7 Mistakes in Your Multivitamin: Analyzing Your Most Basic Supplement

Even the ultra-conservative (& often behind) American Medical Association recommends everyone take a Multi daily. The reasons are simple. Even if you eat a truly healthy diet (few of us even do that), we have deprived our soil of minerals (using chelating herbicides), and modified our foods to contain less nutrients (for taste, color, & sales).  What kind should you take? All natural first of all.

7 Mistakes in Your Multivitamin

1.  Use of synthetic vitamins – Just because a synthetic vitamin shares its chemical formula with a natural, doesn’t mean it shares its chemical structure. Picture your hands as vitamins. Each hand has five fingers, so we’ll label the chemical formula “F5.” So both are identical, right? That’s what proponents of synthetic vitamins will tell you. But you know better. Your right hand doesn’t work so well in a left-handed glove, does it? Vitamin E, for example: natural d-alpha tocopherol is a right-handed molecule, where synthetic dl-tocopherol  (made from coal tar) is a left-handed molecule. Guess which one your body prefers?

2. Inclusion of artificial flavors – It’s bad enough that you have to check all your food for Splenda (sucralose), aspartame, acelsulfame K (6-methyl-1,2,3-oxathiazine-4(3H)-one 2, 2-dioxide), & saccharin. You shouldn’t have to check the product you are taking to make you healthier for these chemicals … but you do.

3. Inclusion of dyes and colors – With toxins like red 40 not even allowed in Europe, the mounting evidence against yellow 6, and large control group, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies showing cognitive upset with artificial colors in children, you’d think dyes and colors would be left out of at least our Multi’s. But profits win over our health yet again. Marketing studies show people more willing to take attractively colored pills, so we have colors to deal with now… and we’re the ones to blame.

4. Non-therapeutic doses of nutrients – Picture this “conversation”: Your doctor says that studies show that  100mg daily of a certain drug will save your life, and it comes in  bottles of 120 pills, 25mg each. The bottle costs $50 / month. You say, “that’s great doc, but I only want to swallow 1 pill a day, not 4!” Doc says, “ok, I’ll have it made into 100mg pills.”  You see it & say, “that pill is too big Doc, and it costs too much anyway” Doc says, “let’s just do this: take 1 of the swallowable size 25mg every morning and let’s hope for the best. That will also save you 75% on your cost.” You say, “ok Doc, sounds good. Everybody’s happy now!” Well that’s the conversation consumers have had with Multi manufacturers. And now everyone is “happily” wasting a “not-too-large” amount of money on worthless supplements while their health suffers.

5. Use of blood thinning herbs – Look, I’m all for certain blood thinning herbs like Ginkgo Biloba or St John’s Wort, or White Willow Bark … for certain clients … in certain situations … when not on certain medications. But the sad fact is that most of America is taking daily aspirin, aleve, Advil, or diuretic blood pressure medication. Although some of these herbs might be able replace what they are currently taking, it could be dangerous to take the herbs in addition to other blood thinners. So why have them part of a multivitamin promoted to everyone?

6. Use of stimulants – Let’s face it. A lot of people take multivitamins to feel better immediately, instead of to plug the nutritional holes in their diet. Guess which Multi they’ll appreciate more and buy more frequently … a nutrient-dense one … or one with Tea extract (theophylline)  cocoa extract (theobromine) guarana extract (caffeine), bitter orange extract (synephrine)? Yep, the one that gives them energy within the hour. It’s not because of the b12 though, trust me :)

7. Mega-doses of water-soluble vitamins – So you are low on energy and wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds. You’ve heard B-vitamins give you energy and run your metabolism.  So which multi do you choose … the one with “only” 100% daily value” of B’s, or the one with “3,000 % daily value of B’s?” Hek yeah!  In classic American philosophy, if a little is good, more = mo’ better!  Or as Seinfield puts it, “pharmacist, if you’ll please find the dose that will kill me, then back it off just a little bit.” The good news is that large doses of water-soluble vitamins don’t hurt your body too much, and they are generally cheap to produce. So manufacturers will use this consumer mentality to increase sales. What you end up with is expensive urine in the best case scenario, stressed kidneys in the worst.  At least they hit your blood though. We know this because your kidneys filter your blood and feed the waste to your bladder. (if it hit your urine, it hit your blood. Don’t buy into this “nothing is absorbed” lie running around.”)