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Two Things To Know About Your Daily Vitamin

Your daily vitamin might not be the insurance you think it is.

Are you aware of big vitamin scare going around the US and UK? The staid Reader's Digest even had a cover story, "The Vitamin Hoax: 10 not to take" Feb., 2007).

Worst case: some vitamins are harmful. Best case: they do, well, nothing. So says the Reader's Digest.

Before you pop that next daily multi, check the bottle for two things:

1. Toxic ingredients
Artificial colors: FD&C Blue #2 Lake, FD&C Red 40, etc.
Preservatives: sorbates (eg, Polysorbate 80), benzoates (eg, sodium benzoate), nitrites (eg, sodium nitrite), sulphites (eg, sulphur dioxide)

2. Are they synthetic?
Look at the names of the vitamins and minerals in the “Ingredients” listing on the label of the bottle. (You may need a magnifying glass.) A vitamin or mineral is synthetic if only its chemical and/or popular name appears, with no plant source.

E.g. from the label of a popular synthetic multivitamin seen on TV
Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Oxide, Potassium Chloride, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), DL-tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E)... all synthetic vitamins.

Your vitamins are not synthetic if they are listed with their whole food source. For example, “Vitamin C (from camucamu fruit)” indicates that you’re getting the Vitamin C, along with the other nutrients it lives with in the whole fruit. Not just the isolated vitamin C made in a lab.

The scoop is in this educational white paper.