Quality Supplements

Just Google the phrase "are your supplements made in China" and you will be rewarded with thousands of articles written on the topics of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and how to avoid counterfeit and cheap, dangerous supplements.

Anyone that begins the process of Nutritional Coaching can be overwhelmed by the seemingly 'high cost' of quality supplements … mostly becaues we are so familiar with seeing row upon row of cheap vitamins at warehouse stores and chain retailers.  Many of these types of vitamins are so cheap because they are synthetic … interestingly our bodies are not able to assimilate synthetic vitamins, so they are basically useless, and many of them are flat out unhealthy.  There are mounds of studies on the 'inefficacy' and health risks of synthetic vitamins.  That's why so many allopathic physicians are so skeptical about nutritional supplementation … there are more unhealthy, ineffective vitamins on the market than there are good ones.

Example #1: Study Using Synthetic Beta Carotene and Vitamin E Halted – 29,000 male smokers were given synthetic beta carotene and synthetic Vitamin E. The study was stopped when rates of lung cancer, heart attacks and death increased. - New England Journal of Medicine, 1994

Example #2: Birth Defects Increased For Women On Synthetic Supplements – 22,748 pregnant women were given synthetic Vitamin A. The study was halted because birth defects increased 400%. - New England Journal of Medicine, 1995

Example#3: Men Get Thickened Arteries On Synthetic Supplements – Men who took 500 mg of synthetic Vitamin C daily over eighteen months showed signs of thickening of the arteries. - Reuters Health, March, 2000

Any of you who have been working with me and taking supplements know first hand how well your supplements work.  The reason is that the supplements I recommend are made from real whole foods and natural ingredients … substances your body recognizes and knows what to do with.  And, the companies I recommend all follow current GMPs that exceed FDA guidelines for dietary supplements.  This ensures the safety and efficacy of the products.

Unfortunately, once you find brands you know and trust … you still have to be on your guard in regards to WHERE/WHO you purchase your supplements from.  Counterfeit supplements are a huge problem.  That is why I only recommend purchasing directly from the manufacturers … not from online cheap vitamin warehouse companies.  If the supplement is being sold cheaper than is availble from the manufacturer, be on alert.  If the website is based in a foregin country, has no contact or custormer service information - avoid it!

As Gary Collins MS, former FDA and HHS employee, writes: No reputable company using high quality ingredients can manufacture high-end supplemnts cheaply.  It just isn't possible.

How Do You Know If Your Vitamins Are Synthetic?

Look at the list of ingredients. A vitamin is synthetic if you see a chemical name, but not a plant source.

Synthetic supplements have unhealthy ingredients, including:

  • Additives – Glucose and sucrose (sugar) for taste; starch and microcrystalline cellulose for binding ingredients
  • Artificial colors – like FD&C Blue #2 Lake, or FD&C Red 40
  • Preservatives – sorbates (Polysorbate 80), benzoates (sodium benzoate), nitrites (sodium nitrite), sulphites (sulphur dioxide)
  • Synthetic vitamins are highly processed. They have the same toxic dyes and chemicals, like those found in paint and plastic.

EXCERPT FROM: Are Your Supplements Made in China? An FDA Insider's Perspecitve by Gary Collins, MS

Many of us who are health conscious take our vitamins and supplments very seriously.  As somone who sells and uses these types of products, the quality of the products I promote is of utmost importance to me.

For many years, not too long ago, I worked in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Part of my job in a nutshell was to criminally and forensically investigate the consequences of an under-regulated and cash-rich supplement world.  Let's just say I have definitely seen the disgusting underbelly of the health supplement industry.


The world of dietary supplements can literally be the Wild West of the health industry.  Supplements are very loosely regulated by the FDA.  This is not necesssarily a bad thing.  However, consumers must be very diligent when purchasing such products.

It is very difficult to find out what a supplment's true ingredients really are and where it was actually manufactured.  The latter point is important since different countreies have varying levels of quality control for supplements (as for most other kinds of products).

A magic pill with a fancy label, sold at a reputable name-brand store, doesn't necessarily equate to a high qulaity product. (Just ask Jillian Michaels who has been sued multiple times for endorsing bad supplements). Trust me.  I was shocked to see the lab results of some of the products we were investigating while at the FDA.  A great deal of these contained active pharmacutical drugs, had none or some of the listed ingredients, or contained toxic metals or chemicals harmful to humans.

Unfortunatley, the supplement industry is rife with loose regulations and opportunism.  This brings out some of the worst kinds of hucksters who will attempt to sell you anything in the hopes of making fast money.  Most consumers whould be horrified at how many cirminal enterpirses are involved in the supplment industry.

Nevertheless, there are also a lot of supplement companies out there who truly care about the consumer and the products they produce.

These companies have rigorous internal standards that surpass FDA guidelines and test their ingredients for quality, potency and contamination prior to using them:

Advanced Naturals

Apex Energetics

Biotics Research

Biotics Research Corporate Video

A Video on Vegetable Culture Tableting BaseRather than manufacturing supplements using fillers and excipients, Biotics Research uses a tableting base using a nutritionally potent vegetable culture. This vegetable culture contains high concentrations of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, both powerful antioxidants that add significant value to our products.

A Video on Biotics Plant Matrix Minerals

Mar 5, 2013 at 9:39 AM

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