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Intelligent Use of Dietary Supplements?
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See new updated research at Vitamin Workshop 101, a companion website:   www.vitaminworkshop.com 




    "Words are things, and a small drop of ink,

    Falling like dew upon a thought, produces

    That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."

                                                  Lord Byron                   


The articles on this website open a discussion on vitamin supplement usage that is vitally needed and long overdue. Why is this necessary?  

  • Recent scientific study results are both expanding nutritional knowledge and  ...challenging...  some long held and "assumed" vitamin facts.  
  • Vitamin supplements can have both ...benefits and risks..., often as dosages vary and body levels change. 
  • These new discoveries have profound implications for health, but are remaining hidden from public health discussions.  
  • The ...novel vitamin concepts... explored here attempt to clarity emerging vitamin concerns by providing both science study references plus simple concepts to explain how they ...influence body functions. 
  • These issues are not just limited to minor players, but involve some of the ...major nutrients...,  calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
  • Staying Healthy is getting more difficult. Not only with advancing age and related slowdown in metabolism, but also from increasing food contamination, reduced food nutrient content from seed manipulation and loss of soil fertility, and also environmental toxin build-up. 
Popular Current Vitamin issues:*** 
  1. Strontium for bones - The Good, the Bad and the ....Unknown   article
  2. Natural versus synthetic vitamins - Yes, there are some differences but rarely are you given the "whole" story    article
  3. "Foodform" or whole food vitamins - Are they worth the price and do you know what they really are?   article  article
  4. Vitamin D - Is it really a vitamin or a steroid hormone?  article
***The continuation of many of the concepts developed here plus updated research will be found on a related RightWay Vitamin website- Vitamin Workshop 101click here

 Before You Take Another Vitamin, You should know this... article
TOOL to HELP understand Vitamin Choices
For the first time, a ...comprehensive multiple vitamin mineral criteria ... for picking healthier formulas have been developed. When you learn the supporting facts behind the dosages and forms in this new criteria, you will gain greater insight into health concepts and vitamin actions.

Discover why most multiple vitamins in the marketplace today fail to address the points that make up this new Vitamin Criteria.

Doctors receive very inadequate vitamin training in medical school. Asking them for vitamin advice gets you more contra-indications with drugs rather than sound nutritional knowledge. It is the rare Doctor that is versed in nutritional education. Dietititions and Nutritionists are quite educated in traditional nutrition which has some serious flaws still accepted as truths.


Most Vitamins have a window of optimal effects between very definite amounts. The mentality of many Americans "if a little is good, more is better" is absolutely NOT true for vitamins. Too much is potentially as damaging as not enough. Unfortunately, this optimal amount can widely vary in different groups of people, often due to genetic influences. This brings up:

Science has difficulty using the scientific method with vitamin studies due to these variations. As an example, studies testing vitamins on breast cancer can be infuenced by many genetic factors. There is a certain gene that is now known to be associated with greater risk. The gene pool of test subjects have to be carefully screened in order to not bias study results.

Beneficial Vitamin emerging concepts:
  • Viamin C link to Cancer protection discovered
  • Vitamin K on Bone growth and protection from artery disease
  • Vitamin D expanded roles in immunity, infection fighting, and cancer prevention
  • Importance of Anti-oxidant load balance
  • Vitamin supplement consumers have on average 5% longer telomeres ref (Dr. Oz recently mentioned this)
  • Magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker
  • Vitamins C& E reduce inflammation effects on arteries after high fat meal
  • CoQ10 improves cardiovascular parameters in heart disease
  • OPCs from grape seed extract protect elastin and collagen fiber intregrity
  • Omega 3 fish oils on heart disease markers

Many of these are still in development and the final verdicts not entirely known yet. It is interesting to note that the same nutrient can have both beneficial and adverse effects (see below). It's all in the synergistic balance and harmony with other nutrients, body levels, and the consumed dosage amounts. 
The top research priority should be to discover the window of vitamin dosages for OPTIMAL HEALTH. The government gives a range from deficiencies to the upper safe limit, but not necessarily the amount or range for optimal health.

The Situation  Over 50% of Americans take a vitamin supplement based largely on blind faith. If you include vitamins from fortified foods, that percent is almost 100%. How could an issue this critical to health and life not have more definitive guidelines?   http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t040922a.html 
The Dilemma  
Research is full of ambiguity over the value of taking vitamin supplements. There are often both positive and negative studies on the same nutrient.  ref (This reference tries to create a common result from many studies. Click download report "evidence" at bottom and look at Executive Summary and Chapters 1, 2, & 4.) For one analysis there were over 11 thousand possible studies but the criteria selected to evaluate studies reduced that number to 70 which were used to arrive at the study's results. Did they miss part of the story?  
Why is there so much confusion concerning vitamins which are essential to life?   http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/110/5/637 

The Solution
RightWay Vitamins' sole purpose is to help people make intelligent supplement decisions through the development of a practical and simple vitamin criteria based upon an analysis of vitamin research, adding in human physiology, simple logic, and a little bit of common sense. While not 100% correct, this criteria may represent the most logical deduction from current research. This is not the end of the story, but simply a large first step.

Why is it that up to this point, you cannot find a similar program or critique?

Rightway Vitamins does the research, you reap the benefits. Simple.

The Research
Whether future research fully verifies the concepts explained here isn't the main issue. The primary benefit is that this vitamin criteria represents the most logical, effective, up to date, and safest program for taking vitamin supplements in the marketplace today


NOTE: People often confuse the RDIs (recomemded dietary intake) that government agencies develop as a vitamin supplement criteria. It is not. The RDI's are just nutritional guidelines for nutrients from all edible sources,
which of course includes vitamin supplements. But they are not a standard for formulas, doasges, nutrient forms and how these interact together in body systems. Plus they do not begin to touch quality aspects.

"Simple, practical, and science referenced insights about taking vitamins"

CAUTION: Any new information that conflicts with established nutritional protocols should elicit the precautionary principle. The prudent action should be to approach slowly. Some of the material presented on this website does conflict with current nutritional messages. But as you will soon discover, this website's interpretation of the material just might be the prudent choice and the established nutritional beliefs just might be the more radical program. A simple analysis of current nutritional information and the level of disease in Americans reveals this tale.


  • Vitamin supplement information is often polarized into two camps and usually biased.
  • Vitamin Industry offers positive research to sell vitamins.
  • The pharmaceutical industry, which also sell vitamins, is quick to report negative research since perscription drugs are their bread and butter. Positive vitamin facts could jeopardize drug sales.
  • Government policies are often influenced by "contributions" to politicans' campaigns from the drug industry. PLus the governmental agencies that establish nutritional policies are staffed by many drug company scientists and workers.
  • Scientific research, especially at Universities, can get caught in the middle but may be manipulated by who controls the grant money.
  • Looking beyond Scientific research tunnel vision to supplemental influences over the whole body.
  • Health realities should always take top priority over economic and special interest demands. 


The polarity of propaganda in issues, or business ethics, or political party ideologies, or almost any other concern with special interest groups involved, reveals one of the MAJOR stumbling blocks to the success of a democracy: Only a fact based EDUCATED populous can see through biases of special interests and make healthier decisions with future insight. Unfortunately, public education as well as Government health agencies are failing to adequately perform this vital function today. Or, it could be functioning just the way certain special interests desire.  

EXAMPLE: Let's say scientific research revealed that vitamin B1 spills into urine at ingested amounts over 2.5 mg.  And that B1 yields metabolites that can be measured to determine how much was absorbed of the amount consumed. When you increase intake from 5 mg to 20 mg, the level of urine overflow and metabolites only increases by .2 mg, not very much. This means that there is very little absorption from the extra 15 mg. Over 98% of the extra is simply not even absorbed out of the intestinal tract.
The half-life of B1 in the body is just under 2 days. From 1 mg absorbed today, about .5 mg will still be in the body tomorrow. Taking in another 1 mg then would up the level to 1.5. Eventually the body through digestive barriers and kidney actions would excrete more to limit this continuing increase. To completely clear out all B1 in the body would take from 9 to 18 days. Why would you want to take any more than 5 mg once you know these facts? Or perhaps even more significant, why do vitamin companies market and nutritionists recommend much higher dosages?
There is an intelligent method to approaching the use of vitamin supplements to maximize effectiveness. You need to know body needs, which vitamin forms to take, how much to take, when to take, if other nutrients need to be present, and how they interact with other vitamins from foods and impact body processes.
EXAMPLE: High amounts of calcium might be positive for bone health (not always) but have negative consequences on the cardiovascular system, prostate health, and brain lesions. One such study showed elder women taking high amounts of calcium to prevent bone fractures doubled their heart disease risk. 
Research has discovered the most effective dosage ranges for some vitamins but this information has not been incorporated into vitamin formulas or into a meaningful vitamin criteria until now. Can you guess why?
QV Summary: For those suffering from a hurry up mode time frame, here is the quick version sequence to get the main points presented overall on this website: Vitamin Support, Vitamin Criteria, and Picking a Multiple. 

Following is an abstract on vitamin safety from one of the leading researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 1, 325S-327S, January 2007
© 2007
American Society for Nutrition

Challenges and opportunities in the translation of the science of vitamins1,2,3

Irwin H Rosenberg   1 From the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA


"Some 100 y after the description and naming of the first vitamin, this conference on the state-of-the-science has shown that remarkable and exciting advances have been made in our understanding of the biology, chemistry, and metabolism of vitamins, explaining their essentiality in the diet. A great deal more needs to be done in the translation of this knowledge into an understanding of the benefit of vitamin supplements to disease prevention and to health and well-being.

Information relating individual vitamins or small combinations of vitamins to disease prevention is stronger than that for multivitamins, formulations that cry out for greater standardization. .. Issues needing more attention include the content and labeling of such products and the effects of the products on nutrient adequacy as well as in chronic degenerative disease prevention. ...assessments of safety are badly needed for updating Tolerable Upper Intake Levels. At its best, all of these disparate types of research will require a robust interaction between the public and private sectors in a regulatory framework that supports and rewards investment in good science."

Until the recommended science is accomplished to "standardize multivitamin formulas", this new vitamin criteria may represent the most prudent course. 


These two fundamental questions that support the backbone of this new Vitamin Criteria have to be answered:

1. Why is it necessary to add supplemental "vitamins" to maintain health?   

For the sake of discussion, the term vitamin as used here also includes the larger scope of any supplemented dietary nutrient, including vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, to probiotic bacteria...

Here is one of the basic fundamental reasons why people need to supplement their diet, A low nutrient to high calorie ratio in consumed foods. Nature almost always puts enough nutrients in a variety of whole foods to take care of the digestion and production of food calories into energy. This energy is then used to drive all the other body metabolic processes, i.e. building proteins and tissues, making hormones, muscle actions, nerve firings, etc. This works extremely well until food processors separate out the nutrient containing parts and leave behind just the empty calories. The body then has to prioritize which functions and processes get allocated these limited nutrients.  

he primary foods this applies to include; 1. White flour and white rice, which lose almost all bran fibers, a majority of some minerals, most essential fatty acids of the germ, and a large percentage of 11 B vitamins (the enrichment program adds back 5 at various levels); 2. Sugar and alcohol are completely devoid of any nutrients that were in the original cane, beet, or grain (fruit juices are almost empty); and 3. Oils separated out of vegetables, beans, nuts, or seeds are also devoid of practically all nutrients of the original source. These missing nutrients are involved in the healthy aspects of digestion, processing, and elimination. Thus, the more empty calorie foods consumed, the greater the need for supplementing the missing nutrients. The body uses survivial wisdom to allocate where these limited nutrients will have the most vital body functions until organs eventually are overstressed and can no longer adequately function, which in the case of alcoholics is usually the liver.

SIDEBAR: Government health agencies have been considering adding B vitamins to beer and other alcoholic beverages to safeguard the body functions compromised by these empty calorie foods?

How is your deductive reasoning? What conclusions can you decipher from the preceding paragraph? You have just gained insight on why some diseases develop and why vitamins by themselves are often not enough. Health involves fibers, essential fats, and other phyto-nutrients that nature packages in whole natural foods to support vitamin functions. FOOD FIRST!

2. Are vitamins and other dietary supplements effective and safe?

The short answer is that while they are the safest of any consumed product category (food, drugs, or vitamins), there is still ample room for improvement in both safety and effectiveness. Yes, while science has not settled all issues, there is enough research available to show benefits and establish a working basic vitamin criteria within safe parameters for dosages and forms. 

YOU MUST KNOW THIS FACT: While outright toxicities of vitamins are very rare, many involve iron overdoses in children, the following aspect almost never gets mentioned. Vitamins can generate adverse health effects at levels lower than those that exhibit toxicity. Since these adverse conditions may take many years to surface, it is often not even obvious that they are related to the dosage or form of vitamins. Folic acid at 1000 mcg doubled the prostate risk in one study.

Plus, nutrients can have detrimental effects in areas outside of their primary function zones. Some of the safety issues that have developed and need further clarification include:

  • High Vitamin A increasing bone fractures
  • Calcium's role in arterial calcification for cardiovascular health and dementia
  • Failure of long term calcium to limit fractures
  • High synthetic Folic acid on cancer and dementia
  • Mega Vitamin B6 on nerve damage 
  • High Vitamin C on aorta artery walls and glycation
  • High Magnesium and Vitamin C on diarrhea
  • Iron on oxidative stress
  • Zinc on interference of copper
  • Higher levels of Selenium on diabetes
  • Excess vitamin E on hemorrhagic strokes
  • Higher Vitamin E on suppression of vitamin K functions
  • Mega niacin on increasing homocysteine levels
  • Low vitamin K on artery calcification and bone health
  • Protein on future kidney function

Do you find the above news shocking? Media headlines sensationalize these issues without revealing the "real" facts. This website offers the insight to help you understand what is happening in all of the above conditions, and how to avoid supplemental imbalances. 

A supplemented nutrient can be beneficial, have no effect, or be detrimental depending upon the intake levels, the ratio of the nutrient to other nutrients, the form of the nutrients, and circumstances or conditions in the body. The same nutrient could be preventative before a disease develops yet an accelerant once the disease is present. Read this paragraph again. Prime importance.

Another concept that needs to be presented is that the body uses steps in processing to get to a desired result. Imagine going down a flight of stairs and one of the steps is missing. This would make it more difficult to negotiate and slow your progress, but not impossible. If you supplement high amounts of just one nutrient, it often creates unbalanced "step heights" and interferes with the flow of the body's cascading metabolic processes. The concept of receptor or absorption site interference and the ability to handle mega dosages of just one nutrient play a major role in determining safety issues.

The Current FDA standards do recommend for the first time the safe upper levels for many vitamins. But research still has more to discover, especially about the interactions of vitamins, medicines, and disease, especially over the longer term. This is one of the reasons this new vitamin criteria uses the "precautionary principle" in determining standards, some of which are actually well below the new Government recommended safe upper levels.

It is unfortunate that more information is not available about potential contra-indications and interactions between vitamins and disease conditions. You need this information to be able to make intelligent choices. Vitamins often have a beneficial range where too much is just as detrimental as not enough. Since vitamins are so small, mega quantities can be put in one capsule which increases potential conflicts. www.drugs.com  see interactions section

Scientific research is often guilty of tunnel vision in study protocols. To simply concentrate on one or two functions and overlook possible interactions in other body tissues and organs is inexcusable. Examples: Calcium and vitamin D on bone health without checking influence on artery health, or folic acid with benefits for women of child bearing age while detrimental for seniors with low B12 or cancers. Concepts presented here will illuminate some of these newly discoverd side effects to help you make intelligent dietary supplement decisions. 

BUT FIRST, some general information on website set up:

Feature Article: Hearts of Fire  

Consumer Alerts To protect health, you need to be aware 

 What's happening here:

These are some of the more controversial facts covered:

  • Half of heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels

  • Higher calcium intakes are associated with increased prostate cancer risk

  • Breast cancer rates increase with greater trans-fat intake

  • Diabetic and obesity rates are increasing parallel to increasing fructose (and overall sugar) consumption 

  • Food production and processing changes in the last fifty years have dramatically increased inflammatory markers in the body

  • Increased inflammatory markers are found in most if not all degenerative diseases: cancer, cardiovascular, arthritis, and Alzheimer's 

  • Megadose water soluble B vitamins are not always flushed out of the body without harm ref

  • Natural and synthetic vitamins are not  the same  ref

When a health professional says "there are no differences between natural and synthetic vitamins," what they really mean... 

This issue is at the very core of vitamin supplementation. Can synthetic vitamins fully substitute for natural vitamins? If a high school health teacher gave students the assignment to find out the answer to this question, the students that found the answer to be "NO" would be those that actually researched and read the books rather than just accepted the hand me down answer of "YES, natural and synthetic vitamins are the same." It is amazing that in this day of scientific enlightenment, older views developed with limited science are still dominating this answer. If you would like to know.....                 more >>  

Idealistic fanaticism or practical realism -- options in vitamin supplement protocols. 

How do you make vitamin choices?

"The Complete Vitamin Criteria for Taking Supplements" has yet to be written. This website is a good start.

One book that comes very close is "The Best Supplements for Your Health" by Donald Goldberg, R.Ph., Arnold Gitomer R.Ph., and Robert Abel, MD. Since its publication in 2002, there have been many new studies which might change some of the information, but the majority is still valid. The one area of concern is over the natural verses synthetic issue. They did not correctly address this important topic. PLus many studies have now questioned certain mega-dosages.                                                          

There are numerous reference books available that more then adequately cover vitamin functions and even give disease protocols such as Dr Sheldon Hendler and David Rorvik's "PDR for Nutritional Supplements" and Dr Paul Barney's "Doctor's Guide to Natural Medicine" or "Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements" by Michael Murray DC and "The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, and Herbs" by Nicola Reavley. Unfortunately, book information is often out of date as soon as it is published because research does update nutritional science, or at least it should. 


This quick disease risk assessment gives more useful information about health factors and disease risk reduction in 2 minutes than you will learn from most other websites.



    Our mission is to provide common sense science-based information for the intelligent use of vitamins and other dietary supplements to promote healthy body functions and structures.

    The simple rationale behind this website is that everything that enters the body influences in one of four ways. Either it can have a positive effect; a neutral, a negative, or the possibility also exists that it could have both a positive effect in one area and a negative in another. Such as might be high calcium's role for males in supporting bone health while increasing prostate risk. Hollow Bone Saga

    Q- Do you want to be healthy?

    Sometimes the obvious is the last question asked. Every month, hundreds of scientific health studies publish their results. Only the most sensational are reported in the media. What happens to the rest? This website reveals their often important story. The links supplied on this website would take you many hours, maybe even weeks, to find and are perhaps some of the best the internet has to offer. Now the question that is before you, are you ready to sacrifice being sick?


    As a living website, information will constantly change as new study results warrant. Check back often as new material will be added and old reworked. See Site Plan for index.

    For time conscious viewers, a Quick Version Summary is presented first so you can evaluate if it will be profitable to read the complete work.

    You will notice a launch date at the top of each page. Then when pages are updated, a revised date will be included. The information could and will change constantly, especially the CONSUMER ALERT section. This section has references that automatically update any new food recalls. There are far too many. Also included are possible interactions between vitamins and medicines, and any newly discovered adverse vitamin reactions (AVR).

    References  (ref) used for research and also to support concepts will be referenced in the articles and have their own page. Read a study or two to see why it takes a road map and a medical dictionary to decipher. It interesting to note how detailed research scientists have to be in setting up study protocols. While the studies can be quite complicated to understand, you can still get an idea of the study results by reading the abstract and the conclusion, or the discussion in the full version. Click on full text if only the abstract version comes up. At the end of the studies are listed the references you can check out by clicking on the underlined websites. Pubmed (Published Medical) studies have a related articles tab at the top right corner that can prove most interesting. Explore all options for advancing knowledge. CAUTION: See interpretative studies to learn about study techniques.

    This informational site is self-funded and does not accept advertising and currently does not offer any products for sale. If you find something that interests you, please share it with your family and friends. NOTE: Like any health website, information presented here may have biases and should not be relied upon as gospel truths, only as one stepping stone toward truth discovery. Question everything, even research studies and especially the emotionalism of media reporting. 

    Health is a very personal thing. Seldom are universal theories or protocols sufficient to meet this individual uniqueness. Hereditary genes, environmental factors, body size, diet, and lifestyle patterns all contribute to your individuality. For governmental agencies to develop nutritional guidelines to cover all the many variables is definitely quite challenging. You should really think along the lines that the numbers are just a guide rather than a hard and fast rule. The trick is to discover what works for you. 

    Knowledge is essentially useless until you apply it in your daily living. Enjoy and be healthy.  Your RightWay Team


    "Words are things, and a small drop of ink,

    Falling like dew upon a thought, produces

    That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."

                                                  Lord Byron                   


    Copyright: Permission is hereby granted to any non-profit, non-commercial educational endeavor to copy and distribute any or all materials for educational purposes as long as a referenced byline to this site is acknowledged. Commercial endeavors are prohibited from any use without written consent.  

    Disclaimer: Information presented here is not meant to diagnose or as treatment or as a cure for any disease condition. This is a health information clearinghouse website. Opinions expressed here are the property of the author. If you are not well, please see a qualified medical professional.  Linked websites should not be construed as a recommendation of products or services. This includes governmental sites as well. Any allegiances owed are to the discovery of TRUTH.


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