by Erin Schumacher – Preventdisease.com
The natural health supplement industry is now worth billions and the primary reason it has flourished is due the quantity of people who have become discouraged with conventional health care. The caveat is that the industry has duped millions of consumers into purchasing ineffective nutriceuticals. It has attracted greed and profit seekers looking to make a fast buck with low quality supplements at the expense of your health. If you are pursuing natural health supplements, knowing the difference between a brand that can help you or hurt you, can make the difference between advancing your health, or degrading it.
Most supplements on the market are crap. And a lot of them can do your body more harm than good. Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, there are reports after reports out there that warn you of the dangers of supplements! Scary stories have shown that low quality supplements lead to hormone disruptions, liver failure, high blood pressure and even heart attacks!
And more, most certainly, does not mean better in regards to supplementation! However, the problem is not directly related to the vitamins and minerals themselves. The problem is in the quality and methods of manufacturing. This makes the difference between a supplement that works and one that doesn’t.
We live in a world where we assume if 100% RDA is good, then 1000% must be BETTER! But this is NOT the case. Our bodies are in a constant state of flux – receiving nutrients and minerals from our food and drinks – and getting rid of the surplus via our urine – and to mess with this precious balance of minerals can do quite a bit of harm to your body if you are unaware of what your taking and how to take it.
The Dangers of of Low Quality Supplements
1. Manufacturers don’t need FDA approval to sell dietary supplements.
In the case of supplements, they are innocent until proven guilty. This means that no testing is necessary to put a product on the market. In fact, only when the FDA proves a supplement to be unsafe is it taken off the market. Scary, huh?
2. Many (if not most) supplements contain harmful fillers.
It’s common knowledge that drugs, vitamins or supplements contain more than just the active ingredient. Something has to encapsulate them–hold them together–in a form that not only makes them usable, but producible by a manufacturer in massive quantities.
Certain agents like Steric Acid and synthetic Magnesium Stearate have been shown to kill mitochondria (the powerhouse of your body’s cells). Additional research has shown that stearic acid suppresses T cells–your natural killer cells–which are a key component of your immune system. Your supplements could actually be contributing to your ill health!
Additional harmful and UNLISTED fillers have been shown to be present in supplements that are NOT listed on the label. In this case you are getting MORE than what you paid for….and that’s not a good thing.
3. You have no way of knowing if YOUR body needs a particular supplement.
Our bodies are not a one-size fits all. What works for one person might not work for another. While one person may be low on magnesium, another may be dangerously low on Vitamin D. Just because clever marketing on the television or in Men’s Health magazine makes out a particular supplement to be beneficial in a study, does NOT mean that this particular supplement is what YOUR body needs.
I suggest going to a naturopath or someone that does muscle testing to help you figure out what particular nutrients your body may be lacking.
4. Manufacturers of supplements do not need to inform consumers about side effects.
When it is established that an ingredient in a supplement causes side effects, the manufacturer does not need to inform the consumer. For example, bitter orange – a common herbal ingredient in weight loss supplements – causes high blood pressure and racing heart rate. But when bitter orange is sold, there is no requirement that consumers are informed about these side effects. I suggest you do the research on a supplement before you buy. I love the “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” for self-diagnosis and when I’m working with clients to see what is needed and to research potential side effects.
Product Quality Is What Makes The Difference In Whether You Pay Money To Hurt or Help Your Body
If you are really serious about your health, be responsible with what you purchase as a consumer. If you are going to buy supplements it makes sense to splurge for the good stuff. At least then you know you are actually buying a quality product that does what it claims to.
And it should go without saying – a healthy and well-diverse diet is the ideal. Supplementation should NOT be a substitute for getting your vitamins and minerals via a natural source!
Just remember to do your homework first and use only those supplements that come from a reputable manufacturer using whole-food, natural ingredients that are free of harmful additives, fillers and binders, and have gone through a vigorous quality control process.
And once again, supplementation should NOT be a substitute for getting your vitamins and minerals via a natural source! A healthy diet combined with exercise and a positive mind frame are the pillars of natural health and disease prevention!