's multi they say. So why do we do this? Is it so we live longer, healthier lives? Because if that is the motivation we are greatly mistaken. It’s a waste of money and for the most part scientific authorities agree. Check out the newly released book The Campbell Plan by Rodale Books. Many vitamins and minerals have been looked at from a standpoint of chronic disease like cancer, neurological, endocrine, autoimmune, heart and others. As it now stands it has been found by expert panels that these supplements, mainly multivitamins have yet to find sufficient evidence for or against the use of these supplements in the prevention of disease. One thing's for sure, it has been found that multivitamins do not protect against cardiovascular disease.
In some cases there are conflicting studies regarding multivitamins effects o cancer, while some show benefit others show increased risk of cancer. For example the study showing higher risk of lung cancer in smokers taking beta carotene. The realists however are completely different when consuming the food version rather than a synthetic version. When vitamins come from the source they are often accompanied with what is needed for your body to utilize the vitamin in a safe way. These are what is referred to as isolated nutrients which don't have the same beneficial effect as the whole food. I'm not saying that multivitamins are completely useless, in fact they can do the opposite, they can cause harm. As mentioned previously the risk of cancer can increase in some cases, higher risk of kidney stones and her attacks in those who use poor quality calcium supplements, liver damage and birth defects have been associated with excess vitamin A consumption.
To be more specific in what each of us needs with regards to vitamins and minerals is the best way to go. I don't mean we need to go out and have labs done then grab an expensive custom compound from some trendy pharmacy. What I do suggest is seeing what works, testing to see what you may be low in and topping up on the ones you need specifically through food first, whole food supplements second.
Bottom line, according to Dr. Campbell and many other experts, healthy food can do more for your health and your life than any pill.