Last week there was a scandal about supplements. (Link to article) Many people that commented about the event say “Supplements are bunk anyway” as if that absolves the companies of any wrongdoing.
It wasn’t particularly surprising for me to find out that supplements didn’t have what they said in them. I have noticed that certain brands of herbs and vitamins had little to no effect, where as others brands were very effective. Which led me to believe that there was some malfeasance going on. There was little that I could do beyond looking for a better brand.
I was surprised to read that many of the samples (almost ALL of them) were contaminated with other things not listed on the label. Some of these things were allergens; wheat soy, corn, rice, legumes, and some of them were potentially toxic; ranuncula, wild carrot, daisy, dracaena, houseplant, and cassava.
What I found particularly upsetting was that some of the bottles that tested positive for wheat said that they were gluten free. It is in fact illegal to label things as gluten free if they have gluten in them. They passed a law about that. I have yet to read how that’s enforced but…
I suppose it should not surprise anyone that a group of people making a great deal of money without supervision has gotten greedy and acted unethically. This of course means that the people who have been acting ethically will be punished along with the perpetrators when the long slow wheels of law start regulating.
Still it is a valuable lesson in why we as consumers need to be more involved in what we consume.
I still take a small handful of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements.
- Bilberry Extract by Virgin Extracts (Its supposed to be freeze dried berries and bilberry helps prevent stys)
- Vitamin C by GMO Free Vitamins (Its supposed to be GMO, gluten, lactose, peanut and soy free. It helps with allergy attacks)
- Organic Turmeric by Starwest Botanicals (I bought it in bulk and put it in capsules myself)
The next two products are by Eclectic Institute which is supposed to be only freeze herbs and the capsule with no grains, soy or fillers.
- Nettle Quercetin (I use it for keeping my allergies in check.)
- Passion Flower (Helps with anxiety)
All the rest of my supplements are from Bulk Supplement.com
- Vitamin D3 (For SAD and healing)
- Potassium Citrate (for leg cramps)
- Magnesium citrate (for leg cramps)
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA) (for inflammation and allergies)
Reading about this scandal makes me aware of how my dependence on vitamins and mineral supplements makes me vulnerable to exposure to oils. I have wondered how the powders that Bulk Supplements make are produced and what from but they were the only single ingredient supplement out there. I know that their Vitamin B12 powder used to upset my stomach, so I stopped taking it. My readings have told me that you can get a great deal of potassium and magnesium from green leafy vegetable’s, however our soils are depleted so modern vegetable’s don’t have as much of those critical nutrients as they could. And there is little likelihood we could grow all of the salad greens we need in our house and 5’ x 7’ plot, so we supplement. I also worry about the herbal pills I buy. My mom and I are discussing growing our own passion flower and nettle. (apparently they grow like weeds)
I take a lot less vitamin C than I used to. Research has led me to believe that there are many leafy greens that supply this nutrient and my mom and I are discussing growing them so as to reduce my dependence on this supplement. Still we have a very limited amount of space to grow stuff so until we can move into a place with a bigger garden I think I will have to trust in my supplements.