What You Always Wanted to Know About Vitamins
"...lacking minerals, vitamins are useless" says Dr Linus Pauling

Questions & Answers - - about VITAMINS
compliments, Ted & Kathryn Kapela, Katies Natural Way, kayted1@aol.com

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What are vitamins?
A vitamin is an organic chemical compound your body must have for normal growth, metabolism (creating energy), and health. The body itself does not make vitamins. The only place the body can get vitamins is from outside sources.* The body needs vitamins to make enzymes and hormones. These are important substances the body uses to run all the chemical reactions you need to live.

Do I really need to supplement?
Yes, as much as all of us try, the majority do not eat a well- balanced and nutritious diet every day. Even if we did, current food processing destroys much of the usable nutritional value in our foods. Supplements can make up for this by giving the body a consistent supply of essential compounds. Additionally, supplements are sometimes needed to help deal with health problems. Finally, some vitamins should be taken in combination with others — supplements help to achieve this synergy and body balance.
"We are always hearing that you should get your nutrients from a "good, well balanced diet", but, surveys consistently show that large groups of Americans fall short on the requirements for some key nutrients.

Here are some reasons supporting taking Nutraceutical Supplements.....

    • Many, if not most, people over 60 do not get the nutrients they need - the major problem nutrients for this group of people are; vitamins D, C, B6, and B12, as well as folic acid and zinc.
    • All women who COULD become pregnant should take AT LEAST 400 mcg of folic acid every day. This vitamin can help to prevent certain birth defects
    • Vegetarians and vegans are often severely deficient in vitamin B12, zinc, and calcium.
    • Anyone not eating a balanced diet (which is probably nearly ALL of us), which includes at least 5 fruits and vegetables each day, as well as whole grains, dairy, and meat, poultry or fish, may not be getting enough folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 (which can help lower homocysteine levels and thus reduce the risk of heart attack).
    • People on low calorie diets are usually deficient on a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
    • It's clear - we all need supplements" Clive Spray,PHD
  • Are Supplements Really Necessary?
    The key to health and well being is found in maintaining a proper nutritional foundation. Excess's or deficiencies in any of the elements needed by the body could account for many diseases. Various parts of the body cannot be restored or rejuvenated without proper nutritional support.
    The following two statements indicate the need for supplements: "In the absence of minerals, vitamins have no function" - Dr. Mathias Rath, MD
    "Every sickness can be traced to a mineral deficiency" - Dr. Linus Pauling, PhD

    Many think that eating correctly is sufficient in maintaining good health. But the reality is that our highly processed fast food society makes it very difficult to follow a healthy diet. Processing and preserving of foods for market make it difficult for our body to digest, absorb, and metabolize the foods we eat. Consider that many of our fruits and vegetables are picked green, before they absorb the proper life giving nutrients, and that our soil is largely depleted of the essential elements. Nutrient depleted soils result in nutrient depleted foods. We cannot properly convert foods that have been irradiated, devitalized, are deficient in vitamins, enzymes, fiber, nutrients, and loaded with additives. Because we are not getting the vitamin and mineral nutrition our bodies need from the food we eat, mineral supplementation is therefore required. The importance of nutritional supplements is widely recognized in the scientific community and among nutritionally oriented physicians. Recently, the US Government has recognized the need for supplementation, and has recommended vitamin supplementation on a daily basis.

  • Why should I take this product over my old vitamin tablets?
    It is important to realize you are not what you put into your body, but what is absorbed and delivered to your cells. Since the process of digestion is a process of liquefaction, traditionally one has had to take a hard tablet, often coated with synthetic material, and turn it into solution. This may not be possible due to many factors, such as inadequate stomach acid, food allergies, and intestinal/absorption problems. An individual who has had intestinal repair or surgery has experienced this firsthand. Also, time is an issue. The constant muscular contraction known as peristalsis, which moves food from your esophagus to your rectum for storage is, for the most part, a continual process. Many of these vitamin tablets would be able to be fully digested and absorbed by the body if there was enough time. However, this is not the case. The majority of these products are passed from the body. The chart below indicates the of various forms of vitamins and absorption, as noted in the Physicians Desk Reference.

  • What is meant by the statement "The majority of these products are passed from the body?
    Have you ever read the ingredient label on your vitamin pill bottle? Many contain ingredients that do not contribute at all to your nutritional needs. These items are termed EXCIPIENTS (ik si-pe-ant). Excipient: a usually inert substance (as gum arabic or starch) that forms a vehicle (as for a drug). Additionally, details on these and other "inert fillers & binders" (wheat,whey, etc.) are not all required to be listed and may be changed from batch to batch without notice to anyone. For example: When a generic manufacturer of ibuprofen tablets changed the "inert" ingredients in one of his products, as they ran out of the normal "inert filler", those with an allergy to certain forms of "whey" would not understand why something they always take made them feel different.
    Makers of pills, tablets, or caplets have standard size molds for the precise size of their pill. It does not matter what the active ingredients are because the manufacturer will add fillers, binders, waxes, and other excipients to take up the space. A filler does nothing more than take up volume and some common fillers are talcum powder, sugar, whey and yeast.

    If a company claims it does not use any of these common fillers, then they probably use dehydrogenated animal fat or similiar items. Something has to fill up the space within the mold. Also, they must use wax or some kind of binders to make the components stick together when they compress everything to make the pill. In some cases, the molds must be sprayed with a releasing agent to allow the pill to drop out of the mold. Some tablets are coated with a shiny coating. This is normally a shellac alcohol mixture. Normal tablets must meet U.S. Pharmaceutical standards here or European standards in Europe. Pharmaceutical standards means tablets must dissolve within 15 to 30 minutes once in your stomach. To test your tablets, place white vinegar in a dish or glass and drop in your pill. Check periodically. It should dissolve within 15 to 30 minutes to meet U.S.P. standards. You can keep this test up for 45 to 60 minutes, but if the pill is not dissolved by then, it passes through the digestive system to the lower intestines for elimination, and can't possibly generate any benefit to your body.

    Items used in pills include:
    1. Propylene glycol - a sweet hydroscopic viscous liquid made from propylene and used in anti-freeze, solvent and brake fluid.
    2. Talc - a very soft mineral that is a basic silicate of magnesium, has a soapy feel, and is used especially in making Talcum powder. Recently banned in baby powder!
    3. Shellac - a preparation dissolved usually in alcohol and used chiefly as a wood filler and finish.
    4. Polyethylene glycol - (a) Polyethylene is a polymer of ethylene; any of various partially crystalline lightweight thermoplastics that are resistant to chemicals and moisture, have good insulating properties, and are used in packaging and insulation (b) ethylene glycol is a thick liquid used especially as an anti-freeze and in making polyester fibers.
    5. Stearic Acid - a white crystalline fatty acid obtained by saponifying tallow or other hard fats.
    6. Carnauba Wax - a hard brittle high-melting wax obtained from the leaves of the carnauba palm and used chiefly in polishes.
    7. Silicon Dioxide - a tetravalent non-metallic element that occurs combined with two atoms of oxygen in the earth's crust and is used especially in alloys and electronic devices.
    8. Other items include: Annatto, Titanium Dioxide, Dextrose, Lactose, Sucrose, Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Magnesium Stearate, Modified Cellulose Gum, Crospovidone, Hydroxypropl, Methylcellulose,Triscetin, Celostearyl, Artificial Flavors, Gelatin, FD&C #40, FD&C #6, FD&C #2, Sodium Benzonate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, etc. etc. etc. ......
    All pills contain most or some of the above.

  • Since I am taking vitamins do I need to eat as much?
    Vitamins are not a substitute for food. They have no calories and don’t give you energy directly. However, vitamins are essential to your body, especially the B vitamins. They are needed to convert food into energy and to maintain proper function of many body systems.

  • Are vitamins the same as minerals?
    No, vitamins and minerals distinctly differ from each other. Both must be obtained from outside the body, but each vitamin and mineral has its own specific and unique function in the body. Vitamins and minerals work together to help the body function at its best.

  • But if I eat well, why this need for supplementation?
    A statement by Dr. Larry Traub, M.D., F.A.A.P. may answer that question.
    "There is so much new information about vitamins, minerals and herbs that it is almost impossible to keep up with it! Unfortunately, my medical colleagues don't usually offer much help because they are notoriously skeptical about vitamins, minerals and herbs, as well as woefully uninformed about nutrition in general.
    Most people don't eat enough proper foods. Moreover, medications, lifestyle and emotional stress drains people of nutrients even if the ARE eating the right foods. Finally, the food industry has radiated, refined, processed and generally altered our foods to such an extent that we just don't know what we have done to their essence.
    As Chiropractors well know, our body is a functional and integrated energy system. When our energy is balanced and aligned then we are well and full of vitality. Vitamins, minerals and herbs are some of nature's best catalysts for energy balance and functional integration The body uses chemicals in these substances to build and repair bones, nerves and other organs. It's extremely complicated, and the old recommended use of vitamins, minerals and herbs no longer reflect our changing needs for total wellness. Until recently, we had not even known that folic acid could prevent neural tube defects (spina bifida) in unborn babies. Nor did we know that antioxidants could decrease heart attacks, stroke, cancers and cataracts.
    There are a myriad of special circumstances too. Smokers require extra Vitamin C, B-12 and folic acid. "Social Drinkers" need more Vitamin C, B-12 and Zinc. People who regularly use antacid; (Maalox, etc.) should take more thiamine and calcium. Antibiotics tend to deplete Vitamin C and riboflavin. Women on oral contraceptives may need more Vitamin C, B6 and E. Blood pressure medicine may deplete the body of Vitamin B6, Zinc and calcium. Cholesterol-lowering medicine may lower Vitamin A, B12, D, K and folic acid. Even laxatives can deplete the body of Vitamin A, D, E, K, B12 and C.....................Believe me, a well-balanced diet complemented with a comprehensive formula of ethical and quality vitamins, minerals and herbs is what I call: "Wellness Insurance" "

  • What about these new "natural" pills?
    The use of "By-Products" to make vitamin tablets is nothing new. By-products are the second-hand substances derived from an original product. As an example, Brewer's Yeast is a leftover in the making of beer, as yeast is used to ferment the sugar. Some companies take these secondary products, put them in a white plastic bottle with some other ingredient like caffeine and label them with sensational sounding names, but what they really are is just waste products with little nutritional value. They list the percentages of each component that can be found in the by-product, but dirt is also contains many minerals. Ingesting premium priced "rocks", as we call it, for mineral and vitamin supplementation is not sensible.

  • Is there any documentation supporting these comments?
    An well know independent testing laboratory found the following when they tested the top three competitive multi-vitamin brands. Waste and fillers accounted for between 46% to 69% for each pill or gell-cap! Included were the following items!
    Lactose milk/sugar (filler), microcrystaline cellulose (gum), hydroxpropyl cellulose (coating), povidone (glue), magnesium stearate (lubricant), stearic acid (lubricant), polyethylene glycol (wax), triacetin (plasticizer), titanium dioxide (yellow and red dye).
    The body must flush these items, as they have no useful nutritional benefit for the body. And, the kidneys and liver work even harder to remove these items. Does it make sense to purchase these items, and then flush them, where more effective and useful products are now available?

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