Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's wrong with 'natural' suppplements?

I got a lot of reaction to today's post: Bad Synthetic Vitamins?

Some folks had a similar point of view, some weren't sure and few were upset.

The biggest issue for some of my readers: They are reps for companies that sell "natural" products. Isn't that the same as whole-food-based? So why the big fuss?

Err, natural is not the same as whole food based.

There is no FDA definition of 'natural'. So all kinds of products can be labeled 'natural' and still be useless or harmful for consumers. What's worse, the FDA will leave it undefined for the time being. This is a problem for everyone using the term to label their products:

"A lack of a uniform approach to the [natural] term has resulted in inconsistent product claims, consumer confusion, and even lawsuits against food companies accused of misleading consumers." See here.

The trouble with 'natural' is this, says Dr. Heidi: A company can start with a natural source, like a plant, then heat it so much that the enzymes die, or add chemicals or other artificial ingredients, and they can still call it natural. That's why the word has no meaning.


New (and weird) appetite suppressant

"Seems I want to eat constantly. Will Big B help curb my appetite?" So writes Lulu B today.

Dr. Heidi answered Lulu's Big B question, and then added a little appetite control secret some of you might like...
"...A good (and healthy) appetite suppressant is coconut oil. You can add it to your Big B drink/shake or just put 1 tsp - 1 Tb of coconut oil in hot water and drink it like tea. We call it coconut tea. It is one of the main snack drinks in the ER Fat Burn program." - Dr. Heidi
Try the coconut tea and let us know how it works for you. I also use coconut tea as lip balm for my chapped lips.
Don't like coconut oil? Here are three more weird but whole-food based appetite suppressants from Dr. Heidi's ER Fat Burn program. Test each one. Tell us what happens. They are weird. But effective.
Note: Big B is on back order until the first week of September.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bad Synthetic Vitamins?

Who else takes bad synthetic vitamins daily and doesn't know it?

Readers here know I'm an extreme health and fitness nut. So much that I became part owner of a little company that markets a whole food daily supplement - the Pops.
We are one of just two or three whole food daily vitamins on the market.
The hundreds of other daily vitamins are synthetic.

Dr. Heidi, the designer of the whole food vitamin I market, has laid out the case about the badness of synthetic vitamins in one of the most viral white papers on whole food vitamins online. A revealing chart which identifies synthetic from real food source vitamins included.
But since we sell a product, of course, her (and my) words are suspect. No matter that Dr. Heidi created it because she was aghast at the dangers of synthetic vitamins. She figured she'd design her own and have a good, safe whole food daily vitamin for herself and HER family. (Which has now grown quite big.)

Anyway, I reported some of the recent negative research results on daily vitamins and got much criticism from folks in the NM business who sell vitamins. (See comments there.)
My answer then and now: the studies dumping on vitamins refer to synthetic vitamins. What do you care if the findings are negative? What do you expect from synthetic vitamins? Use whole food source ones and you're fine!
Dr. Heidi's not the only one who has pointed out the long term dangers of synthetic vitamins - which comprise 95%+ of what's on all store shelves in the U.S. today.

Here's another voice speaking out the bad synthetic vitamins.

Very similar to Dr. Heidi's Are Your Vitamins Safe white paper. Some highlights from the new site:
"In one experiment, synthetic vitamin B (thiamine) was shown to render 100% of a group of pigs sterile!"

...Natural food-source vitamins are enzymatically alive. Man-made synthetic vitamins are dead chemicals."

"This is what occurs with all synthetic vitamins: the body treats them as toxins, leading to the "expensive urine" of excess vitamin intake referred to frequently, since the human system via the urinary tract attempts to rid itself of the major quantity of such foreign chemicals."
They even have a similar chart to Dr. Heidi's so you can tell which vitamins in your current bottle is synthetic or whole food based. More here.

Anyway, here's what I take. Now you know why and why I do my best to find people who take daily vitamins, only don't realize they're synthetic. We even let them test the Pops first. Why not, right?

There are a few other options, but since I use this one, this is what I market.

Why would anyone take synthetic vitamins if they knew they could be doing more harm than good?

UPDATE: Here's from Dr. Mercola making the same distinction between bad synthetic and whole food source vitamins (he makes you subscribe but you can unsub if ya want.) Thanks, Karen Floyd!
P.S. The issue is not "natural" versus synthetic. It's whole-food based versus synthetic. Natural sounds good, but here's the problem: they can take something from a natural source, like a plant or fruit, and do anything to it they want and still call it natural. For example, they can add artificial additives like food coloring, or heat it so the enzymes are dead, or toxify it. And still call it natural.

That's why 'natural' is meaningless.

A 'natural' product does NOT protect you. It's not for nothing we're a nation of sick, tired and overweight people. We trust the establishment too much and are too busy to get to the bottom of anything other than what's near and dear to us. And this happens to be near and dear to me.

Can we tax ourselves skinny?

Here's a way...
"Slap an 18 percent tax on soda, and people will drink less of it. Since increased soda consumption is, Brownell says, one of the main contributors to our rising obesity rate, cutting back should lead to nationwide weight loss. Brownell sees such taxes starting with the states and eventually taking hold at the federal level, much the way tobacco taxes evolved."

More here
How about candy next? What's on your "tax ourselves skinny" list?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Meat lovers: How to buy healthy beef

Tip from Dr. Heidi.

Meat lovers: Here's how to buy beef that won't make you fat, sick or tired.

From this day on, when you shop,
ALWAYS ask for - no - insist, on 100% grass-fed beef.
The regular industrial feedlot beef has much more fat than grass-fed. And the kind of fat in it is the BAD fat. (Way more Omega 6s than are healthy). Vs the good fat (Omega 3 and CLA).

Not because of the animals themselves. But because of what bad guys feed their animals and shoot them up with. (Feed - corn and soy, plus shoot them up with antibiotics - they get sick eating corn and soy instead of grass - and growth hormones. So they grow faster than they're supposed to.)

One 100% GF farmer describes it here - naked link. (We're buyers.)
Good fats help you lose weight, build muscle, and they're good for your heart, not bad, says Dr. Heidi.
If you are putting on the pounds and you love meat like I do, do not settle for any less than 100% grass-fed. Most health super markets (like Whole Foods) carry it. Even some of the traditional supermarkets are getting in on the act.

Just ask. No. Insist.
If you need any more reason to go for 100% grass-fed (you may get nightmares) read Michael Pollan's stunning and best selling opus on this very topic Omnivore's Dilemma.

P.S. Just in from the New York Times - another reason to demand 100% grass-fed: Illnesses Are Linked to Recalled Beef (industrial, of course.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"We sell a bunch of junk" Whole Foods CEO

Just when you thought there was a safe place to shop for health giving foods...
“We sell all kinds of candy,” CEO John Mackey told the WSJ. “We sell a bunch of junk.”

Healthy, bulk foods such as “grains, seeds, nuts and beans” now account for about 1% of sales, down from 15% to 20%, Mackey said.

Will they stop selling all the candy? MORE here.

Hidden industry influence on medical literature...

Do you want to know if a glowing medical review of a treatment - say to help you decide about hormone replacement - is written by someone paid by the pharmaceutical company who sells it?

I know I would...but ghostwriters paid by the industry are everywhere and there's no way to know who's on the drug company payroll and who's not...See here. (PDF here in case.)