What’s in your supplements? Ingredients to look for and avoid in the vitamins you’re taking – and why it matters.
Supplements and the FDA
How to Find Great Supplements
Supplement Ingredients to Avoid
Toxic Metals & PCBs
Believe it or not, some supplements can include potentially harmful metals, like lead and mercury, as well as PCBs, which are toxic man-made compounds that can cause illness in humans. This is particularly common in fish oil supplements, so it’s critical that you talk to your doctor about which Omega-3 fish oil supplement brands thoroughly test their products for toxic metals and PCBs.
Many supplement brands use artificial coloring in their products. These ingredients are especially pointless, because their purpose is purely aesthetic. There is no physical benefit whatsoever to consuming foods featuring artificial colors; in fact, artificial food coloring can lead to a variety of negative effects, including hyperactivity in children.
Talc, magnesium silicate, or asbestos
Unfortunately, you read that right. Talc and magnesium silicate can be included in certain supplement brands in order to prevent caking and to help supplements maintain their shape. The issue? Inhaling or otherwise consuming these compounds can lead to respiratory difficulty and lung illness. Magnesium silicate has also been known to become contaminated with asbestos during its mining process. If you are currently taking or considering supplements that contain these ingredients, talk to your physician about finding a better alternative.
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