Vitamins Good and Bad: What’s In Your Vitamins?

Lecture notes from vitamin seminar

Additives, chemicals and cheap fillers in your vitamins

How much do we spend on vitamins? Each year, Americans spend more than $28 billion on supplements assuming that they are both safe and effective. More than 100 million Americans consume vitamins, minerals, herbal ingredients, amino acids, and other naturally occurring products in the form of dietary supplements.

Vitamin adverse events

Exposures to vitamins, herbs, protein powders, and botanicals accounted for more than 29,000 calls to US poison control centers in 2009. 3,000 were treated in health care facilities, 500 were moderate to severe outcomes, and there was even ONE death! Now compare this to the medical mayhem of about 783,936 deaths by pharmaceuticals each year–there is no comparison.

Synthetic vitamins

Did you know that synthetic vitamins lack the necessary trace minerals to be used by the body and must consume the body’s own mineral reserves to be utilized? This can lead to dangerous mineral deficiencies and health problems. Isolates and Big Pharma versions can harm you! Find the natural versions as much as possible. When you take the food-based natural forms they already contain all the minerals and other components your body needs to utilize them. Many synthetic vitamins lack the transporters and co-factors associated with naturally-occurring vitamins because they have been “isolated.” Isolated vitamins cannot be used or recognized by the body in the same way as the natural version as they only mimic the way natural vitamins act in our bodies.

Many vitamin and mineral supplements are manufactured synthetically with chemicals and do not come from natural sources. Natural vitamins are derived directly from plant material containing the vitamin, not produced in a test tube.

Vitamins can be labeled as natural when they contain as little as 10% of the natural form. Your “natural” vitamin could contain 90% of synthetically produced chemicals!

Avoid these synthetic forms:
  • Vitamin A: Acetate and Palmitate
  • B1: Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
  • B2: Calcium D-Pantothenate
  • B6: Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • B12: cyanocobalamin
  • PABA: Aminobenzoic Acid
  • Folic Acid: Folic acid, Pteroylglutamic Acid,
  • Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
  • Biotin: Irradiated Ergosteral
  • D: Calciferol
  • E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate
Toxic vitamin ingredients

Toxic Ingredients to avoid in your supplements:

  • Magnesium stearate (or stearic acid), which inhibits immune response
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), often disguised as “natural flavors”
  • Carnauba wax which is commonly used in car wax and shoe polish
  • Titanium dioxide, which is a known carcinogen
Vitamin RDA

RDA = Ridiculously Deficient Amounts: If your health is optimal (is it really?), this “RDA” amount is what the government thinks will keep you healthy. If your health is not optimal, then it may take 100s or 1000s times the RDA of certain nutrients to get back to square one. The minimum daily requirement for a nutrient is usually defined as the lowest amount that can be taken in order to not develop a “deficiency” or the associated disease or health condition. Remember, health is a spectrum and not just the absence of disease.

B complex vitamins work to lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine damages the arteries to allow cholesterol to stick in them, leading to blood clots. Vitamin B is a complex vitamin and should be taken as a “B-complex” along with a good multi-mineral as minerals are cofactors in vitamin B assimilation. Niacin is is part of the B-complex and interacts with other B vitamins and is involved in metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and protein as well as being involved in normal stomach fluid & bile secretions. It is a potent vasodilator and can cause intense flushing of the capillaries causing discomfort and a very temporary rash in appearance along with a burning/itching sensation.

The history of vitamin B12 and the switch from methyl to cyano form is the result of using charcoal to filter extracts during the isolation of B12. Traces of cyanide present in charcoal rapidly convert all natural forms of B12, including methyl B12 into the “more stable” (but NOT better) cyano form. Before the body can use cyanocobalamin, it must be converted by the liver to methylcobalamin. Reasonable solution: Only take the methylcobalamin form of B12.

How much vitamin C do we need? I say go up on the vitamin C–way up! Mammals that produce their own vitamin C and weigh about 150 lbs (close to human weight) produce up to 14,000 mg per day! Under stress or sick they produce much more. Avoid the sodium C and calcium C and opt for ascorbic acid with rose hips. Build up to bowel tolerance. I also say that 5,000 a day would be a minimum to maintain an already healthy body. To recover your health takes even more. Try your best to find the corn free stuff to help avoid GMO based vitamin C which is over 90% of all vitamin C out there.

Vitamin A that is found in plant sources is known as provitamin A, carotenoid, or carotenes. These are converted by the body into retinol. This form of vitamin A is water soluble and cannot be stored by the body. Avoid all supplemental vitamin A retinyl palmitate.

Fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the synthetic form can build up in your fatty tissues and cause toxicity. Acute toxicity can cause headache, photophobia, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness, irritability, seizures, and skin desquamation. Chronic toxicity can cause erythema, eczema, pruritus, dry and cracked skin, cheilitis, conjunctivitis, palmar and plantar peeling, alopecia, and pain and tenderness in the bones of the extremities.

Synthetic vitamin D: Taking too much synthetic Vitamin D called Calciferol and you might just end up with muscle weakness, apathy, headache, anorexia, irritability, nausea, vomiting, and bone pain. Keep on taking too much and you could get constipation, anorexia, abdominal cramps, polydipsia, polyuria, backache, hyperlipidemia, and hypercalcemia. The best source of vitamin D comes from the sun. Vitamin D pills are second best when using D-3 (cholecalciferol), preferably with an oil-containing meal. A least a portion of it should be from cod liver oil pills, so that some Vitamin A and other oils fractions are included.

How much calcium do we need? People consuming diets low in calcium appear to have better absorption of calcium than those on high-calcium diets or even supplements. The IOM released dietary guidelines for calcium last year, and the RDA for calcium from a combination of diet plus supplements was set at 1000 mg a day for adult women. Most women require no more than 500-600 mg a day from supplements. Unabsorbed calcium is excreted in the feces and excess calcium is excreted in the urine and in sweat. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium. A person deficient in vitamin D absorbs too little calcium, even if the intake of calcium is high.

An analysis of 11 studies published in the July 2010 BMJ found that women taking doses of calcium averaging 1,000 mg a day without vitamin D, had an increased risk for heart attacks. Another study, the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, involving 48,000 men with no history of cancer found that high calcium intake from supplements was associated with an increased risk for highly invasive prostate cancer. You can get sufficient amounts of calcium eating lots of raw veggies.

Vitamin E has many true benefits for our body and we need to take a vitamin E supplement that is well balanced and high in all constituents–alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocopherols. Read your labels carefully to avoid any vitamin E made by a process called esterification, Most of esterified vitamin E is not labeled as “esterified”, but rather as “acetate” or “succinate”. Make double-sure that you are taking the mixed tocopherols though as the fractionalized dl-alpha form can be toxic taken alone. The alpha without the gamma causes dangerous shortfalls in the gamma form in your body as vitamin E in the isolated, esterified, alpha form causes the other vitamin E forms to be shorted in your body by using up the other forms of vitamin E in an attempt to balance the entire vitamin complex. The more alpha vitamin E you take, the more vitamin E you become deficient in.

Taking iron supplements: Never take inorganic iron with Vitamin E as it destroys vitamin E when taken together.

Iron-overload disorders are typically insidious, causing progressive and sometimes irreversible end-organ injury before clinical symptoms develop. During any infection, body levels of iron are depressed and we call this anemia, or hypoferremic response. Anemia is often a defensive response in the body to infection and chronic disorders. The Standard American Diet (SAD) has an over-abundance of iron in it. If the body is throwing off the iron and going into a depressed iron state, there is often a very good reason for this. If we are anemic and taking supplemental iron we are actually countering the body’s own efforts to bring about healing. Gram-negative bacteria, fungi as well as cancer cells, thrive on iron, and a natural defense would be vitamin C. Stored iron destroys available vitamin C.

Authored by Cancer Nutritionist Craig Stellpflug NDC, CNC, Dayspring Cancer Clinic Scottsdale, AZ
Copyright 2007 Craig Stellpflug© Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this article but only in its entirety

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