Are your supplements doing more harm than good? While I cannot stress enough that you need to take vitamin and mineral supplements to keep you healthy, not all supplements are created equal.
Many supplements contain hidden toxins and metals that are injurious to your health, thus depriving you of the vital nutrients your body needs that you thought you were supplementing in the first place! And you’re paying for the privilege!
Here are merely a few of the toxins found in many supplements today and how you can avoid them.
Thanks to industrial dumping, manufacturing, air pollution, water contamination, soil contamination, and nutrient depletion in our soil, all of us are exposed to dangerous levels of harmful metals on a DAILY basis.
And what many don’t realize is that our supplements are no less victim to toxic metal contamination than we are. Heavy metals are deadly hidden toxins in our food, environment, and, if we aren’t careful about what we take, our supplements. Bottom line – toxic metals cause disease.
Many cheaper versions of supplements – especially those made in China – are polluted with toxic metals. Two big offenders are lead and arsenic, which are regularly found in products, supplements, and herbs from China (1). When ingested, high doses of theses metals can have many negative effects on your health.
For more information on the common sources and symptoms toxic metals, check out my Toxic Metals Guide.
Hexane-extracted soy proteins
Not all protein powders are created equal. Many (if not all) soy proteins are extracted using hexane. Hexane is an explosive, highly flammable, petrochemical made from crude oil. It is also a neurotoxin that can affect the nervous system, as well as the reproductive system.
Among it’s many uses is that of extracting soy oils and proteins. It is an inexpensive method of protein extraction, which is why it is so widely used. What’s really scary is that since hexane is technically a processing agent and not an actual ingredient in common soy products, companies are not required to disclose this on their labels (1, 2, 3).
Maltodextrin is a food and drink additive produced from genetically modified corn. Since it is a carbohydrate that is quickly and easily digestible, maltodextrin is found in regularly found in supplements marketed to bodybuilders and athletes to help replenish energy and protein after a hard workout.
But it can have dangerous consequences in causing leaky gut and killing good gut bacteria. In the US, maltodextrin frequently comes form corn and that usually means one thing: GMOs. According to the Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, “Virtually all the maltodextrin used throughout the natural products industry is genetically modified.” (1, 4)
Cheap binders are why many synthetic vitamins are poorly absorbed. They don’t allow a release of the nutrients. The worst offenders are cheap mass-market synthetics, including most brands sold at drug store chains, grocery store chains, and those found at membership club stores. These types of synthetics contain cheap ingredients that prevent absorption.
Toxic Fish Oil
Many of versions of fish oil supplements currently on the market are contaminated with toxic metals and chemicals. Among the top contaminants in fish oil are mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), Dioxin, PDEs, PCP’s, radioactive substances like strontium, and other metals including cadmium, lead, chromium, and arsenic.
In fact, a lawsuit brought by environmentalists in California maintained that a number popular brands of fish oil supplements contained illegal levels of the carcinogenic chemicals, PCBs. (5, 6)
Yeast extract is a hidden form of MSG (monosodium glutamate) and it is commonly found in “natural” foods and products. Why? Because “Yeast extract” sounds better than MSG, from which we all know to steer clear. Other aliases for this hidden form of MSG include, “autolyzed yeast extract” or “torula yeast” or even “hydrolyzed vegetable protein.” (4)
Today’s rice grains contain large amounts of arsenic, which poses a significant threat to human health. A recent 2016 study revealed that, “Arsenic can accumulate and reach high concentrations in rice grains.” Additionally, arsenic is sold as a pesticide where it can be used on such things as fruits, vegetables, tobacco, and rice.
Arsenic in rice then makes its way into popular protein powders or shakes that use rice protein – and often in shockingly high amounts – thus, increasing the toxic danger. And while it’s important to know that protein powders and protein shakes can contain all kinds of toxic metals, cadmium and arsenic are the biggest dangers. (7, 8, 9)
First and foremost, there is no safe level of lead. Lead is an incredibly dangerous and toxic metal that can seriously affect your health. When ingested, it can lead to birth defects, reproductive harm, kidney and liver damage, or even cancer.
As part of California’s Prop 65 – also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act enacted in 1986 – “businesses selling products to people in California must provide ‘clear and reasonable warnings’ before knowingly exposing people to any chemical on the list [of chemicals known to State of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity], unless the expected level of exposure would pose no significant cancer risk.” Lead is on that list.
Alarmingly, a recent ABC News reports revealed that among the calcium supplements tested by University of Florida researchers, 1/3 of them contained lead! Of course, this does not mean that you should avoid all calcium supplements, just that you should buy higher quality ones.
Dr. Edward Ross who worked on the study and is head of the renal disease program at the University of Florida’s School of Medicine, advises that, when purchasing calcium supplements, you specifically look for those labeled “lead-free.” (10, 11)
How to detox the Toxins in Supplements
The future of supplementation entails testing to customize supplements to exactly what your body needs. With customized supplementation, you heal your body and can achieve your highest level of health and functioning. The goal is a state of health where one feels their best. This is exactly the goal of my program MineralPower.com.
I don’t believe in a one-size fits all program. Your body chemistry is one-of-a-kind. And your supplements and detox program should be, too! With MineralPower.com, you get the exact supplements needed for YOU. And supplements free of toxins.
Mineral Power is a precise approach to supplements. A multivitamin is the shotgun approach to supplementation. With MineralPower.com, you get the sniper approach – exactly what you need to put your body back into balance.
The Medicinal Supplements Summit
Did you know that of the 54,000 dietary supplement products sold today, only a third have some level of safety and effectiveness that is supported by scientific evidence?
That’s why I’m hosting the Medicinal Supplements Summit, taking place from September 12 – 19!
This amazing online summit is dedicated to educating consumers on healthy supplementation and the latest in testing to customize supplements to what your body needs.
Join me and 50 of the world’s top experts in health and nutrition discuss how to choose and take supplements the right way.
Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, discusses toxic metals in food and supplements and how to avoid them. His talk is NOT to be missed!
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1. Adams, Mike. “The 10 worst toxins hidden in vitamins, supplements and health foods.” Natural News. March 26, 2013. http://www.naturalnews.com/039638_toxins_ingredients_nutritional_supplements.html#ixzz4J8FwS9OR
2. The Cornucopia Institute. “Dirty Little Secret in the Natural Foods Industry: Toxic Chemical Use.” November 28, 2010. http://www.cornucopia.org/2010/11/dirty-little-secret-in-the-natural-foods-industry-toxic-chemical-use/
3. “Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: n-Hexane.” gency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=68
4. “Maltodextrin.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltodextrin
5. Merck, Rudi. “When Never EVER to Use Fish Oil.” Mercola. October 16, 2010. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/16/rudi-moerck-on-fish-oil.aspx
6. “Lawsuit Raises Fish Oil Supplement Concerns.” Mercola. March 23, 2010. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/23/lawsuit-raises-fish-oil-supplement-concerns.aspx
7. Otero XL, Tierra W, Atiaga O, Guanoluisa D, Nunes LM, Ferreira TO, Rurales J. “Arsenic in rice agrosystems (water, soil and rice plants) in Guayas and Los Ríos provinces, Ecuador.” Sci Total Environ. 2016 Aug 31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27592465
8. Lombi E, Scheckel KG, Pallon J, Carey AM, Zhu YG, Meharg AA. “Speciation and distribution of arsenic and localization of nutrients in rice grains.” New Phytol. 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19549132
9. Mercola “Avoid These Toxic Protein Powders Until You Hear These Disturbing Details.” June 22, 2010. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/06/22/some-protein-drinks-could-poison-you.aspx
10. Schorr, Melissa. “Lead Found in Calcium Supplements.” ABC News. Sept. 19. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117953&page=1
11. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Warning Labels Based on California’s Proposition 65.” Last Medical Review: 07/14/2015. Last Revised: 07/14/2015. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/cancer-warning-labels-based-on-californias-proposition-65