Harmful Vitamin Supplements
In Short :
Too much of almost any vitamin or mineral can be extremely harmful. When food contains large amounts of vitamins and minerals, the body prevents damage by decreasing the absorption rate. To promote supplements this decreased absorption is presented as a 'defect', that has to be compensated by consuming purchased supplements. Supplements however, can be extremely harmful because contents are highly concentrated, blocking selective uptake.
It is a fact that animals internally produce all vitamins that are not (sufficiently-) present in their natural food. Logically, vitamins that humans cannot (sufficiently-) produce, are abundantly present in natural foods for humans ; such as fruits and raw animal food. Fruits and raw animal food (like sashimi and raw egg yolk) combined contain all vitamins, minerals, trace elements, protein, sugars, fats and cholesterol that you need.
Of course supplement-manufacturers want you to believe that you need their supplements to obtain all required vitamins, but (to prevent damage) all you have to do, is eat lots of fruit and some sashimi every once in a while (or fresh raw egg yolk mixed with avocado for example, requiring an hour rest to digest by the way !).
Except for extremely-wrong-calcium-recommendations (see site4), you will even meet official (but false) nutrient recommendations by consuming 1½kg. of fruits (see 'perfect combinations' at this page), if the right fruits are combined.
See diet suggestions
In Detail :
About Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins are co-enzymes. Co-enzymes help enzymes to transform substances in your body. Most co-enzymes are composed by the body. Our food also contains co-enzymes. And because evolution is all about specializing and efficiency, the human body lost the capacity to produce the co-enzymes that human food abundantly contains. Those co-enzymes are called vitamins.
The total loss of production capacity does not include all vitamins. Vitamin A, -B2, -B3, -B5, -B8, -K2 and -D for example can more or less still be composed in the human body. Animals consuming little vitamin C can also compose vitamin C, but humans, apes and some rodents consuming fruits, logically cannot.
Minerals and trace elements;
No animal nor plant can compose minerals or trace elements, but every animal and plant has evolved consuming / absorbing the food / nutrients its environment offers. What the environment offers, always matches nutrient-requirements of the animals that live in that habitat. Our natural foods therefore always contain all the minerals and trace elements we need.
Official recommendations don't reflect human requirements ;
Every biologist knows that nutrient-requirements of any specie can be determined by examining nutrient-contents of its natural foods. But apparently, humans are bigger than nature ; official calcium recommendations for example are much higher than calcium-contents of our natural foods. And to meet these recommendations anyway, we need to consume milk, something we never did for over 99% of our existence. (see site4) 'Apparently' humans are not submitted to nature's laws, but to political choices only.
The basic assumption applied to justify these political choices is :
''Average mineral absorption rate is low, that is compensated by consuming more mineral-rich foods''.
However, consuming foods containing more minerals, decreases mineral absorption rate. And therefore, more minerals are recommended to compensate this lower absorption rate. But of course this further decreases mineral absorption rate.
Do you get it ?
'Logically', mineral recommendations (and for calcium in particular) have only increased for the last decades.
The official assumption is that the body by mistake absorbs too little minerals from mineral-rich food. But we know that there is a reason for absorbing fewer minerals from a mineral-rich diet : Mineral requirements are much lower, and too much of any mineral or trace element is harmful.
- Too much of metals like iron, copper, cobalt, manganese and zinc is pro-oxidative (1), damaging nutrients, arteries (2) messenger-substances, cell-DNA (3) and enzymes (4), increases hart attack risk, and can cause diabetes (5), colon cancer (6) Parkinson's disease (7) and infertility. (8) When weak or sick, the body for example decreases iron level, to protect itself against viruses that need iron to grow. Unfortunately, most physicians think this requires supplementary iron ; they often call it anemia. Why are especially those metals recommended more and more ? Do they want to cause new diseases, so they 'have to' develop new drugs ?
- Too much of one mineral decreases levels of other minerals / trace elements. (9)
- Supplementary selenium can enhance cancer. (10) Selenium-compounds can react upon glutathion (an antioxidant) originating aggressive peroxides and oxygen radicals. (11)
- Too much calcium causes osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. (see site4)
- Too much iodide and bromium is pro-oxidative too (12), and can increase thyroid activity. (13)
- Too much fluoride is toxic and increases hip-fracture risk. (14)
And too much of almost any vitamin can be extremely harmful too ;
- Too much vitamin A is cancerous. (15)
- Too much ß-carotene increases lung cancer risk in smokers. (16)
- Like vitamin K, vitamin C can be pro-oxidative and kill healthy cells. (17) Too much vitamin C decreases vitamin B12 level (18) and increases activation of mutagenic HCA from food. (19) Vitamin C can enhance tumors (20), and increases oxidative free iron level. (21)
- Too much vitamin D can cause arteriosclerosis and bone-deformation. (22)
- Excess vitamin E can cause bleeding in the brain (23) and impair immune system reactivity, which can cause cancer or arthritis. (24) Very often in skin cancer (and sometimes in breast cancer (25)), cells contain more vitamin E, unbalancing antioxidant status, increasing susceptibility to oxidative radicals. (26)
Unfortunately, official recommendations always are far too high. Consequently, a minimum 10,000 calories a day should be recommended to make sure everybody eats enough, but they must have realized not many people would buy that.
Why do 'they' recommend amounts of nutrients anyway ?
Because so many people consume unnatural foods, such as cow's milk, grains, vegetables and beans, all of which contain a variety of substances that inhibit nutrient absorption. And also because the preparation process destroys many vitamins. And lastly because almost everybody consumes far too much protein, requiring more vitamin B2, B6 and folic acid. (That's why vitamin B6 and folic acid deficiencies are most common)
So what should you do ?
Not swallow supplements, but decrease milk-, beans-, grains-, vegetables- and protein consumption, and start eating lots of fruits (there are about 6000 different fruits) and fresh raw salmon, alternated with -egg yolk, regularly. (Because of the vitamin B3, see site13, and cholesterol)
Absorption rate of vitamin B9 (folic acid) zinc, copper, iron, manganese and selenium from cow's milk is very low (27), due to the different 'chemical package'. Phytate and high quantities of fibers in grains and beans strongly inhibit absorption of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin B1, B2 and B3. (28) Phytate (and fibers) is not destroyed completely through the preparation process. (29) Flavonoids / phyto-estrogens in soy, rye and linseed easily bind to iodide, causing iodide deficiencies. (30) Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, radish, garden cress, barley and millet contain glycosinolates, which are transformed into thlocyanates, inhibiting absorption of iodide into the thyroid (like nitrate in vegetables), causing an iodide- and selenium 'deficiency'. (31) Beans contain much lignin, binding easily to cholesterol (32) and minerals. (33) Vegetables contain very much nitrate, and even nitrite.To inhibit origination of mutagenic N-nitroso compounds from nitrate (34) / nitrite in vegetables, more vitamin C and ß-carotene is required. (35) Nitrite in vegetables inhibits vitamin ß-carotene (36), -B1 and -B6 absorption. (37) Nitrate increases the need for vitamin C (38). Prepared food contains oxidized fats, requiring more vitamin E (39), and vitamin C, to revitalize vitamin E. (40) Logically, attempts to improve iron, vitamin C and ß-carotene absorption through consuming more vegetables, failed. (41)
I read that our dietary fat needs to contain at least 1 to 1.5% omega 3 fats, so don't we need to supplement for that?
This diet (by nature) supplies you with much higher amounts of omega 3 fats than that.
Please check out this list.
What are human vitamin / mineral requirements ?
Nobody can tell, now nor ever.
Simply because the need for vitamins and minerals depends on
- the consumed foods
- the processes in your body that depend on what you eat, do, breathe and experience
- how much sleep, stress and sun you get
- how happy you are
- hormonal contraceptive use
- how much you weigh
- etc., etc., etc.
Absorption rate of minerals and trace elements can easily vary from 5 to 80%, implicating a 16-fold different 'requirement'. Mineral and -trace elements contents can easily vary (even in the same foods !) 10 fold, and vitamin B12 for example even 12-fold. (42) So only considering differing food contents and absorption rates, equal recommendations already will lead to over 100-fold different actual total absorption. Therefore, it isn't even slightly possible to make a tiny bit correct estimate of the amounts you need.
But how can I know then ?
You can't, but your body always does. Your body will absorb the nutrients it needs, through varying absorption rate. The only thing you need to do is to offer your body the opportunity, by consuming sufficient natural foods every day. Consume as much fruits and a little sashimi or fresh 'biological' raw egg yolk (gently stirred through blended fruits for example) regularly ; ’brainfood’.
Consuming (a minimum) 1½ kg of well-combined brainfood a day, you will even meet official recommendations (except for exceptionally-wrong calcium recommendation)
For the best fruit-combinations, click here
Then you can submit your version of this diet to our nutrient calculator to check whether it does supply you with all required nutrients.
And if you think your diet is low in a certain nutrient, then you check this list , in which, per nutrient, the foods are listed that contain the most of each specific nutrient, so that you can start eating one of the foods listed to improve your diet.
For nutrients per food item, click here.
In comparison to other foods, combined fruits contain most vitamin C, ß-carotene and also supply you in abundance with all other vitamins (except D and B12) and minerals.
Of all other (natural + unnatural) foods, raw egg yolk unquestionably is ''the vitamin champ’’, containing highest vitamin- and mineral levels.
Brazil nuts are runners up.
Vitamin- and mineral contents of different proteinous foods are compared below. Contents have been indexed to the highest level ( = 100 ). Original contents have been taken from : Souci, S.W. et al, Food Composition and Nutrition Tabels ,Medpharm Scientific Publishers Stuttgart 1994.
Cheese calcium contents have been disregarded for being far too high. (see site4)
vit.B2 vit.B5 vit.B8 vit.B9 iron calcium
100 100 100 100 100 100 egg yolk
9 6 24 47 94 Brazil nut
43 27 14 2 14 9 salmon
40 18 9 14 29 tuna
90 12 8 1 14 9 mackerel
65 16 6 2 30 4 beef, muscles
58 19 9 2 15 2 pork, muscles
38 17 7 16 28 45 wheat whole meal bread
88 8 571 Edam cheese, 30%
vit.E vit.B1 selenium magnesium
75 29 18 10 egg yolk
100 100 100 100 Brazil nut
29 17 52 18 salmon
16 80 tuna
16 13 38 19 mackerel
6 23 5 beef, muscles
5 90 8 17 pork, muscles
11 86 8 58 wheat whole meal bread
5 21 37 Edam cheese, 30%
Zinc vit.B3 vit.B6 vit.B12
89 1 31 22 egg yolk
93 2 11 0 Brazil nutk
19 89 100 32 Salmon
100 47 47 tuna
89 64 100 mackerel
100 89 19 56 beef, muscles
47 59 23 5 pork, muscles
49 41 8 0 wheat whole meal bread
0 1 0 Edam cheese, 30%
Consuming lots of fruits with some fresh raw egg yolk alternated with sashimi regularly, supplies you in abundance with all required nutrients.
© 2000 Copyright Artists Cooperative Groove Union U.A.
Abstracts of most sources can be found at the National Library of Medicine
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