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Archive for March, 2010

CONTAMINATED SUPPLEMENTS

Dr. Peter Cohen, writing last October in the New England Journal of Medicine, reported that the FDA in August of 2009 discovered that many products labeled as dietary supplements contained numerous undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients.  Dr. Cohen wrote, “ Now, more than 140 contaminated products have been identified, but these represent only a fraction of the contaminated supplements on the marketplace…This trend is particularly alarming given that about 114 million people ~ more than half the adult population of the U.S. ~ consume dietary supplements.”

In episode #11 (season 2) of CSI, a woman poisons her husband with the chemical sodium selenite. Strange as it may sound, this exotic murder weapon and its close cousin, sodium selenate, are listed as “nutrients” on the labels of most mass-marketed vitamins.

Even though both sodium selenite and selenate are classified as dangerous and toxic to the environment by the EPA and the EU, they are the primary forms of selenium sold on the mass market today.

In fact, most mass marketed vitamins contain chemicals that the EPA does not allow in our public drinking water at levels above 50 parts per billion. This is the equivalent to a tablespoon of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

How can a vitamin manufacturer advertise something as being a “nutrient” when the EPA –  out of concern for our health –  has BARRED it from our drinking water at all but exceedingly minute levels?

Both sodium selenite and selenate have been shown to be toxic in reports from the Hazardous Substances Databank ( www.toxnet.nlm.nih.gov ) and PUBMED. These reports show that both forms can be carcinogenic and genotoxic and may contribute to reproductive and developmental problems in humans.

AND…here is a one for you…Sodium Selenate is in Centrum and One A Day Men’s, Women’s and teen formula, but is mysteriously missing from the One A Day Women’s PRE-NATAL formula…hummmmm I wonder why that is????

In the case of stannous chloride (tin), ferrous fumarate (iron) and manganese sulfate, there are significantly higher doses in CENTRUM than are considered safe for human consumption in a liter of water. Although the others listed are at levels well under the EPA’s allowable limit, it is simply amazing that they are found in a product for human consumption at any quantity, given their toxicity.

Here are the list of “ingredients”, their amounts present in Centrum and the limits set by the EPA


Sodium Selenate: 55 mcg, 50 mcg

Nickelous Sulfate: 5 mcg, 100 mcg

Stannous Chloride (Tin): 10 mcg, 4 mcg

Ferrous Fumarate (iron): 18 mg, 0.3 mg

Cupric Sulfate: 0.5 mg, 1.3 mg

Manganese Sulfate: 2.3 mg, 0.5 mg

Ultimately, we need to use common sense in our purchasing decisions and realize that some companies will intentionally mislead the public with the complicity of regulatory bodies like the FDA.

The irony is that BILLIONS of dollars in health care costs – and the suffering these costs represent – could be saved every year if Americans took the simple step of taking a good multi-vitamin every day. Look for manufactures that use whole foods, organic if possible. These vitamin supplements are easier for our bodies to absorb and to utilize and therefore contribute more significantly to filling the voids in our diet.

So, daily whole food vitamin supplements can help reduce health care costs…does anyone have the phone number to the White House?

Body Balance ~ Whole food nutrition as Mother Nature intended!

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