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Vitamin Issues

If you take vitamins, these are the issues that should be of concern.

See expanded issue research here. First, you need to understand some of the parameters of vitamins that influence supplement decisions.      more >>

HISTORICAL TRENDS

The first half of the 20th century brought the discovery of most vitamins. Then synthetic versions were created for many of them. Today, these synthetic versions dominate most supplements. In fact, very few all natural source vitamins are available today even though many make such a claim. Cod liver oil was one of the early natural sources for vitamins A and D. The first natural B vitamins were from brewer's yeast, molasses, or liver tablets. But the evolution of the vitamin industry has largely substituted synthetics for these natural sources in order to get higher dosages with a lower price. Now the question that has to be asked;

Do synthetic vitamins fully substitute for natural vitamins?

Comprehending the answer to this important question will enlighten many of the apparent dilemmas that have surfaced in the supplement arena. Sometimes, the best answer may be to leave the vitamins in the jar and just eat food. Other times nutritional supplements may get the edge because the food sources are contaminated and not fit to eat in large quantities. Mercury in fish is an example. Contamination can be found occasionally in dietary supplements. Do you know what toxic element is measuring high in some super green food powders? It's not gold!

The Truth about VITAMIN CLAIMS

Many health claims are made for vitamins. Have you noticed the statement on vitamin bottles that the FDA (US Food and Drug Agency) has not evaluated these claims? The FDA has only evaluated and approved about a half dozen claims. Unfortunately, health claims and theories based on vitamin functions aren't always in agreement with current scientific study results. **

SIDEBAR: A couple of the health claims the FDA has endorsed are becoming awash with controversy such as soy protein lowering cholesterol. Initial studies from the soy institute found a 10% reduction, but new independent studies only show a 3% reduction, not a significant decrease. 

     "gaps in how vitamins interact" 

What does research have to say about all the "unrecognized" claims the vitamin industry is making? There appears to be some gaps in the fundamental understanding as to just how vitamins interact in body processes and what nutrient forms are the most effective. Research is now questioning some past vitamin assumptions, such as the one that taking high dosages of water soluble B vitamins would not be harmful since the excess would just be flushed out of the body. Or that just because calcium is the most abundant mineral found in bones, taking extra would prevent fractures. Or that antioxidant vitamins would prevent cardiovascular disease by limiting oxidation of LDL cholesterol, one of the involved factors. Studies of individual vitamins are not showing the expected benefits that earlier studies of foods high in these vitamins revealed. 

Research is constantly updating vitamin knowledge but vitamin formulas have been slow to incorporate these new truths. Only when the buying public is educated will their purchasing choices generate the mustard necessary to force changes in formulas. A few innovative vitamin companies that keep up with the new research and update formulas often suffer from slow sales until public awareness is generated to their value. Customers are more often influenced by crafty marketing and fancy labels rather than scientific knowledge and quality. The information and propaganda tug of war between vitamin companies, government agencies, dietary scientists, and the media only serve to further confuse the public instead of helping people make the best informed choices. Lost in this discourse is this basic question; What is best for people's health? 

The Solution? RightWay Vitamins created this free website to organize the already known facts into a concerted vitamin taking criteria. Amazingly, this is a first for the vitamin industry. Empowering healthy choices requires correct information to distinguish fact from fiction. There is far too little substance in the marketplace upon which to base life affecting vitamin supplement decisions. Most choices currently are driven by industry advertising, often disguised as news articles in magazines, on TV talk shows, or from "infomercials."

Here are some titles of the encompassing scope of research published in various Nutrition Journals just during November 2007. Notice how many are about folic acid or folate, obesity, B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fish oils, all current topics of interest.

Mild Depletion of Dietary Folate Combined with Other B Vitamins Alters Multiple Components of the Wnt Pathway in Mouse Colon
J. Nutr. 2007 137: 2701-2708.  [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Purchase Article] [View Shopping Cart]

 

Dietary Supplementation with Watermelon Pomace Juice Enhances Arginine Availability and Ameliorates the Metabolic Syndrome in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats
J. Nutr. 2007 137: 2680-2685.  [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Purchase Article] [View Shopping Cart]

 

Mild Depletion of Dietary Folate Combined with Other B Vitamins Alters Multiple Components of the Wnt Pathway in Mouse Colon
J. Nutr. 2007 137: 2701-2708.  [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Purchase Article] [View Shopping Cart]

 

Estimated Fumonisin Exposure in Guatemala Is Greatest in Consumers of Lowland Maize
J. Nutr. 2007 137: 2723-2729.  [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Purchase Article] [View Shopping Cart]

 

Several Indicators of Oxidative Stress, Immunity, and Illness Improved in Trained Men Consuming an Encapsulated Juice Powder Concentrate for 28 Weeks
J. Nutr. 2007 137: 2737-2741.  [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Online Supporting Material] [Purchase Article] [View Shopping Cart]

 

Food Insecurity Is Highly Prevalent and Predicts Underweight but Not Overweight in Adults and School Children from Bogotá, Colombia
J. Nutr. 2007 137: 2747-2755.  [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Online Supporting Material] [Purchase Article] [View Shopping Cart]

 

Young Zanzibari Children with Iron Deficiency, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Stunting, or Malaria Have Lower Motor Activity Scores and Spend Less Time in Locomotion
J. Nutr. 2007 137: 2756-2762.  [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Online Supporting Material] [Purchase Article] [View Shopping Cart]

 

Dietary Supplementation of Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) Influences Gastrointestinal Microbiota Composition and Immunity Characteristics of Pacific White Shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, Cultured in a Recirculating System
J. Nutr. 2007 137: 2763-2768.  [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Purchase Article] [View Shopping Cart]

 

 

 

 

Nutritional status, dietary intake, and body composition:
Sunita Taneja, Nita Bhandari, Tor A Strand, Halvor Sommerfelt, Helga Refsum, Per M Ueland, Jörn Schneede, Rajiv Bahl, and Maharaj Kishan Bhan
Cobalamin and folate status in infants and young children in a low-to-middle income community in India
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1302-1309.
[Abstract][Full Text][PDF]  
Jennifer Shea, Edward Randell, Sudesh Vasdev, Peizhong Peter Wang, Barbara Roebothan, and Guang Sun
Serum retinol-binding protein 4 concentrations in response to short-term overfeeding in normal-weight, overweight, and obese men
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1310-1315.
[Abstract][Full Text][PDF]  
Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Bradley R Newcomer, Steven Buchthal, Inmaculada Aban, David B Allison, Aubrey Bosarge, and Barbara Gower
Intramyocellular lipid content is lower with a low-fat diet than with high-fat diets, but that may not be relevant for health
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1316-1322.
[Abstract][Full Text][PDF]  
Virgilio P Carnielli, Manuela Simonato, Giovanna Verlato, Ingrid Luijendijk, Mario De Curtis, Pieter JJ Sauer, and Paola E Cogo
Synthesis of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in preterm newborns fed formula with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1323-1330.
[Abstract][Full Text][PDF]  
Jaimie N Davis, Katharine E Alexander, Emily E Ventura, Louise A Kelly, Christianne J Lane, Courtney E Byrd-Williams, Claudia M Toledo-Corral, Chris K Roberts, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Marc J Weigensberg, and Michael I Goran
Associations of dietary sugar and glycemic index with adiposity and insulin dynamics in overweight Latino youth
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1331-1338.
[Abstract][Full Text][PDF]  

Vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals:

Dagmar Fuchs, Katerina Vafeiadou, Wendy L Hall, Hannelore Daniel, Christine M Williams, Joyce H Schroot, and Uwe Wenzel

Proteomic biomarkers of peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from postmenopausal women undergoing an intervention with soy isoflavones
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1369-1375.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Christian Wejse, Rikke Olesen, Paulo Rabna, Pernille Kaestel, Per Gustafson, Peter Aaby, Paul L Andersen, Henning Glerup, and Morten Sodemann

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in a West African population of tuberculosis patients and unmatched healthy controls
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1376-1383.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Robert Clarke, Jacqueline Birks, Ebba Nexo, Per M Ueland, Joern Schneede, John Scott, Anne Molloy, and John Grimley Evans

Low vitamin B-12 status and risk of cognitive decline in older adults
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1384-1391.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] Supplemental data  

Sridevi Devaraj, Rong Tang, Beverley Adams-Huet, Andrea Harris, Thanalakshmi Seenivasan, James A de Lemos, and Ishwarlal Jialal

Effect of high-dose -tocopherol supplementation on biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation and carotid atherosclerosis in patients with coronary artery disease
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1392-1398.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Ann Burgaz, Agneta Åkesson, Annette Öster, Karl Michaëlsson, and Alicja Wolk

Associations of diet, supplement use, and ultraviolet B radiation exposure with vitamin D status in Swedish women during winter
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1399-1404.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Leane Hoey, Helene McNulty, Nadina Askin, Adrian Dunne, Mary Ward, Kristina Pentieva, JJ Strain, Anne M Molloy, Cliona A Flynn, and John M Scott

Effect of a voluntary food fortification policy on folate, related B vitamin status, and homocysteine in healthy adults
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1405-1413.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Klaus Pietrzik, Yvonne Lamers, Susanne Brämswig, and Reinhild Prinz-Langenohl

Calculation of red blood cell folate steady state conditions and elimination kinetics after daily supplementation with various folate forms and doses in women of childbearing age
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1414-1419.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

J Brent Richards, Ana M Valdes, Jeffrey P Gardner, Dimitri Paximadas, Masayuki Kimura, Ayrun Nessa, Xiaobin Lu, Gabriela L Surdulescu, Rami Swaminathan, Tim D Spector, and Abraham Aviv

Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1420-1425.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Nutritional epidemiology and public health:

Eha Nurk, Christian A Drevon, Helga Refsum, Kari Solvoll, Stein E Vollset, Ottar Nygård, Harald A Nygaard, Knut Engedal, Grethe S Tell, and A David Smith

Cognitive performance among the elderly and dietary fish intake: the Hordaland Health Study
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1470-1478.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Carla Dullemeijer, Jane Durga, Ingeborg A Brouwer, Ondine van de Rest, Frans J Kok, Robert-Jan M Brummer, Martin PJ van Boxtel, and Petra Verhoef

n–3 Fatty acid proportions in plasma and cognitive performance in older adults
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1479-1485.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Xiang Gao, Honglei Chen, Teresa T Fung, Giancarlo Logroscino, Michael A Schwarzschild, Frank B Hu, and Alberto Ascherio

Prospective study of dietary pattern and risk of Parkinson disease
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1486-1494.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Ute Nöthlings, Suzanne P Murphy, Lynne R Wilkens, Brian E Henderson, and Laurence N Kolonel

Dietary glycemic load, added sugars, and carbohydrates as risk factors for pancreatic cancer: the Multiethnic Cohort Study
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1495-1501.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Jennifer Tan, Jie Jin Wang, Victoria Flood, Shweta Kaushik, Alan Barclay, Jennie Brand-Miller, and Paul Mitchell

Carbohydrate nutrition, glycemic index, and the 10-y incidence of cataract
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1502-1508.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]  

Mika Kivimäki, Debbie A Lawlor, George Davey Smith, Marko Elovainio, Markus Jokela, Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen, Jorma SA Viikari, and Olli T Raitakari

Substantial intergenerational increases in body mass index are not explained by the fetal overnutrition hypothesis: the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study
Am J Clin Nutr 2007 86: 1509-1514.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] Supplemental data  

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg of research. It might be getting clearer as to how much there is to study to arrive at educated supplement choices. RightWay simply connects the dots from each study and you reap the benefits. Once this basic vitamin knowledge platform is learned, it will provide the analytical tools needed to make better vitamin supplement choices. You will discover how the errors in past scientific beliefs developed and why the current vitamin forms and formulas based on these errors need to be updated. 

An important part of this platform is addressing the question over the correct definition of the differences between natural and synthetic vitamins. There are various levels of differences. When you know the facts, you will be amazed at the dogmatic stance of some professionals to hold onto past beliefs there were based on the limited science of the time.

VITAMIN ISSUES

1. Do the different vitamin forms (synthetic, natural isolates, and natural food) have the same value in addressing body needs? 

2. Are all vitamin functions and interactions known?

3. Do vitamins behave in the same manner in all people?

4. Are vitamins safe and effective over the wide range of currently available consumption levels?

5. Are isolated synthetic vitamins not really vitamins as some claim? 

The answer to all of these vitamin issues is NO. Read on to discover these and some other long overdue truths. 

Is there a need for supplemental nutrition? Given the current reality of food processing methods, food choices, and nutrient consumption levels, YES, unfortunately, there is. The remarkable fact is that both deficiencies as well as excesses contribute to this situation. While both diet and supplements have health benefits, they can also create unbalanced nutrient levels that interfere with proper body processes. Far too often consuming supplements is like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. It is the intelligent use of supplements that is paramount.

Are supplemented nutrients as effective as those from food?
This issue is still waiting to be completely resolved. First, there are two different issues, the absorption differences and function comparisons. Some nutrients are actually better absorbed from supplements than foods. Phytates in beans hinder absorption of minerals. Plus other plant nutrient molecules are much larger than those in supplements and this can also hinder absorption. So, both sources have greater absorption from certain sources. The deciding factor is to learn if nature's natural hinderances are safeguards to help balance nutrient intake and body levels or just plain hinderances.

Now, regarding function, there is a gap in research to definitively answer this question. The reason for this is still a mystery since it would resolve many issues. Maybe science doesn't yet know all the vitamin functions. Science does know the footprint for all vitamins and also that some synthetic vitamins are identical to the natural while others such as vitamin E and beta carotene are not. They always knew that synthetic vitamin E was less effective than the natural, but thought by adjusting quanities they could get similar activity actions. Now, it is known that they made a big mistake and yet they refuse to acknowledge it, even in the face of building scientific research, because this would mean that they were wrong for the last 65 years and would have to throw out all the research with the synthetic form and start over again.

Synthetic vitamins do work at various degrees. It may depend upon how closely they resemble natural food forms. The enrichment of white flour with a few synthetic B vitamins quickly prevented Pellagra and Beriberi. Some vitamin formulas even work too well. Seniors who took anti-oxidant vitamins had colds that lasted longer then those not on vitamins. WHY? The antioxidant vitamins worked so efficiently that they destroyed free radicals naturally produced by the body's immune system before these radicals could attack and kill the virus causing the illness.

How effective supplemented nutrients perform all the functions of natural vitamins needs to be accessed and documented. The activity forms of vitamins circulating in the blood system are known and can be measured. It would be simple to test the different type vitamins for their ability to build this activity vitamin form. Why has this issue remained unanswered for so long?  

Are there differences between the nutrient forms, such as natural and synthetic?  YES, and verified by scientific research, there can be significant differences in structure, absorption, and function. Each nutrient and nutrient form has to be separately evaluated. Some synthetics are identical and some are worlds apart. Science attempted to balance the lower functioning synthetics by using more material to equal the function level of the natural. New discoveries have now shown this did not really achieve an equal function balance. Synthetic vitamin E is only half as effective as natural, and it's the synthetic form that is most often used in research. Vitamin D2 is not as effective as D3 and Vitamin K2 as MK7 is more effective than plant source K1 or K2 as MK4 and especially greater than the synthetic K3, which should never be used. 

Some claim that isolated vitamins whether synthetic or natural are not really vitamins. Only vitamins complexed in foods with all their related family members are true vitamins. What's the story?

For the most part this is marketing hype, with some exceptions noted below. There are stories that the synthetic isolated ascorbic acid is not a real vitamin C unless it contains the rest of the family members, bioflavonoids, rutin, and the various protein carriers often attached to vitamin C, etc. While these other nutrients also have different functions to perform, they seem to make ascorbic acid more effective, maybe by saving it from oxidation so it lasts longer. Plus, the fact that the isolated ascorbic acid form is never found in nature.

Most animals other that humans make their own vitamin C from glucose inside their bodies. This vitamin C is the same structure as some synthetic vitamin C supplements, the ascorbates. Plus, the isolated ascorbic acid combines with a mineral once absorbed and forms ascorbates. Synthetic ascorbic acid production in the lab is patterned after the natural body process with just slight differences. Both start out with a glucose source and use an enzyme method to change glucose into ascorbic acid. The body always attaches a protein to form the ascorbate form.

The definition that only food source vitamin C complexes with bioflavonoids and rutin are true vitamin C with full value actions begins to fall apart once you know that animals only make ascorbate vitamin C and not the other vitamin C family members. They have to be supplied by diet and catch up with the natural body made C to offer this protection action and synergistic functions. While it has been shown that vitamin C is more effective in the presence of the other family members, ascorbates still perform all their C functions. I think nature has her own definition for true vitamin C, with synergistic nutrient functions definitely part of the whole living process. This of course leads to the above true vitamin definition. And that part is correct. All vital nutrients are needed for the life. Thus, the only question is what form and when the other related nutrients need to be supplied.

Another factor to consider is that many vitamin complexes formed in foods breakdown during digestion into their pure isolated form. The above definition of only complexed vitamins are real is ...well...not upheld by natural body processes for all vitamins. There are some vitamins such as beta carotene that comes in at least two forms in nature, a cis- and a trans-. The synthetic is only all trans- and is not as effective as the natural with both. And vitamin E is covered here with very real differences between natural and synthetic as well. Each vitamin has to have it's own true definition and a blanket statement for all does not hold water.  


What about "whole food" source vitamins?
 
Ideally, this is the preferred form. The vitamins in these supplements would be made by nature. But the reality is that very few "real" choices are available. It needs to be pointed out here that some popular vitamin brands that give the impression they are food formed or whole food source vitamins are really not, such as New Chapter, Garden of Life, and Mega Foods. 

These brands start out with the same USP isolated vitamins that other companies use, some natural and some synthetic. The theory is that these vitamins are then fed to yeast cells which form vitamin compounds similar to those found in food. While this has been shown to increase absorption in company sponsored research, many questions remain; Is there a difference once inside the body? Can a synthetic vitamin turn into a natural vitamin? Or is it still a synthetic vitamin surrounded by or attached to food elements. And, does the vitamin compound formed remain intact during digestion or separate into a free form vitamin? These companies so far have failed to adequately address these issues. The greater absorption demonstrated so far puts them ahead of isolated USP vitamins, but studies are still lacking to show how they test against nature's vitamins from food, or even natural vitamins isolated out of food. 

SIDEBAR: The body is able to convert synthetic folic acid into the natural form folate in the liver, but this does not happen with most synthetic vitamins that have a different structure. The yeast growing method originated for selenium and chromium and does have value for their absorption. But, these two microminerals are native to yeast while many of the other nutrients added are not. Yeast cells would not normally take in these other nutrients. How they are handled in the yeast cells is uncertain. Even the information from the manufacturer says the yeast cells push them off into empty pockets once absorbed. To get the yeast cell to absorb them, they have to be pre-wrapped in a protein which the yeast recognizes and takes in. The exact form these nutrients take inside the yeast cell is never really mentioned. An explanation from the discovering scientist is that under a microcscope, the yeast absorbed nutrients appear different. Not the level of scientific expertise you would expect.   

A true food source B vitamin would be simply concentrated out of food such as rice polishings, yeast, or liver and not contain any added USP synthetic vitamin. Many yeast products are currently fortified with synthetic vitamins during the culturing or growing process. Hopefully you will see more real food grown vitamin sources in the near future. There were more choices available in the past before the megadose mania started. Twenty years ago brewer's yeast tablets were readily available, but not today. The anti-yeast diet book quickly hastened their exit.

Are there interactions between nutrients that warrant concern? Most definitely. If you don't understand these relationships, you might unbalance Nature's plan. Calcium to magnesium, calcium to phosphorus, calcium to zinc, sodium to potassium, zinc to copper, protein to zinc, folic acid to vitamin B12, and vitamin D to calcium to name a few. While the body has many avenues to regulate nutrient balances, when using the megadosages offered in some of today's supplements, it is easy to override and unbalance.

Speaking of megadosages, are there effective dosages or dosage ranges for nutrients? There are effective ranges where too much is just as damaging as too little. High dosages of zinc proved detrimental after the connection was announced with prostate health and men took increased amounts. High supplemental zinc amounts lower copper levels by blocking copper from attaching to absorption sites. The mechanisms that are involved in determining correct dosages include the rate and number of absorption sites available, the amount of enzymes that serve a particular nutrient, the amount of other nutrients that compete for these same sites, either during absorption or later on cell walls, the ratios to other nutrients in maintaining proper body pH required for chemical reactions, and the body's ability to limit absorption or speed up elimination to maintain balanced levels. While some megadosage nutrients such as vitamins A and D have known detrimental effects, other vitamin megadosages may be currently overwhelming some of these processes but the body is able to mask showing any adverse conditions until sometime in the future. Folic acid may be one of these, as well as calcium. 

Are safety concerns mostly related to these interactions and megadosage levels? Yes, you are mostly right. But don't forget about deficiencies too. A most significant aspect needs clarification here. The health industry often mentions how safe vitamins are. And indeed, compared to food contamination and drug side effects, they are the safest category. But, it is very difficult to associate excesses or unbalanced supplement loads to diseases since it can take such a long time for many diseases to manifest. There are early reports linking selenium use to increased type II diabetes out of the ongoing SELECT study. Final results will not be available until 2012. Or a high ratio of calcium to magnesium might be a factor in cardiovascular health, but so far this is just an association. ref ref

RightWay's new vitamin criteria was developed using THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE. Analyzing current research results, a cautious approach may prove the wiser behavior instead of the current full speed ahead until the train completely flies off the tract method. Science calls it risk management when risks to some people are balanced against public benefits. The only problem with this approach is that the risks are seldom communicated to the consuming public. With vitamin supplements, a few risks have been known for sometime but others are just now showing up, such as with folic acid. Until such time as the issues raised today are fully settled, this new vitamin criteria operates as a risk reduction program.

Are there quality issues that place one brand over another? Most definitely. Check out the lead levels in these multiple vitamins in this FDA report (This report disappeared rather rapidly after only 3 months. While all the vitamins were within limits, some had significantly more lead than others. When the high level products are added with food sources, the levels could get into danger zone.) It is almost impossible to tell from reading labels what the level of quality is inside, but there may be some clues. See Lab tests are necessary to reveal quality. Most brands will fail every once in a while, but repeated failures raise red flags that a company does not have good manufacturing practices in place or takes short cuts on raw material quality. The United States Food and Drug Agency just released regulations to improve quality control procedures which should help. YES, some brands consistently exhibit higher quality. They simply start with higher quality raw materials. The lowest price is not always the best buy. reading labels.

SIDEBAR: Quality issue examples; Two similar looking dried spaghetti pastas could be very different in quality, even though they contain the same ingredients. HOW? It's in the processing. A quality pasta is slowly low heat dried and produces a very low level of FUROSINES while a commercial process of high heat quick drying creates a higher level of furosines. Furosines are elements that indicate protein has been damaged by heat and is less available to the body. Another example concerns a ready made infant formula in a can versus a powder that has to be mixed with water. The high heat needed to sterilize the can formula destroys more proteins indicated again by the higher levels of furosines. Animals fed the powder formula exhibit greater growth. Furosines, have you heard this term before? Would knowing this information influence your choices? In the supplement industry,  protein powders are also subject to this furosine creating process.

From a reference which describes this process, called the Maillard reaction (MR), "known as the non-enzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and primary amino acids (protein), is a complex set of reactions that take place during the processing, domestic cooking and storage of most foods [3]. MR may compromise the nutritional value of foods through the blocking and destruction of essential amino acids and subsequently by limiting their bioavailability, such as happens with lysine."

Is there a timing effect at work with supplements, say during a disease progression or at different ages? Most definitely. Some supplements are much more effective as preventative agents rather than curative. In fact, a few nutrients have shown in studies to be anti-oxidant at lower dosages and pro-oxidant at higher, such as beta carotene in smokers. Other nutrients such as soy isoflavones might be preventative at early ages with high dosages while post-disease they might increase the condition, such as could be the case with breast cancer. There is still much to discover and study.  Other nutrients such as folic acid and zinc have ranges where it is best to stay between for proper health. The folic acid safety range has only lately surfaced, and it appears to be even lower then the upper limit the government has already established. See referenced studies below.

Why does it seem like there are many disagreements as to the value of vitamins? Studies often appear to reach opposite results which surely does feed the confusion. Results can be biased. Sponsor money often influences study results. The nutrient forms and dosages used can influence the level of effectiveness. The early studies on glucosamine were very supportive, but they were all funded by the company that markets this product. A new drug being promoted as a future cancer preventor targeted to young women is now causing second thoughts. The recent independent research is not finding the same level of benefits. The same thing happened with soy protein on cholesterol lowering. Many factors have to be considered. Studies are limited by their design. More is often read into study results by the media then what the facts of the study really tested. The challenge is to wade through the study results and arrive at the most correct analysis within the study scope. It will always be a work in progress. That is what this website is all about. Nothing more, nothing less. Pure informational links searching for a healthy conclusion.

"HOW TO TAKE VITAMINS" INFO CHALLANGE

A five year search of the internet for articles and studies on how to take vitamins yielded a wide array of results, from the primitive basics to some pretty involved. But almost all have some incorrect facts. It's almost as if many incorrect facts just keep getting repeated without anyone checking to make sure they are indeed factual. Let's look at some now:

   http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/0362.html  Makes a fundamental mistake that was believed 30 years ago but has since been proved false. That soil nutrient levels influence only yield and not nutrient levels in the produce. When the US Dept of Agriculture and the FDA wanted food canning companies to list the nutritional amounts on labels, the companies responded that it would not be fair or accurate since nutrient levels varied not only between different growers and time of year, but even among produce from the same field. They could only use an average, but many cans would fall far short and some would be way over.

www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/84/4/680  This author pretty much sums up the current views of mainstream medicine, citing studies which appear to prove his case that vitamins don't work in prevention of degenerative diseases.  Looking at one of the 19 studies mentioned in the Hopkins vitamin E meta-analysis report reveals that during the study period, the vitamin E group had 71% fewer second heart attacks. A number that seems to be significant but was outside of the scope of this Hopkins report so it was not mentioned. This is an example of the type of selective processing that can be used to "prove" any desired point of view. From a rational common sense evaluation of the John Hopkins vitamin E report results (vitamin E over 400 units slightly increased death rate), the only conclusion that can be reached is that this is very poor science. They are asking you to believe that a short period of taking vitamin E, often only a few years, can later in life affect the cause of death. Since the authors failed to even list a cause of death, there is no way to know if the deaths were in any way connected or even related to vitamin E functions or influence. 

SIDEBAR: There are some other valid conclusions that could be drawn from this study which were not reported in the media. They will be given in articles under the vitamin criteria section. 

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17717679/  Some good information from the TODAY's Nutritionist on vitamin safety issues, but not complete.

 

 It is difficult to find enough information in one spot to really decide most of these issues. It appears many vitamin information authors are not really aware of the vitamin making process, what raw materials are used, and the current research findings. Definitions for terms such as natural, synthetic, organic, or whole food vitamins have as much meaning or significance as TV weather reports. 

Why a vitamin taking criteria has not yet been developed that answers these tough questions before now is quite mysterious. Well, not really! Confusion and mystery are tools used by industries to keep the public in the dark and sell more products. Articles referenced on this website should help to brighten the situation. Deciding which vitamins to take is a little more involved then deciding what color to paint a room.

You have only your health to gain, or lose. An apology is due up front since some of the articles are quite long. It is the support and background that gives meaning to the concepts and is needed to help convince the mind to change a lifetime of ingrained faulty propaganda. Milk may not build stronger bones. But substituting sodas will definitely weaken them.

One side of the vitamin taking coin says vitamins are very safe. The other says vitamins can be dangerous. Remember ephedra? While vitamins overall are one of the safest ingested categories you can consume, there are some cautions that should be respected. The coin is now standing on its edge. While the knowledge bubble is growing larger, there is still a lot more that needs to be researched.

The fundamental concept this website is built upon, "Nutrition is both a Science and an Art." Science tells how a nutrient functions, the Art is finding out how much of these nutrents each person needs to be healthy. Science likes repetition and control, Art likes variety and uniqueness. Art does not lend itself very well to scientific principles. This in a nutshell is why there is so much ambiguity in vitamin research. RightWay will simply spell out where research is today so you can decide for yourself. NOWHERE else will you find this array of penetrating insight and information in one spot, with some of the best linked internet health resources in support. 

 

SIDEBAR: You will see numerous SIDEBARS throughout this website used to add extra clarity to the information. This sidebar may very well be one of the most important. From research discovered over the last few months, it is recommended to NOT take MEGA DOSE VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS without medical supervision.  Simply the body is not designed to use such high levels and they more often than not interfere with synergisms of body processes. The interfered organs or tissues may not exhibit symptoms of disease conditions for many years. And no connection to the megadoses may be discovered since the body areas affected are often outside of the targeted body part or function. Bone density studies may miss changes in cardiovascular health simply because they are not looking in that direction. Iron for blood buiding is playing havoc in many other arenas of disease.

One only has to understand that antioxidants are just one part of the biological metabolism process and to overwhelm the body with high levels of supplemental antioxidants can upset delicate balances the body is attempting to maintain. At just the right amounts, antioxidants control the amount of oxygen radicals formed and can be protective against disease. Antioxidant ssupplements work so well that they can interfere with radical actions the body needs for positive body processes. The immune system uses radicals to kill viruses when you have a cold. Taking mega antioxidant vitamins would interfere with this natural process and colds would last longer. This aspect is never mentioned in wellness products' marketing literature.  

A new function discovered for radicals appears to be in helping to regulate blood sugar. It is a matter of balance, AND KNOWING HOW THE BODY FUNCTIONS. The American mentality of "if a little is good, more is better" does not pan out with most vitamins and minerals. Yet megamania runs rampant in the vitamin industry like a forest fire. RightWay Vitamins adds some long overdue scientific common sense to at least help control the flames. It is often the higher dosages used that create controversial and opposite study resultsref  ref  (New Folic Acid research),  ref (prostate and mega vitamins)  

Empowering Healthy Choices Program 

** Vitamin studies have to be carefully analyzed. While one or two studies does not make a case, if there is science already in place that shows how a body process might be influenced by the vitamin in question (such as for selenium on diabetes), this would increase the study value to the point that at least some caution should be exercised in taking that nutrient at the researched amount until further research validates. To dismiss these wayward studies and still take the vitamin at questionable levels might create irreversible damages. 

The vitamin industry attempts to downplay and discredit adverse vitamin studies while mainstream medicine appears to have biases created largely by drug companies and highlights damaging vitamin study results. Truth does not take sides, it just exists. It serves only industry economics to twist and spin vitamin health connections. Everybody's health is governed by these truths regardless of their industry affiliations. Don't you what and deserve to known these truths? Where has common sense gone?

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