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Toxic ingredients in your supplements

Do you take supplements? Research shows that food alone may not be sufficient for optimal well-being. Most foods are manufactured and then packed in plastic bags for supermarket shelves. Significant changes have been made in agricultural techniques such as GMO (genetically modified) crops. Also our soil lacks vital minerals which makes it even more difficult to source organic produce.

So if you’re supplementing here are some ingredients to avoid.

Magnesium stearate

Stearates are made by hydrogenating cottonseed oil. Cottonseed has the highest levels of pesticides compared to other oils. When mixed with stearic acid it creates a lubricating effect, which is great for factories who want to produce vast amounts of pills. Not so great for you (the consumer)! Magnesium stearate cannot be absorbed by the body. It just acts as a film and sits in the digestive tract.

Stearates are also used to reduce the rate at which the pill dissolves (by up to 65{5b2e8ceadfa41e85f5e9302f14df892deadda646553bfeb0abeadc839fd84062}). This may result in nutrients dissolving in the wrong places.


Propylene glycol

It’s equivalent to antifreeze and absorbs moisture in supplements. Propylene glycol can cause severe allergic reactions, especially those with eczema and skin conditions. Studies conducted on rats also found that it can lead to depression and reproductive issues.

It makes sense. Antifreeze was never designed for human consumption. So imagine swallowing a pill, full of it, four times a day. Yikes!


Potassium sorbate

It’s another preservative that’s used to stop fungus from growing on foods. It’s formed when sorbic acid and potassium are mixed together. The FDA recognise potassium sorbate as relatively safe in small amounts (25 milligrams per kilo of body weight).

However other research has shown it to be genotoxic and mutagenic when mixed with Vitamin C and iron. As most supplements contain Vitamin C, it is best to try and avoid this preservative especially those who suffer from migraines and allergies.


Xanthan gum

I’m on the fence with this one. Research shows that using xanthan gum in supplements have little to no effect on the persons well being. One study conducted on rats reported no significant changes except softer stools.

However xanthan has been linked to necrotizing enter-colitis (NEC) in infants, where the lining of the intestine wall dies. This is because xanthan is used as a thickening agent, which a fragile baby, simply cannot digest. An article in the New York Times, talks about the tragic death of infants who developed NEC after ingesting formula with xanthan gum in it.

I would strongly advise those with digestive issues such as IBS and SIBO to avoid xanthan gum or any type of thickening agent such as guar gum.


Which supplements are safe?

It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am with my health. I can say I feel so much better today, compared to how I was a year ago. Why? Because I switched my diet to incorporate more greens, whole grains and fruit and ditched the sugar and processed junk. Not only that but I also take supplements.

The best ones I’ve come across are Dr Mercola’s WholeFood Multivitamins. When choosing a supplement it’s important to look for wholefoods as it means the vitamins and minerals are derived from real food.

Also, each vitamin and mineral must be at least 100{5b2e8ceadfa41e85f5e9302f14df892deadda646553bfeb0abeadc839fd84062} of the Recommended Daily Allowance, otherwise it’s just a pill that’s filled with binders, bulking agents and zero nutrients.


I hope you enjoyed reading this article. JazakAllah khayrun (May Allah bless you).

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