The Buzz About Supplements
A great deal of controversy circulates around the subject of supplements, such as multivitamins, multiminerals, and herbal doses. Many niches of individuals, including doctors, bloggers, and natural enthusiasts alike, argue about whether or not these products actually work. The purpose of supplements is to provide an extra kick of nutrition. Most people understand that they are not stand-ins for consuming healthy foods each day, and ensuring proper eating habits. They simply supplement and fortify what we already consume each day to ensure we get enough of the nutrients we need to keep our bodies working properly.
However, the controversy surround supplements increases, as arguments about whether or not they serve their specified purpose arise. Some people believe that because the Food and Drug Administration does not back their usage, that there is no possible way that they actually work. Others believe that they are an excellent edition to healthy eating habits. Still, others blame some ingredients used in supplements for a wide variety of health risks. So, which side is correct? And do these products actually work well in the long run? We found the answers to your burning questions, and provided the details you need to know to embark upon your journey in healthy living.
Ingredients to Avoid
Not all supplements are created equal, and some of them actually do contain ingredients that could cause some unwarranted health problems. While we do believe in consuming supplements on a regular basis as a means of providing some extra nutrients that your body needs, we also know that there are some unwanted ingredients often included. Here are some examples of ingredients to watch out for the next time you go to a vitamin shop or health store. Check your ingredient list for these additives, and steer clear for a healthier supplement.
Magnesium stearate is created through mixing a magnesium ion with stearic acid. This ingredient is often used as a way to keep the supplements from sticking together, and works as a lubricant. However, the stearic acid may also keeps the white blood cells known as T-cells from performing their natural function of protecting your body from antigens. It may also have adverse effects on the intestines, causing damage from long-term or chronic exposure. Magnesium stearate can impede a cell’s ability to function properly.
Artificial colors are often used in supplements as a means of keeping up the physical attractiveness of the supplement itself. They help them maintain coloration, and this is the only real purpose that they serve. Keep an eye out for ingredients beginning with ‘FD&C,’ followed by a specific color and a number. Many different food dyes have been connected with behavioral health problems, including ADHD. Plus, many dyes are petroleum byproducts, and could cause some potentially carcinogenic effects on the body’s cells. Another issue lies in that food dyes are endocrine disruptors, as they mimic estrogen when they enter the human body, increasing the risk of breast cancer.
Heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury, may also find their way into your favorite supplements – especially if you ingest fish oil supplements. Other target supplement products include those specifically advertised for women and children, as well as herbal supplements. While a small, specific amount of heavy metal is considered appropriate for a number of products (we do not agree with this consensus, and believe none should be found in ingestible items), consuming these products over long periods of time may result in buildup and deposit in the human body. This can eventually contribute to heavy metal toxicity acquired from chronic ingestion. Heavy metals accumulate in the soft tissues, and the signs and symptoms may vary, depending on the type of metal.
PCBs are primarily found in fish oil supplements, and also go under the name of polychlorinated biphenyls. These ingredients contribute to skin problems such as acne or skin sensitivity. Studies performed on animals showed risks of potential organ damage to the liver, stomach, and thyroid. Other documented shifts in bodily function affected the immune system and behavioral patterns. Plus, pregnant women will benefit from staying away from such supplements, as PCBs can contribute to problems such as low birth weight and problems with behavioral development.
Titanium Dioxide is not only found in supplements, but also in prescription or pharmaceutical drugs and some foodstuffs. It is a type of nanoparticle that weaves its way into a number of different products. It enhances oxidative stress on the cells that uptake it, and increases the likelihood of genotoxicity through DNA damage and cytotoxicity in studies performed on animals. Even worse, the International Agency for Research on Cancer identifies it as potentially carcinogenic, and may contribute to brain injury as well. Plus, titanium dioxide triggers an inflammatory response in the immune system, resulting in immunotoxicity. Other negative risks it may cause include neurotoxicity.
Talc or talcum powder is another ingredient that may be found in your supplements. Also known as magnesium silicate, talc is commonly used as a filler or additive, or as a means of powder the pill molds that provide supplements with their shape. Talc increases a person’s risk of developing lung cancer or ovarian cancer. Long-term or chronic exposure to this mineral can include symptoms like reduced urine output, loose stool and vomiting, fatigue, fever, and irritation or inflammation for a number of different body parts. This ingredient may affect nearly every system or bodily function in a negative manner.
Hydrogenated oils can come from many different sources, from soybean oil to vegetable oil, and serve as fillers for supplements. This means that unless specified in the ingredient list, you could be exposing yourself to GMOs through your favorite vitamin and mineral supplements. These kinds of oils may contain synthetic versions of trans fat, as well as being a type of solid oil that can cause circulatory and heart problems. This means heightening the levels of cholesterol, increasing the risk of clogged arteries, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and heart attack. Hydrogenated fats damage the blood vessels.
Optimizing Your Absorption
Now that you know what types of ingredients to stay away from, you can make better, safer selections in your preferred daily supplements. However, many people will still argue that they do not perform or supply nutrients in the manner advertised, that supplements are a waste of money altogether. Well, if you do not consume your supplements in a proper manner, then you may as well be spending money on candy. After all, we can agree that it is of high importance to understand how to maximize your body’s absorption of certain vitamins and minerals in order to receive the full benefits that they offer.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that some nutrients will compete with each other, meaning that they may attempt to impede the absorption of one nutrient so that another may be properly absorbed. For instance, pantothenic acid could cause your body to absorb less biotin. Thus, you would need to take your biotin at a separate meal time than the supplement containing pantothenic acid. Calcium has to take on iron, so you would need to take these supplements at different times a day as well. There is a delicate balance in developing proper methods for taking supplements so that they do not have to compete with one another to be absorbed.
On the other hand, some nutrients require the help of other nutrients to facilitate a proper uptake of both. For instance, iron needs copper for the body to properly absorb it. Likewise, vitamin D ensures an optimal absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Thus, you could create a regimen in which you ingest your magnesium and calcium supplements with a meal before you go for a walk in the sunlight. This could help your body absorb these necessary nutrients in the most efficient way possible. However, other minerals do not absorb as efficiently when calcium, such as manganese and zinc.
Another method for maximum absorption lies in the food you consume. Many essential vitamins require essential fatty acids for them to absorb and metabolize properly. These vitamins, called fat-soluble vitamins, include A, E, D, and K. Eating avocado or other foods rich in healthy fats before you ingest these vitamins will help your body uptake the highest possible level of the vitamin provided by your selected supplement. Other types of vitamins include water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and biotin. In order for these nutrients to properly absorb, you need to take them with plenty of water.
Supplementing Your Natural Needs with Face Naturals
We want to make your need to know a part of our healthy mission, whether the topic is food, supplements, skincare, or other small details in life that we pay less attention to. The danger of toxins and pollutants always lurks around every corner. So, we never rest when it comes to informing our readers and clients about synthetic substances making their way into household products. Your health, family, and community are all important to you, and ensuring the safety of these things comes through education and knowledge. Fuel your knowledge of leading a healthy, natural life with face naturals. Become a member of the growing face naturals family today to discover what is new in modern health.
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- Magnesium Stearate: Does Your Supplement Contain This Potentially Hazardous Ingredient?
- 4 Dangers of Food Dyes
- Facing the Problem of Dietary-Supplement Heavy-Metal Contamination: How to Take Responsible Action
- Toxic Substances Portal – Polychlorinated Biphenyls
- PCBs Found in 10 Fish Oil Supplements
- The Health Risks of Titanium
- Titanium Dioxide in Our Everyday Lives: Is It Safe?
- Talc as an Ingredient in Dietary Supplements
- Talcum Powder Poisoning
- Shining the Spotlight on Trans Fat
- 5 Dangerous Ingredients in Your Vitamin and Dietary Supplements
- How to Improve the Body’s Absorption of Vitamins
- A List of Water-Soluble Vitamins