Are We Being Told The Truth About Supplements?

There is a huge trend in supplements. Protein in everything, multivitamins, effervescent tablets, green tea extract, slimming tea, syrups and concoctions that promise you the world. We need to stop our diet supplementing our supplements.

It is a common place to see people chugging down a protein drink as a meal replacement. Taking cheap supplements to replace actual food. A supplement is to supplement your diet not to replace your diet.

Not only has it been proven that supplements from major retailers like GNC, Walgreen and Walmart have very little of the actual ingredient stated, but other ingredients have been added as fillers.

The above pictures shows a cease and desist letter from a NY attorney stating that “Mislabeling, contamination and false advertising are illegal,” from major companies like Walmart, Walgreens, GNC and Target. It showed that the supplements contained little or none of the stated supplement that you are buying. Furthermore, if you are buying cheap supplements you can be fairly sure that the supplements are coming from genetically modified foods. A study has shown that organic food is 54% higher in nutrients then non organic, so you can bet that organic food is even higher in nutrients then GMO foods.

We can thank Canadian researchers that tested 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 companies. They found that many were not what they claimed to be, and that pills labeled as popular herbs were often diluted — or replaced entirely — by cheap fillers like soybean, wheat and rice. Among their tests it showed two bottles labeled as St. John’s wort, contained none of the medicinal herb. Instead, the pills in one bottle were made of nothing but rice, and another bottle contained only Alexandrian senna, an Egyptian yellow shrub that is a powerful laxative. Gingko biloba supplements, promoted as memory enhancers, were mixed with fillers and black walnut, a potentially deadly hazard for people with nut allergies.

Now that it is hugely popular to be throwing protein into everything from Wheetabix to a Mars Bar. Lets take a look at protein drinks/powders. A BBC investigative documentary showed that certain companies only contain 2% of protein in the tub of powder. So what are you ingesting? It could be anything from flour to anti caking agents. If I am being less investigative about what could be in the protein powders and look at the actual ingredients listed on the tub. If it tastes sweet, as most do, then how is it sweet? If its not sugar then its probably going to be a sweetener like aspartame which has countless studies showing that it is detrimental to our body. This is not being dramatic.

Yes our body needs protein but eating more protein than your body needs can interfere with your health and fitness goals in a number of ways, including weight gain, extra body fat, stress on your kidneys, dehydration, and leaching of important bone minerals.

If you eat more protein than your body requires, it will simply convert most of those calories to sugar and then fat. Increased blood sugar levels can also feed bacteria and yeast, such as Candida (Thrush).

If you are buying animal protein such as chicken, fish, beef etc, you need to be aware of antibiotic treatments that the animals are given as they can effect humans. Are they organic? Are they corn fed or grass fed beef (cows cannot digest corn. It then grows salmonella in their stomachs in which the cows have to have a hole in their side and the farmer needs to take the undigested corn out). Are they farmed fish? You can bet your bottom Euro that cheap animal protein isn't a great source of food. Buy from a local farmer/butcher that you know they have treated their animals well.

I started to take ginseng tablet a year ago for my Cystic Fibrosis as it has shown to break down a certain infection in my lungs. I looked into a liquid form from The Health Store in Dublin. The first ingredient in the liquid was High Fructose Corn Syrup. The second ingredient was Tapioca Starch. The third ingredient was finally ginseng.

What caught my eye was the Beet It juice. I know a lot of athletes who take this. Again, they want convenience of just pouring it from a bottle rather then preparing it themselves. You can get more benefit from preparing it yourself and adding in things like ginger and berries to add more flavour and more benefits. Anyway, i noticed that there is now a Beet It Sport. I wondered what was the difference. In both the Beet It and Beet It Sport the ingredients were 98% beetroot and 2% lemon juice. There was absolutely no difference in the ingredients nor the quantity of beetroot. While I was happy that there was nothing else added into it to make it taste more palatable, i was let down by the lack of difference in the two products.

The Beet It 70ml cost €2.59 whereas the Beet It Sport 75ml cost €3.19. You pay €0.60 more for nothing other then different packaging. I stand corrected on this but even when I looked online, there was no difference in ingredients.

So what do you do? How can you be sure that what you are taking is what you are supposed to be taking?

  1. Buy reputable brands. You can be sure that if it is cheap then it is probably going to contain cheap fillers.

  2. Improving your diet rather then your diet supplementing your your supplements.

  3. Go get a full blood test to see if you are laking in any mineral or vitamin. This will stop the guessing game and make you not buy a supplement because you read in a fitness magazine or on social media that it works wonders for a certain ailment.

  4. Don’t buy bottles juices. Make your own. It is cheaper and better for you as most of them have been heat treated, concentrated, and don't seem to go off for long after you have opened it.

#nutrition #supplements

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