May 10th, 2011
By: Dr. Axe
Despite the decline in health today, the supplement industry is a billion dollar a year business (topping in at $6 billion in 2008.) You would think that with so many Americans spending their hard earned money on one type of supplement or another, chronic disease would be on the decline. Sadly, the rate of chronic disease continues to climb each year.
So what’s going on here? Americans are gulping down the vitamins but our health remains in a crisis mode. Some of these vitamins may not be the answer to our health problems and maybe some of these vitamins are actually contributing to our state of declining health.
Do you take a daily vitamin? Are you having your kids take vitamins on a regular basis? Let’s explore a bit more about what we’re really putting into our bodies and learn how to make informed choices so you spend your money on supplements that are actually good for you.
Fillers Found in Vitamins
Before we get into the specific five dangerous vitamin fillers let’s talk about fillers in general with supplements. Supplement manufacturers often add in a variety of fillers to their vitamin and mineral supplements for numerous reasons:
Easier and faster production
More appealing to the eye (colorants)
Easier to swallow (coatings)
The reasons for using fillers aside, the real problem lies in how these fillers impact your body and health. Simply put, it’s not good. Just like processed foods being loaded with additives and fillers, the same goes for vitamins. Any supplement that has additives and fillers will be harmful to your health in the same way those processed foods are.
The body doesn’t need or want these ingredients so don’t put them in there. They also block the absorption of nutrients. Now let’s get to the specific problems with certain dangerous fillers.
Dangerous Filler #1: Hydrogenated Oils
That’s right, hydrogenated oils are added to vitamins. These are the same hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils I’ve told you to avoid in the foods you eat. These are the oils found in many bakery products as well as highly processed, nutritionally devoid foods.
In fact, it’s been found that partially hydrogenated soybean oil is one of the major fillers in the majority of vitamins sold on the market today.
Partially hydrogenated (and hydrogenated) oils damage the body in numerous ways. They encourage heart problems, strokes, nervous system problems, block the absorption of essential fatty acids, upset blood sugar regulation and more.
You don’t want these in your food and it’s certainly not a good idea to have them in your vitamins.
Dangerous Filler #2: Artificial Colors
Artificial colors are being added to vitamins too. Artificial colors have been linked to problems from cancer to hyperactivity in children. These colors are added to vitamins to make them more appealing to the consumer in hopes this will encourage the sale.
Some of these artificial colors are derived from toxic coal tar. Coal tar is used for a variety of purposes some of which are roofing, outdoor sealants, exterior paints, heating…the list goes on but nothing on the list would indicate in any way that you should consume coal tar.
Dangerous Filler #3: Magnesium Stearate
This is one of the most controversial topics in the supplement world today. Many argue that this toxic ingredient shouldn’t be added to vitamins and is of serious health consequence. On the other side some say that it has not been proven by the scientific community to cause serious health problems in humans – yet.
Again, I urge you to remember that many times the science to back what we suspect can lag behind. It’s vital to make your own informed choices. When it comes to magnesium stearate you should know a few facts.
Magnesium stearate is used as a lubricant so that the vitamins don’t stick to one another or the equipment being used. This is the sole reason that magnesium stearate is used in vitamins.
The controversy surrounds a few studies on magnesium stearate. One study links this compound to creating a suppressed immune system. Other studies show that this ‘chalk’ will create a biofilm in the body. This biofilm blocks the body from absorbing any of the needed nutrients.
(This is yet another reason why you should rely on whole food sources for nutrients.)
Dangerous Filler #4: Titanium Dioxide
Titanium oxide is a naturally occurring oxide of the element titanium. This widely used mineral is used in vitamins as a pigment. It is also used for this same reason in many cosmetics.
However the research is now showing that exposure to this metal (along with other metals) can lead to problems with the immune function in the body.
If you’re taking a vitamin to improve your health why would you even consider taking one with such a filler as this (or any of the others?) Clearly this is an unnecessary, unhealthy filler ingredient used by the huge vitamin producers in order to sell more of these low quality vitamins.
Choosing Whole Food Vitamin Supplements
When it comes to supplements there are some that are better than others. Steer away from the mass produced vitamins by huge conglomerates (often owned by pharmaceutical companies) and opt for smaller operations that you learn about first.
Look for a company with a philosophy that reflects their genuine interest in improving the health of the nation. Companies exist, do your homework and find one you trust for all of your supplement needs.
I use Garden of Life products like their Raw Vitamin C  and Raw Vitamin D  supplements. These supplements are made from real whole foods and will provide the body with a source of nutrients much closer to the ones straight from nature. Your body will recognize and use these nutrients much better than any synthetic ones in the form of these filler laden vitamins.
Read this recent article on multi-vitamins  and choosing the right multi-vitamin for you.
Vitamins are No Substitute for a Healthy Diet
There’s no doubt about it no matter how high quality your vitamin or mineral supplement is it’s simply no match for eating straight from nature the way God intended. There’s a reason they are called supplements.
Eating a whole food diet full of fresh, raw, and local foods is the best way to improve health and fight off disease no matter what. There’s no substitute for the original source.
February 15th, 2011
If you want to know what Taco Bell actually uses in its “beef” products, here’s an ingredients list of their “Taco Meat Filling,” courtesy of Gizmodo:
“Water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder …
…autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2 percent of beef broth, potassium phosphate, and potassium lactate.”
The filling also includes 36 percent beef. The other 64 percent consist of the ingredients listed above.
According to the USDA, this can’t be called “beef” at all, which is why it comes in a big package labeled “Taco Meat Filling.”
Now an Alabama law firm is presenting Taco Bell with a lawsuit for false advertising for claiming they sell “beef” products. But Taco Bell might be in violation of the law even if they sold “Taco Meat Filling” burritos. The USDA says that any food labeled as “meat taco filling” should at least have 40 percent fresh meat; Taco Bell’s contains only 36 percent.
Taco Bell, meanwhile, says the lawsuit is based on “false statements,” and that they are “proud of the quality of their beef.” They plan to take their own legal action in response.
November 20, 2009
By E. Huff
A report from the British Royal Society has been released that urges support for genetically-modified foods by the British public in order to address what it deems the world’s growing demand for food. The report also reveals the disturbing reality about just how far genetically-modified (GM) foods have already penetrated the food supply in England, despite widespread public rejection of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) roughly a decade ago.
Over the years, Brits have been led to believe that their diets are GMO-free. Truth be told, nearly two-thirds of the roughly 2.6 million tons of soy that is imported into the United Kingdom each and every year is GM and most people there are entirely unaware of it.
Though used primarily for animal feed, GM soy has been making its way into the British food supply for years due to the fact that manufacturers and retailers are not properly tracking the source of their soy, allowing GM soy to make its way into the human food chain. GM soybean oil, for example, is now being heavily used by catering companies in preparing food.
GM foods found in “GMO-free” products
Further disturbing is the fact that although British products that contain GM ingredients must be labeled as such, GM ingredients are being found in all kinds of products labeled “GMO-free”. Many varieties of GM soy are being found in food as well, despite the government’s approval of only Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready soy.
GMOs of any kind have been shown to be harmful and, whenever presented to the public as a viable alternative to the “food crisis”, they are uniformly rejected. Nevertheless, many officials and regulators continue to wage support for artificial food that is verifiably dangerous to human health, claiming it is going to make its way into food anyway and that there is no way to control contamination.
The goal of the Royal Society report is to garner support for a practice that is already taking place against the will of the people, an effort that is designed to indoctrinate the public into wholehearted endorsement for GMOs in the food supply in order to solve the problems of world hunger.
Officials, representatives, and groups opposed to GMOs continue to lobby against such a hypothesis, claiming that GMOs serve no legitimate purpose in alleviating world hunger. They aim to convey the powerful truth that global hunger is actually caused by the likes of GMO companies like Monsanto who continue to gain increasing power over the world’s food supply.
Data reveals that roughly 82 percent of the global seed market has intellectual property rights attached to it, meaning the seeds have been patented and are owned by one of a handful of AgroScience companies. Additionally, six companies – Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, and Dow – control about 75 percent of the global agrochemical market.
John Fagan, chief scientist of food certification company Cert-ID, believes that government hype over a perceived inability to control GM contamination is contrived. Noting his company’s status as the leading certifier of non-GMO soy imported from Brazil, he emphasizes that managing ingredient supply chains is perfectly attainable. To claim otherwise, he says, is “nonsense”.
Opposition against efforts to standardize GMOs continues to mount, yet many now realize that GMOs have so severely penetrated the food chain that it may be next to impossible to identify where they are hiding.