Last Update: July 25, 2018 at 9:25 am
SOURCE: News for the Soul
DATE: July 25, 2018
Not all supplements are created equally…
by Dr Holly, heard Wednesdays at noon pacific time on News for the Soul.
What? Isn’t a vitamin a vitamin or a mineral a mineral? Definitely not!!!
We have known for a long time now, that our soils are depleted in nutrients and consequently so are our various foods. Historically different societies understood that agricultural soils need to go through a seven year cycle of providing, laying dormant, nourishing and then providing again. but in today’s big corporate world, the soils are made to just keep producing and various fertilizers are used to try to keep nutrients in the soils. The problem is most of these fertilizers end up causing more harm to the soils.
For instance, you have probably heard that most of us are deficient in minerals like magnesium, that every cell in the body requires for a huge number of cellular functions. But because our soils are depleted in magnesium, so are the plant sources, which is why we are depleted. In addition, because the plants use magnesium for so many different functions, they are unable to produce all kinds of phytonutrients, like Vitamin C, that we need to access through the plant sources.
So, people are told to take supplements. However, just like some fats are good for you and considered healthy fats and others are bad for you and considered unhealthy fats or bad fats, in the same way, some supplements are good for you and others can cause more harm than good.
More and more research are revealing that synthetic supplements can do more harm than good. When various supplements are manufactured synthetically, they are designed to “mimic” the way the “real” thing works in the body, but whether they do or not, is a whole other issue. There are a few major issues that we can look at:
- When we access vitamins, minerals, omegas, fiber, or a huge number of phytonutrients through food, the given compound “should” come with all kinds of enzymes, transporters, trace minerals, co-factors, pre & probiotics and other compounds that help us digest, metabolize, absorb and eliminate what we need and what we don’t need, assuming it is a healthy soil and non-GMO.
When we extract a given compound or make it artificially, then it doesn’t come with all those extra compounds…and that is a problem. The body doesn’t recognize these compounds in isolation. They are not meant to be delivered in isolation. Because they are not delivered with all the extra compounds, the body can’t always digest, metabolize, absorb, utilize, or eliminate them. Because the bioavailability or absorption levels are less with synthetics, we take more.
If they do get utilized it is at expense of compounds taken from elsewhere.
If they are fat based and do get absorbed into the system, then they are stored in fatty tissues and the liver and can cause toxicity issues.
However, with nutrients that come through our food sources, small amounts can be more easily absorbed and utilized.
Let’s take Vitamin C as an example. In the natural food form of Vitamin C we find ascorbic acid, ascorbigon, tyrosinase, J factors, K factors, P factors and various bioflavonoids including citrus flavonoids, hesperidin, quercetin and rutin. The synthetic version includes one nutrient compound and other components.
- Another issue is the fact that there are additional compounds that are combined in the supplement, for instance, acetone, acetylene, artificial food coloring (Blue 2 Lake, FD&C Yellow No. 5 Lake, FD&C and Yellow No. 6 Lake), coal tar, petroleum by-products, soy lecithin (a GMO product) titanium dioxide, volatile acids, etc.
- There are two forms of ascorbic acid: the l-form and the d-form. Linus Pauling, famous for his research on Vitamin C, explained 4 different shapes of the ascorbate ion: L-ascorbate (found in nature), D-ascorbate (synthetic), LD-ascorbate (synthetic combined with natural) and DL-ascorbate (synthetic combined with natural). According to the Pauling research, only the L-ascorbate cured scurvy, which of course, is the shape found in nature. Note, all four shapes have the same atoms, they are just arranged differently.
A common analogy of the L versus D shaped nutrients is: a right-hand glove versus a left-hand glove. Just like the right-hand glove doesn’t fit on your left hand, in a comparable manner, the D shape compound will not fit into receptors and/or enzymes will not fit into it like an L shape compound.
- Another issue that applies to processing is how Vitamin C changes when exposed to air, heat and/or light. Consequently, foods that are processed or cooked in any way may lose some or all of the Vitamin C.
- Another example of fat soluble vitamins is Vitamin E. It is usually combination of both a d-form and an I-form of Vitamin E, making a dl-form. Again, the d-form occurs naturally in nature, whereas the I-form is synthetic. The synthetic form gets stored in fatty tissues and the liver and causes toxicity. Other fat-based vitamins include Vitamins A, D and K.
- Are you aware that a supplement only needs 10% of the natural form of any vitamin to have a “natural” put on the label? For instance, you may purchase a bottle of Vitamin D and find that less than 40% is actually vitamin D3 and the rest is vitamin D2 – which is a synthetically made produced irradiation of ergosterol derived from the mold ergot. The bioactivity of D2 varies significantly due to various issues like temperatures, humidity, and storage, but all are significantly less effective than D3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/84/4/694/4633079
The following is a list of vitamins that are synthetically produced and should be avoided:
- Vitamin A: Retinyl Palmitate
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin
- Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B12: Cyanocobalamin
- PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
- Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
- Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
- Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol
- Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate
However, we must be careful. It is not only the synthetic version of supplements that can be harmful, but too much of even a good thing can also be harmful. For example:
- Too much Vitamin B1 can deplete other B vitamins as well as interrupt insulin processes and thyroid functioning
- Too much vitamin B3 can cause liver damage and have an adverse impact on glaucoma, gout, and liver disease
- Too much vitamin B6 can also cause liver damage
- Too much vitamin B9 or folic acid can cause a variety of stomach issues and neurological issues
So far we have only looked at vitamins, but the same applies to amino acids/proteins, anti-oxidants, minerals, omega 3s, etc.
Let’s use magnesium as an example. There are a variety of different types of magnesium, the following are the most common:
Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate
This means magnesium is attached to an amino acid or chelated to form a ring like complex. The typical amino acids used are glycine, aspartic acid (aspartate) or arginine (arginate), although other amino acids can be used. Magnesium aspartate and magnesium arginate are usually considered to be the best.
Magnesium Glycinate (see below), Malate, & Taurates
Each of these are chelated forms of magnesium which have a higher bioavailability. They are typically sold with lower concentrations of magnesium.
Magnesium aspartate promotes cellular energy
Magnesium Carbonate – 30% bioavailability
Magnesium carbonate aka magnesite is used to treat heartburn and upset stomachs and is a good laxative when taken in higher amounts. Its bioavailability is about 30%.
Magnesium chloride is found in sea water and also has a high bioavailability. It is considered equivalent to magnesium lactate and better than both magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate. When magnesium supplements have good bioavailability, then they have a lower concentration. Magnesium chloride supplements have about 12%.
One can also use supersaturated magnesium chloride oil topically for sore muscles.
Magnesium Citrate – 42% bioavailability
Derived from the magnesium salt of citric acid. It is highly soluble and better absorption than magnesium oxide. A common use for magnesium citrate is as a laxative. It is budget friendly, widely available with relatively poor bioavailability.
Magnesium Citrate – ionic form – 90% bioavailability
Magnesium gluconate is the magnesium salt of gluconic acid. It has a high level of bioavailability.
Magnesium Glycinate – 80% bioavailability
Magnesium glycinate aka magnesium chelate aka magnesium di-glycinate aka magnesium glycinate, is more effective than magnesium oxide and is absorbed in different areas of the gut as opposed to most magnesium supplements. In addition to glycine acting as a calming amino acid, it is also the smallest amino acid allowing for a greater absorption capacity.
Magnesium Hydroxide – 10% bioavailability
Magnesium hydroxide has a low bioavailability and pharmaceutically is called Milk of Magnesia and used for constipation.
Magnesium lactate shows higher levels of bioavailability than magnesium oxide and is often used for digestive issues but should be avoided by those who have kidney issues.
Magnesium malate to bound to malic acid and found in fruits and vegetables. Malate is utilized by the mitochondria in the cellular production of ATP aka cellular fuel. Consequently, if you are having issues with fatigue and cellular energy, this might be the most useful magnesium.
Magnesium orotate, aka magnesium orotate dihydrate, is an effective form of magnesium as a supplement which has poor absorption in the gut, but is used intravenously. It is a compound that includes both magnesium and orotic acid. Scientific research (Dr. H. A. Nieper, M.D.) shows that orotates can penetrate cell membranes. This allows effective transportation of the magnesium ion to different cellular components like the mitochondria and nucleus, as well as being important to heart and nerve cells.
Magnesium Oxide – 4% bioavailability
Magnesium oxide is typically used as a laxative or to provide relief from acid reflux. This form of magnesium isn’t absorbed well, bioavailability is about 4%. It stays in the gut and irritates the gut lining thus working as a laxative. Consequently, supplements that use magnesium oxide supplements can contain up to 60% more magnesium than other supplements, in an attempt to get enough into the bloodstream to create an effect.
Magnesium sulfate has lower absorption rates. It contains magnesium, oxygen and sulfur and is sold as Epsom salts. It can be added to baths and helps to relieve sore muscles.
Magnesium threonate it chelated to threonic acid a form of vitamin C and is able to cross the blood brain barrier. Animal research shows that it increase levels of neural magnesium helping neurons to fire more effectively.
The magnesium I prefer for most issues is the ionic citrate magnesium. Because it is in the ionic form, it has greater bioavailability than magnesium citrate. Many individuals do not secrete sufficient hydrochloric acid in the stomach to absorb magnesium sufficiently or efficiently and magnesium citrate does not require hydrochloric acid.
Another additional example of something being both good and bad, is salt. We all know that common table salt is bad for you. It causes heart problems and all kinds of other issues. It is a man-made combination of sodium and chloride. Yet, the real salt, whether Himalayan salt or sea salt, is loaded with minerals and very good for you.
One of the issues that becomes very apparent when looking at research is the contradiction about the benefits of supplements. There are a group of studies that claim there are no benefits and/or actual harm from supplement. These studies are usually looking at synthetic supplements. Whereas the studies that utilize “real” or “100% natural” supplements show significant benefits. So as usual it becomes very important to identify not only who is paying for the research but what variables they are using in the study.
It is your body; your health; learn to make wise choices.
TODAY: Not all supplements are created equally…
Wednesdays at NOON PST / 3PM EST – The Whole Health Initiative with Dr Holly – BASED IN CANADA – AN NFTS GLOBAL LUMINARY SINCE MARCH 2014 – Dr. Holly is a Doctor of Natural Medicine, a scientist, a professional speaker, an author of Cancer: Why what you don’t know about your treatment could harm you and 12 other books and a practitioner. As a Doctor of Natural Medicine with 7 degrees & 3 designations in a wide range of healing modalities and 20 years experience, she can assist you in identifying and understanding your path to health. She can identify your underlying life themes, coping mechanisms, value systems and defense mechanisms to understanding the physiology and biochemistry and energy patterns of your body. She has a mobile health clinic that comes to your door and can assess 1000s of variables in front of you AND create a protocol unique to you. In addition, she provides consultation for physicians and clients around the world.