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The Ingredients of My Multivitamin

Dec 12, 2017 0 comments

What you get with my supplement is as follows: proven effective ingredients; proven effective forms of each ingredient; proven effective dosages of each ingredient; specific and carefully chosen compounds that work together for maximum effectiveness while remaining safe and without any serious side effects. You get a product that works for-and-with your body and not against it.

I am not going to fill the capsules myself because my kitchen is not a multi-million-dollar-FDA-inspected-facility and so I would not be able to guarantee quality. It would, therefore, be a contradiction of my entire project because I would jeopardize the quality of production. Instead of doing it myself, I have found a top-of-the-line manufacturing facility.

Quick Overview of the Facility

The facility in charge of manufacturing my product is:

  1. Listed as a cGMP* facility.
  2. An FDA Registered facility** 
  3. Adherent to strict labeling policies*** 

* That stands for current Good Manufacturing Practices and it is enforced by the FDA. The cGMP certification means that there are multiple checks and inspections done by trained professionals to ensure “identity, strength, quality, and purity” of all ingredients and manufacturing equipment from beginning to end.36

** In other words, their facility is clean and they genuinely care about what they do. This also means that they have to keep everything in top shape all the time and constantly update their facility to be in line with the highest of processing standards. 

*** This ensures each label is exactly accurate and meets the standards of the FDA. Standards such as- the label must list all ingredients accurately and all health claims must be backed by research.

Ingredients

[If you are interested in the science info and the processes that vitamins and minerals undergo in the body, I suggest you go to Examine.com and type in a vitamin, herb, or compound. You can also go to https://ods.od.nih.gov/ for peer-reviewed research or refer to my references at the bottom.]

I did not want to bore anyone with science stuff so I kept it light and hopefully somewhat entertaining.

Here is a rundown of the theories and compounds in my product.

Fat Soluble Vitamins- Consume with a meal containing fats! Otherwise, all those precious compounds are going straight through you.

Vitamin K - A true American underdog, Vitamin K(eep calcium out of the bloodstream) is not given nearly enough credit and is lacking in the diets of many Americans.

I put in both Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 because they each have their own specific functions in the body. I also put them in because many Americans do not get enough of these quietly underappreciated forms of Vitamin K. 8 Vitamin K1 is necessary for blood clot formation a.k.a. preventing bleeding.

Vitamin K2 is important because it works alongside calcium and many Americans supplement calcium without realizing that Vitamin K2 is necessary for moving  calcium out of the blood vessels and into our bones. I did not include Vitamin K3 because it is a cheap synthetic form of Vitamin K and it should be avoided. 8

Antioxidants – Harmful in single-compound high doses. Healing in multiple-compound small doses.

I chose to use low levels of a variety of antioxidants in various forms such as flavonoids, carotenoids and the mineral zinc. I did this because when you eat a healthy mix of vegetables, you are consuming small (not large) amounts of flavonoids and carotenoids (among other similar compounds) that have shown to work together for your benefit by helping to reduce inflammation and prevent disease.9,10

I also included selenium, NAC, Thiotic Acid along with Vitamin C so they will all work together and keep each other’s levels high and active. These uniquely powerful antioxidants may help to lower inflammation, toxins, and stress in the body. Vitamin C and Thiotic Acid are uniquely beneficial because they can travel to and may protect the (hard-for-most-chemicals-to-reach) brain. They also may help prevent us from getting sick as often and increase ATP (energy) levels in the body and brain.11-15,19,20

I have also added an effective dose of CoQ10 which is an amazing and safe antioxidant the body uses for energy production in the mitochondria. That is important because liver and heart function are dependent on strong mitochondrial function. Both organs have to work all day and all night and therefore they need the mitochondria to produce the most energy possible.

CoQ10 may also help reduce cholesterol levels when combined with statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs that, as a side effect, reduce CoQ10 levels). It has also been shown to lower blood pressure and may increase physical strength. Oh, and CoQ10 may improve liver and heart function. Oh and did I mention…improved liver and heart function!?14,16

Hold on and know that I did not lazily settle for less as so many before I have done. I know that CoQ10 switches many times from its active form (Ubiquinol) to its inactive form (Ubiquinone {among other names}) once inside the body. Because of this switching, I have added extra Thiotic Acid which, among other things, will steer the “switching” process in the right direction and keep the CoQ10 molecules active and therefore at their most beneficial.

Thiotic Acid and CoQ10, when combined, have shown to have added benefits when they are together. Benefits such as repairing a dysfunction of the bladder (pretty neat) and being antibacterial (killing off harmful bacteria).17-19

B-Vitamins – May promote hair, skin, nails, energy, nerve and brain function and reduce the effects of stress. Oh, and quite possibly reduce your chance of heart disease by lowering homocysteine levels!

My personal favorite ingredient, and the one which should cause your eyebrows to sharply raise, your head to slowly nod, and your mouth to quietly descend with an expression of impressed recognition, is that I included an ample amount of natural folate. Finding natural folate in effective doses is about as hard as finding a unicorn and as precious as gold (Life Extension is the only company who sells it in decent dosages).

Natural folate is important because 15-25% of Americans are unable to process the cheap-but-poisonous “folic acid” that most companies use. Due to the synthetic folic acid winning over most supplement companies (and all cereal / fortified food companies), as a country, our folate levels are down.

The good news is that increasing folate using its natural form in proper doses in a high-quality supplement may replenish our stores and result in improved brain health, brain function, heart health, and overall mood.21

Vitamin B-12 has two forms; “Cyanocobalamin,” and the better tolerated, “Methylcobalamin.” Cyano is short for cyanide but you would probably have to consume a truckload of pills at once for it to hurt you (…which may cause OTHER more immediate issues).

Still… it just doesn’t seem right to make our bodies get rid of a cyanide molecule every time we take a supplement. The issue I ran into is that cyanocobalamin is far better absorbed while methylcobalamin stays in the body longer.34,35

So! I have put methylcobalamin into the product in higher levels so that you will absorb an effective amount but your body will not have to “deal with” any cyanide.

Note- Apart from B-12 and Folate, B Vitamins seem to be okay when supplemented in a synthetic form.

I also added Black Pepper extract which helps absorption by safely and partially deactivating a certain compound. The compound which is partially deactivated is the one that causes vitamins and nutrients to be urinated out.

It is as if a little compound is going around and putting sticky notes on all your supplement’s contents that read “pee this out immediately!” Since the black pepper extract stops the compound from placing the sticky note, the vitamins and nutrients swirl back into the bloodstream and get another chance at being absorbed and used.22,23

Fret not! Where others before me have fallen short, I have not slothfully looked the other way. I am aware that high levels of fat-soluble compounds may be toxic in the body and I am aware that black pepper extract may increase their levels. So, I have not included potentially dangerous amounts of fat-soluble compounds (such as Vitamin K) and as a result, the levels should remain at a safe, effective, and steady level.24

I have also included the following herbs:

Turmeric Extract (Curcumin) - Curcumin has rightfully earned a reputation as a compound that reduces inflammation and supports brain and liver health. In addition to that, it has shown to be a powerful antioxidant that may even help with mood and in several studies it has convincingly shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.25

 

I put in Zinc citrate with a recognition that zinc citrate is only 34% zinc meaning that of the 21mg I included, only about 7mg are actually zinc. 

This an important concept about which to know. It is important to know because when you look at an ingredients list on a multivitamin, you can now take note that minerals are not actually in the amounts that they are listed.

So when you see on a product, “100mg Magnesium Oxide,” it means there is actually about 60.5mg of actual Magnesium. And of that 60.5mg, you might absorb about 20mg or less. Thirty milligrams is very different from 100mg and is generally a useless amount when consumed as a supplement.

The absorption rates are different for every mineral so you have to look up each one individually.

Why Herbs?

The herbs used in the multivitamin are ones that have no known side effects and have been proven effective by repeatable, placebo, double-blind, peer-reviewed studies done on humans (not mice or a petri dish). If you are interested in those studies, I recommend becoming familiar with this free source of organized research: www.Examine.comHere is their page on Ashwagandha to get you started. 

There is room for herbs because I left out Calcium and fillers. Unfortunately, calcium is a very silly ingredient to put into a multivitamin. Calcium, in doses less than 1000mg, has not been well studied nor shown to be beneficial in any way. For a plethora of other reasons, calcium is best obtained from vegetables and does not work well when taken as a dietary supplement (it may increase Calcium blood serum but that is only half of what matters).

Key Points

-This multivitamin has ingredients that have been shown to support a healthy inflammation response, promote a positive mood, support heart health, and support liver function. These are not wild claims, these are FDA acceptable claims and furthermore, they are research-based. Multivitamins, when formulated properly, are essentially condensed healthy foods. When we combine healthy foods with research, that is when we get real results.

-Instead of mega-dosing antioxidants (which is done commonly and is dangerous), I use low doses of a variety of antioxidants that have been shown to work together. This is how nature intended it to be. For example, when we eat 5-7 servings of vegetables in a day, we get low doses (300mcg - 15mg) of many different types of antioxidants. My multivitamin simulates these levels.

-You may note that there is no calcium and the magnesium is not in its commonly used 'oxide' form. Please know that when companies (most of them do it) put Calcium Oxide and Magnesium Oxide into multivitamins, they are using it as a filler and nothing more. In those forms, the minerals are barely absorbed (7-10% if you are lucky).
As an example, my own company's pureDigestion blend has Magnesium Oxide in it for the high pH levels of magnesium (to balance acidity) but in no way is my supplement to be used as a source of magnesium. 

Synthetic Vitamin Absorption

The human body is old fashioned. It is old-fashioned in the sense that it does not accept new chemicals just because we think it should.

My son has a shape sorter. Together, we put the square in the square hole, the circle in the circle hole, and so on. Consuming some of the vitamins and minerals found in poorly made multivitamins is like me pulling up a picture of a square on my phone and shoving my phone into his shape sorter. Sure, I had to use enormous amounts of energy and time to destroy my phone to make it fit, but I got it to go in, right? Without being technical or scientific, that is a basic way to explain how synthetic folic acid and synthetic Vitamin E "work" in the body.

A phone is a very cool piece of technology, but it does not belong in a shape sorter. By the same token, laboratory-made-artificial-vitamins are really neat if you think about it (synthesizing tiny molecules in the name of nutrition is pretty cool). However, many of them cost the body more to break down than they offer the body in benefits.

Okay, I know my shape sorter example may have been oversimplified so let me put it a different way. At the very least, certain synthetic vitamins are not well understood and at the very most, they are poorly absorbed and cause harm to the body.37,38

Synthetic Vitamin E has been proven to be harmful and destructive in the body and taking it in supplement form has been shown to increase cancer rates.29,30 Despite these concerns, it is still prolifically put into multivitamins and other supplements.

Let us put artificial vs natural and cost vs reward aside and assume that cheap multivitamins get the nutrients into us every time we take them. (Woo!) But before we celebrate too much, we must consider an entirely different concern. We must consider the various ways nutrients and vitamins interact to hinder each other’s performance in the body.

Here are some preliminary studies that should if nothing else cause an *eyebrow of skepticism* to be raised at multivitamins which contain a multitude of high dosed ingredients and mixes of certain ingredients (regardless of their quality or form).

  1. There is some evidence that high doses of Vitamin E may prevent the functioning of Vitamin K1 and block the absorption of Vitamin A when supplemented at the same time.31,32,40
  1. One study found that high doses of Vitamin A can inhibit the absorption of Vitamin K entirely.32 
  2. Magnesium and iron may hinder or even prevent the absorption of manganese.33
  3. How to take Iron as a supplement does not seem to be agreed upon. Some believe it should be taken away from any other minerals yet multivitamin makers ignore this claim. They insist it needs to be taken with Vitamin C and that it does not interact at all with any minerals. Some other natural health professionals say that Vitamin C and Iron together are highly toxic. It is my belief that Iron should be supplemented on its own in a natural food-based product. Anyway, this multivitamin does not have Iron.

Here is an article I wrote that further explains the nuances of antioxidants.

 

 

 

 

References:

  1. Nahin RL, Barnes PM, Stussman BJ. Expenditures on complementary health approaches: United States, 2012. (433KB PDF) National Health Statistics Reports. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016.
  2. KENT, L. T. (2017, Octover 03). What Is the Difference Between D-Alpha & Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate? Retrieved from Livestrong: https://www.livestrong.com/article/545591-what-is-the-difference-between-d-alpha-dl-alpha-tocopheryl-acetate/
  3. http://www.evergladesuniversity.edu/ I didn’t quote them or anything, I’m just sharing that it’s a real school I went to.
  4. (2012, 1 1). Emily Ruff. Retrieved from Emily Ruff: http://emilyruff.com
  5. Pfizer's ad spending from 2008 to 2016 (in billion U.S. dollars). (n.d.). Retrieved from Statistica: https://www.statista.com/statistics/254404/us-ad-spending-of-pfizer/
  6. (n.d.). Centrum Women. Retrieved from Labeling Pfizer: http://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=3777
  7. Stern, J. (2017, 11 02). Multivitamins. Retrieved from Stern Healing: https://sternhealing.com/multivitamins
  8. (n.d.). What You Need to Know About Vitamin K2, D and Calcium. Retrieved from Articles Mercola: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/16/vitamin-k2.aspx
  9. H., et. al. (n.d.). Flavonoids-induced redox cycling of copper ions leads to generation of reactive oxygen species: A potential role in cancer chemoprevention. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28834706
  10. Pai, V. V., Shukla, P., & Kikkeri, N. N. (2014). Antioxidants in dermatology. Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 5(2), 210–214. http://doi.org/10.4103/2229-5178.131127
  11. Bermingham, E. N., Hesketh, J. E., Sinclair, B. R., Koolaard, J. P., & Roy, N. C. (2014). Selenium-Enriched Foods Are More Effective at Increasing Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx) Activity Compared with Selenomethionine: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 6(10), 4002–4031. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu6104002
  12. De Andrade, K. Q., Moura, F. A., dos Santos, J. M., de Araújo, O. R. P., de Farias Santos, J. C., & Goulart, M. O. F. (2015). Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Hepatic Diseases: Therapeutic Possibilities of N-Acetylcysteine. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 16(12), 30269–30308. http://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161226225
  13. Jiang, T., Yin, F., Yao, J., Brinton, R. D., & Cadenas, E. (2013). Lipoic Acid Restores Age-Associated Impairment of Brain Energy Metabolism through the Modulation of Akt/JNK Signaling and PGC1α Transcriptional Pathway. Aging Cell, 12(6), 10.1111/acel.12127. http://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12127
  14. Jiménez-Santos, M. A., Juárez-Rojop, I. E., Tovilla-Zárate, C. A., Espinosa-García, M. T., Juárez-Oropeza, M. A., Ramón-Frías, T., … Díaz-Zagoya, J. C. (2014). Coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves metabolic parameters, liver function and mitochondrial respiration in rats with high doses of atorvastatin and a cholesterol-rich diet. Lipids in Health and Disease, 13, 22. http://doi.org/10.1186/1476-511X-13-22RJ,
  15. , et. al. (2008). Restoration of blood total glutathione status and lymphocyte function following alpha-lipoic acid supplementation in patients with HIV infection. Retrieved from PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18315507
  16. Tompkins, B. (2017, 11 2). CoQ10 Proven Benefits In Heart Failure Patients. Retrieved from Life Extension: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2014/4/coq10-proven-benefits-in-heart-failure-patients/page-01
  17. Juan YS., et. al. (2008) The beneficial effect of coenzyme Q10 and lipoic acid on obstructive bladder dysfunction in the rabbit. J Urol. Retrieved From PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18804800
  18. 1: Zhao G, Hu C, Xue Y. (2017) In vitro evaluation of chitosan-coated liposome containing both coenzyme Q10 and alpha-lipoic acid: Cytotoxicity, antioxidant activity, and antimicrobial activity. Retrieved From PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28722258
  19. English, J. (2005, 2). R-Dihydro-Lipoic Acid The Optimal Form of Lipoic Acid. Retrieved from Life Extension: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2005/2/report_lipoic/page-01?p=1
  20. Jariwalla RJ, Lalezari J, Cenko D, Mansour SE, Kumar A, Gangapurkar B, et. al. (2008) Complement Med. Retrieved From PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18315507
  21. http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2015/5/Why-So-Many-People-Require-The-Metabolically-Active-Form-of-Folic-Acid/Page-01
  22. https://examine.com/supplements/black-pepper/
  23. http://nutrientjournal.com/black-pepper-piperine-increases-absorption-of-nutrients-antioxidant-properties/
  24. http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/fat-soluble-vitamins-a-d-e-and-k-9-315/
  25. https://examine.com/supplements/curcumin/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17906191
  27. https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/nutrition/10-reasons-to-drink-green-tea/
  28. https://examine.com/supplements/rhodiola-rosea/
  29. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/toxic-ingredient/dl-alpha-tocopherol-acetate
  30. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/18/dangers-of-vitamins.aspx
  31. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/1/143.long
  32. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/vitamins-inhibit-absorption-other-vitamins-5050.html
  33. https://labdoor.com/article/nutrient-nutrient-interaction-in-multivitamin-supplements
  34. http://www.nutri-spec.net/articles/hfm-b12.html
  35. http://www.methylcobalamininfo.com/methylcobalamin-vs-cyanocobalamin/
  36. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/developmentapprovalprocess/manufacturing/ucm169105.htm
  37. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17209208
  38. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9537614
  39. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/health/life-expectancy-us-declines.html
  40. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/819426-overview
  41. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/dont-take-your-vitamins.html

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements and the product is/are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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