The Truth About Minerals in Nutritional Supplements

Abstract: Even though natural health professionals agree that humans should not try to consume industrial chemicals, most seem to overlook this fact when mineral supplementation is involved.  And even though many people interested in natural health take minerals, the truth is that nearly all the minerals taken are “natural” for nothing except plants and/or industrial chemicals.  While plants are designed to ingest and break-down minerals, humans are not.  The truth about nearly all minerals in supplements is that they are really industrial chemicals made from processing rocks with one or more acids.  The consumption of this “other half” of the mineral compound is not only unnatural, it can lead to toxicity concerns.  Humans were designed to eat food and to get their minerals from foods. Foods DO NOT naturally contain minerals bound to substances such as picolinic acid, carbonates, oxides, phosphates, etc.  When supplementation is indicated, only supplements made from 100% food should be considered for supporting optimal health.

In a nutritional context, minerals are certain elements, such as iron and phosphorus that are essential for the physiology of living organisms to exist.

When it comes to nutrition, plants and humans differ: “a typical plant makes its own food from raw materials… A typical animal eats its food” [1].  For plants, these raw materials include soil-based inorganic mineral salts [2].  Soil-based mineral salts can be depleted through synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, as well as repeatedly growing crops on the same soil [3,4].

Plants, with the aid of enzymes and soil-based microorganisms, can take in from soil the mineral salts that they have an affinity for through their roots or hyphae [4].  After various metabolic processes, when these minerals no longer exist as salts, they become complexed with various carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins present in the plant as part of the living organism [5].  Thus for nutrition, humans eat plants and/or animals that eat plants, whereas plants can obtain their nutrients from the soil [4].  This process is commonly referred to as the “food chain” [5].

Unfortunately most mineral supplements contain minerals in the form referred to as ‘mineral salts’.  Even though mineral salts are often called “natural”, they  are rocks (e.g. calcium carbonate exists as the rock commonly known as limestone) or they are chemically produced in accordance with the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP).  Mineral salts are natural food for plants, they are not a natural food for humans–humans do not have roots or hyphae!

Dietary Guideline number 18 of the Weston A. Price Foundation, an organization devoted to consuming real foods, is: “Use only natural, food-based supplements” [6].  One of the standards of naturopathy agreed to in 1947 was, “Naturopathy does not make use of synthetic or inorganic vitamins or minerals” [7].  Why would naturopaths have mentioned minerals since they are ‘natural’?  Because even back then, most naturopaths knew that the inorganic minerals being placed into supplements were often simply industrial rocks and not foods.  Little has changed in the nearly seven decades since.  This paper documents the availability, sources, and some of the chemical differences between minerals found in foods and the industrially processed mineral salts that are found in most ‘natural’ mineral supplements.

Absorption

Mineral absorption is affected by many factors including the chemical form, structural form, existence or lack of protein chaperones, health, dietary factors, and even medications.

“Absorptive efficiency for many minerals is governed by homeostatic feedback regulation.  When the body is in a depleted state, the intestine upregulates absorption of the nutrient.  At the biochemical level , this regulation must be expressed by the control of intraluminal binding lignans, cell-surface receptors, intracellular carrier proteins, intracellular storage proteins, or the energetics of the transmembrane transport…In general mineral bioavailability decreases because of many drugs, decreases with age, and in the presence of malnutrition, is associated with poorer integrity of the small intestine.  Therefore, older individuals who are often taking numerous medications and who are eating more poorly than young people are at greater risk of mineral deficiencies” [8].

Chemical Differences

The basic difference between minerals found in foods and those found in industrial mineral salts is chemical. 

The chemical form of a mineral is an important factor in its absorption and bioavailability…there is evidence that the form in which minerals are ingested affects absorption.  For example, particle size, surface area, and solubility of a substance affects is dilution rate…In many solid foods, elements are not free, but firmly bound in the food matrix” [8]. 

This, of course, is not true of most minerals in supplements as they are normally industrially processed inorganic rocks (mineral salts) hence they are void of the factors found in a food matrix.  Only 100% food minerals have minerals attached in a food matrix.

Minerals are normally found in food and in the body they are attached with some peptide [9,10]. When humans eat plants or animals they are consuming minerals in those forms.  Humans are not supposed to directly consume soil components [1].  With the exception of sodium chloride (common table salt), humans do not normally in any significant quantity consume minerals in the chemical forms known as mineral salts.  When they do, it is considered to be a disorder called ‘geophagia’ or ‘pica’ [11,12].

It is a fact that mineral salts are often called “natural”, but they are not food minerals.  Mineral salts are normally inorganic molecular compounds that look like rocks [13].  Mineral salts are a compound containing a mineral element, which is the mineral normally listed on a supplement label, and some other substance it is chemically bound to.  Mineral salts are either rocks (e.g. calcium carbonate exists as the rock commonly known as limestone) or they are rocks that are chemically-altered.  Mineral salts are natural food for plants which can chemically change and detoxify them [14]; they are not a natural food for humans, although some people do consider crushed bones and naturally-calcified sea algae, etc. as food.  Minerals bound in mineral salts simply are not treated the same way in the body as are minerals found in food.

Minerals vs. Industrial Chemicals

The following list describes what many mineral salts/chelates used in supplements actually are and what they are used for when not in supplements:

  • Boric acid is the rock known as sassolite.  It is used in weatherproofing wood, fireproofing fabrics, and as an insecticide [15].
  • Calcium ascorbate is calcium carbonate processed with ascorbic acid and acetone.  It is a manufactured product used in ‘non-food’ supplements [15].
  • Calcium carbonate is the rock known as limestone or chalk.  It is used in the manufacture of paint, rubber, plastics, ceramics, putty, polishes, insecticides, and inks.  It is also used in fillers for adhesives, matches, pencils, crayons, linoleum, insulating compounds, and welding rods [15].
  • Calcium chloride is calcium carbonate and chlorine and is the by product of the Solvay ammonia-soda process.  It is used for antifreeze, refrigeration, fire extinguisher fluids, and to preserve wood and stone.  Other uses include cement, coagulant in rubber manufacturing, controlling dust on unpaved roads, freezeproofing of coal, and increasing traction in tires [15].
  • Calcium citrate is calcium carbonate processed with lactic and citric acids.  It is used to alter the baking properties of flour [15].
  • Calcium gluconate is calcium carbonate processed with gluconic acid, which is used in cleaning compounds.  It is used in sewage purification and to prevent coffee powders from caking [15].
  • Calcium glycerophosphate is calcium carbonate processed with dl-alpha-glycerophosphates.  It is used in dentifrices, baking powder, and as a food stabilizer [15].
  • Calcium hydroxyapatite is crushed bone and bone marrow.  It is used as a fertilizer [16].
  • Calcium iodide is calcium carbonate processed with iodine.  It is an expectorant [15].
  • Calcium lactate is calcium carbonate processed with lactic acid.  It is used as a dentifrice and as a preservative [15].
  • Calcium oxide is basically burnt calcium carbonate.  It is used in bricks, plaster, mortar, stucco, and other building materials.  It is also used in insecticides and fungicides [15].
  • Calcium phosphate, tribasic is the rock known as oxydapatit or bone ash.  It is used in the manufacture of fertilizers, milk-glass, polishing powders, porcelain, pottery, and enamels [15].
  • Calcium stearate is an octodecanoic calcium salt and can be extracted from animal fat.  It is used for waterproofing fabrics and in the production of cement, stucco, and explosives [15].
  • Chromium chloride is a preparation of hexahydrates.  It is used as a corrosion inhibitor and waterproofing agent [15].
  • Chromium picolinate is chromium III processed with picolinic acid.  Picolinic acid is used in herbicides [17].
  • Copper aspartate is made “from the reaction between cupric carbonate and aspartic acid (from chemical synthesis)” [18].  It is a manufactured product used in ‘non-food’ supplements [18].
  • Copper (cupric) carbonate is the rock known as malachite.  It is used as a paint and varnish pigment, plus as a seed fungicide [15].
  • Copper gluconate is copper carbonate processed with gluconic acid.  It is used as a deodorant [19].
  • Copper (cupric) glycinate is a copper salt processed with glycine.  It is used in photometric analysis for copper [15].
  • Copper sulfate is copper combined with sulfuric acid.  It is used as a drain cleaner and to induce vomiting; it is considered as hazardous heavy metal by the City of Lubbock, Texas that “can contaminate our water supply” [20].
  • Dicalcium phosphate is the rock known as monetite, but can be made from calcium chloride and sodium phosphate.  It is used in ‘non-food’ supplements [18].
  • Ferric pyrophosphate is an iron rock processed with pyrophosphoric acid.  It is used in fireproofing and in pigments [15].
  • Ferrous lactate is a preparation from isotonic solutions.  It is used in ‘non-food’ supplements [15].
  • Ferrous sulfate is the rock known as melanterite.  It is used as a fertilizer, wood preservative, weed-killer, and pesticide [15].
  • Magnesium carbonate is the rock known as magnesite.  It is used as an antacid, laxative, and cathartic [15].
  • Magnesium chloride is magnesium ammonium chloride processed with hydrochloric acid.  It fireproofs wood, carbonizes wool, and is used as a glue additive and cement ingredient [15].
  • Magnesium citrate is magnesium carbonate processed with acids.  It is used as a cathartic [15].
  • Magnesium glycinate is a magnesium salt processed with glycine.  It is used in ‘non-food’ supplements.
  • Magnesium oxide is normally burnt magnesium carbonate.  It is used as an antacid and laxative [15].
  • Manganese carbonate is the rock known as rhodochrosite.  It is used as a whitener and to dry varnish [15].
  • Manganese gluconate is manganese carbonate or dioxide processed with gluconic acid.  It is a manufactured item used in ‘non-food’ supplements [15].
  • Manganese sulfate is made “from the reaction between manganese oxide and sulfuric acid” [18].  It is used in dyeing and varnish production [15].
  • Molybdenum ascorbate is molybdenite processed with ascorbic acid and acetone.  It is a manufactured item used ‘non-food’ supplements [21].
  • Molybdenum disulfide is the rock known as molybdenite.  It is used as a lubricant additive and hydrogenation catalyst [15].
  • Potassium chloride is a crystalline substance consisting of potassium and chlorine.  It is used in photography [15].
  • Potassium iodide is made from HI and KHCO3 by melting in dry hydrogen and undergoing electrolysis.  It is used to make photographic emulsions and as an expectorant [15].
  • Potassium sulfate appears to be prepared from the elements in liquid ammonia.  It is used as a fertilizer and to make glass [15].
  • Selenium oxide is made by burning selenium in oxygen or by oxidizing selenium with nitric acid.  It is used as a reagent for alkaloids or as an oxidizing agent [15].
  • Seleniomethionine is a selenium analog of methionine.  It is used as a radioactive imaging agent [15].
  • Silicon dioxide is the rock known as agate.  It is used to manufacture glass, abrasives, ceramics, enamels, and as a defoaming agent [15].
  • Vanadyl sulfate is a blue crystal powder known as vanadium oxysulfate.  It is used as a dihydrate in dyeing and printing textiles, to make glass, and to add blue and green glazes to pottery [15].
  • Zinc acetate is made from zinc nitrate and acetic anhydride.  It is used to induce vomiting [15].
  • Zinc carbonate is the rock known as smithsonite or zincspar.  It is used to manufacture rubber [15].
  • Zinc chloride is a combination of zinc and chlorine.  It is used as an embalming material [15].
  • Zinc citrate is smithsonite processed with citric acid.  It is used in the manufacture of some toothpaste [15].
  • Zinc gluconate is a zinc rock processed with gluconic acid.  Gluconic acid is used in many cleaning compounds [15].
  • Zinc lactate is smithsonite processed with lactic acid.  Lactic acid lactate is used as a solvent [15].
  • Zinc monomethionine is a zinc salt with methionine.  It is used as a ‘non-food’ supplement.
  • Zinc orotate is a zinc rock processed with orotic acid.  Orotic acid is a uricosuric (promotes uric acid excretion) [15].
  • Zinc oxide is the rock known as zincite.  It is used as a pigment for white paint and as part of quick-drying cement [15].
  • Zinc phosphate is the rock known as hopeite.  It is used in dental cements [15].
  • Zinc picolinate is a zinc rock processed with picolinic acid.  Picolinic acid is used in herbicides [17].
  • Zinc sulfate can be a rock processed with sulfuric acid.  It is used as a corrosive in calico-printing and to preserve wood [15].

 

There is a relatively easy way to tell if minerals are industrial chemicals.  Whenever there are two-words on a label describing a mineral, it is a logical to conclude that the substance is an industrial mineral product and not 100% foodThe exception is chromium GTF (the GTF stands for glucose tolerance factor) which is food if it is from nutritional yeast [18].

Chelated Minerals

Chelated minerals are generally crushed industrial rocks that are processed with one or more acids.

Probably the biggest difference in minerals now compared to 1947 is that some companies have decided to industrially produce versions of minerals attached to peptides.  Essentially they take a rock or industrial mineral salt, chemically alter it, and attempt to attach it to the mineral.  This results in a mineral that is different from normal mineral salts, but does not turn the substance into a food.  Examples of this include the various mineral ascorbates, picolinates, aspartates, glycinates, and chelates.  It needs to be understood that since there is not a universally accepted definition of the term ‘chelate’, when this term is used on a label, one generally does not know if the chelate is amino-acid based or some type of industrial acid.

While it is true that humans can, and do, utilize minerals from USP mineral salts or chelated minerals, this is not as safe (or even normally as effective) as consuming them from foods (or in the case of real food supplements, food concentrates).

Non-Food Attachments, Including Some “Chelates,” Are Not Desirable

Is it wise to consume non-food minerals? 

Dr. Bernard Jensen, an early 20th century advocate of food-based nutrition, once wrote, “When we take out from foods some certain salt, we are likely to alter the chemicals in those foods.  When extracted from food, that certain chemical salt is extracted, may even become a poison.  Potash by itself is a poison, whether it comes from a food or from the drugstore.  This is also the case with phosphorus.  You thereby overtax your system, and your functions must work harder, in order to throw off those inorganic salts or poisons introduced… The chemical elements that build our body must be in biochemical, life-producing form.  They must come to us as food, magnetically, electrically alive, grown from the dust of the earth… When we are lacking any element at all, we are lacking more than one element.  There is no one who ever lacked just one element.  We don’t have a food that contains only one element, such as a carrot entirely of calcium or sprouts totally made of silicon” [22]. 

It should be noted that the addition of “citric acid and picolinic acid do not appear to enhance zinc absorption” [23].  Chromium picolinate is a human-made substance, created by Gary Evans [24]; it is not a natural food.  Picolinic acid is used in herbicides [17]; furthermore “picolinic acid is an excretory or waste product.  It is not metabolized by or useful to the body” [25].  Scientists report, “some research groups recently suggested that chromium (III) picolinate produces significantly more oxidative stress and potential DNA damage than other chromium supplements” [26]. 

Concerns are being raised from various sources about the implications of intentional ingestion of inorganic substances in supplements by human beings [22,25,26].  These substances are not natural for humans to consume and a long period of consumption may cause some type of toxic accumulation [22,25,26].   Yet, many people supposedly interested in natural health are daily consuming various carbonates, gluconates, oxides, picolinates, phosphates, sulfates and other rock components that were not intended to be ingested that way.  Since there are many possible negative implications associated with “the other half” of these non-food minerals [25], people truly interested in their health would be much better off consuming foods that are high in minerals or supplements made from those foods.

Jay Patrick claims to have originally developed procedures to manufacture all seven of the mineral ascorbates [21]; thus it would seem highly inappropriate to call supplements with ascorbate attached minerals ‘food’.

Actually, it does not appear that any of the minerals marketed as ‘chelated’ are food concentrates, though there are foods which contain naturally chelated minerals, but these are normally marketed as food minerals.  Even though there are some theoretical advantages to industrially-produced mineral ‘chelates’ as compared to inorganic mineral salts, these chelates are not natural food.

More on Bioavailability 

It is well known among nutrition researchers that most essential minerals are not well absorbed; for some minerals, absorption is less than 1% [27].  “Bioavailability of orally administered vitamins, minerals, and trace elements is subject to a complex set of influences…In nutrition science the term ‘bioavailability’ encompasses the sum of impacts that may reduce or foster the metabolic utilization of a nutrient” [28].  Research demonstrates that the bioavailability and/or effectiveness of mineral containing foods is greater than that of isolated inorganic mineral salts or mineral chelates [e.g. 28-52].  These studies have concluded that natural food minerals may be better absorbed, utilized, and/or retained than mineral salts.

Furthermore, minerals used in most supplements do not contain protein chaperones or other food factors needed for absorption into the cell.  In 1999, the Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to Guenter Blobel who discovered that minerals need protein chaperones to be absorbed into cellular receptors. When mineral salts without protein chaperones are consumed, “It is after digestion when other mineral forms {mineral salts} have their mineral cleaved from their carriers. In this situation, these minerals become charged ions, and their absorbability becomes in jeopardy. These charged free minerals are known to block the absorption of one another, or to combine with other dietary factors to form compounds that are unabsorbable” [53].  The body must discard the residual chemicals.

Foods used in supplements that commonly provide significant quantities of essential minerals include dulse, horsetail herb, kelp, nutritional yeast, rice bran, and water thyme.  These types of foods have been shown to contain not only minerals in natural food forms, but also important protein chaperones such as ATX1 and ceruplasmin [54,55].  Industrial mineral salts do not contain the protein chaperones or other food factors needed for proper mineral absorption. Furthermore, some foods also contain factors which reduce the probability of certain minerals to be toxic to the body [32,33,55]; industrial mineral salts and chelates are simply not that complete. 

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Differences

There are quantitative and qualitative differences in food vs. non-food minerals. Table 1 lists some of them by mineral.

Table 1 Quantitative and Qualitative Differences

Food Mineral

 

Compared to Mineral Salt/Chelate

Calcium

 

Up to 8.79 times more absorbed into the blood [47] and 7 times as effective in raising serum ionic calcium levels [30].

Chromium

 

Up to 25 times more bioavailable [31].

Copper

 

85% more absorbed [45]; also contains substances that reduce potential toxicity [32,46].

Iron

 

Safer, non-constipating, 77% more absorbed [33, 34, 45].

Magnesium

 

Up to 2.20 times better absorbed [52] and retained [35].

Manganese

 

Better absorbed and retained [45,46] and not as likely to contribute to toxicity as mined forms [36,56].

Molybdenum

 

Up 6.28 times better absorbed into the blood and 16.49 times better retained [45].

Phosphorus

 

Less likely to cause diarrhea or electrolyte disorders [37].

Selenium

 

17.6 time the antioxidant effect [46], 123.01 times more effective in preventing nonenzymatic protein glycation [17], and  2.26 times better retained [29,38,44].

Vanadium   

 

Safer and 50% more effective [39].

Zinc 

Up to 6.46 times better absorbed [45,46,51], better form [40,41].

Foods, almost by definition, are not toxic, and as mentioned earlier, can have protective factors to prevent certain potential mineral toxicities, such as those sometimes associated with copper, iron, manganese, or other minerals [32,33,55,56].

Information by Individual Mineral

Some differences between food complexed minerals and mineral salts have been documented by published research and are shown by individual mineral below:

Boron “Boron complexes with organic compounds containing hydroxyl groups” [9], which is how it is found in foods. Boron affects macromineral and steriodal hormone metabolism; without sufficient boron bone composition, strength, and structure weaken [9]. 

Calcium  “The amount of calcium absorbed depends on its interaction with other dietary constituents…The absorbability of calcium is mainly determined by the presence of other food constituents” [56].  This is one of the reasons why isolated calcium mineral salts (such as calcium carbonate) are not absorbed as well as calcium found in natural food complexes [56,57].  “Calcium carbonate, an antacid, counteracts not only the absorption of calcium, but also the absorption of iron” [11] (though its calcium absorption appears to be better with food [58]).  At least one researcher has concluded that commonly used mineral salts such as calcium lactate and calcium gluconate primarily succeed in creating high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) instead of alleviating symptoms of low tissue calcium [59].  “Calcium has a structural role in bones and teeth” as well as in some enzymes involved with blood clotting [48]. Calcium can affect mood and blood pressure [57,60].  Clinical reports consistently confirm that dietary/food calciums [5-8] are important in the management of blood pressure.  This does not appear to be the case with isolated calcium salts (the results appear inconsistent [30,61-63]).  One study found that calcium in Food raised serum ionic calcium levels from 1.08 to 1.15 mmoles, but that serum ionic calcium levels were not raised with calcium carbonate [30].  Serum calcium levels affect blood pressure [60,64].  Since low bone mass is somewhat inversely correlated with high levels of diastolic blood pressure [9], this suggests that calcium from Food may be superior when hypertension issues are present. Calcium is important for optimal health as calcium deficiencies can contribute to osteoporosis, muscle cramps (especially in the legs), insomnia, mood/behavioral/nerve problems, hypertension,  kidney stones, and colon cancer [61,65,66].  It appears that overdose of calcium can only occur when taking mineral salt forms of calcium supplement as opposed to food [66].  A human study found that Natural Food Complex calcium is 8.79 times more bioavailable than calcium carbonate (which is the most common form found in supplements) and 2.97 times more than calcium gluconate [47]. This same study found that Food calcium “produced no undesirable side effects and was the most suitable form of calcium for long-term supplementation” [47].

Chromium, GTF  “The biologically active form of chromium, sometimes called glucose tolerance factor or GTF, has been proposed to be a complex of chromium, nicotinic acid, and possibly the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid.  Many attempts have been made to isolate or synthesize the glucose tolerance factor; none have been successful” [67].  Chromium is not naturally found in the body in the commonly supplemented forms such as chromium picolinate or chromium chelate.  “Chromium is generally accepted as an essential nutrient that potentiates insulin action, and thus influences carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism” [67].  Research suggests that there is much less likelihood of toxicity from natural food complex chromium than from forms such as chromium picolinate [26].  Only 1% or less of inorganic chromium is absorbed vs.10-25% of chromium GTF [31].  One small study found that Food  chromium GTF reduced blood glucose levels by 16.8% versus 6.0% for inorganic chromium [48], thus it was 2.80 times more effective. One study found that Food  chromium benefited certain diabetics by improving blood glucose control, lowering serum lipids, and decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease [49]. Chromium GTF only comes from nutritional yeast [58].

Copper  In the human body, in addition to various plasma-bound coppers, “at least one copper peptide complex” has been isolated [60].  Copper is predominantly found in Food nutrients in a copper peptide complex (such as Cu/Zn superoxide-dismutase). Copper is not naturally found in the body in the form of copper gluconate or copper sulfate.  “Anemia, neutropenia, and osteoporosis are observed with copper deficiency”; copper is involved in connective tissue, iron metabolism, the central nervous system, melanin pigment, thermal regulation,  cholesterol metabolism, immune function, and cardiac function [60].  Copper in foods like nutritional yeast contains protective factors that reduce the possibility of toxicity issues [32,46].  A human study found that Food copper was 1.44 times more absorbed into the blood than copper sulfate and 1.43 times more than copper gluconate [45]. Animal studies showed similar results, plus concluded that Food copper was retained in the liver 1.85 times more than copper gluconate and 1.42 times more than copper sulfate [45].

Iodine Most of the iodine in the body exists in the form of iodine-containing amino acids [61].  Iodine is needed by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones which influence most of the body’s metabolic processes [61].  Kelp is an excellent food source of iodine [61].

Iron  Most researchers acknowledge that organic iron is better absorbed than inorganic iron [71].  The body has different mechanisms for the absorption of iron depending upon its form [72].  Iron in foods is found in an organic form.  Iron is required for growth and hemoglobin formation; inadequate amounts can lead to “weakness, fatigue, pallor, dyspnea on exertion, palpitation, and a sense of being overly tired” [72].  Iron in food is safer, less-constipating (actually it is non-constipating), and better absorbed than non-food forms [33,34].  An animal study found that Food iron was absorbed into the blood 1.01 times more than ferrous sulfate and 1.77 times more than amino acid chelated iron and was retained in the liver 1.21 times more than ferrous sulfate and 1.68 times more than amino acid chelated iron [45,46].

Magnesium  “The percentage of absorption of ingested magnesium is influenced by its dietary concentration and by the presence of inhibiting or promoting dietary components [73].  There are no promoting dietary components in inorganic isolated magnesium salts. “Magnesium is involved in many enzymatic steps in which components of food are metabolized and new products are formed”; it is involved in over 300 such reactions [6].  Clinical deficiency of magnesium can results in “depressed tendon reflexes, muscle fasciculations, tremor, muscle spasm, personality changes, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting” [73].   Magnesium in foods is better absorbed and retained than magnesium from inorganic mineral salts [35].  A human study found that Natural Food Complex magnesium was 2.20 times more absorbed into blood than magnesium oxide and 1.60 times more than amino acid chelated magnesium [52].

Manganese  In the body, absorbed manganese complexes with various peptides [9].  Manganese is predominantly found in foods in a manganese peptide complex (such as Mn superoxide-dismutase).  It is not found in the body in forms like manganese sulfate.  Manganese deficiency can cause “impaired growth, skeletal abnormalities, disturbed or depressed reproductive function, ataxia of the newborn, and defects in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism” [9].  It can also affect skin, hair, nails, and problems with calcium metabolism [9].  Manganese in foods is safer and much less likely to cause any toxicity compared to mined forms [36,56].  ]. An animal study found that Natural Food Complex manganese was absorbed 1.56 times more into the blood and was retained 1.63 times more in the liver than manganese sulfate [45,46].

Molybdenum  Molybdenum…in foods…is readily absorbed” [9].  “Molydenum in {nearly all} nutritional supplements is in the form of either sodium molybdate or ammonium molybdate.  Molybdenum in food is principally in the form of molydenum cofactors” [67]. “Molybdenum functions as an enzyme cofactor”, thus “detoxifies various pyrimidines, purines, pteridines, and related compounds” [9]; it may also affect growth and reproduction [9].  An animal study found that Food molybdenum was absorbed 6.28 times more into the blood and was retained 16.49 times more in the liver than ammonium molybdate and 10.27 times more than molybdenum amino acid chelate [45].

Phosphorus Phosphorus is found in plants [11].  Phosphorus salts can cause diarrhea and other problems [37]—problems that do not happen with phosphorus in foods.  Phosphorus works with calcium to produce strong bones [57].

Potassium  Potassium is found in plants [11].  Potassium is the leading intracellular electrolyte and is necessary for electrolyte balance, stimulating aldersterone for the adrenal glands, and blood pressure regulation [11].  Dr. Bernard Jensen seemed to believe potassium is only safe in its natural food complex form [22].

Selenium   “The predominant form of selenium in animal tissues is selenocysteine” [74].  That is how it is predominantly found in certain foods.  One study found that diets naturally high in selenium (daily consumption as high as 724mcg) produced no signs or symptoms of selenium overexposure while another found that exceedingly high consumption of  selenium salts could induce selenium poisoning [74].  Selenium seems to support thyroid hormone production, function as part of many enzymes, and have antioxidant effects [74].  Larry Clark, Ph.D. and others have found that selenium in yeast appears to reduce  risk of certain cancers [75].  Julian Whitaker, M.D. reports, “The best absorbed form of selenium, and the one used by Dr. Clark’s research, is high-selenium yeast” [75].  A study using 247 mcg/day of high-selenium yeast found that plasma selenium levels were 2-fold higher than baseline values after 3 and 9 months and returned to 136% of baseline after 12 months, whereas there was a 32% increase in blood glutathione levels also seen after 9 months [29].  Food selenium is about twice as well retained as non-food forms [29,38].  Research suggests that Food selenium is 2.26 times more retained in the liver and 1.22 times more absorbed in the blood than sodium selenite [44]. An in vitro study found that Food selenium had 17.6 times the antioxidant effect than did selenomethionine [44]. One study found that Food selenium was 123.01 times more effective than sodium selenite in preventing nonenzymatic glycation in diabetics [50].

Silicon “In animals, silicon is found both free and bound” [9].  Silicon absorption is quite dependent upon the form [9].  Silicon is involved in bone calcification and connective tissue formation [9].  It is also needed for healthy hair and skin [51].  Silicon is found in foods in an organic form.

Trace Minerals  Trace minerals, including “ultra trace minerals” are necessary for the proper functioning of human health [9,51].  There are many in the human body, some of which are known to be essential and others of which their “essentialness” is under investigation.  Sea vegetables and certain yeasts are a good source of trace minerals [11,31,61]. 

Vanadium  “Vanadate forms compounds with other biological substances” [9].  “Vanadium has been postulated to play a role in the regulation of (NaK)-ATPase, phosphoryl transferase enzymes, adenylate cyclase, and protein kinases; as an enzyme cofactor in the form of vandyl and in hormone, glucose, lipid, and tooth metabolism” [9].  Vanadium in foods is found in an organic form.  Vanadium in food is safer than non-food forms and also appears to be about 50% more effective [39].

Zinc  Most researchers acknowledge that organic zinc is better absorbed than inorganic zinc [71].  Zinc itself is generally found in the human body in ionic form [71,76]; it is often bound with albumin [23,76] or alpha2-macroglobulin [23] or exists as part of one of the many zinc metalloenzymes [23,76].  Zinc is predominantly found in foods as zinc peptide complex (such as that complexed with superoxide dismutase).  Zinc is not naturally found in the body as zinc gluconate, zinc orotate, zinc sulfate, nor zinc picolinate. In humans “zinc deficiency does not exist without deficiency of other nutrients” [76]. Zinc deficiency in humans can cause alopecia, impotence, skin problems, immune deficiencies, night blindness, impaired taste, delayed wound healing, impaired appetite, photophobia, difficulty in dark adaptation, growth retardation, and male infertility [23].  Zinc in yeast-containing foods is better absorbed and is a better form for humans than inorganic forms [40,41].  Studies indicate that Food zinc appears to be 1.72-1.75 times more absorbed in the blood than zinc sulfate (1.71 times more than zinc chelate; 6.46 times more than zinc gluconate; 3.11 times more than zinc orotate) and 1.75-1.87 times more retained in the liver than zinc sulfate (1.45 times more than zinc amino acid chelate; 3.68 times more than zinc gluconate; 1.50 times more than zinc orotate) [45,46,51].

Food and Food Processing

“In the historic struggle for food, humans ate primarily whole foods or so-called natural foods, which underwent little processing…The nutrient content of food usually decreases when it is processed” [77].  “Intensive animal rearing, manipulation of crop production and food processing have altered the qualitative and quantitative balance of nutrients of food consumed by Western society.  This change, to which the physiology and biochemistry of man may not be presently adapted to, is thought to be responsible for the chronic diseases that are rampant in the Industrialized Western Countries” [78].  Some reports suggest that simply taking a synthetic multi-vitamin/mineral formula does not change this [79,80].

Dr. Burr-Madsen has written,

Nutrition ‑ in its most basic sense the process by which the organism finds, consumes,liberates, absorbs, and utilizes the nutrients it must have to live. Although food and therefore nutrients are seemingly plentiful, because of modern use of chemical herbicides and pesticides as well as poor air quality and bad water, the nutrients we buy in the market are very inferior. Human bodies require nutrition found in the form of plants, meat, milk, eggs and water, but all animals get their food directly or indirectly from plants, and all plants get their food from the soil. Therefore mineral deficient soil may be one of the greatest original sources of disease in the world today.

Real soil

We cannot appreciate enough the importance of our relationship with the land, with soil.  This is particularly so in this era of artificial chemicals, artificial foods, and the abundance of artificial materials on which we have come to depend. This system cannot replace real soil and the living food crops it produces. Our dependence on artificial, man­made products interferes with our relationship with the soil and the natural world in general. Because of this Nutritional supplementation is necessary.

Soil condition.
After genetics and weather, the condition of the soil is the most important factor in thenutrient content of any plant food and, indirectly, of animal foods. The soils of the world have suffered, and continue to suffer, at the hands of farming. The present food production system, while correcting some abuses of the past, inflicts on the soil a variety of new and old insults that diminish its nutrient value. Because of intensive farming, poor crop management, erosion, commercial fertilization, the use of pesticides, and other problematic factors, much of the soil in which our crops are now raised has been depleted, particularly of essential minerals.

The Human Food Chain.

The human food chain includes animals, animal products and plants, which depend directly or indirectly on the soil. Plants draw their nutrients and general health from a complex of inorganic and organic factors. Inorganic substances include oxygen and carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, along with iron, calcium, and an array of other minerals. The chief organic factors range from decaying plant material and animal wastes to earthworms and an amazing variety of microscopic organisms including bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa (Hall 1976: 134). All of these elements are important to the health and nutrient value of the crop ‑ and of the animals that feed on it.

Healthy soil.

Healthy soil is America’s greatest natural resource. But few realize that the current state of wide spread soil erosion in North America threatens our way of life. It may be hard to believe, but only a few inches of topsoil stand between you, me, and starvation. We cannot appreciate enough the importance of our relationship with the land, with soil. What is popularly called topsoil is the rich, nutrient‑laden cover of the Earth’s crust from which food crops draw their sustenance. Underneath the topsoil there may be clay, shale, or rock ‑ Substances that do not support food crops. It is only in the precious shallow topsoil that plants are seeded, germinated, sprouted, nurtured, and grown. These plants serve as food for animals on the lowest ends of the food chain. Animals that eat these plants supply food to animals on the highest ends of the food chain. Attention is important because topsoil is easily exhausted from lack of care. The best farmers replenish the soil as it is farmed. Unfortunately, this practice has become an exception to the rule, this is particularly so today.

Depleted Soil.

When the soil becomes depleted, the plants often show symptoms of poor nutrition, much like human deficiency diseases. For example, a general yellow or pale green color (chlorosis) indicates a lack of sulfur and nitrogen and a white or pale‑yellow color iron deficiency. Some of these deficiencies are apparent enough to hurt the marketability of the crop. Most, however, are not visible to the shopper’s or even the farmer’s eye, and the crop is shipped to market deficient as it is. The toll that fertilization and pesticides take on the soil is wide‑reaching, ultimately including the kind of soil erosion that is now plaguing the Midwest. The most direct and immediate loss are the mineral and vitamin deficiencies in the soil that are passed up the food chain to humans (it is a domino effect) [81].

Commercial food processing definitely reduces the nutrient content of food [81, 82] and can be dangerous to human health [83].  The refining of whole grains (including wheat, rice, and corn) has resulted in a dramatic reduction of their natural food complex nutrition [11,82]; specifically the milling of wheat to white flour reduces the natural food complex vitamin and mineral content by 40-60% [82].  Food refining appears to reduce trace minerals such as manganese, zinc, and chromium [2] and various macrominerals (such as magnesium) as well [10,56].  The treatment of canned or frozen vegetables with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) can strip much of the zinc from foods [11].  The high incidences of disorders of calcium metabolism [28] suggest that the forms of calcium many are consuming simply do not agree with the body (and sometimes result in calcium loss [11]). 

Organically-grown produce appears to contain higher levels of some essential minerals than does conventionally (non-organically) grown produce [84,85] and appears to contain lower levels of toxic heavy metals [86].   Even if modern food practices did not affect nutrition (which they do), all minerals that humans need for optimal health do not exist uniformly in soils. “Soils in many areas of the world are deficient in certain minerals; this can result in low concentrations of major or trace minerals in drinking water, plant crops, and even tissues of farm animals, thus contributing to marginal or deficient dietary intakes of humans [76]. From a geological perspective, a few examples include iodine, molybdenum, cobalt, selenium, and boron [2,70,77].  Although humans need at least twenty minerals (over sixty have been found in the body), most plants can be grown with only the addition of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compounds [2].  If other minerals necessary for human health are reduced in the soil, the plant can (and will) grow without them.  This means, though, that constantly farming the same ground can result in the reduction of some of the essential minerals we as humans require for optimal health [78].

Ground Up Rocks Pose Risks

Rock minerals are not optimal for human health and post health risks.  Perhaps it should be mentioned that typical multi-vitamin-mineral formulas are dangerous and do not result in optimal health.  A study involving 38,772 women in the USA who took synthetic multi-vitamins with ground up rock minerals found that the women died earlier than those who did not take them [87].  Other studies have concluded that the acid-processed rocks that many take as calcium supplements increase risk of cardiovascular disease and other problems [88]—yet those studies did not find problems with food calcium.

Ground-up rocks are dangerous to ingest.  Yet, 100% food vitamins and minerals are beneficial as well as essential to human health and longevity.

Conclusion

No matter how many industrially produced mineral supplements one takes orally, they will:

1) Never be a truly complete nutrient source.
2) Never replace all the functions of food minerals.
3) Always be unnatural substances to the body.
4) Always strain the body by requiring that it detoxify or somehow dispose of their unnatural structures/chemicals.
5) Never be utilized, absorbed, and retained the same as food nutrients.
6) Not be able to prevent advanced protein glycation end-product formation the same as food nutrients.
7) Never be able to have the antioxidant effects the same as food nutrients.
8) Always be industrial products.
9) Always be composed of petroleum-derivatives, hydrogenated sugars, acids, and/or industrially-processed rocks.
10) Never build optimal health the same as food nutrients.

Industrially processed minerals can have some positive nutritional effects, yet they are not food for humans, but they also pose risks [87-88]. 

Unlike humans, plants have roots or hyphae which aid in the absorption of minerals.  Plants actually have the ability to decrease the toxicity of compounds by changing their biochemical forms [14].  Plants are naturally intended to ingest rocks; humans are not [1]. 

The truth is that plants, or supplements only made from plants, are the best form of mineral supplement for humans, yet most people who take nutritional mineral support consume some type of industrially processed rock.

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Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards. Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific data. None of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional an

In a nutritional context, minerals are certain elements, such as iron and phosphorus that are essential for the physiology of living organisms to exist.

When it comes to nutrition, plants and humans differ: “a typical plant makes its own food from raw materials… A typical animal eats its food” [1].  For plants, these raw materials include soil-based inorganic mineral salts [2].  Soil-based mineral salts can be depleted through synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, as well as repeatedly growing crops on the same soil [3,4].

Plants, with the aid of enzymes and soil-based microorganisms, can take in from soil the mineral salts that they have an affinity for through their roots or hyphae [4].  After various metabolic processes, when these minerals no longer exist as salts, they become complexed with various carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins present in the plant as part of the living organism [5].  Thus for nutrition, humans eat plants and/or animals that eat plants, whereas plants can obtain their nutrients from the soil [4].  This process is commonly referred to as the “food chain” [5].

Unfortunately most mineral supplements contain minerals in the form referred to as ‘mineral salts’.  Even though mineral salts are often called “natural”, they  are rocks (e.g. calcium carbonate exists as the rock commonly known as limestone) or they are chemically produced in accordance with the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP).  Mineral salts are natural food for plants, they are not a natural food for humans–humans do not have roots or hyphae!

Dietary Guideline number 18 of the Weston A. Price Foundation, an organization devoted to consuming real foods, is: “Use only natural, food-based supplements” [6].  One of the standards of naturopathy agreed to in 1947 was, “Naturopathy does not make use of synthetic or inorganic vitamins or minerals” [7].  Why would naturopaths have mentioned minerals since they are ‘natural’?  Because even back then, most naturopaths knew that the inorganic minerals being placed into supplements were often simply industrial rocks and not foods.  Little has changed in the nearly seven decades since.  This paper documents the availability, sources, and some of the chemical differences between minerals found in foods and the industrially processed mineral salts that are found in most ‘natural’ mineral supplements.

Absorption

Mineral absorption is affected by many factors including the chemical form, structural form, existence or lack of protein chaperones, health, dietary factors, and even medications.

“Absorptive efficiency for many minerals is governed by homeostatic feedback regulation.  When the body is in a depleted state, the intestine upregulates absorption of the nutrient.  At the biochemical level , this regulation must be expressed by the control of intraluminal binding lignans, cell-surface receptors, intracellular carrier proteins, intracellular storage proteins, or the energetics of the transmembrane transport…In general mineral bioavailability decreases because of many drugs, decreases with age, and in the presence of malnutrition, is associated with poorer integrity of the small intestine.  Therefore, older individuals who are often taking numerous medications and who are eating more poorly than young people are at greater risk of mineral deficiencies” [8].

Chemical Differences

The basic difference between minerals found in foods and those found in industrial mineral salts is chemical.

The chemical form of a mineral is an important factor in its absorption and bioavailability…there is evidence that the form in which minerals are ingested affects absorption.  For example, particle size, surface area, and solubility of a substance affects is dilution rate…In many solid foods, elements are not free, but firmly bound in the food matrix” [8].

This, of course, is not true of most minerals in supplements as they are normally industrially processed inorganic rocks (mineral salts) hence they are void of the factors found in a food matrix.  Only 100% food minerals have minerals attached in a food matrix.

Minerals are normally found in food and in the body they are attached with some peptide [9,10]. When humans eat plants or animals they are consuming minerals in those forms.  Humans are not supposed to directly consume soil components [1].  With the exception of sodium chloride (common table salt), humans do not normally in any significant quantity consume minerals in the chemical forms known as mineral salts.  When they do, it is considered to be a disorder called ‘geophagia’ or ‘pica’ [11,12].

It is a fact that mineral salts are often called “natural”, but they are not food minerals.  Mineral salts are normally inorganic molecular compounds that look like rocks [13].  Mineral salts are a compound containing a mineral element, which is the mineral normally listed on a supplement label, and some other substance it is chemically bound to.  Mineral salts are either rocks (e.g. calcium carbonate exists as the rock commonly known as limestone) or they are rocks that are chemically-altered.  Mineral salts are natural food for plants which can chemically change and detoxify them [14]; they are not a natural food for humans, although some people do consider crushed bones and naturally-calcified sea algae, etc. as food.  Minerals bound in mineral salts simply are not treated the same way in the body as are minerals found in food.

Minerals vs. Industrial Chemicals

The following list describes what many mineral salts/chelates used in supplements actually are and what they are used for when not in supplements:

  • Boric acid is the rock known as sassolite.  It is used in weatherproofing wood, fireproofing fabrics, and as an insecticide [15].
  • Calcium ascorbate is calcium carbonate processed with ascorbic acid and acetone.  It is a manufactured product used in ‘non-food’ supplements [15].
  • Calcium carbonate is the rock known as limestone or chalk.  It is used in the manufacture of paint, rubber, plastics, ceramics, putty, polishes, insecticides, and inks.  It is also used in fillers for adhesives, matches, pencils, crayons, linoleum, insulating compounds, and welding rods [15].
  • Calcium chloride is calcium carbonate and chlorine and is the by product of the Solvay ammonia-soda process.  It is used for antifreeze, refrigeration, fire extinguisher fluids, and to preserve wood and stone.  Other uses include cement, coagulant in rubber manufacturing, controlling dust on unpaved roads, freezeproofing of coal, and increasing traction in tires [15].
  • Calcium citrate is calcium carbonate processed with lactic and citric acids.  It is used to alter the baking properties of flour [15].
  • Calcium gluconate is calcium carbonate processed with gluconic acid, which is used in cleaning compounds.  It is used in sewage purification and to prevent coffee powders from caking [15].
  • Calcium glycerophosphate is calcium carbonate processed with dl-alpha-glycerophosphates.  It is used in dentifrices, baking powder, and as a food stabilizer [15].
  • Calcium hydroxyapatite is crushed bone and bone marrow.  It is used as a fertilizer [16].
  • Calcium iodide is calcium carbonate processed with iodine.  It is an expectorant [15].
  • Calcium lactate is calcium carbonate processed with lactic acid.  It is used as a dentifrice and as a preservative [15].
  • Calcium oxide is basically burnt calcium carbonate.  It is used in bricks, plaster, mortar, stucco, and other building materials.  It is also used in insecticides and fungicides [15].
  • Calcium phosphate, tribasic is the rock known as oxydapatit or bone ash.  It is used in the manufacture of fertilizers, milk-glass, polishing powders, porcelain, pottery, and enamels [15].
  • Calcium stearate is an octodecanoic calcium salt and can be extracted from animal fat.  It is used for waterproofing fabrics and in the production of cement, stucco, and explosives [15].
  • Chromium chloride is a preparation of hexahydrates.  It is used as a corrosion inhibitor and waterproofing agent [15].
  • Chromium picolinate is chromium III processed with picolinic acid.  Picolinic acid is used in herbicides [17].
  • Copper aspartate is made “from the reaction between cupric carbonate and aspartic acid (from chemical synthesis)” [18].  It is a manufactured product used in ‘non-food’ supplements [18].
  • Copper (cupric) carbonate is the rock known as malachite.  It is used as a paint and varnish pigment, plus as a seed fungicide [15].
  • Copper gluconate is copper carbonate processed with gluconic acid.  It is used as a deodorant [19].
  • Copper (cupric) glycinate is a copper salt processed with glycine.  It is used in photometric analysis for copper [15].
  • Copper sulfate is copper combined with sulfuric acid.  It is used as a drain cleaner and to induce vomiting; it is considered as hazardous heavy metal by the City of Lubbock, Texas that “can contaminate our water supply” [20].
  • Dicalcium phosphate is the rock known as monetite, but can be made from calcium chloride and sodium phosphate.  It is used in ‘non-food’ supplements [18].
  • Ferric pyrophosphate is an iron rock processed with pyrophosphoric acid.  It is used in fireproofing and in pigments [15].
  • Ferrous lactate is a preparation from isotonic solutions.  It is used in ‘non-food’ supplements [15].
  • Ferrous sulfate is the rock known as melanterite.  It is used as a fertilizer, wood preservative, weed-killer, and pesticide [15].
  • Magnesium carbonate is the rock known as magnesite.  It is used as an antacid, laxative, and cathartic [15].
  • Magnesium chloride is magnesium ammonium chloride processed with hydrochloric acid.  It fireproofs wood, carbonizes wool, and is used as a glue additive and cement ingredient [15].
  • Magnesium citrate is magnesium carbonate processed with acids.  It is used as a cathartic [15].
  • Magnesium glycinate is a magnesium salt processed with glycine.  It is used in ‘non-food’ supplements.
  • Magnesium oxide is normally burnt magnesium carbonate.  It is used as an antacid and laxative [15].
  • Manganese carbonate is the rock known as rhodochrosite.  It is used as a whitener and to dry varnish [15].
  • Manganese gluconate is manganese carbonate or dioxide processed with gluconic acid.  It is a manufactured item used in ‘non-food’ supplements [15].
  • Manganese sulfate is made “from the reaction between manganese oxide and sulfuric acid” [18].  It is used in dyeing and varnish production [15].
  • Molybdenum ascorbate is molybdenite processed with ascorbic acid and acetone.  It is a manufactured item used ‘non-food’ supplements [21].
  • Molybdenum disulfide is the rock known as molybdenite.  It is used as a lubricant additive and hydrogenation catalyst [15].
  • Potassium chloride is a crystalline substance consisting of potassium and chlorine.  It is used in photography [15].
  • Potassium iodide is made from HI and KHCO3 by melting in dry hydrogen and undergoing electrolysis.  It is used to make photographic emulsions and as an expectorant [15].
  • Potassium sulfate appears to be prepared from the elements in liquid ammonia.  It is used as a fertilizer and to make glass [15].
  • Selenium oxide is made by burning selenium in oxygen or by oxidizing selenium with nitric acid.  It is used as a reagent for alkaloids or as an oxidizing agent [15].
  • Seleniomethionine is a selenium analog of methionine.  It is used as a radioactive imaging agent [15].
  • Silicon dioxide is the rock known as agate.  It is used to manufacture glass, abrasives, ceramics, enamels, and as a defoaming agent [15].
  • Vanadyl sulfate is a blue crystal powder known as vanadium oxysulfate.  It is used as a dihydrate in dyeing and printing textiles, to make glass, and to add blue and green glazes to pottery [15].
  • Zinc acetate is made from zinc nitrate and acetic anhydride.  It is used to induce vomiting [15].
  • Zinc carbonate is the rock known as smithsonite or zincspar.  It is used to manufacture rubber [15].
  • Zinc chloride is a combination of zinc and chlorine.  It is used as an embalming material [15].
  • Zinc citrate is smithsonite processed with citric acid.  It is used in the manufacture of some toothpaste [15].
  • Zinc gluconate is a zinc rock processed with gluconic acid.  Gluconic acid is used in many cleaning compounds [15].
  • Zinc lactate is smithsonite processed with lactic acid.  Lactic acid lactate is used as a solvent [15].
  • Zinc monomethionine is a zinc salt with methionine.  It is used as a ‘non-food’ supplement.
  • Zinc orotate is a zinc rock processed with orotic acid.  Orotic acid is a uricosuric (promotes uric acid excretion) [15].
  • Zinc oxide is the rock known as zincite.  It is used as a pigment for white paint and as part of quick-drying cement [15].
  • Zinc phosphate is the rock known as hopeite.  It is used in dental cements [15].
  • Zinc picolinate is a zinc rock processed with picolinic acid.  Picolinic acid is used in herbicides [17].
  • Zinc sulfate can be a rock processed with sulfuric acid.  It is used as a corrosive in calico-printing and to preserve wood [15].

There is a relatively easy way to tell if minerals are industrial chemicals.  Whenever there are two-words on a label describing a mineral, it is a logical to conclude that the substance is an industrial mineral product and not 100% foodThe exception is chromium GTF (the GTF stands for glucose tolerance factor) which is food if it is from nutritional yeast [18].

Chelated Minerals

Chelated minerals are generally crushed industrial rocks that are processed with one or more acids.

Probably the biggest difference in minerals now compared to 1947 is that some companies have decided to industrially produce versions of minerals attached to peptides.  Essentially they take a rock or industrial mineral salt, chemically alter it, and attempt to attach it to the mineral.  This results in a mineral that is different from normal mineral salts, but does not turn the substance into a food.  Examples of this include the various mineral ascorbates, picolinates, aspartates, glycinates, and chelates.  It needs to be understood that since there is not a universally accepted definition of the term ‘chelate’, when this term is used on a label, one generally does not know if the chelate is amino-acid based or some type of industrial acid.

While it is true that humans can, and do, utilize minerals from USP mineral salts or chelated minerals, this is not as safe (or even normally as effective) as consuming them from foods (or in the case of real food supplements, food concentrates).

Non-Food Attachments, Including Some “Chelates,” Are Not Desirable

Is it wise to consume non-food minerals?

Dr. Bernard Jensen, an early 20th century advocate of food-based nutrition, once wrote, “When we take out from foods some certain salt, we are likely to alter the chemicals in those foods.  When extracted from food, that certain chemical salt is extracted, may even become a poison.  Potash by itself is a poison, whether it comes from a food or from the drugstore.  This is also the case with phosphorus.  You thereby overtax your system, and your functions must work harder, in order to throw off those inorganic salts or poisons introduced… The chemical elements that build our body must be in biochemical, life-producing form.  They must come to us as food, magnetically, electrically alive, grown from the dust of the earth… When we are lacking any element at all, we are lacking more than one element.  There is no one who ever lacked just one element.  We don’t have a food that contains only one element, such as a carrot entirely of calcium or sprouts totally made of silicon” [22].

It should be noted that the addition of “citric acid and picolinic acid do not appear to enhance zinc absorption” [23].  Chromium picolinate is a human-made substance, created by Gary Evans [24]; it is not a natural food.  Picolinic acid is used in herbicides [17]; furthermore “picolinic acid is an excretory or waste product.  It is not metabolized by or useful to the body” [25].  Scientists report, “some research groups recently suggested that chromium (III) picolinate produces significantly more oxidative stress and potential DNA damage than other chromium supplements” [26].

Concerns are being raised from various sources about the implications of intentional ingestion of inorganic substances in supplements by human beings [22,25,26].  These substances are not natural for humans to consume and a long period of consumption may cause some type of toxic accumulation [22,25,26].   Yet, many people supposedly interested in natural health are daily consuming various carbonates, gluconates, oxides, picolinates, phosphates, sulfates and other rock components that were not intended to be ingested that way.  Since there are many possible negative implications associated with “the other half” of these non-food minerals [25], people truly interested in their health would be much better off consuming foods that are high in minerals or supplements made from those foods.

Jay Patrick claims to have originally developed procedures to manufacture all seven of the mineral ascorbates [21]; thus it would seem highly inappropriate to call supplements with ascorbate attached minerals ‘food’.

Actually, it does not appear that any of the minerals marketed as ‘chelated’ are food concentrates, though there are foods which contain naturally chelated minerals, but these are normally marketed as food minerals.  Even though there are some theoretical advantages to industrially-produced mineral ‘chelates’ as compared to inorganic mineral salts, these chelates are not natural food.

More on Bioavailability 

It is well known among nutrition researchers that most essential minerals are not well absorbed; for some minerals, absorption is less than 1% [27].  “Bioavailability of orally administered vitamins, minerals, and trace elements is subject to a complex set of influences…In nutrition science the term ‘bioavailability’ encompasses the sum of impacts that may reduce or foster the metabolic utilization of a nutrient” [28].  Research demonstrates that the bioavailability and/or effectiveness of mineral containing foods is greater than that of isolated inorganic mineral salts or mineral chelates [e.g. 28-52].  These studies have concluded that natural food minerals may be better absorbed, utilized, and/or retained than mineral salts.

Furthermore, minerals used in most supplements do not contain protein chaperones or other food factors needed for absorption into the cell.  In 1999, the Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to Guenter Blobel who discovered that minerals need protein chaperones to be absorbed into cellular receptors. When mineral salts without protein chaperones are consumed, “It is after digestion when other mineral forms {mineral salts} have their mineral cleaved from their carriers. In this situation, these minerals become charged ions, and their absorbability becomes in jeopardy. These charged free minerals are known to block the absorption of one another, or to combine with other dietary factors to form compounds that are unabsorbable” [53].  The body must discard the residual chemicals.

Foods used in supplements that commonly provide significant quantities of essential minerals include dulse, horsetail herb, kelp, nutritional yeast, rice bran, and water thyme.  These types of foods have been shown to contain not only minerals in natural food forms, but also important protein chaperones such as ATX1 and ceruplasmin [54,55].  Industrial mineral salts do not contain the protein chaperones or other food factors needed for proper mineral absorption. Furthermore, some foods also contain factors which reduce the probability of certain minerals to be toxic to the body [32,33,55]; industrial mineral salts and chelates are simply not that complete.

Quantitative and Qualitative Differences

There are quantitative and qualitative differences in food vs. non-food minerals. Table 1 lists some of them by mineral.

Table 1 Quantitative and Qualitative Differences

Food Mineral  Compared to Mineral Salt/Chelate
Calcium Up to 8.79 times more absorbed into the blood [47] and 7 times as effective in raising serum ionic calcium levels [30].
Chromium Up to 25 times more bioavailable [31].
Copper 85% more absorbed [45]; also contains substances that reduce potential toxicity [32,46].
Iron Safer, non-constipating, 77% more absorbed [33, 34, 45].
Magnesium Up to 2.20 times better absorbed [52] and retained [35].
Manganese Better absorbed and retained [45,46] and not as likely to contribute to toxicity as mined forms [36,56].
Molybdenum Up 6.28 times better absorbed into the blood and 16.49 times better retained [45].
Phosphorus Less likely to cause diarrhea or electrolyte disorders [37].
Selenium 17.6 time the antioxidant effect [46], 123.01 times more effective in preventing nonenzymatic protein glycation [17], and  2.26 times better retained [29,38,44].
Vanadium Safer and 50% more effective [39].
Zinc Up to 6.46 times better absorbed [45,46,51], better form [40,41].

Foods, almost by definition, are not toxic, and as mentioned earlier, can have protective factors to prevent certain potential mineral toxicities, such as those sometimes associated with copper, iron, manganese, or other minerals [32,33,55,56].

Information by Individual Mineral

Some differences between food complexed minerals and mineral salts have been documented by published research and are shown by individual mineral below:

Boron “Boron complexes with organic compounds containing hydroxyl groups” [9], which is how it is found in foods. Boron affects macromineral and steriodal hormone metabolism; without sufficient boron bone composition, strength, and structure weaken [9].

Calcium  “The amount of calcium absorbed depends on its interaction with other dietary constituents…The absorbability of calcium is mainly determined by the presence of other food constituents” [56].  This is one of the reasons why isolated calcium mineral salts (such as calcium carbonate) are not absorbed as well as calcium found in natural food complexes [56,57].  “Calcium carbonate, an antacid, counteracts not only the absorption of calcium, but also the absorption of iron” [11] (though its calcium absorption appears to be better with food [58]).  At least one researcher has concluded that commonly used mineral salts such as calcium lactate and calcium gluconate primarily succeed in creating high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) instead of alleviating symptoms of low tissue calcium [59].  “Calcium has a structural role in bones and teeth” as well as in some enzymes involved with blood clotting [48]. Calcium can affect mood and blood pressure [57,60].  Clinical reports consistently confirm that dietary/food calciums [5-8] are important in the management of blood pressure.  This does not appear to be the case with isolated calcium salts (the results appear inconsistent [30,61-63]).  One study found that calcium in Food raised serum ionic calcium levels from 1.08 to 1.15 mmoles, but that serum ionic calcium levels were not raised with calcium carbonate [30].  Serum calcium levels affect blood pressure [60,64].  Since low bone mass is somewhat inversely correlated with high levels of diastolic blood pressure [9], this suggests that calcium from Food may be superior when hypertension issues are present. Calcium is important for optimal health as calcium deficiencies can contribute to osteoporosis, muscle cramps (especially in the legs), insomnia, mood/behavioral/nerve problems, hypertension,  kidney stones, and colon cancer [61,65,66].  It appears that overdose of calcium can only occur when taking mineral salt forms of calcium supplement as opposed to food [66].  A human study found that Natural Food Complex calcium is 8.79 times more bioavailable than calcium carbonate (which is the most common form found in supplements) and 2.97 times more than calcium gluconate [47]. This same study found that Food calcium “produced no undesirable side effects and was the most suitable form of calcium for long-term supplementation” [47].

Chromium, GTF  “The biologically active form of chromium, sometimes called glucose tolerance factor or GTF, has been proposed to be a complex of chromium, nicotinic acid, and possibly the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid.  Many attempts have been made to isolate or synthesize the glucose tolerance factor; none have been successful” [67].  Chromium is not naturally found in the body in the commonly supplemented forms such as chromium picolinate or chromium chelate.  “Chromium is generally accepted as an essential nutrient that potentiates insulin action, and thus influences carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism” [67].  Research suggests that there is much less likelihood of toxicity from natural food complex chromium than from forms such as chromium picolinate [26].  Only 1% or less of inorganic chromium is absorbed vs.10-25% of chromium GTF [31].  One small study found that Food  chromium GTF reduced blood glucose levels by 16.8% versus 6.0% for inorganic chromium [48], thus it was 2.80 times more effective. One study found that Food  chromium benefited certain diabetics by improving blood glucose control, lowering serum lipids, and decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease [49]. Chromium GTF only comes from nutritional yeast [58].

Copper  In the human body, in addition to various plasma-bound coppers, “at least one copper peptide complex” has been isolated [60].  Copper is predominantly found in Food nutrients in a copper peptide complex (such as Cu/Zn superoxide-dismutase). Copper is not naturally found in the body in the form of copper gluconate or copper sulfate.  “Anemia, neutropenia, and osteoporosis are observed with copper deficiency”; copper is involved in connective tissue, iron metabolism, the central nervous system, melanin pigment, thermal regulation,  cholesterol metabolism, immune function, and cardiac function [60].  Copper in foods like nutritional yeast contains protective factors that reduce the possibility of toxicity issues [32,46].  A human study found that Food copper was 1.44 times more absorbed into the blood than copper sulfate and 1.43 times more than copper gluconate [45]. Animal studies showed similar results, plus concluded that Food copper was retained in the liver 1.85 times more than copper gluconate and 1.42 times more than copper sulfate [45].

Iodine Most of the iodine in the body exists in the form of iodine-containing amino acids [61].  Iodine is needed by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones which influence most of the body’s metabolic processes [61].  Kelp is an excellent food source of iodine [61].

Iron  Most researchers acknowledge that organic iron is better absorbed than inorganic iron [71].  The body has different mechanisms for the absorption of iron depending upon its form [72].  Iron in foods is found in an organic form.  Iron is required for growth and hemoglobin formation; inadequate amounts can lead to “weakness, fatigue, pallor, dyspnea on exertion, palpitation, and a sense of being overly tired” [72].  Iron in food is safer, less-constipating (actually it is non-constipating), and better absorbed than non-food forms [33,34].  An animal study found that Food iron was absorbed into the blood 1.01 times more than ferrous sulfate and 1.77 times more than amino acid chelated iron and was retained in the liver 1.21 times more than ferrous sulfate and 1.68 times more than amino acid chelated iron [45,46].

Magnesium  “The percentage of absorption of ingested magnesium is influenced by its dietary concentration and by the presence of inhibiting or promoting dietary components [73].  There are no promoting dietary components in inorganic isolated magnesium salts. “Magnesium is involved in many enzymatic steps in which components of food are metabolized and new products are formed”; it is involved in over 300 such reactions [6].  Clinical deficiency of magnesium can results in “depressed tendon reflexes, muscle fasciculations, tremor, muscle spasm, personality changes, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting” [73].   Magnesium in foods is better absorbed and retained than magnesium from inorganic mineral salts [35].  A human study found that Natural Food Complex magnesium was 2.20 times more absorbed into blood than magnesium oxide and 1.60 times more than amino acid chelated magnesium [52].

Manganese  In the body, absorbed manganese complexes with various peptides [9].  Manganese is predominantly found in foods in a manganese peptide complex (such as Mn superoxide-dismutase).  It is not found in the body in forms like manganese sulfate.  Manganese deficiency can cause “impaired growth, skeletal abnormalities, disturbed or depressed reproductive function, ataxia of the newborn, and defects in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism” [9].  It can also affect skin, hair, nails, and problems with calcium metabolism [9].  Manganese in foods is safer and much less likely to cause any toxicity compared to mined forms [36,56].  ]. An animal study found that Natural Food Complex manganese was absorbed 1.56 times more into the blood and was retained 1.63 times more in the liver than manganese sulfate [45,46].

Molybdenum  Molybdenum…in foods…is readily absorbed” [9].  “Molydenum in {nearly all} nutritional supplements is in the form of either sodium molybdate or ammonium molybdate.  Molybdenum in food is principally in the form of molydenum cofactors” [67]. “Molybdenum functions as an enzyme cofactor”, thus “detoxifies various pyrimidines, purines, pteridines, and related compounds” [9]; it may also affect growth and reproduction [9].  An animal study found that Food molybdenum was absorbed 6.28 times more into the blood and was retained 16.49 times more in the liver than ammonium molybdate and 10.27 times more than molybdenum amino acid chelate [45].

Phosphorus Phosphorus is found in plants [11].  Phosphorus salts can cause diarrhea and other problems [37]—problems that do not happen with phosphorus in foods.  Phosphorus works with calcium to produce strong bones [57].

Potassium  Potassium is found in plants [11].  Potassium is the leading intracellular electrolyte and is necessary for electrolyte balance, stimulating aldersterone for the adrenal glands, and blood pressure regulation [11].  Dr. Bernard Jensen seemed to believe potassium is only safe in its natural food complex form [22].

Selenium   “The predominant form of selenium in animal tissues is selenocysteine” [74].  That is how it is predominantly found in certain foods.  One study found that diets naturally high in selenium (daily consumption as high as 724mcg) produced no signs or symptoms of selenium overexposure while another found that exceedingly high consumption of  selenium salts could induce selenium poisoning [74].  Selenium seems to support thyroid hormone production, function as part of many enzymes, and have antioxidant effects [74].  Larry Clark, Ph.D. and others have found that selenium in yeast appears to reduce  risk of certain cancers [75].  Julian Whitaker, M.D. reports, “The best absorbed form of selenium, and the one used by Dr. Clark’s research, is high-selenium yeast” [75].  A study using 247 mcg/day of high-selenium yeast found that plasma selenium levels were 2-fold higher than baseline values after 3 and 9 months and returned to 136% of baseline after 12 months, whereas there was a 32% increase in blood glutathione levels also seen after 9 months [29].  Food selenium is about twice as well retained as non-food forms [29,38].  Research suggests that Food selenium is 2.26 times more retained in the liver and 1.22 times more absorbed in the blood than sodium selenite [44]. An in vitro study found that Food selenium had 17.6 times the antioxidant effect than did selenomethionine [44]. One study found that Food selenium was 123.01 times more effective than sodium selenite in preventing nonenzymatic glycation in diabetics [50].

Silicon “In animals, silicon is found both free and bound” [9].  Silicon absorption is quite dependent upon the form [9].  Silicon is involved in bone calcification and connective tissue formation [9].  It is also needed for healthy hair and skin [51].  Silicon is found in foods in an organic form.

Trace Minerals  Trace minerals, including “ultra trace minerals” are necessary for the proper functioning of human health [9,51].  There are many in the human body, some of which are known to be essential and others of which their “essentialness” is under investigation.  Sea vegetables and certain yeasts are a good source of trace minerals [11,31,61].

Vanadium  “Vanadate forms compounds with other biological substances” [9].  “Vanadium has been postulated to play a role in the regulation of (NaK)-ATPase, phosphoryl transferase enzymes, adenylate cyclase, and protein kinases; as an enzyme cofactor in the form of vandyl and in hormone, glucose, lipid, and tooth metabolism” [9].  Vanadium in foods is found in an organic form.  Vanadium in food is safer than non-food forms and also appears to be about 50% more effective [39].

Zinc  Most researchers acknowledge that organic zinc is better absorbed than inorganic zinc [71].  Zinc itself is generally found in the human body in ionic form [71,76]; it is often bound with albumin [23,76] or alpha2-macroglobulin [23] or exists as part of one of the many zinc metalloenzymes [23,76].  Zinc is predominantly found in foods as zinc peptide complex (such as that complexed with superoxide dismutase).  Zinc is not naturally found in the body as zinc gluconate, zinc orotate, zinc sulfate, nor zinc picolinate. In humans “zinc deficiency does not exist without deficiency of other nutrients” [76]. Zinc deficiency in humans can cause alopecia, impotence, skin problems, immune deficiencies, night blindness, impaired taste, delayed wound healing, impaired appetite, photophobia, difficulty in dark adaptation, growth retardation, and male infertility [23].  Zinc in yeast-containing foods is better absorbed and is a better form for humans than inorganic forms [40,41].  Studies indicate that Food zinc appears to be 1.72-1.75 times more absorbed in the blood than zinc sulfate (1.71 times more than zinc chelate; 6.46 times more than zinc gluconate; 3.11 times more than zinc orotate) and 1.75-1.87 times more retained in the liver than zinc sulfate (1.45 times more than zinc amino acid chelate; 3.68 times more than zinc gluconate; 1.50 times more than zinc orotate) [45,46,51].

Food and Food Processing

“In the historic struggle for food, humans ate primarily whole foods or so-called natural foods, which underwent little processing…The nutrient content of food usually decreases when it is processed” [77].  “Intensive animal rearing, manipulation of crop production and food processing have altered the qualitative and quantitative balance of nutrients of food consumed by Western society.  This change, to which the physiology and biochemistry of man may not be presently adapted to, is thought to be responsible for the chronic diseases that are rampant in the Industrialized Western Countries” [78].  Some reports suggest that simply taking a synthetic multi-vitamin/mineral formula does not change this [79,80].

Dr. Burr-Madsen has written,

Nutrition ‑ in its most basic sense the process by which the organism finds, consumes,liberates, absorbs, and utilizes the nutrients it must have to live. Although food and therefore nutrients are seemingly plentiful, because of modern use of chemical herbicides and pesticides as well as poor air quality and bad water, the nutrients we buy in the market are very inferior. Human bodies require nutrition found in the form of plants, meat, milk, eggs and water, but all animals get their food directly or indirectly from plants, and all plants get their food from the soil. Therefore mineral deficient soil may be one of the greatest original sources of disease in the world today.

Real soil

We cannot appreciate enough the importance of our relationship with the land, with soil.  This is particularly so in this era of artificial chemicals, artificial foods, and the abundance of artificial materials on which we have come to depend. This system cannot replace real soil and the living food crops it produces. Our dependence on artificial, man­made products interferes with our relationship with the soil and the natural world in general. Because of this Nutritional supplementation is necessary.

Soil condition.
After genetics and weather, the condition of the soil is the most important factor in thenutrient content of any plant food and, indirectly, of animal foods. The soils of the world have suffered, and continue to suffer, at the hands of farming. The present food production system, while correcting some abuses of the past, inflicts on the soil a variety of new and old insults that diminish its nutrient value. Because of intensive farming, poor crop management, erosion, commercial fertilization, the use of pesticides, and other problematic factors, much of the soil in which our crops are now raised has been depleted, particularly of essential minerals.

The Human Food Chain.

The human food chain includes animals, animal products and plants, which depend directly or indirectly on the soil. Plants draw their nutrients and general health from a complex of inorganic and organic factors. Inorganic substances include oxygen and carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, along with iron, calcium, and an array of other minerals. The chief organic factors range from decaying plant material and animal wastes to earthworms and an amazing variety of microscopic organisms including bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa (Hall 1976: 134). All of these elements are important to the health and nutrient value of the crop ‑ and of the animals that feed on it.

Healthy soil.

Healthy soil is America’s greatest natural resource. But few realize that the current state of wide spread soil erosion in North America threatens our way of life. It may be hard to believe, but only a few inches of topsoil stand between you, me, and starvation. We cannot appreciate enough the importance of our relationship with the land, with soil. What is popularly called topsoil is the rich, nutrient‑laden cover of the Earth’s crust from which food crops draw their sustenance. Underneath the topsoil there may be clay, shale, or rock ‑ Substances that do not support food crops. It is only in the precious shallow topsoil that plants are seeded, germinated, sprouted, nurtured, and grown. These plants serve as food for animals on the lowest ends of the food chain. Animals that eat these plants supply food to animals on the highest ends of the food chain. Attention is important because topsoil is easily exhausted from lack of care. The best farmers replenish the soil as it is farmed. Unfortunately, this practice has become an exception to the rule, this is particularly so today.

Depleted Soil.

When the soil becomes depleted, the plants often show symptoms of poor nutrition, much like human deficiency diseases. For example, a general yellow or pale green color (chlorosis) indicates a lack of sulfur and nitrogen and a white or pale‑yellow color iron deficiency. Some of these deficiencies are apparent enough to hurt the marketability of the crop. Most, however, are not visible to the shopper’s or even the farmer’s eye, and the crop is shipped to market deficient as it is. The toll that fertilization and pesticides take on the soil is wide‑reaching, ultimately including the kind of soil erosion that is now plaguing the Midwest. The most direct and immediate loss are the mineral and vitamin deficiencies in the soil that are passed up the food chain to humans (it is a domino effect) [81].

Commercial food processing definitely reduces the nutrient content of food [81, 82] and can be dangerous to human health [83].  The refining of whole grains (including wheat, rice, and corn) has resulted in a dramatic reduction of their natural food complex nutrition [11,82]; specifically the milling of wheat to white flour reduces the natural food complex vitamin and mineral content by 40-60% [82].  Food refining appears to reduce trace minerals such as manganese, zinc, and chromium [2] and various macrominerals (such as magnesium) as well [10,56].  The treatment of canned or frozen vegetables with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) can strip much of the zinc from foods [11].  The high incidences of disorders of calcium metabolism [28] suggest that the forms of calcium many are consuming simply do not agree with the body (and sometimes result in calcium loss [11]).

Organically-grown produce appears to contain higher levels of some essential minerals than does conventionally (non-organically) grown produce [84,85] and appears to contain lower levels of toxic heavy metals [86].   Even if modern food practices did not affect nutrition (which they do), all minerals that humans need for optimal health do not exist uniformly in soils. “Soils in many areas of the world are deficient in certain minerals; this can result in low concentrations of major or trace minerals in drinking water, plant crops, and even tissues of farm animals, thus contributing to marginal or deficient dietary intakes of humans [76]. From a geological perspective, a few examples include iodine, molybdenum, cobalt, selenium, and boron [2,70,77].  Although humans need at least twenty minerals (over sixty have been found in the body), most plants can be grown with only the addition of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compounds [2].  If other minerals necessary for human health are reduced in the soil, the plant can (and will) grow without them.  This means, though, that constantly farming the same ground can result in the reduction of some of the essential minerals we as humans require for optimal health [78].

Ground Up Rocks Pose Risks

Rock minerals are not optimal for human health and post health risks.  Perhaps it should be mentioned that typical multi-vitamin-mineral formulas are dangerous and do not result in optimal health.  A study involving 38,772 women in the USA who took synthetic multi-vitamins with ground up rock minerals found that the women died earlier than those who did not take them [87].  Other studies have concluded that the acid-processed rocks that many take as calcium supplements increase risk of cardiovascular disease and other problems [88]—yet those studies did not find problems with food calcium.

Ground-up rocks are dangerous to ingest.  Yet, 100% food vitamins and minerals are beneficial as well as essential to human health and longevity.

Conclusion

No matter how many industrially produced mineral supplements one takes orally, they will:

1) Never be a truly complete nutrient source.
2) Never replace all the functions of food minerals.
3) Always be unnatural substances to the body.
4) Always strain the body by requiring that it detoxify or somehow dispose of their unnatural structures/chemicals.
5) Never be utilized, absorbed, and retained the same as food nutrients.
6) Not be able to prevent advanced protein glycation end-product formation the same as food nutrients.
7) Never be able to have the antioxidant effects the same as food nutrients.
8) Always be industrial products.
9) Always be composed of petroleum-derivatives, hydrogenated sugars, acids, and/or industrially-processed rocks.
10) Never build optimal health the same as food nutrients.

Industrially processed minerals can have some positive nutritional effects, yet they are not food for humans, but they also pose risks [87-88].

Unlike humans, plants have roots or hyphae which aid in the absorption of minerals.  Plants actually have the ability to decrease the toxicity of compounds by changing their biochemical forms [14].  Plants are naturally intended to ingest rocks; humans are not [1].

The truth is that plants, or supplements only made from plants, are the best form of mineral supplement for humans, yet most people who take nutritional mineral support consume some type of industrially processed rock.

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Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards. Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific data. None of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition.

The Truth About Vitamins in Nutritional Supplements

Abstract: Even though natural health professionals agree that humans should not try to consume petroleum derivatives or hydrogenated sugars, most seem to overlook this fact when vitamin supplementation is involved. This paper explains some of the biochemical reasons that food vitamins are superior for humans. It also explains what substances are commonly used to make vitamins in supplements. Furthermore, it explains some of the advantages of food vitamins over the non-food vitamins that are commonly available.

Introduction

For decades the ‘natural’ health industry has been touting thousands of vitamin supplements. The truth is that most vitamins in supplements are made or processed with petroleum derivatives or hydrogenated sugars [1-5]. Even though they are often called natural, most non-food vitamins are isolated substances which are crystalline in structure [1]. Vitamins naturally in food are not crystalline and never isolated. Vitamins found in any real food are chemically and structurally different from those commonly found in ‘natural vitamin’ formulas. Since they are different, naturopaths should consider non-food vitamins as vitamin analogues (imitations) and not actually vitamins.

The standards of naturopathy agreed to in 1947 (at the Golden Jubilee Congress) included the statements, “Naturopathy does not make use of synthetic or inorganic vitamins…Naturopathy makes use of the healing properties of…natural foods, organic vitamins” [5]. Even back in the 1940s, professionals interested in natural health recognized the value of food, over non-food, vitamins. Also, it should be mentioned that naturopathic definition of organic back then was similar to the official US government definition today–why does this need to be stated? Because one pseudo-naturopath once told this researcher that a particular brand of synthetic vitamins contained “organic vitamins”, because a sales representative had told him so. Sadly, that sales representative either intentionally gave out false information or gave out misleading information–misleading because by its ‘scientific’ definition, the term ‘organic’ can mean that it is a carbon containing substance, hence by that definition all petroleum derivatives (hydro-carbons) are organic. But false, because those type of vitamins are not organic from the true naturopathic, or even the U.S. government’s, perspective.

Officially, according to mainstream science, “Vitamins are organic substances that are essential in small amounts for the health, growth, reproduction, and maintenance of one or more animal species, which must be included in the diet since they cannot be synthesized at all or in sufficient quantity in the body. Each vitamin performs a specific function; hence one cannot replace another. Vitamins originate primarily in plant tissues” [6]. Isolated non-food ‘vitamins’ (often called ‘natural’ or USP or pharmaceutical grade) are not naturally “included in the diet”, do not necessarily “originate primarily in plant tissues”, and cannot fully replace all natural vitamin activities. As a natural health professional, you should be able to read and interpret, even misleading supplement labels. For those who are unsure, hopefully this article will provide sufficient information to determine if vitamin tablets are food or imitations.

What is Your Vitamin Really?

Most vitamins in supplements are petroleum extracts, coal tar derivatives, and chemically processed sugar (plus sometimes industrially processed fish oils), with other acids and industrial chemicals (such as formaldehyde) used to process them [1-5]. Synthetic vitamins were originally developed because they cost less [7]. Assuming the non-food product does not contain fish oils, most synthetic, petroleum-derived, supplements will call their products ‘vegetarian’, not because they are from plants, but because they are not from animals. Most vitamins in vitamin supplements made from food are in foods such as acerola cherries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lemons, limes, nutritional yeast, oranges, and rice bran (some companies also use animal products).

Table 1. Composition of Food and Non-Food Vitamins [1-10]

VitaminFood Nutrient*‘Natural’ Vitamin Analogue & Some Process Chemicals
Vitamin A/BetacaroteneCarrotsMethanol, benzene, petroleum esters; acetylene; refined oils
Vitamin B-1Nutritional yeast, rice bran

Coal tar derivatives, hydrochloric acid; acetonitrole with ammonia

Vitamin B-2Nutritional yeast, rice branSynthetically produced with 2N acetic acid
Vitamin B-3Nutritional yeast, rice branCoal tar derivatives, 3-cyanopyridine; ammonia and acid
Vitamin B-5 Nutritional yeast, rice branCondensing isobutyraldehyde with formaldehyde
Vitamin B-6Nutritional yeast, rice branPetroleum ester & hydrochloric acid with formaldehyde
Vitamin B-8Rice

Phytin hydrolyzed with calcium hydroxide and sulfuric acid

Vitamin B-9Broccoli, rice branProcessed with petroleum derivatives and acids; acetylene
Vitamin B-12Nutritional yeast Cobalamins reacted with cyanide
Vitamin ‘B-x’PABA Nutritional yeastCoal tar oxidized with nitric acid (from ammonia)
Choline Nutritional yeast, rice bran Ethylene and ammonia with HCL or tartaric acid
Vitamin CAcerola cherries, citrus fruitsHydrogenated sugar processed with acetone
Vitamin DNutritional yeast Irradiated animal fat/cattle brains or solvently extracted
Vitamin ERice, vegetable oilsTrimethylhydroquinone with isophytol; refined oils
Vitamin HNutritional yeast, rice branBiosynthetically produced
Vitamin K Cabbage Coal tar derivative; produced with p-allelic-nickel

* Note: Although some companies use liver extracts as a source for vitamins A and/or D, and at least one company has a herring oil product supplying some vitamin E, no company this researcher is aware of whose products are made out of 100% food use animal products in any of their multiple vitamins. Some companies also use brewer’s yeast which is inferior to nutritional yeast in many ways (including the fact that it has not had the cell wall enzymatically processed to reduce possible sensitivities).

Read The Label to See the Chemical Differences!

Although many doctors have been taught that food and non-food vitamins have the same chemical composition, this is simply untrue for most vitamins. As shown in table 2, the chemical forms of food and synthetic nutrients are normally different. Health professionals need to understand that since there is no mandated definition of the term ‘natural’; just seeing that term on a label does not mean that the supplement contains only natural food substances. One of the best ways to tell whether or not a vitamin supplement contains natural vitamins as found in food is to know the chemical differences between food and non-food vitamins (sometimes called USP vitamins). Because they are not normally in the same chemical form as vitamins found in foods, non-food vitamins should be considered by natural health professionals as vitamin analogues (artificial imitations), and not actually as true vitamins for humans.

Table 2. Chemical Form of Food and Non-Food Vitamins [1-10]

Primary Chemical Vitamin Form in Food Vitamin Analogue Chemical Form (Often Called Natural*)
Vitamin A/Betacarotene; retinyl esters; mixed carotenoidsVitamin A acetate; vitamin A palmitate; betacarotene (isolated)
Vitamin B-1; thiamin pyrophosphate (food)Thiamin mononitrate; thiamin hydrochloride; thiamin HCL
Vitamin B-2; riboflavin, multiple forms (food)Riboflavin (isolated); USP vitamin B2
Vitamin B-3; niacinamide (food) Niacin (isolated); niacinamide (isolated)
Vitamin B-5; pantothenate (food)Pantothenic acid; calcium pantothenate; panthenol
Vitamin B-6; 5’0 (beta-D) pyridoxinePyridoxine hydrochloride; pyridoxine HCL
Vitamin B-9; folateFolic acid
Vitamin B-12; methylcobalamin; deoxyadenosylcobalamin Cyanocobalamin; hydroxycobalamin
Choline (food); phosphatidyl choline (food) Choline chloride; choline bitartrate
Vitamin C; ascorbate (food); dehydroascorbate

Ascorbic acid; most mineral ascorbates (i.e. sodium

ascorbate)

Vitamin D; mixed forms, primarily D3 (food) Vitamin D1 (isolated); Vitamin D2 (isolated); Vitamin D3 (isolated) ; Vitamin D4; ergosterol (isolated); cholecalciferol (isolated); lumisterol
Vitamin E; RRR-alpha-tocopherol (food)

Vitamin E acetate; Mixed tocopherols; all-rac-alpha-tocopherol; d-l–alpha-tocopherol; d-alpha-tocopherol (isolated); dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate; all acetate forms

Vitamin H; biotin All non-yeast or non-rice vegetarian biotin forms
Vitamin K; phylloquinone (food)

Vitamin K3; menadione; phytonadione; naphthoquinone; dihydro-vitamin K1

* Note: This list is not complete and new analogues are being developed all the time. Also the term “(isolated)” means that if the word “food” is not near the name of the substance, it is probably an isolate (normally crystalline in structure) and is not the same as the true vitamin found in food.

Read the label of any supplement to see if the product is truly 100% food. If even one USP vitamin analogue is listed, then the entire product is probably not food (normally it will be less than 5% food). Vitamin analogues are cheap (or not so cheap) imitations of vitamins found in foods.

Beware of any supplement label that says that its vitamins are vegetarian and contain no yeast. This researcher is unaware of any frequently used vegetarian non-yeast way to produce vitamin D or many of the B vitamins, therefore, if a label states that the product “contains no yeast” then in pretty much all cases, this demonstrates that the product is synthetic or contains items so isolated that they should not be considered to be food.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae (the primary yeast used in baking and brewing) is beneficial to humans and can help combat various infections [11], including according to the German E monograph Candida albicans. In the text, Medical Mycology John Rippon (Ph.D., Mycology, University of Chicago) wrote, “There are over 500 known species of yeast, all distinctly different. And although the so-called bad yeasts do exist, the controversy in the natural foods industry regarding yeast related to health problems which is causing many health-conscious people to eliminate all yeast products from their diet is ridiculous. It should also be noted, that W. Crook, M.D., perhaps the nation’s best known expert on Candida albicans, wrote, “yeasty foods don’t encourage candida growth…Eating a yeast-containing food does not make candida organisms multiply” [12]. Some people, however, are allergic to the cell-wall of yeast [12] and concerned supplement companies which have nutrient-containing yeast normally have had the cell-wall enzymatically processed to reduce even this unlikely occurrence.

Food Vitamins are Superior to Non-Food Vitamins

Although many mainstream health professionals believe, “The body cannot tell whether a vitamin in the bloodstream came from an organically grown cantaloupe or from a chemist’s laboratory” [13], this belief is quite misleading for several reasons. First it seems to assume that the process of getting the amount of the vitamin into the bloodstream is the same (which is frequently not the case [3-10]). Secondly, scientists understand that particle size is an important factor in nutrient absorption even though particle size is not detected by chemical assessment. Thirdly, scientists also understand that, “The food factors that influence the absorption of nutrients relate not only to the nature of the nutrients themselves, but also their interaction with each other and with the nonabsorbable components of food” [14]. Fourthly, “the physiochemical form of a nutrient is a major factor in bioavailability” (and food and non-food vitamins are not normally in the same form) [15]. Fifthly, most non-food vitamins are crystalline in structure [1].

Published scientific research has concluded, “natural vitamins are nutritionally superior to synthetic ones” [8].

Food vitamins are in the physiochemical forms which the body recognizes, generally are not crystalline in structure, contain food factors that affect bioavailability, and appear to have smaller particle sizes (see illustrations in table 3). This does not mean that non-food vitamins do not have any value (they clearly do), but it is important to understand that natural food complex vitamins have actually been shown to be better than isolated, non-food, vitamins (see table 4).

Look at Electronic Photos to See the Structural Differences

Electronic photos demonstrate that isolated USP vitamins have a crystalline appearance compared to vitamins in foods which have more of a rounded appearance (see table 3).

Table 3. Physical and Structural Differences


Food Vitamin C

Ascorbic Acid

Food Vitamin B1

Thiamine Hydrochloride

Electronic Photographs

Even before these types of pictures were available, the late Dr. Royal Lee knew that food vitamin C was superior to ascorbic acid. “Dr. Lee felt it was not honest to use the name ‘vitamin C’ for ascorbic acid. That term ‘should be reserved for the vitamin C COMPLEX’” [16]. Why then, according to the ingredients listed in a recent catalog, would a supplement company that Dr. Lee originally founded currently include ascorbic acid, inorganic mineral salts, and/or other isolated nutrients in the majority of its products? Dr. Lee, like the late Dr. Bernard Jensen [17], was also opposed to the use of other isolated, synthetic, nutrients [16].

Dr Lee specifically wrote, “In fact, the Food & Drug laws seem to be suspended where synthetic imitations of good foods are concerned, and actually perverted to prosecute makers and sellers of real products…The synthetic product is always a simple chemical substance, while the natural is a complex mixture of related and similar materials…Pure natural Vitamin E was found three times as potent as pure synthetic Vitamin E. Of course the poisonous nature of the synthetic Vitamin D…is well established. WHY DO NOT THE PEOPLE AND MEDICAL MEN KNOW THESE FACTS? Is it because the commercial promoters of cheap imitation food and drug products spend enough money to stop the leaking out of information?” [18].

 Table 4. Comparison of Certain Biological Effects of Food and Non-Food Vitamins

Food VitaminCompared to USP/’Natural’/Non-Food Vitamins
Vitamin AMore complete, as scientists teach that vitamin A is not an isolate [19]
Vitamin BComplex More effective in maintaining good health and liver function [20,21]
Vitamin B-9More utilizable above 266mcg (Recommended Daily Intake is 400mcg) [22]
Vitamin COver 15.6 times antioxidant effect [23]
Vitamin DOver 10 times the antirachitic effect [24]
Vitamin EUp to 4.0 times the free radical scavenging strength [25]
Vitamin HUp to 100 times more biotin effect [1]
Vitamin KSafer for children [26]

The difference is more than quantitative.

Let’s take vitamin C for an example. Even if one were to take 3.2 times as much of the so-called natural, non-food, ascorbic acid than food vitamin C, although the antioxidant effects might be similar in vitro, the ascorbic acid still will not contain DHAA [1], nor will it ever have negative oxidative reductive potential (ORP). An in vitro study performed at this researcher’s lab with a digital ORP meter demonstrated that a citrus food vitamin C has negative ORP, but that ascorbic acid had positive ORP [27].

It takes negative ORP to clean up oxidative damage [28], and since ascorbic acid has positive ORP (as well as positive redox potential [1]), it can never replace food vitamin C no matter what the quantity! Furthermore, foods which are high in vitamin C tend to have high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC, another test which measures the ability of foods and other compounds to subdue oxygen free radicals [23]). A US government study which compared the in vivo effects of a high vitamin C food (containing 80 mg of vitamin C) compared to about 15.6 times as much isolated ascorbic acid (1250 mg) found that the vitamin C-containing food produced the greatest increase in blood antioxidant levels (it is believed that bioflavonoids and other food factors are responsible) [23].

Furthermore, it is even possible isolated ascorbic acid only has in vitro and no in vivoantioxidant effects: “it has not been possible to show conclusively that higher than anti-scorbic intake of {SYNTHETIC} vitamin C has antioxidant clinical benefit” [29]. Why should people take supplemental synthetic ascorbic acid when it is NOT been proven to have antioxidant effects in humans?

“Cross sectional and longitudinal studies show that the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and cancer is inversely related to vitamin C intake…the protective effects seen in these studies are attributable to fruit and vegetable {FOOD} intake…In general, beneficial effects of supplemental {SYNTHETIC} vitamin C have been noted in small studies, while large well controlled studies have failed to show benefit” [29]. The other quantitative is that in humans, “Plasma is completely saturated in doses of 400 mg and higher daily producing a steady-state plasma concentration of 80 mM…Tissues, however, saturate before plasma” [29]. De-emphasizing vitamin C containing foods by attempting to consume higher quantities of isolated ascorbic acid simply will not have the effects on plasma vitamin C levels, ORP, ORAC, or other health aspects that many consumers of isolated ascorbic acid hope it will [3,27,29].

No matter how much isolated ascorbic acid one takes orally

  • It will never saturate plasma and/or tissue vitamin C levels significantly more than can be obtained by consuming sufficient vitamin C containing foods.
  • It will never have negative ORP, thus can never ‘clean-up’ oxidative damage like food vitamin C can.
  • It will never have the free radical fighting capacity of food vitamin C.
  • It will never contain DHAA (the other ‘half’ of vitamin C) or the promoting food factors.
  • It will never have the same effect on health issues, such as aging and cardiovascular disease as high vitamin C foods can.
  • It will not ever be utilized the way food vitamin C is.
  • It will always be a synthetic.

Let’s take vitamin E as another example—the body has a specific liver transport for the type of vitamin E found in food [10]—it does not have this for the synthetic vitamin E forms (nor for the ‘new’ vitamin E analogues that are frequently marketed)—thus no amount of synthetic vitamin E can truly equal food vitamin E—the human body actually tries to rid itself of synthetic vitamin E as quickly as possible [30]. As another example, it should be understood that certain forms of vitamin analogues of B-6 [19], D [10], and biotin [1] have been shown to have almost no vitamin activity.

Fractionated, synthetic, vitamins do not replace all the natural function of food vitamins in the body. This is due to the fact that they are normally chemically and structurally different (they also do not have the naturally occurring food factors which are needed by the body) from vitamins found in foods (or vitamin supplements made up entirely of foods).

Food Vitamins and Non-Food Vitamin Analogues

Vitamin A/Betacarotene: Vitamin A naturally exists in foods, but not as a single compound. Vitamin A primarily exists in the form of retinyl esters, and not retinol and beta carotene is always in the presence of mixed carotenoids with chlorophyll [10]. Vitamin A acetate is from methanol, it is a retinol which is crystalline in structure [1]. Vitamin A palmitate can be fish oil [1] or synthetically derived [2]; but once isolated it bears little resemblance to food and can be crystalline in structure [1,2]. Synthetic betacarotene is “prepared from condensing aldehyde (from acetone) with acetylene” [2]; “not much natural beta-carotene is available due to the high costs of production” [2].

“Beta-carotene has been found to have antioxidant effect in vitro…Whether {ISOLATED} beta-carotene has significant antioxidant effect in vivo is unclear” [32]. Carrots, a food high in betacarotene, do have high antioxidant ability [32,33]. Natural betacarotene, as found in foods, is composed of both all-trans and 9-cis isomers, while synthetic betacarotene is all-trans isomers [34]. Carrots, yellow and green leafy vegetables, and turmeric contain natural betacarotene along with multiple carotenoids. Natural betacarotene was found to significantly decrease serum conjugated diene levels for children exposed to high levels of irradiation, though it is not known if synthetic betacarotene would provide similar benefits [34].

Regarding isolated betacarotene, “The data presented provide convincing evidence of the harmful properties of this compound if given alone to smokers, or to individuals exposed to environmental carcinogens, as a micronutrient supplement” [35]. “The three beta-carotene intervention trials: the Beta Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET), Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (ATBC), and Physician’s Health Study (PHS) have all pointed to a lack of effect of synthetic beta-carotene in decreasing cardiovascular disease or cancer risk in well-nourished populations. The potential contribution of beta-carotene supplementation to increased risk of lung cancer in smokers has been raised as a significant concern. The safety of synthetic beta-carotene supplements and the role of isomeric forms of beta-carotene (synthetic all-trans versus “natural” cis-trans isomeric mixtures)… have become topics of debate in the scientific and medical communities” [36]. Now, although the consumption of both synthetic betacarotene and food betacarotene raise serum vitamin A levels about the same, this obscures the fact that synthetic betacarotene tends to mainly increase serums all-trans betacarotene, while food betacarotene increases other forms as well [37].

It is possible that synthetic betacarotene can negatively affect vitamin E’s antioxidant ability as a clinical study found, “These results support earlier findings for the protective effect of a-tocopherol against LDL oxidation, and suggest that beta-carotene participates as a prooxidant in the oxidative degradation of LDL under these conditions. Since high levels of alpha-tocopherol did not mitigate the prooxidative effect of beta-carotene, these result indicate that increased LDL beta-carotene may cancel the protective qualities of alpha-tocopherol” [38]. In a consumer-directed publication, Stephen Sinatra (M.D.) observes, “Research has shown that high doses of synthetic beta-carotene—the kind found in many popular brands—may actually increase your risk for lung cancer. Because at high levels it can become prooxidative—exactly the opposite of what you want…I’ve seen harmful effects (such as serious vision loss) in people who have taken up to 80,000 IU of beta-carotene per day. The bottom line is: Less is more when it comes to beta-carotene. To be safe I recommend between 12,500 and 25,000 IU of beta-carotene per day from food sources such as carrots” [39].

In my opinion, betacarotene in carrots, however, is safer than even Dr. Sinatra suggests (there is about 12,000 i.u. of betacarotene in one raw carrot). The reason for this is because betacarotene in carrots is attached to lipoproteins which appear to aid in preventing toxicity. Isolated USP betacarotene, even if it allegedly comes from “natural” sources, simply does not have the attached lipoproteins or other potentially protective substances as found in foods like carrots.

While isolated synthesized vitamin A and polar bear livers have posed toxicity issues, this is simply not considered to be the case of any other food that is supplying vitamin A/beta-carotene [40,41]. Foods containing vitamin A and/or beta carotene are superior [8].

Vitamin B-1, Thiamin: Vitamin B-1 exists in food in the forms of thiamin pyrophosphate, thiamin monophosphate, and thiamin [10]. The non-food thiamin mononitrate is a coal tar derivative [4], never naturally found in the body [10], and is a crystalline isolate [1] (the same is true for thiamin hydrochloride and other chloride forms). Synthetic forms are often used in “food fortification” (where processing removes the naturally occurring thiamin) as they are cheaper and, in that context more stable. However, they are inferior to naturally occurring thiamin forms [8,42]. “The nutritive value of straight-run white flour…has been found to be inferior to that of wholemeal flour, even when the defects of the former in protein, minerals and {SYNTHETIC} vitamin B1 have been corrected” [42].

Vitamin B-2, Riboflavin: Naturally exists as riboflavin and various co-enzyme forms in food [10]. In non-foods it is most often synthetically made with 2N acetic acid, is a single form isolate, and is crystalline in structure [1]. Some synthetic riboflavin analogues have weak vitaminic activity [43]. Some natural variations, especially in coenzyme forms, occur in plants (including fungal) species [44]. Various studies suggests that food riboflavin are superior to non-food forms [8,41].

Vitamin ‘B-3’, Niacinamide: Primarily exists in foods in forms other than niacin [10]. “Niacin is a generic term…the two coenzymes that are the metabolically active forms of niacin (are)…nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and NAD phosphate (NADP)…Only small amounts of free forms of niacin occur in nature. Most of the niacin in food is present as a component of NAD and NADP…nicotinamide is more soluble in water, alcohol, and ether than nicotinic acid…many analogues of niacin have been synthesized, some of which have antivitamin activity ” [10]. Niacinamide (also called nicotinamide) is considered to have less potential side-effects than niacin [10]; it also does not seem to cause gastrointestinal upset or hepatotoxicity that the synthetic time-released niacin can cause [45]. Processing losses for this vitamin are mainly due to water leaching [46]. Isolated, non-food, niacinamide is normally from 3-cyanopyridine and can form crystals [1]. This non-food ‘niacin’ is synthesized from acetaldehyde through several chemical reactions often involving formalydehyde and ammonia [2,47]. Beef, legumes, cereal grains, yeast, and fish are significant natural food sources of vitamin B3 [45].

Vitamin ‘B-5’, Pantothenate: Naturally exists in foods as pantothenate [10]. “Pantothenate, usually in the form of CoA, performs multiple roles in cellular metabolism, being central to energy-yielding oxidation of glycolytic products and other metabolites through the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle…Synthesis of fatty-acids and membrane phospholipids, including regulatory sphingolipids requires pantothenate, and synthesis of the amino acids leucine, arginine, and methionine requires a pantothenate requiring step. CoA is required for synthesis of isoprenoid derivatives, such as cholesterol, steroid hormones, dolichol, vitamin A, vitamin D, and heme A” [10]. “It also appears to be involved in the regulation of gene expression and signal transduction…may have antioxidant and radioprotective properties…It has putative anti-inflammatory, wound healing and antiviral activities…may be helpful in the management of some with rheumatoid arthritis…shown to accelerate wound healing” [32]. “Synthetic D-pantothenate…is available as a calcium or sodium salt” [10], and is sold in forms such as sodium D-pantothenate or calcium D-pantothenate or sometime just listed as pantothenic acid [32]. Other synthetic “multivitamin preparations commonly contain its…alcohol derivative, panthenol” [10]. “Dexopanthenol is a synthetic form which is not found naturally” [32]. USP pantothenic acid is made by condensing isobutyraldehyde with formaldehyde [2]. “Pantothenic acid consists of pantoic acid in amide linkage to beta-alanine”, but vitamin B-5 is not found that way in nature [48]. Vitamin B-5 is found in food as pantothenate forms; foods do not naturally contain pantothenic acid [48]. The vegetarian foods which are highest in natural pantothenate are nutritional yeast, brown rice, peanuts, and broccoli [10,32,48]. Specifically, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is one of the best natural sources of food pantothenate [10,32]. Calcium pantothenate is a synthetic enantiomer [10] and is a calcium salt [1] and is crystalline [2].

Vitamin B-6: Plants naturally primarily contain vitamin B6 in forms such as 5’0-(beta-D-glycopyransosyl) and other pyridoxines, not pyridoxal forms [10]. Pyridoxine hydrochloride is not naturally found in the body [10], is a crystalline isolate [1], and is generally made from petroleum and hydrochloric acid and processed with formaldehyde [4]. Pyridoxal-5-phosphate is made by combining phosphorus oxychloride and/or adenosine triphosphate with pyridoxal [1]; it becomes a crystalline isolate [1] and bears almost no resemblance to food vitamin B6. At least one synthetic vitamin B-6 analogue has been found to inhibit natural vitamin B-6 action [49]. A study of healthy elderly individuals found about 1/3 had marginal vitamin B-6 deficiency [32].

Vitamin ‘B-9’, Folate: Folate was once known as vitamin B-9, as well as vitamin M. Initially food folate was given for people with a pregnancy-related anemia in the form of autolyzed yeast; later a synthetic USP isolate was developed [10]. Pteroylglutamic acid (folic acid), the common pharmacological (USP) form of folate is not found significantly as such in the body [10]. “Folic acid is a synthetic folate form” [50]. Folic acid, such as in most supplements, is not found in food, folates are [15]. Insufficient folate can result in fatigue, depression, confusion, anemia, reduced immune function, loss of intestinal villi, and an increase in infections [11]. Folate deficiency is the most important determinant in high homocysteine levels [11], and supplemental folate is effective in reducing homocysteine [51,52]. “The highest concentrations of folate exist in yeast…and brocolli” [10]. Insufficient folate can result in fatigue, depression, confusion, anemia, reduced immune function, loss of intestinal villi, and an increase in infections [11]. “(C)onsumption of more than 266 mcg of synthetic folic acid (PGA) results in absorption of unreduced PGA, which may interfere with folate metabolism for a period of years” [10]. A 2004 paper from the British Medical Journal confirmed what many natural health professional have known all along: since folic acid is unnatural and the body cannot fully convert large amounts of it into usable folate, this artificial substance can be absorbed and may have unknown negative consequences in the human body [22]–folate supplementation obviously should be in food folate forms and not folic acid.

Vitamin B-12: The naturally active forms are methylcobalamin and deoxyadenosylcobalamin and are found in food [10]. Cyanocobalamin is not a naturally active form [10]; it is an isolate which is crystalline in structure [1]. Initially natural food complexvitamin B12 was given for people with pernicious anemia in the form of raw liver, but due to cost considerations a synthetic USP isolate was developed [7]. According to Dr. Victor Herbert (and others) vitamin B-12 when ingested in its human-active form is non-toxic, yet Dr. Herbert (and others) have warned that “the efficacy and safety of the vitamin B12 analogues created by nutrient-nutrient interaction in vitamin-mineral supplements is unknown” [52]. Some synthetic vitamin B12 analogues seem to be antagonistic to vitamin B12 activity in the body [53,54]. Most synthetic B-12 is made through a fermentation process with the addition of cyanide [4].

Vitamin B-x, Vitamin B-8, Vitamin B factors like Choline: PABA was once called vitamin B-x, while inositol was once called vitamin B-8. They and choline are considered to be vitamin B co-factors.

In large doses, PABA is “indicated for Peyronie’s disease, scleroderma, morphea and linear scleroderma” [11]. The non-food version of PABA is made from coal tar [2]. In addition, there is a non-food potassium salt synthetic form, called aminobenzoate potassium [11]. PABA is found in foods such as kidney, liver, molasses, fungal foods, spinach, and whole grains [55].

The non-food version of inositol is made from phytin processed with sulfuric acid [2]. Inositol is a lipotrophic factor, as is also necessary for hair growth. While nutritional yeast is probably the best source of inositol, it is also found in fruits, lecithin, legumes, meats, milk, unrefined molasses, raisins, vegetables, and whole grains [55].

Choline bitartrate and choline chloride, the types most often encountered in allegedly “natural” vitamin supplements, are actually “commercial salts” [11]—they are synthetic forms. Ethylene is involved in the production of one or more of the synthetic forms [2].

Phosphatidyl-choline is the major delivery form of choline, and is naturally found in many foods such as beef liver, egg yolks, and soya [11]. Specially grown nutritional yeast appears to be the best food form for supplements.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C naturally occurs in fruits in two ascorbate forms with bioflavonoids [10]. Non-food, so-called ‘natural’ ascorbic acid is made by fermenting corn sugar into sorbitol, then hydrogenating it until it turns into sorbose, then acetone (commonly referred to as nail polish remover) is added to break the molecular bonds which creates isolated, crystalline, ascorbic acid. It does not contain both vitamin C forms (nor bioflavonoids), thus is too incomplete to properly be called vitamin C [2]. The patented ‘vitamin C’ compounds that are touted as less acidic than ascorbic acid also are not food (it is not possible to get a US patent on naturally occurring vitamins as found in food–anytime a health professional hears that some vitamin is patented, that should set off warning signals that it is not real food). An in vitro study found that food complex vitamin C has negative ORP (oxidative reductive potential) [27], yet the Merck Index shows that so-called ‘natural’ ascorbic acid has positive ORP [1] (negative ORP is much better as it helps ‘clean up’ oxidative damage whereas items with positive ORP do not) [56]. Food complex vitamin C is also 10x less acidic than ascorbic acid.

Some of the many functions that vitamin C is involved in include collagen formation, carnitine biosynthesis, neurotransmitter synthesis, enhancement of iron absorption, immunocompetence, antioxidant defense, possible anticarcenogenic effects, protection of folate and vitamin E from oxidation, and cholesterol catabolism [1].

One study found that food complex vitamin C had 492 micro moles per gram T.E. (Trolox equivalents) of hydrophilic ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) [57]—ORAC is essentially a measurement of the ability to quench free radicals (antioxidant ability)—while blueberries (one of the highest ORAC sources [23]) only had 195 micro moles per gram T.E. [57]—thus food complex vitamin C has 2.52 times the ORAC ability of blueberries. Vitamin C containing food has over 15.6 times the ORAC of isolated ascorbic acid [23] (food complex vitamin C is even higher). Actually, there are doubts that isolated ascorbic acid has any significant antioxidant effects in humans [29]. Food vitamin C is clearly superior for any interested in ORAC.

Although food vitamin C is superior to isolated ascorbic acid [8], at least one mainstream researcher has written, “The bioavailability of vitamin C in food and ‘natural form’ supplements is not significantly different from that of pure synthetic AA” [10] this is simply not true. As “proof” that particular author cites two papers. The first citation is a study that concludes since serum ascorbic acid levels were at similar levels after various vitamin C containing foods and synthetic ascorbic acid were consumed, that the bioavailability is similar [58]. The conclusions reached seem to ignore that fact that it may be possible that DHAA or other food constituents associated with natural vitamin C may have positive effects other than raising serum ascorbate levels. The second citation is a study that probably should not have been cited as it never compared vitamin C as complexed in food versus synthetic ascorbic acid (it compared synthetic ascorbic acid to Ester-C which is a commercial blend of synthetic ascorbic acid and select metabolites as well as to synthetic ascorbic acid mixed with some bioflavonoids) [59]. Hence, those who claim that there is no difference really do not have strong scientific proof for there contrary opinion.

More recent scientific investigations (cited previously. i.e. 8,23,27,57) have demonstrated that food vitamin C is superior to isolated ascorbic acid.

Vitamin D: The history of synthetic vitamin D is a shocking one. “The first vitamin isolated was a photoproduct from the irradiation of the fungal sterol ergosterol. This vitamin was known as D1…vitamin D obtained from irradiation of ergosterol had little antirachitic activity” [60]–in other words, the first synthetic vitamin D did not act the same as natural vitamin D. “At the time of its identification, it was assumed that the vitamin D made in the skin during exposure to sunlight was vitamin D2”, but it was later learned that human skin produced something called vitamin D3 [60]. It was first believed that provitamin D3 was directly converted to vitamin D3, but that was incorrect. The skin actually contains a substance commonly called provitamin D3; after exposure to sunlight previtamin D3 is produced and it begins to isomerize into vitamin D2 in a process which is temperature dependent, with isomerized vitamin D3 being jettisoned from the plasma membrane into extracellular space. Vitamin D2 was used to fortify milk in the US and Canada for about forty years until it was learned that D3 was the substance which had better antirachitic activity, so D3 has been used for the past twenty-five years [60]. But vitamin D has many benefits which are unrelated to rickets: B and T lymphocytes have been shown to have receptors for vitamin D similar to those found in the intestines, vitamin D seems to affect phagocytosis, and may even have some antiproliferation effect for tumor cells [60]. It has not been proven that any single USP isolated form of vitamin D has all the benefits as natural occurring forms of vitamin D. (Also, since the vitamin D was not particularly stable, manufacturers used to put in 1.5 to 2 times as much of synthetic vitamin D as they claimed on the product labels. This led to neonatal problems and hypercalcemia. [60].) One older report found that “natural vitamin D is about 100 times more potent in protecting chickens and children from rickets than…irradiated ergosterol” [61], USP vitamin D2.

New vitamin D analogues are still being developed: some which may have greater affects on calcium utilization [62], some even may be helpful for breast cancer [63]–but these really may be pharmacological, and not naturopathic, applications since these analogues are not food. In view of the historical errors in the supplementation with forms of vitamin D, it is reasonable to conclude that additional benefits of natural source vitamin D may be discovered, further distinguishing it from synthetic isolates.

Vitamin D is not an isolate, it exists as a combination of substances (including vitamin D3), with promoting metabolites [10]. Non-food vitamin analogues D1, D2, D3, and D4 are isolates without the promoting metabolites. USP D1 does not have appreciable antirachitic effects [10], is crystalline, and is made with benzene [1]. USP D2 is considered a synthetic form and is made by bombarding ergosterol with electrons [1] and is “recovered by solvent extraction” [2]. USP D3 and D4 are both made through irradiating animal fat [1,10,31] or through irradiating “the spinal cords and brains of cattle” [2]. Scientists are even developing a ‘new’ form of vitamin D (which is admitted to be an analogue) which is supposed to be helpful for osteoporosis [64]—natural vitamins cannot be invented! The fact that some drugs are chemically similar to vitamin D as found in foods, does not make them true vitamins. Food vitamin D has been reported to have at least 10 times the antirachitic effects than one or more isolated USP forms [65].

Vitamin E: Natural vitamin E “as found in foods is [d]-alpha tocopherol, whereas chemical synthesis produces a mixture of eight epimers” [66] (natural vitamin E has recently been renamed to be called RRR-alpha-tocopherol whereas the synthetic has now been renamed to all-rac-alpha-tocopherol, though supplement labels rarely make this clear; on supplement labels d-alpha-tocopherol is generally ‘natural’, whereas dl-alpha-tocopherol is synthetic [25]). Natural RRR-alpha-tocopherol has 1.7 – 4.0 times the free radical scavenging strength of the other tocopherols, RRR-alpha tocopherol has 3 times the biological activity of the alpha-tocotrienol form, and synthetic vitamin E simply does not have the same biologic activity of natural vitamin E (some synthetic forms have only 2% of the biological activity of RRR-alpha-tocopherol) [25]. The biologic activity of vitamin E is based on its ability to reverse specific vitamin E-deficiency symptoms [25], therefore it is a scientific fact that, overall, synthetic vitamin E has less ability to correct vitamin E deficiencies than food vitamin E. There is an interesting reason for this, which is that the body regulates plasma vitamin E through a specific liver alpha-tocopherol transfer protein, whereas it has no such protein for other vitamin E forms [25]. Or in other words, the liver produces a protein to handle vitamin E found in food, but not for the synthetic forms. The body retains natural vitamin E 2.7 times better than synthetic forms [30].

Even mainstream researchers teach, “Vitamin E is the exception to the paradigm that synthetic and natural vitamins are the equivalent because their molecular structures are identical…Synthetic vitamin E is produced by commercially coupling trimethylhydroquinone (TMHQ) with isophytol. This chemical reaction produces a difficult-to-separate mixture of eight isomers” [67] (vitamin E, of course, is not the only exception–all nutrients are better if they are Food). Isolated natural vitamin E has been found to have twice the bioavailability as synthetic vitamin E [68]. The form of vitamin E found in Foodhas been found to be 2.7 times better retained in the body than a synthetic form [26]—this appears to be because the body attempts to rid itself of synthetic forms as quickly as possible [26]. Food vitamin E, as found in specially grown rice, has been proven to have 12 micro moles per gram T.E. of lipophilic ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) [57]—ORAC is essentially a measurement of the ability to quench free radicals (antioxidant ability). It is interesting to note that so-called “natural” forms (like succinate) do not even work like Food vitamin EEven the PDR notes, “d-Alpha-Tocopherol succinate itself has no antioxidant activity” [32], so why would anyone want that for their vitamin E supplement?

Both chemical form and source of vitamin E may play a role as “chemically synthesized alpha-tocopherol is not identical to the naturally occurring form” [25]. Thus those who claim that a synthetic vitamin, even when it is in the same “chemical form” (it is never in the same actual form due to the presence of food constituents), is as good as one in a natural, food form, are simply overlooking the scientific facts about vitamins.

Vitamin E is necessary for the optimal development and maintenance of the nervous system as well as skeletal muscle [67]. Vitamin E deficiency can lead to certain anemias, nutritional muscular dystrophy, reproductive problems, and hyperlipidemia [66]. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the risk of various cancers, coronary heart disease, cataract formation, and even air pollution [25,67]. It also is believed it may slow the aging process and decrease exercise-induced oxidative stress [25,67]. Artificial fats seem to increase the need for vitamin E [69]. Vitamin E content is highest in vegetable oils, also relatively high in avocados (4.31 i.u. each) [70] and rice bran [71].

Natural vitamin E as found in foods is [d]-alpha tocopherol (also called RRR-alpha tocopherol) and is never found as an isolate [10]. The so-called ‘natural’ forms are most frequently in supplements as isolates, a way they are never found in nature.

Vitamin ‘H’, Biotin: The only active form found in nature is d-(+) biotin and is usually protein bound [10]. Non-food biotin is normally an isolated, synthesized, crystalline form that is not protein bound [1]. Biotin l-sulfoxide is a lessor used isolated and/or non-food form, involves pimelic acid, is an isolate, and has less than 1% of the vitamin H activity of food biotin [1].

Vitamin K: Vitamin K naturally is found in plants as phylloquinone [10]. Non-food vitamin K3 menadione is now recognized as dangerous and is a synthetic naphthoquinone derivative (naphthalene is a coal tar derivative) [1]. USP K1, though also called phylloquinone, is an isolate normally synthesized with p-allylic-nickel [1]. There is another form of vitamin K inadvertently formed during the hydrogenation of oils called dihydro-vitamin K1 [72]; however since the consumption of hydrogenated oils appears to be dangerous [73], it does not seem that this form would be indicated for most humans. Dark leafy vegetables, as well as cabbage [74], appear to be the primary food source of vitamin K [75].

Types of Available Vitamins

There are really only two types of vitamins sold: food vitamins and non-food vitamins. Food vitamins will normally state something like “100% Food” on the label. Sometimes the label will also state “No USP nutrients” or “No synthetic nutrients”.

Non-food vitamins, however are somewhat less obvious. First of all, no non-food vitamin this researcher has seen says “100% food” on the label and none of them state ‘No USP or synthetic nutrients”—thus if none of these expressions are present, it is normally safe to conclude that the vitamins are not from food. If a label states that the product contains USP vitamins or ‘pharmaceutical grade’ nutrients, then it should be obvious to all naturopathic practitioners that the product is not food. Also, if a multi-vitamin or a B-complex formula states something to the effect that it “contains no yeast” that is basically a guarantee that it contains synthetic nutrients.

However, just because a company uses the term ‘natural’ or ‘all natural’ as a description of its vitamins does not make them, in fact, natural—this is because the US Government has no definition of natural! Also, just because a company may have a reputation for having natural products, this does not mean its vitamins are not synthetic—carefully check the label for proof that the product is truly 100% food.

Some companies seem to confuse the issue by using the term ‘food-based’ on their supplement labels. ‘Food-based’ vitamins are almost always USP vitamins mixed with a small amount of food. This mixing does not change the chemical form of the vitamin, so it is still a vitamin analogue and not a food vitamin (this differs from food, as true food vitamins are not simple mixture).

Some other companies (that do not use the term ‘food-based’) mix foods with the vitamin analogue and seem to imply that the vitamin is a food. For example, if a label states something like Vitamin C (Vitamin C, acerola) then it is also normally a synthetic mixed with a food. If the product were a food, it would normally state that the vitamin C was in food or from acerola and not use the term ‘vitamin C’ twice in a row on the label (many companies mix ascorbic acid with acerola).

Many companies use the term ‘yeast-free’ on their synthetic vitamin labels, apparently implying that yeast should not be used in vitamins. There are a couple of problems with this. The first is that several non-food isolated vitamins are produced by yeast, before they are industrially processed and isolated, thus it is unlikely that any multiple vitamin formula has not been partially made up of yeast, yeast extracts, or yeast by-products [1,2]. The second problem is that nutritional yeast is not the same as brewer’s yeast, which is essentially a waste by-product.

Conclusion

Most vitamins sold are not food–they are synthetically processed petroleum and/or hydrogenated sugar extracts–even if they say “natural” on the label. They are not in the same chemical form or structural form as real vitamins are in foods; thus they are not natural for the human body. True natural food vitamins are superior to synthetic ones [8,16,41]. Food vitamins are functionally superior to non-food vitamins as they tend to be preferentially absorbed and/or retained by the body. Isolated, non-food vitamins, even when not chemically different are only fractionated nutrients.

Studies cited throughout this paper suggest that the bioavailability of food vitamins is better than that of most isolated USP vitamins, that they may have better effects on maintaining aspects of human health beyond traditional vitamin deficiency syndromes, and at least some seem to be preferentially retained by the human body. It is not always clear if these advantages are due to the physiochemical form of the vitamin, with the other food constituents that are naturally found with them, or some combination. Regardless, it seems logical to conclude that for purposes of maintaining normal health, natural vitamins are superior to synthetic ones [8,16,41]. Unlike some synthetic vitamins, no natural vitamin has been found to not perform all of its natural functions.

The truth is that only foods, or supplements composed of 100% foods, can be counted on as not containing non-food vitamin analogues. Natural health advocates are supposed to build health on foods or nutrients contained in foods. That was the standard set for the profession in 1947—that standard—that commitment to real naturopathy should remain for natural health professionals today.

References

[1] Budvari S, et al editors. The Merck Index: An encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 12 th ed. Merck Research Laboratories, Whitehouse Station (NJ), 1996

[2] Vitamin-Mineral Manufacturing Guide: Nutrient Empowerment, volume 1. Nutrition Resource, Lakeport (CA), 1986

[3] DeCava JA. The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants. A Printery, Centerfield (MA), 1997

[4] Hui JH. Encyclopedia of Food Science and Technology. John Wiley, New York, 1992

[5] Gehman JM. From the Office of the President: Pseudo-Group Once Again Misleading the Naturopathic Field. Official Bulletin ANA, January 25, 1948:7-8

[6] Ensminger AH, et al. Food & Nutrition Encyclopedia, 2 nd ed. CRC Press, New York, 1993

[7] Mervyn L. The B Vitamins. Thorsons, Wellingborough ( UK), 1981

[8] Thiel R. Natural vitamins may be superior to synthetic ones. Med Hypo 2000 55(6):461-469

[9] Haynes W. Chemical Trade Names and Commercial Synonyms, 2nd ed. Van Nostrand Co., New York, 1955

[10] Shils M, et al, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health & Disease, 9 th ed. Williams & Wilkins, Balt.,1999

[11] Gruenwald et al editors. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd ed. Medical Economics Company. Montvale (NJ) 2000

[12] Crook W. The Yeast Connection: A Medical Breakthrough, 3 rd ed. Professional Books, Jackson, TN; 1986

[13] Whitney EN, Rolfes S. Understanding Nutrition, 4 th ed. West Publishing, New York, 1987

[14] Jenkins DJA, Wolever TMS, and Jenkins AL. Diet Factors Affecting Nutrient Absorption and Metabolism. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed. Lea & Febiger, Phil.,1994:583-602

[15] Macrae R, Robson RK, Sadler MJ. Encyclopedia of Food Science and Nutrition. Academic Press, New York, 1993

[16] DeCava, J. The Lee Philosophy-Part II. Nutrition News and Views 2003;7(1):1-6

[17] Jensen B. Chemistry of Man. Bernard Jensen, Escondido (CA), 1983

[18] Lee R. How and Why Synthetic Poisons Sold as Imitations of Natural Foods and Drugs? 1948

[19] Ross A.C. Vitamin A and Carotenoids. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed. Lippincott William & Wilkins, Phil, 2005: 351-375

[20] Ha SW. Rabbit study comparing yeast and isolated B vitamins (as described in Murray RP. Natural vs. Synthetic. Mark R. Anderson, 1995:A3). Ann Rev Physiol, 1941;3:259-282

[21] Elvehjem C. Chick study comparing Goldberg diet (as described in Murray RP. Natural vs. Synthetic. Mark R. Anderson, 1995:A4). J Am Diet Assoc, 1940;16(7):654

[22] Lucock M. Is folic acid the ultimate functional food component for disease prevention? BMJ, 2004;328:211-214

[23] Williams D. ORAC values for fruits and vegetables. Alternatives, 1999;7(22):171

[24] Thiel R. Vitamin D, rickets, and mainstream experts. Int J Naturopathy, 2003; 2(1)

[25] Traber MG. Vitamin E. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Williams & Wilkins, 1999:347-362

[26] Olson R.E. Vitamin K. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Nutrition, 9th ed. Williams & Wilkins, Balt., 1999: 363-380

[27] Thiel R. ORP Study on Durham-produced Food Vitamin C for Food Research LLC. Doctors’ Research Inc., Arroyo Grande (CA), February 17, 2006

[28] Fowkes SW. Antioxidants & reduction. Smart Life News, 2000;7(9):6-8

[29] Sebastian J, et al. Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention. J Am Coll Nutr, 2003;22(1):18-35

[30] Traber MG, Elsner A, Brigelius-Flohe R. Synthetic as compared with natural vitamin E is preferentially excreted as alpha-CEHC in human urine: studies using deuterated alpha-tocopherol acetates. FESB Letters, 1998;437:145-148

[31] Nakano H, McMahon LG, Gregory JF. Pyridoxine-5’-beta-glucoside exhibits incomplete bioavailability as a source of vitamin B-6 and partially inhibits the utilization of co-ingested pyridoxine in humans. J Nutr,1997;127(8):1508-1513

[32] Hendler S, Rorvik D, editors. PDR for Nutritional Supplements. Medical Economics, Montvale (NJ), 2001

[33] Chu YF, Sun J, Wu X, Liu RH. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common vegetables. J Agric Food Chem. 2002;50(23):6910-6916

[34] Ben-Amotz A, et al. Effect of natural beta-carotene supplementation in children exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl accident. Radiat Environ Biophys 1998;37:187-193

[35] Paolini M, Abdel-Rahman SZ, Sapone A, Pedulli GF, Perocco P, Cantelli-Forti G, Legator MS. Beta-carotene: a cancer chemopreventive agent or a co-carcinogen? Mutat Res. 2003;543(3):195-200

[36] Patrick L. Beta-carotene: the controversy continues. Altern Med Rev. 2000;5(6):530-45

[37] Ben Amotz; van het Hof KH, Gartner C, Wiersma A, Tijburg LB, Westrate JA. Comparison of the bioavailability of natural palm oil carotenoid and synthetic beta-carotene in humans. J Agric Food Chem, 1999;47(4):1582-1586

[38] Bowen HT, Omaye ST. Oxidative changes associated with beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol enrichment of human low-density lipoproteins. J Am Coll Nutr. 1998;17(2):171-179

[39] Sinatra S. Consumer Alert: Don’t Touch this Button, 2003:34-35

[40] Stepp W, Kuhnau J. Schroeder J. The vitamins and their clinical applications (as described in Murray RP. Natural vs. Synthetic. Mark R. Anderson, 1995:A2). Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart, Germany 1936.

[41] Murray RP. Anderson MR. Natural vs. Synthetic. Mark R. Anderson, 1995:A1-2

[42] Chick H. Rat study comparing fortified white flour to wholegrain flour (as described in Murray RP. Natural vs. Synthetic. Mark R. Anderson, 1995:A3). Lancet, 1940;2:511-512

[43] McCormick DB, Riboflavin. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. William & Wilkins, Balt.,1999:391-399

[44] McCormick DB. Riboflavin. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed. Lea & Febiger, Phil.,1994:366-375

[45] Cervantes-Lauren D, McElvaney NG, Moss J. Niacin. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Williams & Wilkins, Balt.,1999:401-411

[46]Williams AW, Erdman JW. Food processing: nutrition, safety, and quality balances. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. William & Wilkins, Balt.,1999:1813-1821

[47] Hui JH. Encyclopedia of Food Science and Technology. John Wiley, New York, 1992

[48] Shils M, et al, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed. Lea & Febiger, Phil.,1994

[49] ] Mervyn L. The B Vitamins. Thorsons, Wellingborough ( UK), 1981

[50] Verhoef P. Homocysteine metabolism and risk of myocardial infarction: Relation with vitamin B6, B12, and Folate. Am J Epidemiol 1996;143(9):845-859

[51] Brattstrom L. Vitamins as homocysteine-lowering agents: A mini review. Presentation at The Experimental Biology 1995 AIN Colloquium, April 13, 1995, Atlanta Georgia

[52] Herbert V, Das KC. Folic acid and vitamin B12. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed. Lea & Febiger, Phil.,1994:402-425

[53] Ishida A, Kanefusa H, Fujita H, Toraya T. Microbiological activities of nucleotide loop-modified analogues of vitamin B12. Arch Microbiol,1994;161(4):293-299

[54] Tandler B, Krhenbul S, Brass EP. Unusual mitochondria in the hepatocytes of rats treated with a vitamin B12 analogue. Anat Rec,1991;231(1):1-6

[55] Balch JF, Balch PA. Prescription for a Nutritional Healing, 2 nd ed. Avery Publishing, Garden City Park (NY), 1997

[56] Thiel RJ. The truth about vitamins in supplements. ANMA Monitor, 2003;6(2):6-14

[57] ORAC Test by Brunswick Laboratories, Wareham (MA), February 2006

[58] Mangels AR, et al. The bioavailability to humans of ascorbic acid from oranges, orange juice and cooked broccoli is similar to that of synthetic ascorbic acid. J Nutr, 1993;123(6):1054-1061

[59] Johnson C, Luo B. Comparison of the absorption and excretion of three commercially available sources of vitamin C. J Am Diet Assoc, 1994;94:779-781

[60] Holick MF. Vitamin D. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. William & Wilkins, Balt.,1999:329-345

[61] Supplee G, Ansbacher S, Bender R, Flinigan G. Reports on prevention of rickets in chickens and children using natural and USP forms of vitamin D (as described in Murray RP. Natural vs. Synthetic. Mark R. Anderson, 1995:A6). J Biol Chem, 1936;1(107)957

[62] Miyamoto K, Murayama E, Ochi K, Watanabe H, Kubodera N. Synthetic studies of vitamin D analogues. XIV. Synthesis and calcium regulating activity of vitamin D3 analogues bearing a hydroxlkoxy group at the 2 beta-position. Chem Pharm Bull, 1993;41(6):1111-1113

[63] Fioravanti L, Miodini P, Cappelletti V, DiFronzo G. Synthetic analogs of vitamin D3 have inhibitory effects on breast cancer cell lines. Anticancer Res, 1998;18:1703-1708

[64] Research Breakthroughs. USA Weekend, November 15-17, 2002

[65] Thiel R. Vitamin D, rickets, and mainstream experts. Int J Naturopathy, 2003; 2(1):15-19

[66] Farrel PM, Robert RJ. Vitamin E. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed. Lea & Febiger, Phil.;1994:326-341

[67] An Overview of Vitamin E Efficacy. VERIS Research Information Service, November 1998

[68] Burton GW, et al. Human plasma and tissue alpha-tocopherol concentrations in response to supplementation with deuterated natural and synthetic vitamin E. Am J Clin Nutr, 1998;67(4):669-684

[69] Schlagheck TG, et al. Olestra’s effect on vitamins D and E in humans can be offset by increasing dietary levels of these vitamins. J Nutr,1997;127(8):1666S-1685S

[70] Avocados rise to the top. Nutr Week, 2001;31(24):7

[71] Rice bran, crude. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18, 2005

[72] Booth SL, Pennington JA, Sadowski JA. Dihydro-vitamin K1: primary food sources and estimated dietary intakes in the American diet. Lipids, 1996;31:715-720

[73] Aschero A, Willett WC. Health affects of trans fatty acids. Am J Clin Nutr, 1997;66:1006S-1010S

[74] Cabbage, raw. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18, 2005

[75] Booth SL, Pennington JA, Sadowski JA. Food sources and dietary intakes of vitamin K-1 (phylloquinone) in the American diet: data from the FDA Total Diet Study. J Am Diet Assoc, 1996;96(2):149-154

Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards. Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific data. None of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition.

Advanced Joint Complex™ for Optimal Joint Health

Advanced Joint Complex™ for Optimal Joint Health

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Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com​

Many people have joint complaints including various forms of arthritis, rheumatism, lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders. There are many products intended to help such people, yet that there is no one formula that is best for everyone. Since most products are not 100% Food, they often do not contain all the nutrient factors needed for optimal joint health. At Doctors” Research we believe that nutritional supplementation should be Food, or as close to Food as possible, which is why we came up with 100% Food Advanced Joint Complex.

Take glucosamine sulfate as an example. In most products, glucosamine sulfate is extracted from marine exoskeletons (shellfish) and is so over refined that other natural factors that can be helpful for joints are missing [1,2]. The same is true for refined chrondroitin sulfate, which can come from pork, sharks, or even whales [1,2]. However, Advanced Joint Complex contains concentrated bovine tracheal cartilage which is naturally high in collagen, proteoglycans, chondrocytes (including, but not limited to, chondroitin sulfates), glucosamine, and other factors which each have specific functions for joints and other connective tissue [1]. “The collagen fibers are arranged in arches so that near the surface they are horizontal in orientation–this allows the cartilage to resist tensile stresses and transmit vertical loads. The proteoglycans…give hyaline cartilage its turgor and elasticity and play an important role in limiting friction. The chondrocytes synthesize the matrix as well as enzymatically digest it…Matrix turnover is carefully controlled as chondrocytes secrete the degradative enzymes in an inactive form and enrich the matrix with enzyme inhibitors.
 
Diseases that destroy articular cartilage do so by activating catabolic enzymes and decreasing the production of inhibitors, thereby accelerating the matrix breakdown. The chondrocytes react by increasing matrix production” [3]. Chondroitin sulfates (CS) “4&6 are glycosaminoglycans which participate in the matrix structure of cartilage. They are well absorbed after oral intake…Several clinical studies have demonstrated the chondroprotective efficacy of CS 4&6 in osteoarthritis involving the hip, knee and finger joints” [4]; an animal study found that CS-C significantly inhibited “edema, synovitis and destruction of articular cartilage” [5]. Unlike Advanced Joint Complex, typical extracted glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate formulas are simply to incomplete to work as well as nature intended [2].
 

Vitamin C helps neutralize free radicals to stop their damage and helps build connective tissues such as collagen [6]. Most other products contain ascorbic acid which is the USP synthesized so-called vitamin C. USP ascorbic acid is made by fermenting corn sugar into sorbitol, then hydrogenating it until it turns into sorbose, then acetone (commonly referred to as nail polish remover) is added to break the molecular bonds which creates ascorbic acid! All the vitamin C in Advanced Joint Complex is from Acerola (it is not a mixture of ascorbic acid with some Acerola thrown in as some do). Acerola is a cherry-like berry that is one of the most naturally concentrated vitamin C Foods known to exist–various cherries have been recommended to help people with arthritis [7]. Vitamin C in Foods such as Acerola exists in at least two forms unlike USP ascorbic acid which does not contain both forms [6]! Acerola is also less acidic than USP ascorbic acid (some feel that increased acidity tends to hurt, rather than help joints [7]).

Food vitamin D has been found to be more effective than at least one USP form for rickets [8]. Food calcium is 7 times as effective in raising serum ionic calcium levels [9]. Food magnesium is better absorbed and retained than magnesium salts [10]. Clinically, magnesium is often used for muscle tightness. Food zinc contains items that have better absorption than the zinc salts [11]. Food phosphorus works with calcium in the body, whereas Food potassium is an important electrolyte [7]. Alfalfa is a Food which is rich in trace minerals [12]. “Aloe veraincreases collagen content…acts as a modulatory system toward wounds with anti-inflammatory effects…exerts anti-inflammatory activity through its inhibitory action on the arachidonic pathway via cyclooxygenase…Aloe vera contains a carboxypeptidase that inactivates bradykinin, salicylates, and a substance that inhibits thromboxane formation”[13]. Bioflavonoids are helpful to strengthen capillary walls [13]; not only can stronger capillary walls reduce bruising, they can improve circulation (and nutrition) to all parts of the body including joints.

Borage seeds contains gamma-linoleic acid and linoleic acid [13]. Borage is used for “rheumatism of the joints; as a pain reliever” [13]. Food boron is an essential mineral; part of its benefit is believed to be in the inhibition of certain enzymes [7] (proper enzyme inhibition is believed to be helpful for those suffering from forms of arthritis [1,3]). Burdock root is a Food traditional used by those with gout and rheumatism [10]. Cayenne contains capsaicin which has been shown to assist with pain modulation–“Long term desensitization of the fibers occurs after repeated exposure to capsaicin, and results in a subsequent loss of pain sensation…Capsicum binds to the C-type vanilliod receptor (VRI) and opens a cationic channel allowing the influx of calcium…Cayenne is used for painful muscle spasms in the areas of shoulder, arm and spine. In folk medicine the herb is used for frostbite, chronic lumbago… Cayenne is used for gout, arthritis, sciatica” [13]. “Chondroitin is a biological polymer that acts as the flexible connecting matrix between the protein ligaments in cartilage…Chondroitin helps attract essential fluid into the proteoglycan molecules, “water magnet”, which not only acts as a shock absorber but “sweeps” nutrients into the cartilage as well. Glucosamine, another of the beneficial substances in this area, stimulates chondrocyte activity. It is also the critical building block of proteoglycans and other matrix components. Both chondroitin and glucosamine play vital roles in joint maintenance” [12]; there have been purification, absorption, and other problems in found in some chondroitin formulas which are not Food [2,12].

Devil”s Claw is primarily used for rheumatism; a double-bind study found it to “lessen the pain of osteoarthritis” [13]. “The major chemical component, which is though to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of devil”s claw, is harpagoside, a monoterpenic glucoside” [12]. The grape seed extract used in Advanced Joint Complex is a minimum of 92% proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins are a type of bioflavonoids which studies have found to significantly decrease “Pain, limb heaviness, and feeling of swelling” [12,14]. Additionally, proantocyanidins have been found to increase the resistance of connective fibers to degradation [13] and “Proanthocyanidins extracted from Grape Seed stabilizes capillary walls and prevents increases in permeability which causes edema” [14]). Silicon in Advanced Joint Complex comes from the herb horsetail (which has long been used for gout and rheumatism [14]); “to keep on regenerating cartilage your body needs one basic element: silicon…However the older you get the more difficult it becomes for your body to assimilate silicon…To remedy the situation, plant therapists prescribe horsetail” [15].

Superoxide dismutase (S.O.D.)…protects intracellular components from oxidative damage” [7]; “superoxide has been successfully used to treat human inflammatory diseases” [12]. S.O.D. has been shown to inhibit articular tissue damage associated with osteoarthritis [16]. Ingestion of an isolated form of S.O.D. is not as effective as Food CuZn S.O.D. [17]; which with Mn S.O.D., exists naturally, in Advanced Joint Complex. Whole yucca seems helpful for people who complain that arthritic complaints increase with weather changes. “One report found that the oral administration of a yucca saponin extract for up to 15 months was well-tolerated for the treatment of various arthritic conditions” [12].

Advanced Joint Complex is a Food and contains many Foods, each of which plays a unique role in joint and connective tissue health (including knees). No other isolated joint product truly compares with it, which is why Advanced Joint Complex is the choice of doctors who prefer to recommend Foods, and not chemical isolates, for optimal joint health.

Advanced Joint Complex™ contains concentrated bovine tracheal cartilage which is naturally high in collagen, proteoglycans, chondrocytes (including, but not limited to, chondroitin sulfates), glucosamine, and other factors which each have specific functions for joints and other connective tissue.

References

[1] Hendlor SS, Rorvak D, editors. PDR for Nutritional Supplements, 1st ed. Medical Economics, Montvale (NJ), 2001

[2] Williams D. The Truth About Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Mountain Home Nutritionals, Ranson (WV), Fall 2002

[3] Cotran RS, Kumar V, Collins T. Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease, 6th ed. WB Saunders, Phil., 1999

[4] Conrozier T. Anti-arthrosis treatment: efficacy and tolerance of chondroitin sulfates (CS 4&6). Presse Med, 1998;27(36):1862-1865

[5] Omata T, Itokazu Y, Ionue N, Segawa Y. Effects of chondroitin sulfate-C on articular cartilage destruction in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Arzneimittelforschung, 2000;50(2):148-153

[6] Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed. Lea & Febiger, Phil.,1994

[7] Airola P. How to Get Well. Health Plus, Sherwood (OR), 1974

[8] Bland J. Study on renatured vitamin D3. Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. November 25, 1985

[9] Hamet P, et al. The evaluation of the scientific evidence for a relationship between calcium and hypertension. J Nutr, 1995;125:311S-400S

[10] Rude R.K., Shils M.E. Magnesium. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed. Lippincott William & Wilkins, Phil, 2005: 223-247

[11] Andlid TA, Veide J, Sandberg AS. Metabolism of extracellular inositol hexaphosphate (phytate) by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Int J. Food Microbiology. 2004;97(2):157-169

[12] DerMarerosian A, ed. The Review of Natural Products. Facts and Comparisons, St. Louis, 2001

[13] Williams DG. Instant Pain Relief, Special Report. Phillips Health, Potomac (MD), 2001

[14] Gruenwald J, et al editors. PDR for Herbal Medicine, 2nd ed. Medical Economics, Montvale (NJ), 2000

[15] Robinson A. The natural remedy that can cure arthritis

[16] Null G. Superoxide Dismutase. In The Clinician”s Handbook of Natural Healing. Kensington Books, New York, 1997:137-144

 [17] Haun SE, et al. Polyethylene glycol-conjugated superoxide dismutase fails to augment brain superoxide dismutase activity in piglets. Stroke,1991;22(5):655-659

Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards (though most do). Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific data. None of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors” Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition.

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Vegetarian Thyro™ – 100% Vegan Food Thyroid Support

Vegetarian Thyro™ – 100% Vegan Food Thyroid Support

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The thyroid is responsible for hormones that affect mood, improve circulation, increase metabolism, retain calcium, affect cardiovascular health, improve tolerance to temperature fluctuations, minimize body fat, reduce the tendency for obesity, minimize menstrual disturbances, improve energy, reduce the dryness of skin and hair, and reduce premature hair loss [1-3].   Yet thyroid problems are very common [2].

Unfortunately, medical interventions are often incomplete as blood tests often do not recognize certain forms of hypothyroidism [2,3].  Furthermore, even when found medically, most medical interventions are limited to the prescribing of synthetic T4 (levothyroxine), which tends to shut the thyroid down [4], and thus possibly increasing the tendency for osteoporosis [3-5], as well as sometimes increasing mood problems and some other symptoms associated with low thyroid function.

Vegetarian Thyro is a 100% vegan Food supplement intended to nutritionally support the thyroid and improve metabolism.  Vegetarian Thyro is basically Food intended for thyroid gland. If additional endocrine support is indicated, consider adding Vegetarian Adrenal or Vegetarian Tyrosine.

Burdock Root has long been used to support the thyroid nutritionally [6].  It is sometimes used in products that are given to people who take synthetic thyroid medicines [6].

Carrots contain a variety of carotenoids, which is a vitamin A precursor.  Low levels of vitamin A are associated with increased risk of thyroid goiters and deficiencies affect thyroid metabolism [7].  “[A] decade-long Harvard study indicat[ed] that by getting 50 milligrams of carotenoids in every other day…significantly reduce[d] the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts” [8].

Dong Quai has long been used to support the thyroid nutritionally [6].  It is sometimes used in products that are given to people who take synthetic thyroid medicines [6].  

Folate forms have long been used to support the thyroid nutritionally [6].  It is sometimes used in products that are given to people who take synthetic thyroid medicines [6].  Additionally, it has been reported that deficiencies of folate have been found in those with inadequate production of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) [9].

Iodine can be properly called THE THYROID mineral since the body’s sole use of the mineral iodine is for the thyroid to make thyroid hormones (T1,T2,T3, & T4) [1,5,8].  The primary thyroid hormone (T1) is called monoiodotyrosine, which means it needs iodine and tyrosine [5].  It gets converted to T2 with the addition of more iodine, then to T3 with more iodine then to T4 with even more iodine.  Iodine is naturally contained in Foods such as kelp and other sea vegetables [10].

Irish Moss Chondrus crispus contains humic and fulvic acids (FAs) which increase the solubility of toxic metals [11],  thus it is sometimes used to detoxify.  Detoxification can be an issue with thyroid health as some believe that substances like chloride and fluoride can bind with the thyroid and interfere with iodine absorption.  “Irish moss and Kelp combination is used to balance hormonal indeficiency especially in the thyroid gland.  It increases the metabolic rate, thyroid activity, and the detoxifying function of the body.  The herbs {also} supply trace minerals…[and] is commonly used in conjunction with…the complex of B vitamins, vitamin A,…and zinc” [12] .

Kelp is a Food  source of trace minerals, and an excellent source of iodine [10].  Kelp has long been used (since 3000 B.C.) to provide nutritional support for the thyroid gland [8,13]. Gary Null, Ph.D., has written, “Kelp can rebalance thyroid metabolism, resulting in successful weight management and the reversal of many conditions which are caused by a thyroid imbalance, including stomach and respiratory disorders” [13].  

L-tyrosine an amino acid required for the production of thyroid hormones, T1,T2,T3, and T4 [5].  Tyrosine may reduce the net rate of protein breakdown in the body and appears to help with endurance [14].  Tyrosine has an effect nerve impulse transmission and may “improve vigilance and lessen anxiety” [17]. Gary Null (Ph.D.) considers tyrosine to  be  a  therapeutic amino acid for depression as well was an antiencephalopathic, antiparkinsonian, and an
antidepressant [16].  Women on oral contraceptives have been found to have less plasma and brain levels of tyrosine which results in a reduction in catecholamines, which affect mood. [17]. Oral consumption of tyrosine has, in some case, been shown to completely alleviate depression while increasing plasma tyrosine levels [18,19].  It has also been shown to help when MAO inhibitors did not [19].  In rat models vitamin C has enhanced the ability of tyrosine to decrease blood pressure [8,20].  Interestingly, “Tyrosine has been known to normalize blood pressure whether high or low. Tyrosine is being tested by the Air Force to enhance performance under stress” [21].

The body naturally produces tyrosine by converting it from phenylalanine [8].  “Compared with tyrosine which has a de novo synthesis component limited by phenylalanine oxidation, most nonessential amino acids have a very large de novo synthesis components because of the metabolic pathways they are involved in” [8].  This might explain why taking separate tyrosine is more helpful for many than taking other separate amino acids classified as nonessential—they can be made with much easier (with less restriction) than tyrosine can (tyrosine requires liver hydroxylation).

Sea Vegetables supply iodine and various trace minerals that the thyroid needs [10].

Vitamin B-6 forms have long been used to support the thyroid nutritionally [6].  It is sometimes used in products that are given to people who take synthetic thyroid medicines [6].

Vitamin B-12 deficiencies have been found in those with inadequate production of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) [9].

Zinc deficiency in humans can cause thyroid problems, alopecia, impotence, skin problems, immune deficiencies, increased susceptibility to infection/sore throats, night blindness, impaired taste, delayed wound healing, impaired appetite, photophobia (hypersensitivity to light), difficulty in dark adaptation, growth retardation, male infertility (low sperm counts), liver enlargement, and spleen enlargement [8,22].

Many people simply take Vegetarian Thyro as a Food supplement to help them feel better.  

References

[1] Robbins J, Rall JE, Gorden P.  The thyroid and iodine metabolism.  In Duncan’s Diseases of Metabolism, 7th ed.  WB Saunders, Phil.:1009-1104, 1974
[2] Many thyroid conditions are underdiagnosed. Med Trib, Jan 25,1996;2
[3] Thiel R.  Suspected hypothyroidism: treat, ignore, or feed? International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, 2002; 1(1): 12-22
[4] Physician’s Desk Reference, 60th ed. Thompson PDR, Montvale (NJ), 2006
[5] Guyton AG, Hall JE.  Textbook of Medical Physiology, 9th ed.  W.B. Saunders Co., Phil., 1996 [21] Ensminger AH, Ensminger ME, Konlande JE, Robson JRK.  Food & Nutrition Encyclopedia, 2nd ed.  CRC Press, New York, 1993
[6] Thiel R.  Serious Nutrition, 3rd edition.  Center for Natural Health Research, 1997
[7] Michael B. Zimmermann, Rita Wegmüller, Christophe Zeder, Nourredine Chaouki and Toni Torresani. The Effects of Vitamin A Deficiency and Vitamin A Supplementation on Thyroid Function in Goitrous Children.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004;89(11):5441-5447
[8] Ensminger AH, Ensminger ME, Konlande JE, Robson JRK.  Food & Nutrition Encyclopedia, 2nd ed.  CRC Press, New York, 1993
[9] Agarwal R, Chhillar N, Kushwaha S, Singh NK, Tripathi CB. Role of vitamin B(12), folate, and thyroid stimulating hormone in dementia: A hospital-based study in north Indian population.  Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2010 Oct;13(4):257-62
[10] Seaweed, kelp, raw.  USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 11-1, August 1997
[11] Wu J, West LJ, Stewart DI..  Effect of humic substances on Cu(II) solubility in kaolin-sand soil. J Hazard Mater. 2002 Oct 14;94(3):223-238
[12] Pedersen M.  Nutritional Herbology.  Whitman Books, Warsaw (IN), 1998
[13] Null G.  The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing.  Kensington Books, 1998
[14] Blomstrand E, Newsholme EA.  Effect of branch-chain amino acid supplementation on exercise-induced change in aromatic amino acid concentration in human muscle.  ACTA Physiol Scand,1992;146:293-298
[15] Specific nutrients aid in high-performance activity.  Nutr Week, June 4, 1994:7
[16] Null G.  The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Healing.  Kensington Books, NY, 1997
[17] Moller SE.  Tryptophan and Tyrosine Availability and Oral Contraceptives.   Lancet, September 1, 1979:472
[18] Gelenberg AJ, Wojcik JD, Growdon JH, et al. Tyrosine for the Treatment of Depression.  Am J Psychiatry, 1980;137(5):622-623
[19] Goldberg IK. L-Tyrosine in Depression.  Lancet, August 16, 1980:364.
[20] Hemila H.  Vitamin C and Lowering Blood Pressure:  Need For Intervention Trials. Journal of Hypertension, 1991;9(11):1076-1077
[21] Hamiliton K. Clinical Pearls, 1992.  ITServices, Sacramento, 1991
[22] Cunnane SC.  Zinc: Clinical and Biochemical Significance.  CRC Press, Boca Raton (FL),1988

Some of these studies (or citations) may not conform to peer review standards (though most do). Therefore, the results are not conclusive. Professionals can, and often do, come to different conclusions when reviewing scientific data. None of these statements have been reviewed by the FDA. All products distributed by Doctors’ Research, Inc. are nutritional and are not intended for the treatment or prevention of any medical condition.

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