Many people strive to eat a clean and healthy diet but still are deficient in many essential nutrients. This is due to the fact that many things (and food manufacturing practices) are beyond our control. These things include factory-farming which depletes the soil of its essential minerals and microorganisms and thereby depleting the nutritional content of healthy foods.

Therefore, many food companies add cheap forms of vitamins and nutrients in their foods which can actually harm your health. We’ve collected seven things on the labels of your foods and supplements you should avoid:

1. Cyanocobalamin

Vitamin B12 is essential for your metabolism. Many companies often claim that B12 boosts energy but this vitamin itself doesn’t give energy. In fact, vitamin B12 helps your body process fats, carbohydrates, and protein which are used for energy. Vitamin B12 also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system. The natural form of vitamin B12 is called cobalamin and is only contained in animal products.

There are two types of synthetic vitamin B12. The first type is called cyanocobalamin and the second type is methylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin contains a low dose of cyanide and is the most common form of B12 since it’s least expensive. The cyanide molecule contained in this form of vitamin B12 is insignificant but it’s still a toxin.

Unlike cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin is nontoxic. It’s also more beneficial for your brain, liver, and nervous system. If you find this form of vitamin B12 on a supplement label, this means that it is of high quality and non-toxic.

2. Artificial sweeteners

Anything artificial added to our foods, medicines, or supplements has no nutritional value. Even many supplements that never taste still contain artificial colors and sweeteners. Many specialists suggest that artificial colors and sweeteners can cause a lot of health problems such as nerve damage, lung problems, hypothyroidism, toxic liver, and cancer.

In fact, with long-term use, they may lead to Artificial Sweetener Disease (ASD), which is accompanied by chronic fatigue, migraine headaches, joint and muscle pain, gastrointestinal disorders, vision issues, dementia, brain cancer, and fibromyalgia. However, many manufacturers are now using natural colors and sweeteners derived from actual fruits and vegetables.

3. Vitamin D2

Vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol is a cheap form of vitamin D which is derived from plant sources. Many specialists think that D2 is not absorbed properly by the human body, and thus may lead to unknown and possibly harmful effects on health. While vitamin D2 is potentially dangerous, vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is derived from vitamin D which your body produces when gest exposed UV-light.

4. Unknown omega-3

Omegas from small fish contain essential omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA. Vegetarian forms of omega-3 supplements contain ALA which the body is able to convert into DHA and EPA. But it can only do so at a very low ratio. That’s why it’s important to get omegas from both sources.

Most supplements don’t provide any details about the kind of fish and what it contains. If your product doesn’t list the source of omega-3 fatty acids it’s most likely derived from tuna or other larger fish.

Unfortunately, all larger fish have some heavy metals contamination and farmed fish is also often full of other pollutants. Choose omega-3’s sourced from small fish. Using small fish oil decreases the risk of environmental toxins such as mercury and PCB’s which contained in larger fish like tuna or salmon.

5. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin contained in all colorful vegetables which you can easily get from your diet. Natural vitamin A is an important nutrient and is safe for consumption. But if you have ever smoked and no longer smoking or have been exposed to secondhand smoke, you need to avoid any supplements containing vitamin A. Synthetic vitamin A has been shown to demonstrate the increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers.

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