Three Problems of Supplements Today
By Yi Lai
1.Most of the supplements available on the market today are found to have poor bioavailability. To ensure that the body benefits from the supplement, the active ingredients of the supplements need to be absorbed into the blood stream and reach the organs so that they can do their job. There are few ways nutrients can get into the blood stream: injection, via the lining of the walls of upper intestine and colon. When you consume a supplement, it reaches the stomach and active ingredients are released. The environment of the stomach is very acidic (ph1.0-3.5). At this stage, majority of the active ingredients are destroyed by the stomach acids. Some may not be damaged but most are almost severely affected. As a result, only about 10% of active ingredients manage the absorption process and enter the blood stream. Some poor quality supplements may even pass through the body with no absorption at all! Poor bioavailability of supplements is very common issue in supplements industry today. Unfortunately very few companies have the know-how knowledge and technology to incorporate the delivery technology into the supplements.
2.Many supplements are contaminated with metals, unlabeled prescription drugs, microorganisms, or other substances. In U.S., dietary supplements are regulated by FDA (Food and Drugs Administration)as foods. The government is not responsible for the safety and effectiveness of the supplements. It's the supplements manufacturers responsibility to ensure the effectiveness, safety, potency and efficacy of the products. Many manufacturers took for granted. Most supplements today are produced in less than optimal environment. As a result, the products are contaminated with leads, metals, chemicals, bugs, and other substances.
Following are just few reported cases:
- FDA warns consumers that Actra-Rx(dietary supplements for sexual enhancement) undeclared prescription drug ingredient.
- 2 out of 21 magnesium products are found to have lead in a study conducted by independent body, Consumerlab.com.
- Several popular nutritional supplements are found to be contaminated with steroid.
3.Many supplements have false claims and inaccurate labels. Because dietary supplements are loosely regulated, there is no pressure to ensure the accuracy of the labels of the products. This means that you may be taking less, or more of the ingredients stated on the labels. In addition, there are products that promise to cure diseases and wide spectrum of health problems. Most of these claims are rather questionable, for example:
- A product called "Sea Silver said their product have 98% bioavailability because liquid can bypass the digestive system. As mentioned earlier, the only way for liquid to bypass the digestive system is through injection, not drinking
- Barefoot coral calcium supplements is said to be able to "neutralize the toxic acidity of blood. The truth is, calcium supplements can only change the acidity of body fluids.
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