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Posted on 01-14-2011

How often do you buy supplements because you can practically get a gallons size for really cheap! We also tend to gravitate towards products with powerful mass marketing campaigns. The truth is, good marketing and cheap prices do not make for a good quality supplement. In fact, what many people don't realize is many of these mass produced/marketed products can actually do more harm than good. It can spin your brain staring at a wall of supplements and not knowing which product to choose.

I had a patient that was taking a very popular joint supplement. He called it his "miracle supplement". However, he couldn't take it at night because it would give him "restless leg syndrome". I asked him one question to help him realize this product was far from a miracle and was actually harming him. "How can it be a miracle when it creates a massive reaction in your nervous system so badly that it causes your legs to jerk and prevent you from sleeping?" I read the label and there was a whole list of chemical additives. One additive is used to make plastic products and paint. He really didn't need to read a label to know this was not a good product. He just needed to listen to his body.

 Here's a quick way to tell if the product(s) you have or want to buy are good for you.

1) Start with the ingredient list. If any one product lists dangerous chemical additives then assume the whole product line is made with the same poor quality. Additives to look for are:

a. Dyes of any kind ~ artificial or natural.

b. Avoid any and all artificial sweeteners ~ Acesulfame K, Aspartame, Nutrasweet, Sucralose, Splenda, Saccharin, Phenylalanine.

c. BHA/BHT ~ The National Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) has classified this as a possible carcinogen in humans. It is used quite commonly in many foods as well.

d. Caffeine ~ popular in many weight loss products.

e. Polyvinyl Chloride ~ More commonly known as PVC. Need I say more on this? Yes, many companies use this in their products.

f. Chromic Chloride

g. Anything listed with Sulfate/Sulfite ~ i.e. Manganese Sulfate. (Sulfates and sulfites are also commonly used in foods such as dried fruit and meats.)

h. Titanium and/or Zinc Oxide (only acceptable as a reflective agent in sunscreens ~ not meant for ingestion.)

i. dl-alpha tocopherol acetate ~ very poor and cheap form of vitamin E. It is the synthetic form of vitamin E which blocks the absorption of the natural form. Look for the d-alpha form of tocopherol.

j. Any product that blends probiotics (the good bacteria in your gut.) with other ingredients. This should be a stand alone product and always requires refrigeration.

k. Products that claim to "have it all". Some nutrients prefer more acidity and some prefer more alkalinity for proper function in the body. When you mix these it disrupts their balance and they are simply not viable anymore.

The above list is by no means a complete list of toxic substances. One very popular multivitamin contains many of these dangerous, chemical additives and many more. Most of the chemical additives are classified as carcinogenic (cancer causing) and many are teratogenic (causes birth defects). DO NOT PURCHASE any product if it lists even one of these additives. And AVOID THE WHOLE PRODUCT LINE! If a company is willing to put dangerous chemicals in a product they tell you is good for your health, do you think they have your best interest at hand or does their interest lie more in their bottom line??

Product labeling can be very deceptive. Lesson #1: start reading labels to know what you are putting in your body! And, don't sacrifice quality for price because what you don't know CAN hurt you.

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