- Authors: Christopher and Dana VanDeCar (Owners and Founders of Optimally Organic)
It would be nice to live in a world where you could take certain things for granted. We would love to know without question that we can get the nutrients and minerals we need from things we take out of the soil. More specifically, it would be great to just know without question that we are putting the best things possible into our bodies.
In such a world, we would be able to get everything we need to be healthy and happy from the soil. Unfortunately, as we all know, the world doesn’t really work that way. Due to commercial farming, mining, and other practices promoted by humanity, we have caused massive damage to the soil. It is simply unrealistic to imagine that we are getting everything we need from our diet. In this day and age, we have to be absolutely certain that our nutrients, minerals, and other essentials are coming to us from pristine sources. Anything less than that, which includes virtually all food and beverage processing practices used today, is unacceptable.
Are My Supplements Working?
And so, at this moment in time, we have to turn to health supplements to get what our bodies require for optimal health and wellbeing. That makes sense. Most of us understand that we are not getting everything we need from diet and exercise on their own. Our doctors are aware of this, too, and it’s likely that your own physician has recommended vitamins or supplements. What matters then is that they are good health supplements. Remember that just like food, health supplements can be processed.
Odds are, if you are reading this, then you already have a few products in your home. You’ve been taking them for a little while. They seem to be doing some measure of good, although you find that it’s hard to be specific about those benefits.
Again, it would be nice to live in a world in which all of our health supplements performed exactly as promised. While that would be lovely, we have to remember the sad fact that this is not inherently the case. All health supplements are not created equal. This fact is inescapable. If you haven’t begun to suspect that your vitamins, minerals, and other supplements aren’t giving you their promised results, then pay close attention to everything we are about to tell you. None of this is meant to sound alarmist. It is just vital to realize that in all likelihood, your supplements are either working poorly, or they aren’t working at all.
It All Comes Down To The Manufacturing Process.
At the risk of simplifying how vitamins and supplements are created, everything can more or less be boiled down into two distinct processes. One process has the distinction of being faster, which is something companies certainly love. It saves them money on costs, and they can pass at least a portion of their savings on to the customer. This is why we are seeing products and stores all across the United States and beyond. It is easier than ever to create supplements, package them, and release them to market. This is the heart and soul of the problem faced by those who are serious about taking the best products possible.
The Biggest Problems With Most Supplements.
Having a sense of scrutiny about things is a vital quality in so many different aspects of our life. It should certainly be at the forefront of shopping for health supplements. These products might be more prolific than ever, but the vast majority of the manufacturers are going to be guilty of one or several (usually several) of the following transgressions:
1. Spray-dried products: Spray-drying is a good way for the manufacturer to save money. However, many spray-dried health supplements include a poisonous corn sugar known as maltodextrin, which is known as a carrier for the manufacturing process. This mix is then sprayed into a superheated oven as a mist.
2. Fillers and carriers: As we just mentioned, maltodextrin is what is known as a carrier. These poisons and chemicals are often used in the interest of efficiency. They also render your supplements useless at best. At worst, you could be adding even more toxins to your already-overloaded system. Keep in mind that manufacturers do not list carriers or fillers on their labels.
3. Capsule quality: There are basically two types of capsules on the market, vegetable capsules and gelatin capsules. The distinction between the two is important. Non-GMO vegetable capsules are fine for human consumption. Gelatin capsules come from animal hooves and other parts. This means that while you ingest your health supplement, you are also likely taking in hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, and toxins. Soybean oil is often used as a filler in these products, which is also a common source for GMOs.
4. Expired products: Expired products are easy for manufacturers to hide inside caps. True health supplements tend to come with a relatively short shelf life. That just won’t work for manufacturers that are out to make as much revenue as humanly possible. They need products that can more or less (by their standards) withstand the possibility of being on a store shelf, or inside a warehouse, for several years. Gelatin capsules make it easy to hide these expired products.
5. Presentation: As we mentioned before, most labels fail to mention to use of fillers or carriers. You should also be wary of bottles that do not list their ingredients at all, or make bogus health promises. Companies can promise a “natural” supplement on the bottle, but they don’t have to actually deliver on that.
6. China: A lot of the health supplements you’ll find in stores came from China. Among other things, this can mean you are ingesting something that could be months, or even years past its actual shelf life. Products from China can contain troubling levels of metals, and many items even contain trace amounts of hexane. This is an extremely explosive chemical, and it is very, very dangerous to the environment.
7. Dried with high heat: While drying with high heat is ultimately more efficient, it also causes supplements to degrade faster, while simultaneously losing their effectiveness.
What Are The Differences Between Natural Vitamins And Synthetic Vitamins?
Finding supplements isn’t really the problem. You can find products in various forms in most grocery stores. You can find health and supplement stores in great numbers. What it comes down to is the sad fact that most supplements and vitamins are synthetic. They are produced using chemicals, and they are often packaged in harmful plastic. As you may recall, this is a problem with chemically-extracted fulvic acid, as well. In the end, it’s just best to avoid products that are stored and shipped in plastic.
Many of us are experiencing vitamin deficiencies, even if we don’t realize it! Obesity, constant exhaustion, depression, anorexia, and even organ malfunction can occur through one aspect of vitamin deficiency or another. A good diet can provide us with some of what we need, but it’s not going to do the whole job. To that end, we look to supplements that will give us certain vitamins in specific doses.
It’s good to be aware of packaging labels on some level or another. What you want to do is go a bit deeper than buzzwords like “Certified Organic” or “Guaranteed Natural.” This is because a lot of these health and supplement companies are being extremely disingenuous, in terms of how they choose to interpret these phrases, with regards to selling you their products. These companies obviously aren’t going to tell you that they’re using things like horse urine, floor cleaner, and a number of different chemicals to create and preserve their products.
No one is here to dispute the fact that our bodies need vitamins. A few examples include Vitamins A-E, folic acid, and calcium. A lot of people feel as though they are getting these vitamins, as well as others, by taking something like a multivitamin. You can also feel as though you’re getting what you need because the packaging promises you something natural.
What Can You Do About Chemical-Made Vitamins And Supplements?
Chemicals are often used in the creation of synthetic vitamins, which take up approximately 95% of the market (1). In other words, chemicals can be found in nearly 95% of the vitamin products found in stores and online. Something similar can be said for just about all of the supplements and similar health items out there. Some are the real thing, but an awful lot of them use chemicals, poor manufacturing practices, or inferior/unsafe packaging to emphasize the financial benefits of putting quantity over quality.
At best, these products just aren’t going to do a thing. At worst, they can increase your degree of vitamin deficiency, and you wouldn’t even know for certain that it was occurring. All you would have is the vague notion that something might be amiss. And then something more serious can occur with your health. This isn’t a pretty scenario, but it is happening to more and more people. At this point, you could make the case that more people are taking vitamins and supplements than ever. Given what we know about the number of ineffectual/dangerous products available, we now know that more people are taking useless supplements than ever.
What can we do about all of this? In the end, it comes down to becoming a smarter consumer. You will want to learn more about what to look for as a consumer. This means doing some research into the companies you come across. If some element of their marketing or information sounds too good to be true, then there is a good chance that it is!
For example, let’s say the packaging of your vitamins promises a “natural” product. They can make such claims, but that doesn’t make them true. Did you know that products claiming to be “natural vitamins” only have to contain a minimum of 10% of the natural form of the vitamin? Just 10%! A number of products have higher percentages, but we are still talking about figures that fall well below anything that should qualify as a truly natural vitamin. This misleading labeling is all over the place. These products do not have to do anything to prove that they are “natural” or “organic.” They can put that on the label, and they don’t have to offer any proof beyond these blanket, harmful statements.