Why we must be very picky about vitamin brands

Technically, in the photo above, both are cars. But no one would confuse the junker on the left with the $12 million Rolls-Royce Sweptail on the right. The differences among dietary supplements are almost as dramatic.

Bogus study hits the news. A recent review of studies proceeded as though crappy supplements are just as beneficial as good ones. That is one reason the report concluded that dietary supplements do not have benefits against cardiovascular disease or deaths from any cause. The video at this link itemizes other serious problems with the study and shows why the conclusion is nonsense. Shortcomings of the study include: bias, conflicts of interest, excluding data not published in English and zero control of compliance rates or dosages consumed. To me, the most brazen deceit was tossing out positive results from use of the mineral selenium. Apparently, good results from a supplement did not help achieve their intended goal of discrediting supplements. (On that basis they sure wouldn’t want to include the many positive studies on Kyolic Aged Garlic.) Such junk science may serve the vested interests of the authors and publishers. And, their flakey conclusions are plausible enough to fool a lazy media, but they do a great disservice to the American public.

Why supplementing is common sense. According to the Centers for Disease Control “Just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations…” Even those who do eat exceptionally well have a problem. That is because every few years when the government tests the nutrient content of foods, the levels are lower. (Factory farming practices are the reason.) Medications that we take and residues of pesticides and herbicides on food block nutrient uptake. They also use up our stored nutrients to detoxify them. Stress depletes many nutrients. Due to genetic differences, some people need much higher levels of certain nutrients than the typical diet provides. Extra amounts of nutrients can do more than protect us from deficiency diseases, they can help us heal and operate at optimum levels.

Examples of why quality matters.

  • Vitamin B6 operates in the body as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P-5-P). The cheaper form, pyridoxine is typically used and listed on labels as simply B6. If you supplement that form, the body must do some work to make it into the active form, P-5-P. That work uses energy and among other things, magnesium and vitamin B2.
  • As Bill Sardi discussed on last Saturday’s show, the cheap form of folic acid is used so widely in food fortification that people may become overloaded with it. Then they may not be able to make sufficient amounts of the active form of this B, folate. Up to half of us are already genetically poor at converting folic acid to the active folate. An excess of unmetabolized folic acid is implicated in mental disorders, miscarriages, strokes, migraine headaches, even a compromised immune system. Read more.
  • The most easily absorbed and utilized form of vitamin B12 is Methylcobalamin. The “methyl” part also offers some benefits in helping with detoxification. Too often products use Cyanocobalamin instead. The “Cyano” part of that is cyanide which you may know as a poison. Cyanide is an issue especially for smokers and those with kidney problems. It should also matter to anyone who values the tiny power producers in their cells (the mitochondria) because cyanide is bad for them.
  • There is a growing appreciation for the crucial role of those energy producing mitochondria. For example, they may be a key factor in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s patients’ mitochondria apparently don’t create enough energy to run their systems normally. A preliminary lab study indicates that a type of vitamin B3 helps revitalize the mitochondria.
  • Synthetic and inferior forms of vitamins may be worse than taking nothing because they can interfere with the body’s ability to use the real thing.
  • The minerals in some multivitamins are rather like ground up rocks—not exactly what the body is accustomed to being fed! For example, zinc citrate is far more beneficial than cheap zinc oxide. Centrum Silver®, as a popular example, contains poorly absorbed zinc oxide and at only 11mg. (It also uses all the low-grade forms of the vitamins discussed above, other cheap mineral forms and unnecessary chemicals.) In contrast, Molecular Multi uses zinc citrate and at the 30 mg dose which research shows is needed. Yes, using all the finest, most useful ingredients costs more. But, Bill Sardi would rather do it right…even if that means he can’t sell his multivitamin in retail stores because that would double the price.

If you want good results, I recommend using good products.

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