You walk into the local grocery store or drugstore and see shelf after shelf filled with what looks like high quality, reputable supplements; vitamins, minerals, and the like line the shelves promising to bring you optimal health and vitality if you take them. But you know better, somewhere along the way you’ve heard that you shouldn’t just pick up the first supplement you see, especially at the grocery store so you move on. (And with the Food and Drug Administrations report of 29,000 different supplements on the market today, you really need to know what you’re looking for and what to avoid.)
The Search for High Quality Supplements Goes On
Next you hit your local health food store. Surely this place will have high quality, health promoting supplements that will propel your health to the next level of good. Sure they may cost a little more but you know taking a high quality supplement is well worth it. However, as you pick up the store’s own signature brand you hesitate and read the label. Now in the back of you head you’re thinking really it’s a waste of time that this supplement must be one of the best, after all it’s a local health food store and they’ve put their name on these supplements. But what you see may just surprise you.
When it comes to supplements many of them are filled with all the wrong ingredients. That is, not only do they have unwanted additives, preservatives, fillers, and even food dyes, the source of the supplement they provide is less than optimal. So read those labels.
What to Avoid in Your Supplements
Now here’s the problem I find with most supplements; many are synthetic or synthetic isolates. That means the vitamin or mineral is only partial and is combined with a chemical. There are two problems here:
2 Problems with Mainstream Supplements
- You’re only getting ‘part’ of the vitamin or mineral when your body needs the whole thing.
- You’re adding chemicals into your system. This is something you want to avoid doing in all aspects of your life especially with what you eat or ingest.
When you take a supplement it’s already a second choice to getting this nutrient straight from the source via the food. However, if you choose a low quality supplement you’re taking another step further away from the original, most nutritious source. Really these types of supplements are a sad alternative to the real deal – the food source.
I took a trip to my local health food store, picked up their top selling supplements and here are some of the ingredients I found that you want to avoid.
#1 Common Supplement Ingredient to Avoid
Magnesium stearate (reportedly in 95% of all supplements)
Now you may or may not about this ingredient but I’ve written extensively on it and its role in supplements. (insert link to articles) In brief, magnesium stearate is used in many industries including the supplement industry. In this industry it is used as a lubricant to prevent the particles of the nutrients from slowing the equipment thereby allowing them to operate at maximum speeds.
Magnesium stearate contains many toxins as it is made from hydrogenating cottonseed oil. This type of oil has been found to have the highest concentrations of toxins or pesticide residues as the cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops today.
To make matters worse, these hydrogenated oils themselves are dangerous as they have been molecularly altered. There are still no clear implications of long term consumption of these types of oils. In addition, the process of hydrogenation involves a metal catalyst. The impact of using this metal catalyst on the body is still unknown.
According to an article in 1990 in Immunology, magnesium stearates impede the function of the vital T cells. As you probably know, T cells are a vital and integral part of the immune system.
In fact, magnesium stearates are classified as a ‘hazardous material.’ Its described uses include:
- Paint drier
- Varnish drier
- Dusting powder
Even without mounds of scientific data, common sense says this is not something you want to be ingesting on a daily basis. What’s more is that these synthetic supplements are hard for the body to digest and absorb so in the end you get very little of the benefits. In other words, you’re wasting your money at best and may be harming your own life at the worst.
Let’s talk about high quality supplements you want to take, not avoid.
What to Look for in Your Supplements
I highly recommend taking whole food supplements. One of the best ways to be certain that you’re taking high quality supplements is to find a reputable supplier and stick with them.
Before you swallow those synthetic supplements think twice and ask yourself if you’re helping or hurting your body.