Not all supplements are created equally. Many contain strange ingredients that are not food-based, as well as GMO ingredients, petroleum, rocks, and artificial food dyes. Americans spend over a billion dollars each year on supplements, yet many of these supplements contain ingredients that prevent absorption or can have adverse effects. For example, cheaper calcium supplements are made from rocks and have been linked to heart attacks.
What’s in your supplements?
That’s a very good question that is hard to discern from a label. Obviously, if your vitamin B pill is bright pink, it has artificial dyes. But what about the other inactive and active ingredients?
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a term generally recognized as safe (GRAS) when referring to food additives and supplement ingredients.
For a particular use of a substance to be GRAS, there must be both evidence of safety and a basis to conclude that this evidence is generally known and accepted by qualified experts…
We are concerned that some of the novel substances that are being added to conventional foods, including beverages, may cause the food to be adulterated because these added substances may not be GRAS for their intended use and are not being used in accordance with a food additive regulation prescribing conditions of safe use. In addition, some substances that have been present in the food supply for many years are now being added to conventional foods at levels in excess of their traditional use levels or in new types of conventional foods. This trend raises questions as to whether these higher levels and other new conditions of use are safe.
B. Dietary Supplements
Section 201(s) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 321(s)) exempts dietary ingredients used in dietary supplements from the food additive definition. Although a dietary ingredient used in a dietary supplement must not adulterate the supplement under section 402(f) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 342(f)), it does not have to be GRAS for its intended use in the supplement. However, other ingredients intended for use in dietary supplements, such as binders, excipients, and fillers, are not exempt from the food additive definition and must meet the same requirements as substances added to conventional foods. In other words, non-dietary ingredients added to a dietary supplement must be used in accordance with a food additive regulation or be GRAS for their intended use (unless they qualify for another exception to the food additive definition).
I do not know why any part of a dietary supplement would be exempt from GRAS. Furthermore, the FDA leaves it up to supplement manufacturers to comply:
It is your responsibility to ensure that substances added to foods you manufacture or distribute, including non-dietary ingredients in dietary supplements, comply with all applicable regulatory requirements for substances added to food.
Is anyone checking?
Mineral supplements from rocks
One of the most common non-food item found in supplements is limestone. This is a cheaper source of calcium than food sources. Doctor’s Research advises to read labels carefully. If a mineral has two name on the ingredient list, with the exception of chromium GTF, it is most likely industrial chemical.
And even though many people interested in natural health take minerals, the truth is that nearly all the minerals taken are “natural” for nothing except plants and/or industrial chemicals. While plants are designed to ingest and break-down minerals, humans are not. The truth about nearly all minerals in supplements is that they are really industrial chemicals made from processing rocks with one or more acids. The consumption of this “other half” of the mineral compound is not only unnatural, it can lead to toxicity concerns. Humans were designed to eat food and to get their minerals from foods. Foods DO NOT naturally contain minerals bound to substances such as picolinic acid, carbonates, oxides, phosphates, etc.
Just as it is cheaper to make mineral supplements from non-food sources, the same holds true for vitamins, even those marketed as “natural”. Doctor’s Research explains:
The truth is that most vitamins in supplements are made or processed with petroleum derivatives or hydrogenated sugars [1-5]. Even though they are often called natural, most non-food vitamins are isolated substances which are crystalline in structure . Vitamins naturally in food are not crystalline and never isolated. Vitamins found in any real food are chemically and structurally different from those commonly found in ‘natural vitamin’ formulas…
Table 1. Composition of Food and Non-Food Vitamins [1-10]
Vitamin Food Nutrient* ‘Natural’ Vitamin Analogue & Some Process Chemicals Vitamin A/Betacarotene Carrots Methanol, benzene, petroleum esters; acetylene; refined oils Vitamin B-1 Nutritional yeast, rice bran
Coal tar derivatives, hydrochloric acid; acetonitrole with ammonia
Vitamin B-2 Nutritional yeast, rice bran Synthetically produced with 2N acetic acid Vitamin B-3 Nutritional yeast, rice bran Coal tar derivatives, 3-cyanopyridine; ammonia and acid Vitamin B-5 Nutritional yeast, rice bran Condensing isobutyraldehyde with formaldehyde Vitamin B-6 Nutritional yeast, rice bran Petroleum ester & hydrochloric acid with formaldehyde Vitamin B-8 Rice
Phytin hydrolyzed with calcium hydroxide and sulfuric acid
Vitamin B-9 Broccoli, rice bran Processed with petroleum derivatives and acids; acetylene Vitamin B-12 Nutritional yeast Cobalamins reacted with cyanide Vitamin ‘B-x’ PABA Nutritional yeast Coal tar oxidized with nitric acid (from ammonia) Choline Nutritional yeast, rice bran Ethylene and ammonia with HCL or tartaric acid Vitamin C Acerola cherries, citrus fruits Hydrogenated sugar processed with acetone Vitamin D Nutritional yeast Irradiated animal fat/cattle brains or solvently extracted Vitamin E Rice, vegetable oils Trimethylhydroquinone with isophytol; refined oils Vitamin H Nutritional yeast, rice bran Biosynthetically produced Vitamin K Cabbage Coal tar derivative; produced with p-allelic-nickel
Its not just chemical ingredients to be concerned about, but pesticides and GMO sources should be avoided in food-based supplements too. Fortunately, there is an alternative from companies you can trust to provide safe food-based supplements. One company I trust is [amazon_link id=”B000EE9Y22″ target=”_blank” ]Rainbow Light[/amazon_link]:
Purity and Quality from Start to Finish
Sourcing the purest, highest quality ingredients is a priority in Rainbow Light’s formulating process. Quality assurance measures and standards are implemented at every stage of sourcing raw materials to production and finished goods testing. To support our Purity Promise, all inbound raw materials and finished goods are tested in-house as well as by third-party labs to ensure that our products provide the authentic ingredients and potencies listed on the label and that they are free of heavy metals, pesticides and contaminants.
Rigorous Raw Material Review
- • Source certified organic and non-GMO verified ingredients whenever possible
- • Allergen, GMO status and origin of material documentation required
- • Potency testing and botanical identification required using internationally validated methodologies* – AOAC (Association of Analytical Communities), HPLC (High Performance Layer Chromatography), FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) and HPTLC (High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography)
- • Organic ingredients adhere to National Organic Program (NOP) guidelines
- • Third-party verification whenever available, with testing performed at labs such as Covance, Eurofins, Arch Science Associates, Alkemist Labs, Advanced Laboratories® and Chemical Solutions Ltd.
Produced in GMP-registered, Certified Organic Facility
Once the purity of our ingredients has been verified, our supplements are blended at our GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), certified organic facility.
- • GMP registered with NSF® International
- • Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International
Finished Goods Tested for Purity and Potency
After blending and bottling, Rainbow Light tests finished goods in-house and via third-party labs to verify that what’s on label is what’s in the bottle, and that our products are free of heavy metals, pesticides and other contaminants.
We were sent six Rainbow Light products to try!
[amazon_link id=”B00014FSHK” target=”_blank” ]Rainbow Light Ultra Energy Plus[/amazon_link]
This supplement combines superfood with herbs to give you energy throughout the day. It is stimulant free and features B vitamins, bee pollen, and schisandra to help prevent fatigue.
[amazon_link id=”B00RHCEI8Y” target=”_blank” ]Rainbow Light 3-Way Stress Management System[/amazon_link]
Using California poppy and valerian, this supplement works quickly to calm and balance your body and mind when you are stressed. It is designed to be taken when you first feel signs of stress.
[amazon_link id=”B00024CW00″ target=”_blank” ]Rainbow Light Milk Thistle Plus, 60-Count[/amazon_link]
Milk Thistle Plus helps to detoxify and energize your liver for optimal functioning. Other ingredients include artichoke and ginger. It stimulates bile production and tones the liver.
[amazon_link id=”B00DKFEQEI” target=”_blank” ]Rainbow Light Counter Attack [/amazon_link]
Using classic immune boosters like Vitamin C and zinc, as well as herbal supports, this supplement works quickly when taken at first sign of illness. It even can relieve sinus and respiratory issues without stimulants. It is designed to activate your own body’s natural immunity to respond to seasonal illness.
[amazon_link id=”B00RHEFB4M” target=”_blank” ]Rainbow Light Pain-Eze – 30 Tablets[/amazon_link]
This product eases muscle tension and works quickly. It uses California poppy and meadowsweet to give relief from over work, exercise, and even menstrual cramps. You can take it two to three times a day, and it is safe for long-term use.
[amazon_link id=”B000EEBWIG” target=”_blank” ]Rainbow Light, Women’s One Multivitamin, 90 tablets[/amazon_link]
This multivitamin packs it in with hormone balancing herbs, probiotics, and minerals like calcium (food-based) and magnesium to support bone health. It also promotes energy! It’s specifically designed for women and is comprehensive. Eye, skin, brain, and metabolic health are all supported by this formula.
Rainbow Light has a program called Herbal IQ that guarantees the herbal ingredients are pure, safe, and effective. All packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable, as well as BPA-free. This plastic has a 92% lower carbon footprint than new plastic.
It is not just quality ingredients that makes Rainbow Light a superior company, but their commitment to sustainbility and the environment are commendable.
Do you know what is in your supplements? Chances are they are not all natural and not absorbed by your body. Rainbow Light was the “first-ever food-based supplement brand”. I have long trusted the company from taking their prenatals to giving my children their [amazon_link id=”B000EE9Y22″ target=”_blank” ]multi-vitamins[/amazon_link].
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