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Vitamin D Realities
Vitamin Criteria Rational
"Food Form" Vitamins?
How Vitamins are Made
Reading Labels

                                            launched May 12, 2006

Proper Label Basics

Beta Carotene (Dunaliella salina)  or

Pro-Vitamin A (as natural carotenoids: beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin)(Betatene®)


Vitamin A (retinol)       limit to under            4,000 IU

5,000 IU


5,000 IU 




Vitamin C (as calcium ascorbate)

           0r    (as ascorbic acid)

best with family members:         Bioflavonoids   150mg                 Rutin                    50mg                        Hesperitins         50mg

200-300 mg

2 x /day


Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol)

Vitamin D3 (fish oil)

(Vitamin D2 not recommended unless Vegan)

200-400 IU 50-100%

Vitamin E (as d'alpha tocopherol from mixed tocopherols) (soy oil)

      d' alpha tocopherol      100-150 mg

      d' beta tocopherol           3 mg

      d' delta tocopherol          7 mg

      d' gamma tocopherol   150-200 mg

 plus mixed tocotrienols **

100 - 250 IU 





25-50 mg


Vitamin K1 phylloquinone                Manmade form- phytonadione?    

Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) (preferred form - natto) (may need some of both K1 and K2)
Vitamin K2 as menaquinone-4
(usually synthetic, shorter life, need higher dosages)

Synthetic K3 menadione only under MD supervision

100 mcg

100  mcg


Vitamin B1 (yeast*, rice polishings)* oVitamin B1 (thiamine HCl) 2-20 mg %
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 2-20 mg %
Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) 3-20 mg %
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCl) 5-25 mg %

Folic Acid                                             (do not exceed 300 IUs /day or 200 mcg per meal)

  200-300    mcg

Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) 25-100 mcg %
Biotin 200-300 mcg %
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) 5-30 mg %

Calcium (citrate, or others)(females)


(get other half from food)

400-600 mg

200-400 mg

Magnesium (glycinate, oxide) 300-400 mg %
Zinc (as L-OptiZinc®, monomethionine)

10-15 mg

25 mg max

Selenium (Yeast, or methylselenocysteine) 50 mcg %
Copper (as amino acid chelate)

1-2 mg

(1,000 mcg)

Manganese (as amino acid chelate) 3-4 mg %
Chromium (from Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae) or (as chromium polynicotinate,Chromemate®) or (Arginate) 50 mcg %
Molybdenum (as amino acid chelate) 50-100 mcg %
Iron (NO IRON formulas only.  Females or Males only with blood test and MD supervision, and take separately)  0 mg *
 Iodine (food sources best, seaweeds) <150 mcg *
Bioflavonoid (hesperidin, rutin) 50-150 mg *
Bioflavonoid (citrus, occaionally as quercetin) 100-250 mg *
Grape Seed Extract (seed)(Optional) 25-50 mg *
(Do not take Ginkgo in Multi) 0 mg *
Lutein (marigold flower ext) separate 6-10 mg *
Zeaxanthin (marigold flower).     " 300 mcg *
*Daily value not established.

(example of) Other ingredients: Magnesium stearate, cellulose, silica and kosher gelatin (capsule) or vegicap

* Many yeast products are fortified with synthetic B vitamins. Many if not most Foodform vitamins also add some synthetics to the growing cultured food or yeast mediums.  

**  Tocotrienols may be taken separately at 25 - 100 mg to max absorption and limit interference from other fat soluble nutients.

NOTE:  While many nutrients show a range for dosages, the lower side may be the most optimal for most people. The overall diet dictates this to a certain degree. The better the diet, the lower dosages needed. Remember, dietary foods should supply most of the nutrient requirements.

Misleading Techniques

While supplement labels today have to meet more regulations, there are still some ways companies can mislead the public.  Isn't it a natural progression to assume that if a company knowingly puts out a misleading label that the ingredients might come under suspicion as well. Consumers that fail to notice and buy the deceptive products end up punishing the honest companies trying to abide by the rules with true labels while rewarding deceptive companies. This is not in your best interests and fails to get companies to clear up labels and maintain quality. Hopefully, a system of uniformity will be developed to end this area of confusion. Until then, consumer education to influence purchasing choices is the only tool available. Unfortunately, very few consumer groups are currently taking on this challenge. The Government has recently put in place a Good Manufacturing Process, BUT it does not imply quality raw ingredients are used, just that the process of putting the ingredients together lives up to certain standards.


Misleading labels usually try to gain an unfair advantage over the competition. One way is to give the impression that they have a higher dosage than they actually do. TIP: Always read the dosages in the side BOX. This area is strictly regulated. It is the front panel that most often is deceptive. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) products are probably one of most often mislabeled items. Which one of these two front panels appears to be the better buy? A CLA 750 mg. 100 tabs at 12.95 or a CLA 1000 mg. 100 tabs at 13.95? Most people pick up the 1000 mg not knowing that if they looked at the side BOX it would tell them the CLA content was really just the same at 750 mg. and they wasted a dollar. The 1000 mg on the front is really the amount of the total blend of the product that only contains 750 of CLA. A Sam-e product says 400 mg on the front but again is really just 200 mg as the side box lists from 400 mg of blend. As this website grows, RightWay Vitamins will send letters to companies highlighting the confusing labels to get their response. And list the brands living up to a higher standard with correct labels, as well as those to avoid with misleading labels.


Another way to confuse customers is to list the total amount of compound that contains a smaller amount of the elemental ingredient. 500 milligrams of the compound calcium carbonate contains just 200 mg of elemental calcium and 300 mg of carbonate. The way to make sure the labeled amount is the elemental calcium: Look for the (from source) after the ingredient.

OK        Calcium (from calcium carbonate)   200 mg. 

OK        Calcium (carbonate)                      200 mg.  

NOT      Calcium carbonate                         200 mg.          (only 80 mg. calcium)


Some companies list the ingredients as a proprietary blend and don't have to list the dosage of each individual ingredient. They only have to list the total amount of all the ingredients added together. While they might say it is to protect trade secrets, any good lab could quickly analyze. It's mostly just to confuse the consumer so they can't compare it to another brand. The label is required to list products in descending order by amounts of each ingredient contained. You can't compare products labeled this way. Best to stay away from them and only pick labels that have all the ingredient amounts listed.

Yet another area you have to watch out for is the serving size. Some products use one cap as the serving size, but many use multiple caps to get the labeled amount.  You have to divide the total amount by the number in the serving size to get the amount in each cap for comparison of price and dosage. Companies that list a single ingredient should use a single serving size amount. In the instructions it could state to take two or three. Some multi-cap formulas are starting to list amounts for both a single cap and the multi-caps serving.

How to Read Labels

Item: If source Given Is: It Is:
Vitamin A

Fish Oils
Lemon Grass

If source not given

Vitamin B-Complex Brewers Yeast
   -Many are fortified with synthetics.
If source not given

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Yeast
Thiamine Mononitrate
Thiamine Hydrochloride
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Yeast
Pantothenic Acid Yeast, Rice Bran or Liver
Calcium D-Pantothenate
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Yeast
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
Vitamin B12 Liver
Micro-organism fermentation
Cobalamin Concentrate
PABA Yeast - Para-aminobenzoic Acid
Aminobenzoic Acid
Folic Acid Yeast or Liver
Pteroylglutamic Acid
Inositol Soy Beans
Reduced from Corn
Choline Soy Beans
Choline Chloride
Choline Bitartrate
Biotin Liver
Niacin Yeast
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Acerola Berries, Cama cama, Alma (rarely found)
Ascorbic Acid
If source not given
Vitamin D Fish Oils
Irradiated Ergosteral (Yeast)
Vitamin E Veg Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, or Mixed Tocopherols
d-alpha tocopherol
* dl-alpha tocopherol
Vitamin F Essential Fatty Acids Natural
Vitamin K K1 Phylloquione (Alfalfa, green plants)
K2 Menaquinone-4 (Mk-4) (animal fats- eggs, butter, dairy, meats)
K2 Menaquinone-7) (Mk-7) (natto, a fermented soy)

K1 (phytonadione)
K2 as Mk-4 (i.e.- Menatetrenone) (or if no source listed) (identical form as natural)
K3 Menadione (Not used as supplement, only as Drug in medicine)



Q? Where do the "food-grown" or "food like" or "food form" vitamins fit in that a few companies are marketing now?

A   Their labels are very confusing and do not give the "true reality". Let's just talk about vitamin B1. They still start with a synthetic isolate vitamin B1. It goes into a tub of live yeast cells with a yeast growing medium, usually soy protein and sugars. The yeast uptakes the B1 and "biotransforms" it into a food like form. Bacteria may be added to culture the mixture. The yeast cells are then enzymatically killed and the resulting material is dried and packed in a capsule or tablet. While this appears to increase absorption, very little scientific verification is given to support B1 activities once inside the body. A comparsion blood level study against an equal amount of nature's formed vitamins would reveal the whole story, but this has not happened yet. 

Soap Box: A more accurate label description would read: synthetic B1 complexed into cultured, fermented yeast food base. Since these brands do not indicate what form of the vitamins they start out with, the qualtiy issue really can't be adequately determined. This theory assumes that synthetic B1 has the same structure as nature formed B1. This assumption is not true for every synthetic vitamin. Or, that 100% of the synthetic vitamin gets complexed into the yeast during this process. Or that the B1 complex doesn't digest and separate into its free form before assimilation. There are still too many unanswered questions that need to be settled. This vitamin process has been is use for over 25 years. Why do you think so many questions remain after this much time? l


Centrum® Silver®                                (NOT A WISE CHOICE)
Supplement Facts
Serving Size 1 Tablet
Each Tablet Contains % DV
Vitamin A 3500 IU (29% as Beta Carotene) 70%
Vitamin C 60 mg 100%
Vitamin D 400 IU 100%
Vitamin E 45 IU 150%
Vitamin K 10 mcg 13%
Thiamin 1.5 mg 100%
Riboflavin 1.7 mg 100%
Niacin 20 mg 100%
Vitamin B6 3 mg 150%
Folic Acid 400 mcg 100%
Vitamin B12 25 mcg 417%
Biotin 30 mcg 10%
Pantothenic Acid 10 mg 100%
Calcium 200 mg 20%
Phosphorus 48 mg 5%
Iodine 150 mcg 100%
Magnesium 100 mg 25%
Zinc 15 mg 100%
Selenium 20 mcg 29%
Copper 2 mg 100%
Manganese 2 mg 100%
Chromium 150 mcg 125%
Molybdenum 75 mcg 100%
Chloride 72 mg 2%
Potassium 80 mg 2%
Boron 150 mcg *
Nickel 5 mcg *
Silicon 2 mg *
Vanadium 10 mcg *
Lutein 250 mcg                                 ineffective amount     *
Lycopene 300 mcg                            ineffective amount   *

*Daily Value (%DV) not established.




INGREDIENTS: Calcium Carbonate, Dibasic Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Oxide, Potassium Chloride, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Starch, Ascorbic Acid (Vit.C), dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vit.E), Crospovidone.Contains < 2% of: Acacia, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Beta Carotene, Biotin, BHT, Calcium Pantothenate, Calcium Stearate, Chromic Chloride, Citric Acid, Cupric Oxide, Cyanocobalamin (Vit.B12), dl-Alpha Tocopherol, Ergocalciferol (Vit.D), FD&C Blue 2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Red 40 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake, Folic Acid, Gelatin, Lutein, Lycopene, Magnesium Borate, Magnesium Stearate, Manganese Sulfate, Niacinamide, Nickelous Sulfate, Phytonadione (Vit.K), Polyethylene Glycol, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vit.B6), Riboflavin (Vit.B2), Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Ascorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Borate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Metavanadate, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenate, Sorbic Acid, Sucrose, Talc, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vit.B1), Titanium Dioxide, Tribasic Calcium Phosphate, Vitamin A Acetate (Vit.A), Zinc Oxide. May also contain: Lactose (milk).
SUGGESTED USE: Adults - One tablet daily with food. Not formulated for use in children.

As with any supplement, if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medication, consult your doctor before use.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Long-term intake of high levels of vitamin A (excluding that sourced from beta-carotene) may increase the risk of osteoporosis in adults. Do not take this product if taking other vitamin A supplements.
Keep out of reach of children.
Store at room temperature. Keep bottle tightly closed.
Bottle sealed with printed foil under cap. Do not use if foil is torn.
Marketed by: Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, Madison, NJ 07940




Before listing the deceptive label brands, I feel it is only fair to write these companies to get their response. Then, both the letter and their response, or lack of one will offer significant insight into the motives of that company. This could prove very interesting. Misleading labels maybe technically correct according to the government's standards, but they are confusing to the consumer, leading them to believe something that is not true about the product or dosage.


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