One of the most frequent questions I receive is ‘what multivitamin is best for my child?’ While many think going to a natural food store and buying them there somehow makes it all better, you are sorely mistaken. There are a lot of synthetic grade supplements lurking in your natural food store aisles. I am an avid label reader even when it comes to supplements.
I gave my first talk back in 2009 at a fitness convention called The Good, Bad and Ugly Truth About Your Vitamins. It was a word of caution that even they should not recommend supplements to anyone.
Lately since doing my 23andme test I’ve learned more about how our body can or cannot process certain vitamins and minerals. And from what I’ve learned, NO one is qualified to recommend supplements — not your doctor or even a registered dietician. Funky genetic mutations can play havoc with your cells, how your body processes foods and vitamins and how it detoxifies. I am here to help you read a supplement label better.
Since doing my post on How to Pick the Perfect Protein Powder, I talked a bit how most protein powder companies put synthetic grade vitamins back into the protein because the process of creating the protein powder destroys most, if not all, of those vitamins. It really makes no sense to consume these products (bars included) unless you know how they make the powder.
I want to start off talking about gummy vitamins. I absolutely do not like gummy vitamins. They ruin your children’s tooth enamel. The sugar on these coatings will seep into their gums often ruining the adult teeth. It wears away the enamel, causing cavities and future cavities. Honestly, kids should not be eating anything gummy, but that is for another post. If you have gummies, my advice is to stop them. They really don’t serve any purpose and most, if not all, have some form of synthetic vitamins in them.
How do you know if you are getting synthetic vitamins? The first two things I look for when reading vitamin labels is if they are using synthetic folate (aka folic acid) and synthetic B12. Synthetic B12 reads as cynocobalamin. The absorbable form of B12 is methylcobalimin or Methyl B12. I can’t tell you how many vitamins I have thrown out in people’s cupboards because of these two important things. We need both true forms for our bodies to absorb them at the cellular level.
The other things I look for:
Fake synthetic vitamins:
- Acetate or palmitate (synthetic form of Vitamin A)
- Citamin D2, Ergosteral (Yeast) or Calciferol (synthetic form of Vitamin D, should be D3)
- -Biotin (synthethic form of Biotin)
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (synthetic form of B6- pyridoxine)
- Folic acid or pteroylglutamic Acid (synthetic form of folate)
- Cynocobalamin (synthetic form of B12) Vitamin E labeled with a dl- prefix
- crystalline fructose
- corn syrup, HFCS and corn sugar.
Of course food dyes are a BIG No-no. Food dyes actually pull trace minerals like zinc and magnesium from our bodies.
And honestly, looking for quality adult vitamins works the same way. I don’t buy my supplements from traditional drug or discount stores. Those vitamins are for mass production, not for quality. You see, if a vitamin company has high marketing dollars, they have low quality products. Most brand names we are familiar with or grew up with are not helping our bodies, they are doing more harm.
How do you know if you have a bad vitamin? Your urine is a bright neon yellow. It doesn’t mean your body has reached its capacity of absorbing those vitamins, it means your body cannot absorb the vitamins, because the liver doesn’t know how to process them. You are essentially peeing out synthetic vitamins.
Don’t feel bad if you learn that your vitamins are not what they claim. Simply contact the company if you bought them more than 30 days ago and see if they will give you a refund. If you bought them within the last 30 days take them back to the store for a refund or store credit.