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Popping Dietary Supplements? Read This.

http://www.helpfreetheearth.com

January 2016

Most people pop vitamin supplements because they fear they don’t get enough nutrients from food.This is a worthwhile concern: nutrients can be lost from soil due to fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, irrigation, farming practices, and other causes.

The USDA has reported that the nutrient content of vegetables has fallen since 1973. Of the vitamins we do ingest from whole food, absorption can range from 20 to 98%.

Even if you aren’t swallowing vitamin supplements each day, if you consume fortified foods (think cereals, milks, breads, meal replacement shakes, etc.), it’s nearly impossible to avoid synthetic vitamins.

CHINA SUPPLIES YOUR SUPPLEMENTS

Over half of American adults are popping vitamins and supplements regularly. They may not be aware they are eating products made in China, or made using raw materials from China. Their supplements may include traces of lead and aluminum.

An aging population and growing focus on health in the United States has fueled the growth of the $28 billion vitamin and nutritional supplement market, and it is expected to continue to grow at about 3 percent a year.

China has captured over 90 percent of the Vitamin C market in the United States, according to the Seattle Times. Think about how many labels advertise added Vitamin C. Vitamin C goes into many food and drink products—almost all processed food for humans as well as pets contains Vitamin C.

The consumer has no way of knowing the added vitamin C comes from China, because there is no rule requiring labeling the country of origin for ingredients.

This may raise quite a few eyebrows as Chinese food safety scandals make headlines every day.        

Here are five facts any consumer of vitamins should know.

1. Only 2 percent of all imported vitamins and other supplements are inspected. Why? Vitamins and supplements are classified as “food” by law and therefore not subject to the tough regulatory scrutiny of prescription drugs.

2. China’s top vitamin and supplement production areas are among the most polluted in the country (and thus in the world).

Vitamins and nutritional supplements usually use agricultural products as key raw materials. The top vitamin exporting province, Zhejiang, has an alarming level of soil pollution from heavy metal. As matter of fact, one-sixth of China’s farmlands are heavily polluted.

For example, rice planted in several key agricultural provinces was reported to contain excessive Cadmium, a metal commonly found in batteries, coloring, and the industrial waste from making plastic. It may cause serious kidney disease.

Irrigation water is a nightmare: Half of the country’s major water bodies are polluted, as are 86 percent of city water bodies. Pollution is largely caused by the country’s numerous factories, which rarely have equipment for treating pollution. Seventy to 80 percent of the country’s industrial waste is directly emitted into rivers.

3. Even those labeled as “organic” are not safe, since USDA organic standards place no limit on levels of heavy metal contamination for certified organic foods.

4. Approximately 6,300 Americans nationwide complained about adverse reactions to dietary supplements between 2008 and 2012, according to FDA statistics. But the actual number may be more than eight times higher, some experts say, because most people don’t believe health products can make them sick. While not all such problems would be caused by pollution in China, that pollution may have played a role.

5. Worst of all, China-made vitamins are everywhere, and even those who do not consume vitamins and supplements can hardly escape. Many vitamins end up as ingredients in items like soft drinks, food, animal feed, and even cosmetics.

HARMFUL NOT HELPFUL

Despite being labelled 'natural', over 90 per cent of vitamin supplements on sale are synthetic. While some studies show that vitamin supplementations have a range of benefits from enhanced energy to better fertility, others suggest supplements are harmful.

According to the Organic Consumers Association in the USA, man-made vitamins cannot be used by the body in the same way as natural versions.

'In nature, vitamins come packaged with many other molecules including minerals and cofactors,' explains Dr Phillip Maffetone, nutritional researcher and author of 'The Big Book of Health and Fitness'. "These enable the body to use them. Since synthetic vitamins are isolated and are not recognised by the body, they are often excreted in urine or stored in fat."

In addition, synthetic vitamins may produce harmful side-effects. The synthetic version of vitamin A, retinol palmitate, for example, is significantly more toxic than the natural form.

In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008, adults taking 1000mg of synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid) each day developed problems with energy metabolism.

To boost vitamin C levels naturally, take rosehip supplements. Rosehip is the richest natural source of vitamin C and was widely collected after World War II to make vitamin-C rich syrup for children.

Don’t take antioxidant vitamin supplements such as A, C and E. Scientific evidence does not suggest these can eliminate the need to reduce blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol or stop smoking. Vitamin D supplements, to put it plainly, are a waste of money. It’s pretty easy to get enough vitamin D in a normal diet. Or, as Dr. Mark Gillinov explained in the Huffington Post last week, just 10 minutes of sunlight gives you about 4 times your daily recommended vitamin D requirement.

 Eliseo Guallar, Lawrence Appel, and Edgar Miller wrote last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine : “Enough is enough: stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements.”  As they wrote, after looking at three more large studies just published last month,

“most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.”

Save your money. Or better yet, if you must spend it, buy a bit more fresh fruit. You’ll be healthier for it.

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http://www.helpfreetheearth.com

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