You take a multivitamin as an insurance policy to make sure you are getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals you need to thrive. But, what if the product you are choosing is actually blocking nutrients, or may even be dangerous for certain individuals.
Here are 5 label losers to steer clear of, and a list of just a few of the supplement brands we found formulated with these do not want ingredients.
LABEL LOSER #1: Iron
FORMULATED WITH THIS FOE: Ritual Multivitamin, Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women, Kirkland Daily Multi
Iron is a vital mineral your body needs to function normally. However, the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements has indicated that too much iron can cause serious health complications. Because of this, you may want to take an iron-free multivitamin to avoid iron overload, a medical condition that causes excess iron to be stored in vital organs such as the liver and heart. Too much iron may be toxic—and even fatal. In general, iron supplementation is not recommended for adult males and postmenopausal women. If you are a pre-menopausal woman, an athlete that works out for more than 6 hours a week, or a strict vegan/vegetarian you may want to consider iron supplementation…HOWEVER…!
When you see this nutrient listed on your supplement facts – WATCH OUT! You should know that iron competes with ten (10) other micronutrients – making multivitamins formulated with iron highly susceptible to poor absorption rates. (Learn more about micronutrient competition here)
If you choose to take iron, take a high quality multivitamin WITHOUT iron (such as nutreince) and a stand-alone iron supplement, at a separate time of day, at least 4 hours away from your multi.
LABEL LOSER #2: Copper
FORMULATED WITH THIS FOE: One-a-day women’s, Centrum, Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women, Alive Liquid Multivitamin, Mytrition, Kirkland Daily Multi
Taking a multivitamin with copper is generally not recommended because too much copper in the body can hinder your body’s ability to destroy the proteins that form the plaques found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. Many Alzheimer’s patients have been found to have elevated levels of copper, and in studies, it was determined that many of those affected took multivitamins with copper.
Based on this research The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) published a statement calling for the FDA to require multivitamin manufacturers to reformulate many of the most trusted multivitamins on the market without copper or iron. Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee, stated in his letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. “Given that nearly half of Americans develop Alzheimer’s disease by age 85, we need to urge consumers to err on the side of caution…Research on the links between metals and brain damage is ongoing. Even so, the evidence that excess iron and copper contribute to brain deterioration has reached the point where we have to take it seriously.”
Additionally, pregnant woman should avoid copper in multivitamins because copper levels can nearly double during pregnancy making toxicity a concern. Cramps, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and liver damage are all common when taking supplements that include copper.
LABEL LOSER #3: Sugar (in any form)
FORMULATED WITH THIS FOE: Olly Multivitamins, Smarty Pants Gummies, Vitafusion
Even if the sugar is organic and in the form of cane sugar it has no place in a multivitamin. This is because while sugar’s sweet flavor may be appetizing, its depletion of calcium, magnesium, chromium, and copper is not, especially when you consider the negative side effects of becoming deficient in these essential minerals. And vitamin C is also negatively affected by sugar; because of similar chemical structures, vitamin C and glucose (a type of sugar) compete for entry into your cells. Even slightly elevated blood sugar levels can block vitamin C from getting in and can cause a weakened immune system.
Why would you add an ingredient that hinders the absorption of 5 other micronutrients into a multi? It’s simply not smart. Additionally, sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Popping sugar-laden gummies could trigger your cravings cycle and send you down a slippery slope!
LABEL LOSER #4: Folate or folic acid for vitamin B9
FORMULATED WITH THIS FOE: Olly Multivitamin, Tespo, Vitafusion, One-a-day womens, Centrum, Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women, Alive Liquid Multivitamin, Emergen-C, One-a-day, Kirkland Daily Multi
Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that more than 34% of the US population may have a genetic enzyme defect, known as MTHFR mutation, that makes it difficult for them to convert folic acid and even folate into the biologically active form of folate known as 5-MTHF, and new estimates suggest that 70% or more of the population may be affected. (Test to see if you have this genetic mutation HERE)
For the large number of individuals who have this mutation, supplementing with a multivitamin that contains folic acid can be extremely dangerous as the folic acid can cause a build-up in the body leading to toxicity. In fact, some studies have found that folic acid supplements increased cancer risk.
Making matters even worse, individuals with the MTHFR mutation may be susceptible to elevated homocysteine levels, due to a folate deficiency, and elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with heart disease, birth defects, and inflammation. Whether you have the MTHFR mutation or not, based on current research we recommend avoiding folic acid and taking a multivitamin that contains 5-MTHF – the biologically active, methylated form of folate to avoid health risks. (nutreince uses the Quatrefolic brand of 5-MTHF)
LABEL LOSER #5: Synthetic vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol)
FORMULATED WITH THIS FOE: Nature’s Made Multivitamins, Centrum Adults, One-a-day, Kirkland Daily Multi
There are two forms of vitamin E – a natural source vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) typically derived from vegetable oils and a synthetic vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol) typically derived from petroleum products. The bioavailability is approximately 2:1 for natural-source vitamin E over synthetic vitamin E. To compensate for the lower retention of synthetic vitamin E, a person or animal would have to ingest twice the amount of synthetic vitamin E (by weight) to match the bioavailability of the natural form.
HOWEVER, the problem with synthetic vitamin E goes beyond bioavailability, studies show that there is a real danger of negative health consequences when products contain the synthetic petrochemically-derived form of dl-alpha tocopherol. Research show that high doses—400 IU's a day or more—of synthetic vitamin E (dl-alpha tocopherol) daily – may increase your risk of prostate cancer by 17 percent! Make sure your supplement does not contain any dl – synthetic vitamin E.
WOW! CRAZY RIGHT?
We could go on and on about other ingredients to avoid and which forms you do not want to see on the label of your multivitamin, but instead we want to make it easy for you to choose a multi that will enhance your health. You shouldn’t have to get a chemistry degree in order to identify a well-formulated multivitamin!
That’s why we did the work for you and created nutreince – a safe and effective multivitamin that delivers superior absorbency with beneficial quantities and forms of the essential vitamins and minerals you need to elevate your health. Nutreince is also completely different from any other multivitamin you have ever taken for another reason – it’s the first and only multivitamin formulated using Anti-Competition Technology™ – a patented technology that separates the micronutrients that compete for absorption sites into completely different AM and PM formulas, which finally allows your body to receive the full benefits of each micronutrient.
If your multivitamin contains any of the 5 ingredients we covered in this article or if you just finally want to experience the health benefits that can come from using a multi formulated using the most advanced science currently available on the body’s ability to absorb essential micronutrients we invite you to try nutreince – a modern multivitamin formulated for the modern world.