Toxins in Supplements

Did You Know…that your supplement may be full of toxic ingredients?

The very supplements we take to safeguard our health may be causing more harm than good.  That’s because many supplements, even ones purchased at premier health food stores such as Whole Foods, are contaminated with hidden, toxic ingredients that can instigate a slew of health issues.  We’ve identified some of the most common toxins, and how to spot them, in this issue of UHR.

GMO-Tainted Ingredients 

Many ingredients in popular supplements, including multivitamins, are derived from Monsanto GMO-corn.  Take a peek at the ingredient list on your supplements.  Do you see maltodextrin?  If so, there’s a high probability that it is made from GMO corn.  To make sure the maltodextrin in your supplement is pure, choose a vitamin that is certified USDA organic. Tapioca maltodextrin is the non-GMO alternative to maltodextrin.

Even more shocking?  The vitamin C in your supplement is also made from GMO-corn.  Experts speculate that nearly all vitamin C, typically listed on ingredient labels as ascorbic acid, is made from GMO corn.  Another reason to choose certified USDA organic.

Metal Contamination 

Here’s another reason to go organic.  Most soy products sold in the United States, even the ones labeled “natural,” are made in China using a hexane-extraction method.  Independent tests by the Cornucopia Institute, a nonprofit organization, found hexane residues in soy oil, as well as in soy grits and soy meal.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies hexane as an air pollutant, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorizes it as a neurotoxin.  Chronic exposure to hexane, such as in the case of factory workers, has been linked to damaging neurological conditions.

China is notorious for manufacturing and exporting contaminated products, including supplements, and lead and arsenic have been found in herbs sourced from China.

Aluminum has also been found in very high levels in detox products.  In 2013, Natural Newshelped to expose high levels of aluminum in Adya Clarity Detox liquid.  The presence of aluminum was confirmed by FDA laboratory tests, and the company had to recall the product and pay out over $1 million in refunds.

What You See Isn’t What You Get 

In addition to contaminants, many supplements simply make blatantly false ingredient claims!  For instance, inorganic minerals are often used in place of real nutrients in cheap vitamins.  The calcium listed on the ingredient label may just be powdered seashells. And healthful magnesium is often just inexpensive magnesium oxide, which provides no benefit to your health!

Supplements also commonly contain hidden MSG.  You won’t see MSG on the label, but you may see yeast extract, or “autolyzed yeast extract” or “hydrolyzed vegetable protein.” Sneaky!


Fillers to Avoid

Supplements often contain fillers to prevent pills and capsules from sticking to machines and to maintain freshness. The following have undesirable health effects.

      Carrageenan: According to the Cornucopia Institute, carrageenan is linked to “gastrointestinal inflammation, including higher rates of colon cancer, in laboratory animals.”  While carrageenan may not produce symptoms in everyone, those with digestive issues may want to beware.
      Magnesium Stearate and Steric Acid: These two fillers have been linked to numerous health problems, including a weakened immune system.
      Titanium Oxide: this carcinogen commonly found in supplements is linked to cancer, allergies, autoimmune disorders, and organ toxicity!
      Sodium Benzoate and BHT: These culprits have been shown to damage DNA, promote gastric and bladder cancer, and instigate liver issues.
    Cupric Sulfate and Boric Acid: Both have been implicated in DNA damage, birth defects, systemic inflammation, headaches, and depression.

The bottom line? Check ingredient labels carefully, and if you can, opt for a supplement that is certified USDA organic to limit the amount of toxins hidden in your vitamins.