Category : Nutrition

food_mountain

One Vitamin a Day Just Doesn’t Cut It

(Be Informed Series – Part 4 of 5)

pill_for_dinnerDid you know taking your vitamins twice a day is the optimal amount needed? Many vitamins are recommended to be taken only once a day, when in fact, twice a day ensures optimal nutrient intake. As always, first and foremost it is important to ensure that the vitamin you are taking is a quality ensured clean vitamin.

  Why doesn’t one vitamin a day cut it?

day-and-nightBecause you cannot eat all the nutrients you need in one sitting, you eat multiple times throughout the day. As our bodies use energy and resources throughout the day, it’s important to replenish your energy supply through intake of additional nutrients. Similarly, our bodies use the nutrients it needs from our vitamins and need to be replenished later in the day. If we were to pack all the nutrients needed for a whole day in one pill, it would be massive…like the size of a golf ball; try swallowing that one. So, to ensure twenty four hour protection and a healthier life overall, it is important to take vitamins twice a day – then you are always covered! Below is a helpful checklist I found that quickly outlines what to look for in quality vitamins.

giant-red-pillSupplement Buyer’s Checklist

by Dr. Julian Whitaker

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by choices when you step into a health food store. Here’s a summary of what you need to keep in mind as you select your supplements:

  • Read labels carefully.
  • Make sure supplements contain the appropriate levels of key nutrients.
  • Select the right nutrient form, i.e., natural forms of vitamin E and beta-carotene.
  • Avoid products that contain artificial colors, flavors, and excessive additives and fillers.
  • Buy from reputable manufacturers.
  • Realize that price often has some bearing on overall quality.
  • Be aware that seals of approval—or lack thereof—are not the most valid determination of a supplement’s quality.
  • Consider the specific amounts of EPA and DHA when purchasing fish oil.
  • Look for standardized extracts of most herbs.
  • Check expiration dates—if a product doesn’t have one, don’t buy it.
  • Don’t fall for marketing hype. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Vitamins: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

(Be Informed Series – Part 3 of 5)Pharmacist counting pills

Often times we find ourselves in our local grocery store or pharmacy browsing the vitamin isle and might be tempted to purchase the best deal; I mean a vitamin is a vitamin, right? Wrong. When purchasing vitamins, it is important to educate ourselves on what went into these bottles. First and foremost, it is essential to understand that dietary firms are not required to prove to any regulatory agency, such as the FDA, that their products work or are safe before they sell them. Let’s delve deeper into the world of vitamins – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

What Makes “Good” Vitamins?

vitaminsChoosing a good vitamin is important to ensure you are getting all your proper nutrients in daily. However, how can you decide whether a vitamin is good or bad? A good vitamin will always provide you with a potency and purity guarantee. What does that mean though? It means that the vitamins you are taking are regularly tested in batches to ensure they are free from any contaminants, that all vitamin tablets are consistent with the same potency, and are verified by a regulatory agency to ensure that the contents of each bottle match the label.

 How Can Vitamins Be Bad?

Vitamins are not bad, but the vitamins in your home could contain some harmful contaminants you may be unaware of. Additionally, without any guarantees from the manufacturer, not only can you be unsure of the safety of those vitamins, but you could be throwing away money. Random tests of varying products have been shown to contain varying potencies within the same bottle. For example, a bottle of Vitamin B could say it contains 200mg but instead have tablets ranging from 5mg to 500mg. Any manufacturer that does not ensure regular testing of its products or prove to regulatory agencies that the contents match the label; these are examples of bad vitamins.

The “Ugly” Truth about Some Vitamin Manufacturers…Rat_Cartoon_by_Nyrak

It is said that “poor manufacturing destroys great science.” This is very true, especially when it comes to vitamins. In 2012 the Chicago Tribune reported huge health violations of vitamin manufacturing facilities where inspectors found rodents’ urine and feces. These conditions lead to serious contaminants in some manufacturers’ vitamins. These poor vitamins are then falsely labeled and placed on our grocery or pharmacy shelves.

 

And remember to ensure that the vitamins you are taking are regularly tested to ensure they are free from any contaminants, which all vitamin tablets are consistent with the same potency, and the vitamins are verified by a regulatory agency to ensure that the contents of each bottle match the label.

 

Don’t have vitamins? Or are you unsure of which are safe and reliable?

Check out what my family and I take daily and decide for your health!

USANA_vitamin_lineup

References
Ames, BN. Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103(47):17589-17594. (PubMed)
Drake, Victoria J. Multivitamin/mineral Supplements Overview, Micronutrient Center, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. August 2011. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/multivitamin-mineral.html
Fairfield KM, Fletcher RH. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: scientific review. JAMA. 2002;287(23):3116-3126. (PubMed)
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Dietary Reference Intakes Tables and Application. Last Updated Aug 1, 2012. http://www.iom.edu/Home/Global/News%20
Announcements/DRI
Pascal, Liza. LLC. https://lynnsheffield.usana.com/webhosting/lynnsheffield?page=page2
Saul, Andrew W. The “Expensive Urine” Myth: What About Those “Wasted” Vitamins? International Schizophrenia Foundation. Nov. 10, 2008. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n21.shtml
Tsouderos, Trine. Dietary Supplements: Manufacturing trouble widespread, FDA inspections show. Chicago Tribune. June 30, 2012.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web site. Dietary supplement current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) and interim final rule (IFR) facts. June 22, 2007. (FDA)
Vetrani C, Costabile G., Di Marino, & Rivellese A.A. Nutrition and oxidative stress: a systematic review of human studies. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2012; Early Online: 1-15. DOI: 10.3109/09637486.2012.738651 (PubMed)
vitamin_overload

The Essentials

(Be Informed Series – Part 2 of 5)

I have often heard people say that vitamins are a great way to create expensive pee. The truth is, our bodies do remove any excess amounts of vitamins and minerals that are not needed; however, our bodies do the same with food and water. Our bodies absorb exactly what they need, when they need it, and the appropriate amount they need. But how do you know what vitamins and minerals we need, when, and in what amount? It’s impossible to predict the future and know which vitamins and minerals your body will need at any given time; this is why it is recommended that you take the “optimal amount” daily so as to ensure all your bases are covered.

fruit_splicedWhat are The Essentials?

Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that your body needs to grow and develop normally. Vitamins are organic substances; meaning they come from either plants or animals, and minerals are inorganic elements; meaning they are derived from the earth. Minerals are in the soil and water, which is absorbed by the plants that are eaten by humans and animals. There are certain vitamins and minerals that our bodies need, and yet, cannot produce by themselves. These vitamins and minerals are considered the essentials. Due to the fact that we cannot produce these vitamins and minerals on our own, it is essential to get these through our foods and/or supplementation:

Calcium Vitamin A
Chromium Vitamin B6
Folate Vitamin B12
Iron Vitamin D
Magnesium Vitamin E
Selenium Vitamin K
Zinc

Why take the optimal amount daily?

oilsAs early stated, we cannot predict the future, and therefore cannot know which vitamins we will need throughout our day and even week. For example, when you are more stressed, your body will naturally absorb more Vitamin B. Or say your immune system is being compromised; your body will absorb more Vitamin C. The great news is, you don’t have to control which vitamins and minerals your body needs at every moment of every day; because your body is capable of handling that on its own! What you can control is taking the recommended (“optimal”) amount of your essential vitamins and minerals daily, that way you are ensuring your body has all the tools and resources it needs to sustain a happy and healthy life.

Don’t have vitamins or minerals? Or are you unsure of which are safe and reliable?

Check out what my family and I take daily and decide for your health!

USANA_vitamin_lineup

 

References
Ames, BN. Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103(47):17589-17594. (PubMed)
Drake, Victoria J. Multivitamin/mineral Supplements Overview, Micronutrient Center, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. August 2011. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/multivitamin-mineral.html
Fairfield KM, Fletcher RH. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: scientific review. JAMA. 2002;287(23):3116-3126. (PubMed)
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Dietary Reference Intakes Tables and Application. Last Updated Aug 1, 2012. http://www.iom.edu/Home/Global/News%20
Announcements/DRI
Pascal, Liza. LLC. https://lynnsheffield.usana.com/webhosting/lynnsheffield?page=page2
Saul, Andrew W. The “Expensive Urine” Myth: What About Those “Wasted” Vitamins? International Schizophrenia Foundation. Nov. 10, 2008. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n21.shtml
Tsouderos, Trine. Dietary Supplements: Manufacturing trouble widespread, FDA inspections show. Chicago Tribune. June 30, 2012.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web site. Dietary supplement current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) and interim final rule (IFR) facts. June 22, 2007. (FDA)
Vetrani C, Costabile G., Di Marino, & Rivellese A.A. Nutrition and oxidative stress: a systematic review of human studies. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2012; Early Online: 1-15. DOI: 10.3109/09637486.2012.738651 (PubMed)