Hazards of Vitamin and Mineral Tablets
wise practitioner once said never to purchase parachutes, contact lenses or pacemakers
based solely on bargain basement prices. The same principle holds true for vitamin
and mineral supplements. You usually get exactly what you pay for.
time honored practices of the drug industry, many "natural" food supplements
contain an awesome list of synthetic fillers. In general, the more filler, the
cheaper the supplement. If it's in a tablet, the chances are close to 100% that
some type of harmful filler will be found in the tablet. With some exceptions,
pure substances such as vitamin, mineral chelates, herbs or amino acids do not
possess the necessary characteristics which allow them to be compressed directly
without the addition of binders, lubricants, diluents, disintegrators, coloring
and flavoring agents.
larger the tablet, the more it requires the use of binders, substances that give
cohesive qualities to powdered materials; in other words, they hold the ingredients
together for tablet formulation. A common binder is cellulose. Smaller tablets
may be manufactured using the cellulose derivatives (ethyl, methyl) as binders.
release tablets are perhaps the most worrisome. For example, the release of 1000
mg. of Vitamin C over a period of 6 hours may require the addition of 400 mg.
of hydrogenated oil (plastic butter) to the tablet. The addition of more oil prolongs
the release, while the use of less allows quicker disintegration.
in a vegetable-based capsule, powder or liquid form do not have such requirements
and are far less likely to contain toxic additives. If you are a strict vegetarian,
beware of gelatin-encapsulated supplements. Gelatin used in the manufacture of
capsules is derived from collagenous beef (bovine) or pork (porcine/swine) material.
it is true that most healthy people will have no obvious side effects from ingesting
the small amount of toxins found in cheap vitamins, the long term consequences
of continuous, daily intakes are potentially dangerous. Over 7% of the population
displays sensitivity to these chemicals which, for the most part, do not elicit
immediate allergic reactions in the average healthy person. Allergic reactions
can affect any organ system in the body including the brain which often displays
symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, depression, anxiety, hallucinations and
the most commonly used excipients in drugs, vitamin, mineral and other tableted
items are listed below:
"1992 Excipient Usage In Marketed Drugs, USA"
Sodium Starch Glycolate
Hydroxy Propyl Methylcellulose
Hydroxy Propyl Cellulose
following is just a partial list of what to watch out for in purchasing nutritional
supplements for you and your family:
GLYCOL - is a well-known anti-freeze used in products such as windshield washer
fluid. It is also the major ingredient in brake and hydraulic fluid. It can be
a strong skin irritant with frequent use in cosmetics, shampoos and medicinal
lotions. Propylene glycol has been documented to cause liver abnormalities and
LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) and SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES) - are used in
shampoos for their detergent and foam-building abilities. They are found in garage
floor cleaners, engine degreasers and car wash soaps. They are one of the most
harmful ingredients found in personal-care products like shampoos. Studies show
that these additives react with the ingredients of food supplements or cosmetics
to form carcinogenic nitrates and dioxins, all of which may enter the circulation
with each shampooing or oral ingestion. SLS can be retained in the liver, heart,
eyes, kidneys and muscles for periods of several years after use and have been
reported to cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, dandruff and allergic
potentially hazardous substances found as fillers in vitamin and mineral supplements
are SODIUM BENZOATE, BHT, BHA, TARTRAZINE, LACTOSE, PEANUT OIL, HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED
OIL, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, POLYSORBATE 80, MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE, MAGNESIUM STEARATE,
RED DYE NO. 33 and 40, ETHYL CELLULOSE, SORBIC ACID, FRACTIONATED COCONUT OIL
respected researcher, Dr. David Horrobin, describes BHT, BHA, tartrazine and other
coloring materials as "...inhibitors of the conversion of essential fatty
acids to prostaglandins or are chemically related to such known inhibitors."
Czap reports that there may be long term hazardous effects of taking such chemicals
on a regular basis in vitamin and mineral supplements including coronary artery
disease. BHT, BHA, chlorinated pesticides such as DDT, plasticizers, aromatics,
as well as some alkanes (saturated hydrocarbons such as paraffin or wax) have
been found deposited in the plaque of individuals suffering from coronary artery
disease. People who use large numbers of vitamin and mineral tablets may actually
be contributing to the diseases they are attempting to prevent.
on all this information, the best advice would be to purchase supplements in vegetable
capsules, naturally compressed tablets, powders or liquids that contain the fewest
possible additives. Please note that many manufacturers do not disclose all the
ingredients on the label since this is not a legal requirement. Always check with
the manufacturer and demand full disclosure before purchasing any food supplement,
even if it is purchased in a health food store.
Alade SL ; Brown RE ; Paquet A Jr. Polysorbate 80 and E-Ferol toxicity. Pediatrics
Louis. Excipients - The Important Components. Pharmaceutical Processing Jan 95,
KE et al. Vasculopathic hepatotoxicity associated with E-Ferol syndrome in low-birth-weight
infants. JAMA 1985 Nov 1;254(17):2422-30.
Al. IS YOUR POLYPLASDONE KOLLIDON WITH YOUR SO LKA-FLOC? Townsend Letter for Doctors,
November 1984/Issue No. 21.
Dr. Keith. Detergent Penetration Into Young and Adult Eyes. Department of Opthamology,
Medical College of GA, Augusta, GA.
David. Journal of Holistic Medicine, vol.3, no.2, Fall/Winter 1981, p. 132. Okhamafe
AO ; York P.
characterization of drug/polymer and excipient/polymer interactions in some film
coating formulation. J Pharm Pharmacol 1989 Jan;41(1):1-6.
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Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties
and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements
have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and
these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat,
cure or prevent any disease.