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Selecting Quality Vitamins & Supplements

What a challenge trying to find a line of vitamins and supplements that are high quality and made by a reputable company! Then you have the recommended doses according to the FDA, supplement companies, doctors, etc. After much research I've come-up with a game plan for my family that I'm comfortable with. With winter upon us it's important to add certain supplements to your selection to help fight off colds and flus, but remember food is your most important medicine; great quality, organic food with produce ranking number one. Keep in mind that vitamins are not a substitute for a balanced diet.

Showing Their True Colors

Sadly I found that many companies that make our supplements are only out for the bottomline; money. They add fillers to their supplements to stretch the profit and these fillers are dangerous to your health, so reading the labels and knowing what the ingredients actually are should be our #1 priority. Do your research.

Some supplement companies have lovely and pure sounding names such as Garden of Life which makes you want to run right out and buy them. While researching this company who was founded by Jordan Rubin, cofounder of Ancient Nutrition partnering with Dr. Josh Axe, I found some disturbing information; Garden of Life was sold and it is now a subsidiary company of the Swiss multinational company, Nestle. Finding out this information saddens me and makes me a little less of a fan of Jordan Rubin.

Nestle has a reputation that is quite tainted and I wouldn't knowingly buy any of their products. Nestle makes toxic food products and rapes our land of water to sell for a large profit and they also use nutritional science in their marketing schemes. See this article Although they proclaim their baby formulas (Gerber) as premium products marketed in a responsible way with science-based evidence; many of their formulas contain preservatives and GMOs.

For a more in-depth look at the evils of this company; Nestle/Gerber, click this link and take a look at their Gerber infant formula ingredients; some of which you can't even pronounce let alone know what they are. Half the ingredients in their baby formula/products are questionable yet a mother is suppose to give this to their newborn. Certainly doesn't sound right to me. My theory is if there are more than five ingredients, don't buy it and if you don't know what the ingredients are or can't pronounce them, don't buy it. Research ingredients.

Another supplement company, Pure Encapsulations sold out to Nestle in December of 2017 for a whopping 2.3billion dollars: Pure Encapsulations along with their complete parent company-Atrium Innovations.

Atrium Innovation’s other lines to stay away from:

  • Wobenzym®

  • Douglas Laboratories®

  • Genestra Brands™

  • Orthica®

  • AOV®

  • Minami®

  • Klean Athlete®

  • Pharmax

  • Trophic

Although Pure Synergy is made with organic ingredients, non-GMO, and gluten-free, vegetarian and dairy-free, unfortunately it contains maltodextrin which creates MSG during processing.

"Maltodextrin is a white powder made from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat. Even though it comes from plants, it’s highly processed. To make it, first the starches are cooked, and then acids or enzymes such as heat-stable bacterial alpha-amylase are added to break it down further. The resulting white powder is water-soluble and has a neutral taste. Maltodextrin's are closely related to corn syrup solids." Excerpt taken from this article by .

Although the FDA has approved it as a safe food additive; it is still an additive and PRESERVATIVE and according to Ashley Koff, RD, among other doctors and scientists; as maltodextrin is being processed it becomes MSG.

Above is from the ingredients label for Pure Synerzgy.

Another company that I had high hopes for was Puritan Pride organic supplements. I'm not sure how you feel about reputations or backgrounds of companies, but I want my supplements coming from a company I admire. I had to dig deep to find information out about them, but I found that Puritan Pride is owned by Natures Bounty, Inc.( once know as NBTY). Check the chart below and see the connection with KKR The Carlyle Group. Their President and Chief Executive Officer is Paul L. Sturman. If you look at his background he has been responsible for the development and marketing of major household brands such as Advil and worked for Johnson & Johnson where he was responsible for the brands Rogaine, Listerine, etc. Well just the mention of J & J makes me think....NO.

The Bad Guy List

This is my list compiled after doing my own research. I won't go into details, but suggest you do your own research and use the chart below that shows the mega-corporations that own your supplement brands. I'm sure there a many, many more to add to this list.

I read a comment from a orthomolecular nutritionist who believes "if they can't poison those of us with food; the supplements will be targeted instead." Most of us know that if a pharmaceutical company is involved; it's most likely poison.

Some of the Bad Guys:

Garden of Life

Pure Snyergy

Puritan Pride

Solgar (owned by Monsanto)


One A Day

Dr. Mercola (Douglas Laboratories)


PDF for above chart click here and scroll to Vitamin Parent Companies.

Unfortunately many of our local "health" stores carry brands that have been bought by large unethical corporations. After writing to one of my local health stores regarding my concerns I was basically told that most people were not as concerned as I was and it wasn't profitable to discontinue carrying these items. Quote: "I don't think it would be economically viable to operate without them". It goes to show us that no matter who is selling supplements whether an online health product retailer; doctor affiliated or not, or at your local trusted health store you need to do your research.

Something that I find disturbing; companies that mainly sell unhealthy and toxic products that have the nerve to have an organic line. To me this says two things; first they want a piece of the pie (it's all about money and greed), and secondly they have no morals. I try to buy my organic products from companies that have dedicated themselves to organics only. I want to support them for their efforts and dedication to making good, healthy foods and products for the world.

Also, the fact that many large corporations get away with touting how good their product is when that is a boldfaced lie.

Types of Certifications

  • Biodynamic Association-Biodynamics is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition, and a potent force for change worldwide.

  • FDA-Food and Drug Administration. Personally I feel FDA certification really doesn't hold a lot of merit and the FDA is a crooked agency that is bought and paid for by many large companies.

  • USDA Organic-USDA Organic Certification is offered for products with 95 percent or more organic ingredients. It ensures product ingredients are grown and processed according to federal standards on soil quality, weed and pest control, and additive use, among other things.

  • Natural Food Certifiers (NFC)-Natural Food Certifiers exclusively certifies the natural and organic products industry and works to ensure that their certification is given to products that meet the highest standards.

  • Non GMO Project-Labels foods and supplements that have not been genetically engineered. GMOs stands for Genetically Modified Organisms and are plants, animals, microorganisms and other ingredients that have been manipulated by scientists to allegedly assist in their production, preparation or use as a food. Scientists manipulate or modify genes in ways not previously possible in nature or through crossbreeding.

  • GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice)-GMP certification is a system which design to ensure the products are consistently produced follow the quality standards. Therefore, manufacturers, processors, and packagers are encouraging proactively adopt this system as a result ensure their products are safe and pure. Besides, GMP regulations require a quality approach to manufacturing, enabling companies to minimize or eliminate instances of contamination, mix-up, and errors.

  • QAI (Quality Assurance International)-QAI is a global leader in organic certification. When a manufacturing facility is QAI certified, it has been verified as abiding by the the National Organic Program guidelines, and fit to handle or process organic products that are sold, labeled, or represented as “100% Organic,” “Organic,” or “Made with Organic Ingredients.”

Who are the Good Guys?

Ok so you probably are thinking...who are the good guys!? Well through my research at this time I am inclined to believe that the following makers of vitamins and supplements deserve to be put on my list of "good guys". Please let me know if there are any I should add or take off the list.

The Good Guys List

Organixx- One of my all-time favorites. If you've made organic food a priority you know that for a farmer or company to be FDA certified it is very difficult and costly. This company is not FDA certified although they use organic ingredients. Part of choosing a supplement company is trust; sometimes you just have to trust your intuition. I am concerned about the 3000mcg's of Vitamin A in their multi-vitamin and have written to the company regarding this. This company's mission statement video makes me feel good, so I'm rooting for them in hopes that they will remove the Vitamin A or lower the amount to under 200IU's. Multi-$54 for a 30 day supply.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman Supplements-As a great admirer of Dr. Fuhrman I am leaning towards his supplements. I was disappointed that his are not organic and wrote to the company to express my concerns and received this response: "We recognize the importance of using the finest, all-natural whole foods in our products, and our goal is to use organic ingredients for everything we make. This is an ongoing challenge, because some organic ingredients are not available year-round; others are extremely expensive and would drive our prices up significantly." "Our team is always exploring viable ways to incorporate organic ingredients and has made excellent progress in updating our recipes and manufacturing process. We are committed to bringing you the finest and most environmentally friendly products to fit into your health-conscious lifestyle." There is no Vitamin A or folic acid in his products. Woman's Multi-$42 for a 60 day supply.

New Chapter-Main headquarters is in Brattleboro, VT. "At New Chapter, we delight in a culture of warmth, enthusiasm, and respect. That’s why we express our concern for the planet not only through our sourcing and formulation principles, but also with every action we take as a company. From energy efficiency, to waste reduction and shipping recycling, New Chapter is proud to be a Certified B Corporation, which means we define success in holistic terms that encompass not just profit, but people and Earth, too." Their supplements are made with organic, non-GMO ingredients. Multi-vitamin contains 900mcg/36000IU of Vitamin A. Women's Multi-$27 for a 24 day supply.

Trace Minerals-I have to say their mission statement and morals are impressive. They also have many certifications; GMP, GRAS, and transparency through cGMP certification-verification by a third party. Multi-vitamin contains 1200mcg/48000IU of Vitamin A. They are not organic, but use very high quality ingredients. Worth your looking at and considering. Multi-$41 for a 60 day supply.

Ancient Nutrition- from Dr. Josh Axe; great quality, but always look into ingredients and weigh the benefits, etc. Also contains high amounts of Vitamin A. If you are a vegetarian or vegan this multi-vitamin isn't for you. Women's Multi-$44.95 for a 30 day supply.

Please consider private labels and shopping locally.

%DV (Daily Value)

Keep in mind that the %DV is a governmental suggested amount of particular vitamins. Through the years the percents have changed and to make it more complicated the percent is different for men, women and children. The %DV is based on the amount of a specific nutrient that is just above the amount to keep from developing nutrient deficiency diseases and this is a recommendation for healthy individuals. Ugh. Seems all so confusing right?!

Looking at the Multi-Vitamin below you'll notice things like; Vitamin A per serving is 3000mcg and the %DV is 333%! Then Vitamin C is 62mg and 68% DV. So why so much of A and so little of C?

The daily value for Vitamin A is 900mcg* and Vitamin C is 90mg. Here's the link so you can check out all the values. Keep in mind that this is according to the FDA.

*Important information about Vitamin A: Excess of Vitamin A is a risk for cancer according to a Cochrand review. Also, supplemental Vitamin A induces calcium loss contributing to osteoporosis. If you are eating a relatively healthy diet you do not need extra vitamin A. There is one reason not to listen to everything the FDA says. If you do select a multi-vitamin with vitamin A in it be sure it is under 200IU's per serving as per Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

Also note that folate and folic acids are not the same. Folate is found naturally in plant foods and is a member of the Vitamin B family. Folic is a synthetic form of folate; not good! Folic acid is added to refined grain and enriched products like bread, rice, and pasta in an attempt to replace the nutrients lost during processing. (Refined food clue...don't eat them.)

Now let's look at Vitamin C. Research shows that in order to support immune function 1,000mg is needed. Since Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin it means what your body doesn't need you pee away. Harmless side effects of too much are a loose stool.

As far as making sure you get enough vitamins to stay healthy; finding a good food regimen that includes organic produce and no processed foods will take you on a path towards good health. Find a doctor who believes what Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". This will give you a great start at staying or getting well. Also, your doctor will be able to preform tests to look at possible vitamin and mineral deficiencies. For at home testing click here.

As Dr. Joel Fuhran says in his book, "Eat to Live", " I often recommend that people take sensibly designed, high-quality vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure that they get enough vitamin D, vitamin B 12, zinc, and iodine. It is also a good idea to take supplemental omega-3 fatty acids or DHA."

Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency can lead to an increased risk of influenza, so make sure to take vitamin D! Vitamin D has been found to lower a woman's risk of breast cancer by 45%! WOW! That in its self is reason to make sure to take your vitamin D!!

A deficiency in certain vitamins;D, B6, B1, has been known to cause seizures. Also vitamin E is under investigation as an anti-seizure treatment.

One fact of interest is that vegetarians tend to have low levels of B12, iodine and zinc.

I won't go into how much because I believe that is up to you and your physician to workout and it's a whole other article.

I will just touch base on absorption though.

Units of Measure Key:

g = grams mg = milligrams mcg = micrograms mg NE = milligrams of niacin equivalents mcg DFE = micrograms of dietary folate equivalents mcg RAE = micrograms of retinol activity equivalents IU = international unit

Converter MCG to IU

Food Sources:

Vitamin A: Salmon, other cold-water fish, egg yolks, fortified dairy products.

Vitamin B: (take into account the different types of B) Salmon, eggs, black beans, green vegetables, brown rice, mushrooms, potatoes, broccoli.

Vitamin C: Kiwi, red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cauliflower

Vitamin D: Sunshine!!

Vitamin E: Sunflower Seeds, almonds, hazel nuts, salmon, avocado

Vitamin K: Brussel Sprout, celery, scallions, blackberries, kale, spinach

Zinc: Pumpkin seeds, lentils, spinach, avocados

And so on.

But What is Actually Needed?

Depending on your source; one might recommend a multi-vitamin for everyone while other resources say you only need to supplement a few specific vitamins according to your diet and deficiencies. I've found in my research that it seems everyone needs a vitamin D2 supplement; again talk to your doctor regarding this or test for a deficiency.

Tests are available to check for vitamin deficiencies. Here's a link to one such company that offers them.

My selection for my family's health are as follows:

Dr. Fuhrman's Women's Daily and Men's Daily

Organic Gaia Herbs Elderberry Gummies (to help keep immune system strong)

Therapeutic Essential Oils from Dr. Axe

To add in case influenza or a virus strikes:

Note these amounts were recommended by the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service and the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine. See the PDF here.

I am looking for good suppliers of these individual supplements.

Organic Vitamin C Up to 3,000 milligrams divided throughout the day.

Organic Vitamin D3 Start with 5,000IU's per day for 2 weeks and then reduce to just the Multi-Vitamin or 2,000IU's per day.

Organic Zinc Total of up to 20mg's per day.

Selenium 100mcg per day.

Colloidal Silver

At this time I am still researching sources for this list.

I will continue to look for a multi-vitamin that has lower or no vitamin A, is organic and a reputable company.

In closing I want to say that I'm sure there a many others worth considering. If you'd like please recommend them for a possible part II of this article.

Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor or expert on supplements. I do research for my personal decision making and would suggest you do the same. The above information was compiled for my use and to give you an incentive to do your own research before taking any supplement yourself or giving it to your children and family.

May God Bless Us All.

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