When vitamins are taken on an empty stomach, they are absorbed and transit (pass by) the absorption areas in the upper intestine within approximately one-half hour.
Taking the vitamins with a full meal slows down the transit time to about 4 hours, so the body has far more time to absorb all of the nutrients.
It is a common misconception that vitamins in supplements are not digested or absorbed as well as vitamins from food. With few exceptions, vitamins from supplements are absorbed about the same or better than from food. 1,2,3,4,5
The Increased Absorption Advantage of Vitamins in Tablets
Many people, especially the elderly, take supplements to gain the increased absorption advantage. Dozens of scientific studies have shown that getting the pure free form vitamin in tablets often increases absorption efficiency compared to food vitamins (which are chemically-bound in the food and require the body to free the vitamins before absorption can take place).
Examples: One study found that pure folic acid in a tablet absorbs about 40% better than folic acid from food 4, and another study found that absorption of the pure Vitamin B-6 in a tablet is about twice as much as from orange juice.5
Yes. Further, the individual molecules of vitamins and minerals are called free form. If the vitamins or minerals are in foods and are bound to the food, the body must separate the vitamin or mineral from whatever it is attached to in the food and strips it down to the “bare” molecule so that it can be absorbed. This vitamin or mineral molecule is now called the “free form”.
The absorption is mostly done by what is called “active transport”. This means the body makes and sends a special molecule to transport the free form vitamin or mineral molecule across the intestinal lining into the body itself. The body itself must make this molecule. It can’t come from outside the body in a food or supplement.
The body also uses what is called “passive transport”, which means that the individual vitamin or molecule crosses the intestinal lining (membrane) into the body by “flowing” in. (The vitamin can’t flow in if there is another molecule attached to it.) With the scientific data available today, it seems as if this method is used less than active transport.
The form of mineral carrier is generally not a major factor in mineral absorption. For example, regardless of advertising claims and commercially sponsored scientific studies, it’s been scientifically known for over 50 years that, except for calcium oxalate, all forms of calcium, including calcium carbonate and calcium citrate absorb about the same (with different studies finding different ranges, all about 1% to 8% apart) .6,7
Three far more important factors for “best” mineral absorption are:
Although calcium citrate is slightly more soluble than calcium carbonate on an empty stomach, solubility generally has little, if anything, to do with final absorption.9
And though calcium citrate also absorbs slightly better than calcium carbonate on an empty stomach, there is really no practical difference in absorption when they are taken in a multivitamin with food, regardless of the acid content of the stomach.11
Calcium carbonate is the better choice because it absorbs the same in a multivitamin as calcium citrate, but is twice as concentrated (requiring only half the number of pills), Also, calcium carbonate is not as expensive as calcium citrate, and therefore costs the consumer noticeably less.
Amino Acids are the building blocks of peptides (small chains of amino acids), which, in turn, are the building blocks of proteins.
Proteins are one of the three major types of food (fats, proteins and carbohydrates). Plant foods (like vegetables, grains and fruits) are mostly carbohydrates, and meats are mostly protein (the meat itself) and fat.
Food is the best source of protein because the body needs far more protein (from about 50 to 100 grams a day) than can be obtained from 1-gram pills.
The one major exception is neurotransmitter amino acids. These amino acids stimulate the nervous system to either activity or relaxation, and supplementing with these amino acids can sway the body’s balance of amino acids to increase nervous system action or relaxation.
The two neurotransmitter amino acids, phenylalanine and tyrosine, support energy and activity and are found in all SuperNutrition Blend formulas.
The neurotransmitter amino acid, tryptophan, supports relaxation, but FDA regulations prohibit its use in supplements.
The neurotransmitter, glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter, as well as being important in protein metabolism in the body.
All of the SuperNutrition Blend family of multivitamins (except the Prenatal Blend) contains phenylalanine and tyrosine specifically to nutritionally stimulate energy and activity.
Glutamic acid in the brain is an important neurotransmitter but supplementing glutamic acid does not help its role in the brain because glutamic acid itself cannot pass from the body into the brain (because it cannot pass through the blood brain barrier, which protects the brain by selectively filtering materials coming into the brain via the bloodstream). However, it’s chemical cousin, glutamine can pass the blood brain barrier, and upon entering the brain, converts back to glutamic acid, which then does its job in the brain. SuperNutrition includes l-glutamine in the Opti-Energy Pack and Think Clearly.
Because of the ban by the FDA, we do not use tryptophan in any of our multivitamins at this time.
Anti-aging vitamins are vitamins in potencies that have been shown to help the body reduce what is termed premature aging. No one can stop aging, but premature aging is aging that doesn’t have to happen “as early”. It’s comparable to ‘wearing out” before our time. By correcting body metabolism closer to optimal by using dose-effective potencies, some causes of premature aging can be slowed, even eliminated, and in some cases the effects of previous premature aging can be reversed.
Adequate potencies of vitamins and minerals help control the daily cellular stresses that cause us to age before our time. But there is a strong synergy for even more marked prevention and reversal of premature aging by combining these six factors:
Any multivitamins that supply orthomolecular dose-effective levels of nutrients help reduce stress from unnecessary premature aging. All Supernutrition multivitamins contain dose-effective anti-aging potencies of nutrients, increasing in potency from the basic dose-effective-level Simply One One-Per-Day multivitamins up through the higher potencies of the Blend Family of multivitamins and on up the higher anti-aging potencies of the Opti-Energy Pack, which contains over two times the anti-aging nutrients as the Blend Family. The Opti-Energy Pack is the first anti-aging orthomolecular potency multivitamin, first developed in 1977.
But remember, pills alone cannot do the trick. Your body needs to have relief from all the unnecessary stresses of not having enough nutrients. And this includes the other five items above, for your best immediate health and your long- term healthy survival.
Antioxidants are the body’s firefighters. Remember, the body burns food as fuel. The rate of that burning needs to be controlled for best health and survival, or the by-products of that burning (free radicals) will literally burn the body out, leaving us without immune systems and interfering with basic body chemistry. Antioxidants are molecules that, like firefighters, help control the rate of “burning” (oxidation) to keep the body healthy and from literally burning itself out. Antioxidants also “defuse” foreign molecules (like smog and pollution that are “hot” and interfere with normal healthy metabolism can harm the body).
The body makes most of its major antioxidants (like super-oxide-dismutase, catalase, and glutathione) but also obtains many from its diet (like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene and the thousands of plant antioxidants in a nutrient-rich diet).
Antioxidants and Modern Nutrition
Modern research indicates that as we age, our rate of accumulating damage from the burning/oxidation (free radical production) increases and this accumulated damage from this excess oxidation accelerates both aging and the diseases of aging. Eating foods rich in antioxidants and supplementing antioxidants have been shown to reduce the wear and tear of aging and enhance immune system function. 11,34
Thousands of antioxidants but FDA recognizes only three officially
There are only three antioxidants that are recognized as antioxidants by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These are Vitamin C, Vitamin E and beta-carotene. But science has identified thousands of natural antioxidants in foods and modern manufacturing techniques are making more and more of them available as supplements.
There are two. AntiOxidant Power contains 15 normal body antioxidants and 18 plant-derived antioxidants (phyto-antioxidants). The Super Immune Multivitamin contains all these plus a complete multivitamin-multimineral formula with its own antioxidants.
All the other SuperNutrition multivitamins contain high, dose-effective levels of the standard “basic” antioxidants (Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium).
That’s easy. Merely add the AntiOxidant Power to any of the SuperNutrition multivitamins and you’ll have a combination of a SuperNutrition multivitamin with the broadest-spectrum, highest-potency antioxidant formula available.
Thus when you add the two tablets of the AntiOxidant Power to the Opti-Energy Pack, it becomes a Super Opti-Energy Pack.
When you add the two tablets of the AntiOxidant Power to the Women’s Blend, it becomes a Super Women’s Blend.
When you add AntiOxidant Power to the Men’s Blend it becomes a Super Men’s Blend.
And when you add the two tablets of the AntiOxidant Power to the Menopause Multiple, it becomes a Super Menopause Multiple.
Note: Without further scientific proof of safety to the developing fetus, we do not recommend pregnant women supplement with separate additional doses of antioxidants.
For immediate useable energy, B-complex vitamin potency is the key. The Simply Ones, the Blend Family of multivitamins and the Opti-Energy Pack contain a high potency dose-effective B-complex for energy, immunity and long-term health. A more potent B-complex helps improve the body’s energy production.
The Opti-Energy Pack, which contains a much higher B-Complex is not only the most powerful anti-aging formula available but is also the best energy-generator for athletes and peak performers who are looking for immediate energy as well as long term health protection.
The food would not fit easily on a dinner table. This is because foods, even organic foods, have relatively low concentrations of vitamins and minerals compared to the concentrated vitamins and minerals in tablets.
The comparison is more apparent when you realize that vitamins in a supplement are over 200 times more concentrated than vitamins in foods, even organic foods.
How does this work? Easy. Here’s an example: Yeast is known as one of the richest food sources of vitamins. Yet a one-thousand milligram tablet of yeast will give you less than 5 mg of vitamins, while a one-thousand milligram tablet of vitamins will give you the entire full 1000 milligrams of vitamins.
The math is easy:
Also, it’s worthy noting that to get the 1000 mg RDA of calcium from broccoli, you would have to eat three pounds of broccoli.
Vitamins in Supplements Are Concentrated Vitamins.
So even with the richest foods, you’d have to eat more than fifty pounds of fruits and vegetables to deliver the same amount of vitamins and minerals in any of the SuperNutrition Blend multivitamins. This concentration of vitamins is beyond what can be delivered by food alone.
Getting that much pure concentrated nutrition in six tablets is indeed amazing. That’s why we’re called Super Nutrition.
Dose-Effective Orthomolecular Vitamins Are the Basis for SuperNutrition Formulas
All the Blend Family multivitamins are based on the orthomolecular multivitamin “optimal dosage” formula. This basic “optimal dosage” orthomolecular formula was developed over 50 years of clinical practice and research by medical doctors who discovered that, like everything else that goes into our bodies, dosage counts. The higher the dose, the better it works, whether it’s medicine, prescription drugs and even exercise
The Varying Nutritional Benefits From Vitamins are Dose-Dependent
Over the last 50 years, thousands of orthomolecular doctors sharing their information and research discovered the most effective dosages of the basic vitamins and minerals and then used them to restore immune function to their patients.
Note from Patrick Mooney of SuperNutrition: According to surveys I took personally with patients, nurses and the doctors themselves, and comparing with national statistics, the “cure and satisfaction” rate of doctors using orthomolecular nutrients was about twice as high as with regular medicine or herbs.
They found that these dosages not only enhance the immune system, but they also overcome “blockages” in the biochemical pathways of our body chemistry that interfere with full functioning, clear thinking and continuous health.
Our Multivitamins Contain Orthomolecular Potencies To Support the Immune System And To Help the Body Overcome Blocked Biochemical Pathways
Orthomolecular doctors and other scientific researchers discovered that all of us share thousands of partial and full blockages in the biochemical pathways of our bodies that interfere with us reaching our full potential and highest health and energy levels. These blockages open the door to many diseases and functional problems that deplete our general health. Many of them can be at least partially unblocked (opened) with simple vitamins and minerals.
This led the orthomolecular pioneers to recommend that everyone supplement with these new orthomolecular potencies, not at the therapeutic doses, but instead, in lower but still very effective nutritional dosages.
These orthomolecular nutritional dosages are far higher and far more effective than the RDAs. The RDA’s, established in 1941, were the U.S. Government’s first attempts to prevent the major known nutritional deficiency diseases of the time by using dose-effective levels of vitamins and minerals:
And it worked! National health improved. But science knows a lot more today and the new orthomolecular dose-effective levels are balanced not for just minimum acceptable health but for full thriving health.
There was little scientific information in 1941 about the increased doses needed to eliminate other nutritional deficiency diseases, but today, there are over 20,000 scientific studies registered in the National Library of Medicine showing the effectiveness of more potent vitamin and mineral dosages. Orthomolecular medical and nutrition societies have formed in 14 other countries, and as many as 100,000 doctors now practice nutritional medicine worldwide. Dose-effectiveness of vitamins has become a powerful tool to restore health by rebalancing body chemistry.
Optimal orthomolecular nutritional dosages are used today by life-extension aficionados, peak performance business people, peak performance athletes, people under exceptional stress, housewives, people who want more personal power, and people wanting to slow down their own premature aging process.
First, see the Nutrient Chart in the training manual for the levels of the major vitamins and minerals.
This is the basic orthomolecular optimal-potency-range multivitamin combined with 2000 mg of nutritional herbs and greenfoods.
These nutritional herbs and greenfoods are selected and balanced to compliment and support the orthomolecular vitamin-mineral balance with phytonutrients (plant nutrients).
This is an enriched version of the basic orthomolecular optimal-potency range multivitamin. It contains additional nutrients balanced to support a woman’s metabolism (including more of the B-complex vitamins, additional calcium, magnesium and Vitamin B-6, plus Vitex).
This enriched women’s multivitamin formula is combined with 1450 mg of nutritional herbs and greenfoods especially balanced for women’s metabolism.
The Women’s Blend also has an 11-flower-petal blend to compliment and enhance a women’s inner spirit.
HOW TO MAKE A SUPER WOMEN'S BLEND MULTIVITAMIN
When the daily dose of 6 tablets of the Women’s Blend is combined with two tablets of AntiOxidant Power, it effectively becomes a Super Women’s Blend.
This is the basic orthomolecular optimal-potency range multivitamin. It is enriched with 2000 mg of nutritional herbs and greenfoods, and a 1440 mg phytonutrients-rich herbal blend especially balanced for men.
HOW TO MAKE A SUPER MEN'S BLEND MULTIVITAIMIN
When the daily dose of 6 tablets of the Men’s Blend is combined with two tablets of AntiOxidant Power, it becomes a Super Men’s Blend.
The Menopause Multiple is an enriched version of the basic orthomolecular optimal-potency range multivitamins. It is designed especially for the increased and different nutritional needs of women before, during and after menopause. It is enriched with up to 10-50% higher potencies of selected nutrients to account for women’s increased and different nutritional needs during and after menopause. (Especially additional calcium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Vitex)
It is combined with 1000 mg of nutritional herbs, greenfoods and 1492 mg of herbs balanced to support a menopausal and postmenopausal woman’s special nutritional needs and the associated menopausal-postmenopausal symptoms.
HOW TO MAKE A SUPER MENOPAUSE MULTIPLE MULTIVITAMIN
When the daily dose of 8 tablets of Menopause Multiple is combined with two tablets of the AntiOxidant Blend, it becomes a Super Menopause Multiple.
This is the basic orthomolecular optimal-potency range multivitamin enriched with up extra calcium and magnesium for better baby’s bones.
The PreNatal multivitamin formula is combined with 1000 mg of papaya fruit, red raspberry leaf and greenfoods.
Nutritional herbs are healthy and health supporting, but there are many things about herbs than modern science does not know and that can affect early pregnancy. Therefore, we do not recommend any herbs or additions to the basic orthomolecular multivitamin formula other than papaya, red
raspberry leaf, alfalfa, spirulina or chlorella during pregnancy, especially during the very delicate first trimester.
NO EXTRA ANTIOXIDANTS DURING PREGNANCY
We do not recommend the same high-antioxidant supplement program (AntiOxidant Power) for pregnant women as for other people, especially during the first trimester. There are adequate antioxidants in the Prenatal Blend to support a healthy pregnancy and a full term, healthy baby.
This is an enriched version of the basic orthomolecular optimal-potency range multivitamins found in the Perfect Family.
It is enriched with not only with 10%-100% selected higher potencies but also enriched with all the 33 antioxidants found in the AntiOxidant Power formula.
It is combined with 2250 mg of nutritional herbs and greenfoods designed to compliment and support the orthomolecular vitamin-mineral balance with phytonutrients (plant nutrients).
THE SUPER IMMUNE MULTIVITAMIN IS MADE BY COMBINING THE PERFECT FAMILY AND THE ANITOXIDANT POWER
The Super Immune Multivitamin is the result of selectively raising some of the vitamin and mineral potencies to the upper end of the optimal range and enriching the result with the entire AntiOxidant Power formula.
This is the same basic orthomolecular multivitamin formula found in Perfect Family but scaled down for kids between ages 4 and 12.
It also contains 480 mg of nutritional herbs and greenfoods designed to compliment and support the orthomolecular vitamin-mineral balance with phytonutrients (plant nutrients).
Are the Perfect Kids multivitamins chewable?
These are not chewable vitamins for kids. Chewables simply don’t provide your child with as much balanced nutrition as non-chewables. Vitamins and minerals generally taste pretty bad, so chewables need lots of flavored sugar (often comprising an astounding 90% of the tablet) to mask the taste of the vitamins. Unfortunately, even loads of sugar can’t mask the bad taste of minerals, so chewables have very low amounts of minerals.
We believe that if children live in the same smog-ridden, polluted, fast-paced, high-stress nutrient-deficient world as we adults do, they deserve the same broad health protection offered by orthomolecular multivitamins that adults get.
Bioavailability is the amount of a nutrient that is available for the body’s use after it is absorbed. Generally, bioavailability is equal to the absorption, but not always.
So, for best bioavailability of vitamins, it is best to get as many vitamins and minerals in the body as the body can use for optimal metabolism. Three main approaches are:
Take them with food (which increases absorption up to 30% over absorption on an empty stomach).
If taken alone, the nutrients may pass through the small intestine too quickly to be well absorbed. The presence of a significant amount of food slows their passage through the system extending the time of exposure of the nutrients to the intestinal wall for maximum absorption.
The amounts and proportions of the (naturally-found) calcium carbonate and the (manufactured) calcium citrate vary throughout our formulations. However, the greatest preponderance of the calcium is in the form of carbonate. This is because carbonate is the form of calcium that (1) is twice as concentrated as citrate, requiring only half the tablets, (2) costs the consumer much less than calcium citrate and (3) delivers the most calcium absorbed into the body for the money, especially in a multi-vitamin/mineral formulation.
All Calcium Forms Do NOT Absorb Equally
It is worth noting that different calcium absorption studies have shown calcium citrate is more soluble than calcium carbonate but it should be mentioned that solubility does not actually influence absorption. 9,52
One study favoring calcium citrate has indeed shown that calcium citrate as a liquid, taken on an empty stomach absorbs better in people who don’t make adequate amounts of stomach acid, than calcium carbonate in a softgel capsule. But more recent research disclosed that when taken during or after meals, there is no appreciable difference in absorption, regardless of age, amount of stomach acidity or form of calcium. 8,53
The major advantages for calcium carbonate is that it is twice as concentrated as calcium citrate and costs far less. This means that if you supplement 1000 mg of calcium citrate, it takes 5 tablets but it takes only 2 ½ tablets if you supplement 1000 mg of calcium carbonate and it costs you less.
Vitamin C has been shown to improve bone density.38 In fact, although a few early studies have found no effect on bone from antioxidants, more recent studies have found that antioxidants (including Vitamin C) appear to promote bone health. 39,40,41
As mentioned above, antioxidants have been shown to promote bone health and Vitamin E is one of the major antioxidants of the body. It may contribute to bone health and simultaneously supports the immune system.
The most common kidney stones (calcium oxalate) are made of calcium and oxalate.
Several scientific studies have reported that it is not excess calcium that causes the stones but instead, it is excess oxalate. There is always enough calcium throughout the body and in the kidneys to form stones, but there is usually only a little available oxalate, so kidney stones don’t form. But when there is an excess of available oxalate in the kidneys, it can bind to some calcium to become calcium oxalate and form stones. 42 So who’s right?
To answer the question definitively, Harvard researchers examined the history of 96,245 women aged 27 to 44 years of age, over eight years and found that a higher calcium intake was actually associated with a reduced risk of kidney stones. 12 (See “Kidney Stones”)
We use a chromium complex that includes two well-known forms of chromium: polynicotinate and picolinate.
Colloidal minerals are supplemental minerals suspended in a ”slurry.” Since the process of life in our bodies involves colloids, a popular belief contends that the body recognizes colloidal minerals as colloids and welcomes them into the body, absorbing them better.
Unfortunately for this belief, there’s no scientific proof. There are no scientific studies or statistics that we could find that have been published in major medical or scientific journals that prove or even suggest that colloidal minerals pass through the intestinal membrane better than other mineral forms, or that they are better absorbed, or even as well as absorbed.
There are many people who use and praise colloidal minerals, including friends and personal acquaintances, and perhaps colloidal minerals do as they say, but we can’t put them in SuperNutrition multivitamins. We use only nutrients and nutrient forms that have solid science supporting their use.
The other consideration is that the much greater cost of colloidal minerals would raise the price of the multivitamins. Altogether the additional cost and lack of scientific proof makes colloidal minerals not a “best” buy for our customer.
The FDA requires that type size on labels be large enough to be readable. We use so many nutrients that we need a larger bottle just to list all the nutrients. Sometimes our smallest possible readable label is too big for the smaller bottles so we use the smallest bottle that will allow for the readable label. The cotton is put in to keep the tablets from breaking in transit.
Rich levels of magnesium (700 mg) can cause loose stools in about one out of a thousand people. (Magnesium acts as a laxative; remember Milk of Magnesia.) Taking one less gray tablet will generally eliminate the diarrhea. This will cut the total Opti-Energy Pack minerals by about one-third, still very close to the total anti-aging potencies in the Opti-Energy Pack.
Yes, all SuperNutrition multivitamins are tested for adherence to USP standards of disintegration according to specific directions given by the USP (The United States Pharmacopoeia). This test is done in an acid solution similar to stomach acid during digestion (which is far more acidic than vinegar) and done on a vibrating plate to simulate normal stomach movement during digestion.43
DMAE is short for di-methyl-amino-ethanol. DMAE is a molecule found abundantly throughout the human body. Although it has actions of its own, including protecting cell membranes as an antioxidant, it can be readily turned into acetylcholine in the brain. This is valuable since acetylcholine is one of the major neurotransmitters and is responsible for major nerve transmissions.
Modern nutritional science had discovered that different levels of vitamins and minerals have different levels of nutritional effectiveness and that effectiveness increases as dosage approaches and reaches optimal potencies. After that, additional benefits don’t appear as quickly as they did with the optimal doses, but the additional dosages still cost more money.
Dose-effective levels are potencies that give the most nutritional benefits for the least money. These are called optimal potencies.
See "Mineral Electrolytes"
The Opti-Energy Pack is best because of the higher potencies of B-complex vitamins.
Energy Caps are the best for quick energy production by the body. Increased energy can be felt in about 20 to 30 minutes on an empty stomach.
Both support natural energy production, but the Energy Caps contain a powdered Vitamin B complex in a fast-dissolving vegetarian capsule. Generally, in about 20 to 30 minutes on an empty stomach, the increased energy production becomes noticeable and lasts from three to four hours.
Greenergy, with the lower potency Vitamin B-complex in a base of herbs and superfoods in a tablet provides a slower increase in energy production.
The Opti-Energy Pack, at 6 tablets a day, with the B-complex in the 100-plus milligram range is our best formula for energy and high stress/high activity lifestyles.
The Super Immune Multivitamin, with the B-Complex in the 60-plus milligram range, but with all the 33 antioxidants from the antioxidant Power, is at 8 tablets a day, by far the richest antioxidant package ever offered in a multivitamin. But it requires the B-Complex from two Energy Caps to raise the B-Complex enough to match the Opti-Energy Pack.
The costs are about the same but vitamins are more nutritionally potent than the herbs.
Our suggestion: For optimal vitamin, mineral and antioxidant protection, take the most powerful combination with the fewest tablets, the AntiOxidant Power with the Opti-Energy Pack (8 tablets)
These herbs do have valuable uses in herbal medicine, but they are adrenal stimulants. Although people feel energy when they take them, herbs used this way actually deplete the adrenals by stimulating them to rapidly increase adrenaline production. The overall effect drains the overall energy in the body by using a lot of energy in a short time without replacing the nutrients used up during the energy spurt. This is a net energy loss.
We prefer to replace those nutrients best known to be depleted by stress and let the body do its own job of producing energy at its own pace (which, with Energy Caps is about 20-30 minutes on an empty stomach).
These are two of the most abundant naturally occurring anti-oxidants in the body.
Both S.O.D. and catalase, like all enzymes, are very “fragile” and have a very low survival rate in supplements. We use S.O.D. and catalase in Opti-Energy Packs to broaden the antioxidant spectrum but expect a survival rate of less than 1% (a smaller but still significant amount).
Note: Calcium generally absorbs at a rate between 30% and 40%, but iron generally absorbs at a rate of about 3%. This is a smaller but still significant amount.
Research has shown that 1000 micrograms of folic acid taken before the very earliest part of pregnancy can reduce birth defects up to 50%.13
It’s important to remember that the folic acid supplementation, to be effective in preventing neural tube defects, must begin before pregnancy. So it is most prudent to be taking additional folic acid before pregnancy begins.
Note: To help our customers always be protected from neural-tube dangers in an unexpected pregnancy, all SuperNutrition multivitamins (not jut the Prenatal Blend) contain a full 1000 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid.
No. Food-based vitamin tablets, which have a high plant fiber profile, digest rapidly because they break down easily in the digestive tract. The high fiber content creates a "wicking" effect, expands the tablets and speeds tablet disintegration. But they do not influence the rate or amount of absorption into the body.
The reason is simple. It’s our corporate mission to deliver to our customer the highest efficiency science-based nutrients at the lowest possible price. While there are about 50 short informal laboratory studies asserting increased absorption from “food grown type” vitamins, only a few of these have been published in magazines or used in marketing and none have been published in an accredited scientific journal. These studies were done by the same researcher and paid for by a company selling “food-grown type” vitamins. These studies have never been confirmed by any other researcher.
Further, there are no independent published scientific studies (in the in the 12 million registered scientific studies in the National Library of Medicine) showing any better absorption or bioavailability of “food-grown types” of vitamins.
“Food-grown type” vitamins are less concentrated than concentrated USP vitamins and are more expensive to the consumer, therefore we supply USP vitamins as more scientifically-based and proven and less expensive.
Free radicals are dangerous "hot" (unstable) molecules, each with an electric charge, that are produced by many chemical events, such as by oxidation reactions in the body, the digestion of foods, intensive exercise or by exposure to pollutants (such as smog and cigarette smoke). They are commonplace and, unless held in check or reduced, are a major cause of damage to the body’s cells that results in premature cellular aging.
These unstable molecules wreak havoc throughout the body, example: some types of free radicals bounce against cell walls randomly, sometimes breaking into the middle of the protective membrane around the cell. It’s like a burning torch in an unprotected wood house. Free radicals inflict damage everywhere they go and can eventually destroy the cell.
Antioxidants, especially Vitamin E, are our natural protection against this damage. They “quench” this “burning torch.”
Free radicals are a regular part of normal metabolism but in times of stress, they can increase dramatically and overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defenses. Supplemented antioxidants can help replenish the supply of body antioxidants and thus support the immune function of the body.
“Concentrate” refers to a concentrated herbal extract of the whole ginkgo leaf. (Usually 4:1 or 8:1 ratios in the extract.)
“Extract” usually refers to an extract of ginkgo that contains 24% glycosides and 6% terpenes. Glycosides and terpenes are part of the antioxidant family of ginkgo.
Although there are some studies with animals that show a degree of synergy between glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, there are no independent published scientific studies with humans that support that claim.
Both are amino acids. Glutamic acid is the major excitatory brain neurotransmitter, but it can’t pass the blood-brain barrier (filter) and so can’t get into the brain.
Glutamine, a chemical “cousin” of glutamic acid, is not a neurotransmitter but it can pass through the filter of the blood-brain barrier, reach the brain and then be converted into glutamic acid which then does its neurotransmitter job in the brain.
Greenfoods in supplements refer to nutrition-rich plants that are commonly used as foods. Alfalfa, spirulina and chlorella are the three most commonly used greenfoods in our supplements.
Technically an herb is a seed-producing annual, biennial, or perennial plant that does not develop persistent woody tissue and dies down at the end of a growing season. As we use the word in the natural foods industry, an herb is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, nutritional, savory, or aromatic qualities.
Herbs aren’t only medicinal. Colors and dyes have been made from herbs. Many herbs are used for foods, like spices. While spices add tastiness and aroma to other foods, they also have nutritional values of their own. Many herbs have nutritional value of themselves, while many have both medicinal and nutritional qualities.
For an unprocessed, natural form of herb to act medicinally, it generally must be taken in quantities of 1 to 2 grams (=1000 to 2000 mg). At lower levels, it may just contribute nutritionally.
None of the herbs in SuperNutrition Blends are in medicinal potencies. All are at moderate nutritional levels, so the cumulative effect of our herbal blends is a combination of low, gentle amounts of herbs that are high in nutrients. These are balanced to support the nutritional profile of the multivitamins.
No. No claims. We can call them “nutritional herbs and greenfoods” because that’s what they are. The herbs are at nutritional not medicinal levels. They are in the multivitamins to compliment the nutritional profile of the orthomolecular vitamin formula, and are rebalanced for each Blend Family multivitamin formula.
You can make the following statement about the herbs in each of our multivitamins. Please note that the Greenfood and Nutritional Herb Blends are designed to work in synergy and there are no “stars”. There are synergistic “star” herbs in the Men’s Blend, the Women’s Blend and the Super Immune Multivitamin, and the amounts are on the ingredients panels.
The nutritional herbs and nutrient-rich greenfoods in these are not medicinal. They are selected to support the orthomolecular multivitamin balance and to nutritionally help keep a woman’s body chemistry closer in balance.
The nutritional herbs and nutrient-rich greenfoods in these are not medicinal. They are selected to support the orthomolecular multivitamin balance and to nutritionally help support a man’s body chemistry.
The nutritional herbs and nutrient-rich greenfoods in these are not medicinal. They are selected to support the orthomolecular multivitamin balance and to help keep overall body chemistry closer in balance.
The nutrient-rich greenfoods and the herb red raspberry leaf in these are not medicinal. They are selected to support the orthomolecular multivitamin balance and to help keep body chemistry closer in balance.
NOTE: PreNatal Blend Has Only One Herb – Red Raspberry Leaf
In the interest of total safety for the developing fetus, we examined safety data from both the scientific literature and from the field of Traditional Herbal Wisdom. We did not include any herb where there was scientific evidence of danger or concern that it might cause problems during pregnancy.
Then we evaluated safety concerns from Traditional Herbal Wisdom, not only by evaluating the herbal literature but also interviewing herbalists and midwives. We eliminated all herbs from our potential herb list where folklore or tradition indicated there might have ever been a problem during pregnancy. When we were all done, we were left with red raspberry leaf and the greenfoods as the only ones with no questions of their safety.
These nutritional herbs and nutrient-rich greenfoods are not medicinal. They are selected to support the orthomolecular multivitamin balance and to help keep body chemistry closer in balance. They include 33 antioxidants, of which 15 are from plants (phyto-antioxidants).
The nutritional herbs and nutrient-rich greenfoods in the Perfect Kids are identical to those in Perfect Family, but are in much lower kid’s potencies. As with the Perfect Family, they are selected to support the orthomolecular multivitamin balance and to help keep body chemistry closer in balance.
Menopausal & Postmenopausal Herbs
The nutritional herbs and nutrient-rich greenfoods in the Menopause Multiple also are not medicinal. They are selected to support the orthomolecular multivitamin balance and to help keep body chemistry closer in balance for peri- menopausal, menopausal and post menopausal women.
Yes. Our formulas supply only small nutritional amounts of each of the specific non-medicinal nutritional herbs that support the nutritional profile of the multivitamins and can be taken long-term. This is quite different than therapeutic levels of herbs used for medical reasons.
We have no such information, but in cases like this, we always recommend the prescribing doctor should be consulted to make that evaluation.
We can’t answer that question. It is a medical question. Our strong suggestion is to discuss the formula with your physician.
Vitamin E is one of the natural alternatives for reducing hot flashes in menopausal and postmenopausal women but scientific evidence is not strong for its effectiveness. One of the major studies on Vitamin E and hot flashes found that Vitamin E reduced hot flashes by only one per day.14
Black Cohosh Has A Better Scientific Basis for Reducing Hot Flashes Than Vitamin E
Black cohosh has a much better scientific basis. One early study was reported to state that 70% of women responded to black cohosh with either fewer hot flashes or hot flashes of lower intensity.15 This high response study result has not been demonstrated in other studies.
Even including people who take SuperNutrition multivitamins on an empty stomach, there are relatively few reports of indigestion possibly from our multivitamins. Nonetheless there are people who are sensitive to herbs, yet want the keep taking SuperNutrition orthomolecular vitamins.
The simple solution is the Opti-Energy Pack (which has no herbs or greenfoods blends). The increased energy from the Opti-Energy Pack will make the change immediately rewarding.
Some people may wish to change to the PreNatal with its papaya or to one of the four Simply One formulas, which have only 25-50 milligrams of herbs.
There are many forms of iron, such as heme (blood iron from animals), as well as natural but inorganic sources, such as iron fumarate, iron sulfate, iron carbonyl, iron bis-glycinate etc.) We use iron carbonyl because it absorbs much more slowly than other forms of iron and thus has less potential to toxicity in the case of accidental ingestion by small children and toddlers. Iron carbonyl is apparently the safest of all forms.
The scientific world is split on the possibility of iron overdose from supplements. One side says there is a risk of heart disease. The other side says the risk is zero since there has never been a report of a death from heart disease because of iron overload.
There is a similar question about iron as a possible (direct or indirect) cause of cancer. Some research indicated there is a connection. Other research says there is not. Who’s right? We can’t answer that question. So we offer both versions as alternatives and if a customer has a question, we recommend they discuss it with their health care professional.
The Iron Alternative
We offer versions of our multivitamins with iron so those who wish iron in their multivitamins.
The No-Iron Alternative
We also offer no-iron versions of our multivitamins for those who wish a full-potency orthomolecular formula without iron.
The reason it is generally believed that men and postmenopausal women should avoid iron in supplements came from a study that indicated that people who smoked for more than 20 years and who had high body iron stores are more likely to have heart problems.44
This study caused concern throughout the scientific society, and although the vast body of science about iron body stores and cardiovascular risk showed no association, there had been such questions for decades. So after the study above was publicized, a number of studies examining that conclusion were done. Some found an association and others found no association between high body stores of iron and risk of cardiovascular problems, but there has been no definitive answer. Nonetheless, the publicity had built fear into the hearts of consumers.
So what does this mean to regular multivitamin users? What does the U.S. Government say?
U.S. Government doesn’t recommend avoiding iron supplementation
The United States Institute of Medicine doesn’t agree that men or postmenopausal women should avoid iron. In 2001, the IOM officially stated that both men and women could get 40 mg of iron a day without risk of problems.16
Not in SuperNutrition formulas. The iron is time-released to keep it separate in the tablet from the other nutrients. The iron is subsequently released ½ hour after tablet disintegration when the calcium has already been released.
Yes, for normal people with no problems in their iron metabolism, the amounts and the slow-absorbing form (carbonyl) of iron are extremely safe.
But we also have iron-free versions of our formulas for those who do not wish to take supplemental iron.
A Wide Range of Safety for Iron Supplements
There is a wide range of safety of dosages for iron. Only about 3% to 4% of iron from supplements is generally absorbed.
The difference in 40 mg of iron absorbed and 18 mg absorbed is less than 1mg. (40 mg–18 mg= 22 mg x .04=0.88 mg)
Further, the body has a mechanism that only lets in as much iron as the body needs. And it works all the time….unless it’s overloaded (as in the case of children eating a whole bottle of sugar-coated tablets) or there’s a serious metabolic problem.
Further, we use iron carbonyl, which absorbs much more slowly than any other form of iron and thus protects the body from even accidental iron overload.
Since Vitamin C can convert into oxalate, many researchers and doctors have posed this same question for years.
But in 1999, a study of 85,557 women by Harvard researchers showed that women who took 1500 mg or more of Vitamin C for 14 years were less likely to develop kidney stones than women who took less than 250 mg of Vitamin C a day.17
The most common types of kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate. Contrary to popular belief, oxalate is the determining factor in forming kidney stones, not calcium.18 In several studies, calcium was given to subjects with no increase in calcium oxalate stones.19
In one study, 40 mg of Vitamin B-6 daily reduced kidney stones 34% more than taking 3 mg per day.17
Of course it depends on the potency. At nutritional levels (much lower than therapeutic medical treatment levels), there is no indication or evidence of any liver problems.
Niacin is the more active form of Vitamin B-3. At the much higher therapeutic medical treatment levels (much higher than nutritional levels), niacin supplementation has been known to result in “false positive” abnormal liver test reports which means on discontinuing the niacin, the liver test reports immediately returned to normal. However, there is no evidence of any abnormal liver test reports at nutritional levels.
Niacinamide, a less active form of Vitamin B-3, has been shown to cause liver problems at therapeutic potencies, but not at nutritional levels.
There are 13 minerals that our bodies need to carry out the chemical reactions necessary for life. These are called essential minerals. They are:
Except for sodium and phosphorus, all 11 other minerals are found in a “complete” mineral supplement. This is because both sodium and phosphorus are plentiful in American diets and there is no need to supplement for best health.
They tend to interfere with each other’s absorption when taken in equal amounts. But calcium is usually taken in much larger amounts than iron and therefore the influence of calcium is much greater than that of iron. -But to add protection, in SuperNutrition formulas, the iron is time-released to keep it separate in the tablet from the other nutrients. The iron is then released ½ hour after tablet disintegration.
It’s important to note that all minerals and mineral groups do interact and some compete for absorption while some enhance absorption of other minerals. Absorption would be far more efficient if each mineral were taken separately a few hours apart. But in our busy lives, we have to compromise and mix our minerals together and take them all at once.
The balance in orthomolecular multimineral formulas takes into account those interactions and reflects a balance to get the most efficient mix of all the minerals. These balances are based on the reports of thousands of orthomolecular doctors over 50 years of clinical practice, and today, almost all multivitamin formulas follow the general balance established by orthomolecular doctors.
There are few formal scientific studies on multiple mineral interactions in the absorption process, so the clinical research of orthomolecular doctors is the best current information on mineral balance for multivitamins.
Electrolytes are molecules that have an “unused” charge on their surface. Mineral electrolytes are minerals that have at least one extra “unused” charge.
When mineral electrolytes are combined with an acid, they form a mineral salt.
Minerals in supplements are neutral because they are in the form of a salt (which is neutral – no charge).
In the body, minerals change from the salt form back to their electrolyte form.
The cell-wall mineral electrolytes, sodium and potassium control the gates to the cell’s interior
Sodium and potassium electrolytes are the major transport chemicals for nutrients entering the cells.
During times of stress (physical, mental or from germs) the normal sodium-potassium electrolyte balance may become disturbed and out of balance. Then nutrients and oxygen may not pass into the cell as easily.
SuperNutrition’s Super-C contains sodium and potassium in the balance found at healthy cell walls. We included them to help restore cell wall balance for better transportation of nutrients and oxygen into the cells during the many minor stresses of the day.
We wish it did. A paper presented at a scientific meeting a few years ago, reported that the researchers had discovered that 2250 mg of MSM reduced the pain of arthritis by 82%, and that a formal published scientific study would be forthcoming. Such a study has never been formally published.
So nobody really knows, but MSM is a solid “good-guy” nutrient. It contributes sulfur and methyl groups, both of which support healthy body metabolism. And it has no known side effects. So we include 2250 mg of MSM in our Glucosamine-MSM formula.
Niacin is Vitamin B-3. When taken in amounts generally about 25 mg or over (depending on the person taking it), it acts as a blood vessel dilator, opening blood vessels wider and increasing not only circulation, but also the delivery of nutrients to the cells and the removal of waste products from the cells. The increase in circulation can cause a niacin flush.
The niacin flush involves a slight reddening and warming of the skin, often accompanied by itching. It passes within 30 to 180 minutes and is followed by a slight passing chill as the blood vessels return to normal size.
In rare cases, the niacin flush can result in a skin rash, which can last for minutes up to days.
The niacin flush can be diminished, often avoided entirely, if the daily dose of niacin is large enough and is split between breakfast and dinner.
Both niacin and niacinamide are forms of Vitamin B-3 but niacin is by far the more active form.
Niacin favorably rebalances the whole array of cardio-protective fats and heart-health markers (cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, VLDL, apolipoprotein a and apolipoprotein b).
It reduces blood platelet stickiness (which is a cause of blood clots), improves memory and mental clarity and increases blood flow of oxygen and nutrients to the cells, and in therapeutic amounts has been shown to extend human lifespan 11%. 45
Neither niacinamide nor any other nutrient or drug has these qualities.
See “Dose-Effectiveness” and “Potencies”.
Will we ever go all organic, all the herbs, I mean?
Powdered organic herbs (for inclusion in tablets) oxidize easily and rapidly and lose their fresh potency and effectiveness. So many organic herbs are offered only once a year…when they are fresh. It will be many years, if ever, before all the herbs we include in our multivitamins become available as organic on a year-round basis. In the meantime, we will continue to add selected organic herbs that are available fresh all year.
No. The term “organic” is applied only to foods grown under certain conditions which tend to protect the food from artificial fertilizers, pollutants and contaminants.
There could be vitamins from organic foods in tablets, but there aren’t because vitamin density in foods is much lower than the concentrated vitamins in supplement. The highest amount of vitamins you can get from a tablet of pure natural food is only a total of less than 5 mg. To get the higher potencies that are found in multivitamins, concentrated manufactured vitamins must be used. Vitamins in supplements are manufactured and thus not considered organic by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture). Vitamins cannot get a USDA Organic Seal. This is reserved for foods. But a food tablet with vitamins can be composed of up to 25% vitamins and still get an organic seal (on the food, not on the vitamins).
Thirty years ago, vitamins were either balanced at the RDA levels or in what were thought to be "high" potencies, such as 5 mg, 10 mg or even 25 mg for all the B-vitamins in a tablet.
There was no information about the best balance for each vitamin. Today, there is much more information available about what potencies of which vitamins and minerals are most effective for improving human metabolism and body chemistry, such as increasing energy production, strengthening the immune system and protecting bone health and heart health.
Based on the science of human biochemistry and 50 years of clinical research by orthomolecular doctors, the balance of the orthomolecular-potency vitamins and minerals is called the orthomolecular balance and these potencies are called orthomolecular potencies.
Orthomolecular nutrition is nutrition with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants at levels that have been shown to produce high levels of nutritional benefits with no side effects.
Phyto-nutrients are nutritional molecules that are found in plants. Strictly speaking, vitamins and essential minerals found in foods are phyto-nutrients, but they aren’t the only ones. Science is continually discovering other molecules in plants that serve as nutrients for the body.
Examples of phyto-nutrients include genisten from soy, indole-3-carbinol and quercetin from various plants, resveratrol from grapes. Most identified phyto-nutrients are antioxidants and are thus called phyto-antioxidants.
Phyto-antioxidants are a class of phyto-nutrients that act as antioxidants. Examples include polyphenols from green tea and other plants, anthocyanadins from grape skin and other plants, bioflavonoids from citrus and other plants, terpene lactones from ginkgo and other plants.
There are many thousands of phyto-antioxidants already identified, but science believes these are just the “tip of the iceberg” and that plants undoubtedly have many as-yet-unidentified phyto-nutrients and phyto-antioxidants.
Like almost everything else (food, alcohol, medicines, herbs, drugs, etc.), the effectiveness of vitamins and minerals depends on the amount taken (the “dose”). Higher potencies of vitamins and minerals have been shown to double and triple health protection benefits, including heart health protection20, bone health protection21 and even better memory.22
The more effective optimal doses tend to range up to 10 to 50 times higher than the now-outdated 1941 RDAs for vitamins, and up to 2 to 4 times higher for minerals.23
These are called optimal orthomolecular potencies after the orthomolecular doctors who discovered this increased effectiveness 50 years ago.
Today, there are over 22,000 scientific studies evaluating the increasing nutritional effectiveness of different doses of vitamins and minerals as their potencies increase (up to the optimal potency level).24
High potency multivitamins (10 x higher than the RDAs) have been also found to improve mood, sleep and reaction times.25
Providing higher orthomolecular potencies is the key to more health benefits since these more potent nutritional effects are not available at the lower, near RDA-level potencies, no matter the form of the vitamin or mineral or the source (e.g.: calcium citrate vs carbonate or “food-based type” vitamins vs USP vitamins).
Optimal orthomolecular potencies are described by Dr. Abram Hoffer, a founder of orthomolecular medicine, and Dr. Morton Walker, in The New Orthomolecular Nutrition.26
Absolutely. In thousands and thousands of independent scientific studies, orthomolecular nutritional potencies have been shown to produce far more health and nutritional benefits than vitamins and minerals at lower potencies. And in over 50 years of use, there have never been any reports of side effects from orthomolecular nutritional potencies in multivitamins.
In fact, because of their far greater health and nutritional benefits, orthomolecular potencies are often referred to as “optimal potencies.”
We suggest you don’t. Instead, we recommend the PreNatal Blend.
We designed the PreNatal Blend to be without the herbs in the Women’s Blend specifically for expectant mothers and to protect their safety from spontaneous abortions possibly caused by irritations from normally gentle herbs.
We searched not only the scientific literature but also the modern and traditional herbal literature (especially including midwife’s reports) for any report about an herb which might be involved in or even suspected of being involved in irritating the womb during pregnancy.
When we found such an herb, even with just the slightest shadow of a doubt, we left it out of the PreNatal formula.
When we finished, the only herb still found to have not the slightest shadow of suspicions of safety problems for pregnancy was raspberry. So raspberry is the only herb in the PreNatal Blend. The greenfoods, alfalfa, spirulina and chlorella also had no reports of problems during pregnancy so they are in the PreNatal formula as well.
The Women's Blend is rich with many herbs. Although they are not included in our PreNatal formula, they are totally safe and gentle even in therapeutic doses and especially safe in the very small non-medicinal nutritional amounts in the Women’s Blend.
All the scientific evidence we can find indicates that during pregnancy, the mother needs iron supplementation to ensure best health for her baby. Thus, we only offer the Prenatal supplement with iron.
For the woman who doesn’t want iron, but wants an extra-nutritious multivitamin to see her through pregnancy, we can recommend the Opti-Energy Pack with no iron. During our first 15 years, our pregnant customers took the Opti-Energy Pack and reported having healthy babies after healthy full-term pregnancies.
The World Health Organization recommends Vitamin A as retinol for pregnancy, stating there is “no risk of birth defects from preformed Vitamin A (retinol) supplements of 10,000 IU” and that “pregnant women should take the retinol form of Vitamin A.” 27
In line with recommendations by the United States Government, the Prenatal Blend multivitamin has more Vitamin A than for non-pregnant women. There have never been any birth defects reported at these potencies.
Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A only if the body needs it (but statistics indicate that perhaps only about 50% of the U.S. population can make that conversion).36,37 Otherwise the beta-carotene, like the other carotenes, functions as an antioxidant.
We do not recommend any of our formulas that contain herbs be taken during pregnancy.
Like all supplement formulas that contain fatty acids, SuperNutrition multivitamins contain the antioxidant Vitamin E, which effectively stops rancidity.
The RDA’s (Recommended Daily Allowances) were published in 1941 and were defined as dose-effective potencies high enough to prevent signs of the first known major nutritional deficiencies. They represented the state of scientific knowledge at the time. Since then, the U.S. Government has made several attempts to redefine these potencies (“Daily Value”, “Reference Daily Intakes”, “Upper Tolerable Limits”), but they are essentially the same as the original RDA’s. (See “Orthomolecular Potencies”)
Orthomolecular dose-effective potencies of vitamins and minerals are generally far above the old RDA levels and are based on the dose-effectiveness orthomolecular doctors discovered for each nutrient. None of the potencies in SuperNutrition are even close to the Minimum Toxic Dose. (See Vitamin/Mineral Safety chart on page 43.)
The Vitamin A (like all non-fish-source Vitamin A) is manufactured.
Palmitate the salt of a fatty acid is found naturally throughout the body and throughout nature. The palmitate used in supplements is from a manufactured source because of the high cost of extracting the palmitate from plants (especially, palm trees the highest natural source).
All the scientific research and government agencies show that vitamins and minerals, especially multivitamins, are the safest things we put in our bodies. They are far safer than drugs (including aspirin), alcohol and many foods.28
Vitamins Are Extremely Safe.
The safety of multivitamins is even more apparent when you realize that every day almost half of all Americans (150 million people - men, women and children) take 1-6 multivitamin tablets.
Yet the U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention has no record of anyone ever dying from vitamins.28
The orthomolecular potencies in SuperNutrition multivitamins are far below toxic doses of any vitamins. (See safety chart below.)
There are three major forms of Vitamin B-12, cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadensylocobalamin. Two are available as supplements, cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is the form favored by supplement makers because it is much less expensive than methylcobalamin and absorbs much better.
The “cyano” in cyanocobalamin does refer to cyanide, but only because cyanide is used in the purification process of Vitamin B-12. There is no cyanide in cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin has no known toxicity, is considered one of the safest vitamins and has been used for over 50 years with no reports of toxicity.
Below is a Vitamin Mineral Safety Chart showing the (1) the RDA’s, (2) the potencies in SuperNutrition Multivitamins and (3) the Estimated Minimum Toxic Dose for Vitamins and Minerals (if there is one) calculated by the Department of Food and Nutrition at Iowa State University, as reported in the Pharmacy Times, May, 1985. (See reference below.)
Compare columns so you can see for yourself how much lower our potencies are than any reported toxic levels (if there is one.)
While saw palmetto may have valuable medical uses, we have concerns that it is not appropriate to use unless there is a medical need and so we feel it does not belong in a daily nutritional supplement.
SuperNutrition is committed to giving its customers to most effective forms of nutrients at the lowest possible cost to the consumer. Selenium is just one example.
Selenite and selenate are what are called inorganic forms of selenium. They are the only two forms of selenium which have been studied in large populations. (In certain sections of China, where millions of children were dying of heart disease, selenite and selenate reduced the incidence of heart disease down to almost zero.) 46,47,48
Selenomethioninine is called an organic form of selenium and for this reason some people feel it is a preferred form of selenium, some people even believing that the “organic” form is safer because it is called “organic”. But selenomethionine has never been shown safer in studies, nor has it been shown effective in studies with large populations, and it is much more expensive than selenite or selenate. So to give our customers the proven most effective forms at the lowest possible cost, we elect to use selenite.
This is a misconception that is shared by many nutritionists and health care providers. But research has shown that this is not true, but that they actual help each other. 49,50,51
You could say that. Nutrients occupy space. Orthomolecular potencies of all the vitamins and minerals combined into one multivitamin formula require 4-8 tablets (depending on the amount of calcium, magnesium, greenfoods and herbs). But in one-per-day multivitamins, you don’t have room for all those nutrients so you must select the nutrients you include prudently.
So, to get an effective potency multivitamin in just one tablet, it has to be barebones. The secret of an effective one-per-day multivitamin is to start with the full potency 6-tablet per day orthomolecular formula and begin to reduce the nutrients that occupy the most space.
We start with our “average” calcium potency of 1000 to 1200 mg. This takes about 2 ½ tablets, so by reducing the calcium dramatically, you save the equivalent space of 2 ½ tablets.
Then we reduce our average magnesium potency (ranging from 400 mg to 600 mg) and save the equivalent of another ½ tablet. That’s 3 tablets we’ve saved.
Then we reduce the nutritional herbs and greenfoods, which average 1500 to 2000 mg and require about another 2 tablets.
That’s 5 tablets we’ve saved and we now have a single orthomolecular potency multivitamin tablet but without adequate calcium and magnesium and without the nutritional herbs and greenfoods.
So the Simply One one-per-day multivitamins are very nutritionally effective formulas with robust amounts of B-Complex vitamins and antioxidants.
CAVEAT TO CONSUMERS OF ONE-PER-DAY MULTIVITAMINS
Our most important caveat to consumers is that the Simply Ones are indeed potent dose-effective orthomolecular multivitamins for everything but calcium and magnesium (which require 3-4 tablets for U.S. Government-recommended minimums; so men and women taking a one-per-day multivitamin should supplement calcium and magnesium additionally.
Scientific evidence and recommendations by the United States government warns us that to protect bone health, all of us should be sure to get at least 1000 mg of calcium (more as you age) yet we get only an average of 650 mg of calcium from our diets.
The same is true for magnesium. We suggest supplementing 400 to 600 mg of magnesium for full nutritional and bone protection.
At least two years in a cool, dark, dry place. Exposure to direct sunlight, heat and moisture are the greatest threats to potency. Our products are stored in our temperature-controlled warehouse so that when they are shipped, they are fresh.
We guarantee the potency for two years but to maintain the highest potency in your multivitamins, store them in a cool, dark, dry place. (For optimal storage, consider a frost-free refrigerator.)
Structure-function claims are claims that describe the effect that a dietary supplement may have on the structure or function of the body. These, and claims about helping reduce nutritional deficiencies, are the only claims allowable for dietary supplements. Claims about curing disease, mitigating it, alleviating it or, preventing it are not legal.
SuperNutrition uses only four structure-function statements. (These are claims for support only.)
The powder cakes up because we do not use retardants. The Super C Powder contains sodium and potassium as bicarbonates. Bicarbonates buffer the Vitamin C to a degree and in the process, carbonic acid is formed, which contributes to the caking.
We could use retardants but they make the Vitamin C drink cloudy and the taste is not as clear and crisp as the Super-C without added chemicals.
When the Super-C cakes, the Vitamin C potency is not diminished; however, it does become less cosmetically attractive to the consumer. Therefore we are happy to replace any "caked" C with the fresh, white, effervescent powder, or even a refund. We’d rather put out the best product possible than compromise.
The only completely natural vitamins occur in food. But the process of extracting them from food is very expensive and the costs are too high to put effective potencies in tablets. All concentrated vitamins in supplements are manufactured. Some vitamin tablet manufacturing includes a small amount of vitamins from plant sources but most concentrated vitamins are entirely manufactured.
Manufactured vitamins are chemically built to be exact “clones” of the vitamins found in food. The U.S. Government does not differentiate between natural and synthetic vitamins in terms of nutritional value.
It’s important to note that all of the 20,000 scientific studies reporting on the effectiveness and benefits of supplemental vitamins have been done with manufactured vitamins.
Capsules require extra labor to fill. They also present space limitations and can accommodate only about 800 mg to1000 mg of nutrients. Tablets can contain almost twice as many nutrients as capsules.
Capsules generally begin to dissolve in about 5 seconds in the stomach and all their nutrients are available for absorption in about 20-30 minutes. Tablets generally take 10 to 20 minutes to begin dissolving and take up to 30 to 45 minutes to present their nutrients for absorption.
So, tablets hold about twice as many nutrients as capsules, are less expensive and are almost as fast as capsules in delivering nutrients for absorption - a better bargain for consumers.
Because so many of our 20 and 30 year customers are now in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, we have developed half-size “easy-swallow” versions of the Opti-Energy Pack and the Perfect Family.
We should note that many of these “older” customers still prefer the large tablets in the Opti Pack and our other multivitamins, stating that the size of the tablet is not a problem.
Some people who do not want to switch from the SuperNutrition multivitamins formulas they are using, actually grind the tablets and mix them in smoothies or juices. Be sure to grind only what you are taking immediately since after grinding, within hours, the nutrients will begin to oxidize, diminishing the potency.
Modern nutritional research says you need an adequate potency of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for best health, especially to reduce cellular stresses
You just can’t get enough of these important and essential nutrients in just one tablet, unless it is almost the size of a golf ball.
Our optimal orthomolecular multivitamin formulas contain 4, 6 or 8 tablets in a daily dose, depending on the amount of nutrients, especially calcium and magnesium.
Much smaller than a golf ball, these full orthomolecular potencies are the most effective known to modern science for building immunity, increasing energy, and helping the body to build stronger bones and protect heart health as fully as we know.
All our multivitamins are designed to be taken at full potency in order to obtain maximum benefits. It’s simple. If you take less, you’ll get less immunity, less energy, less bone protection and less heart protection.
We offer the optimal potencies for that protection. If you take less, you get less.
Finally, based on 30 years of supplying orthomolecular potency multivitamins, we offer a full money-back guarantee if, within 30 days, you don’t feel (1) more energy, (2) more mental clarity and a better memory, (3) more endurance all day and into the evening, and (4) improved feelings of well-being.
The antioxidant Vitamin E as we know it is described chemically as alpha-tocopherol. It is one of four forms of tocopherol found in the human body. The alpha-tocopherol form is the only one recognized by the United Stated government as Vitamin E.
The other three forms are called beta-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol and gamma- tocopherol. Each has been shown to have antioxidant properties, and many researchers believe that the entire tocopherol complex acts as a unit throughout the body.
The U.S. Government has declared that alpha-tocopherol is Vitamin E. There are, however, four forms of tocopherol found in nature (alpha, beta, delta and gamma). All act in the body but only alpha-tocopherol is “officially” Vitamin E.
The four forms of tocopherol come from molecules almost identical to the tocopherols. There are called tocotrienols, and oddly enough, there are also called alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocotrienols. The four tocotrienols also have antioxidant activity (like the tocopherols).
The yellow color is from the riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B-12) and beta-carotene. This is nothing to be alarmed about. The body has absorbed more of these non-toxic nutrients than it immediately needs and the excess spills over into the urine. This is actually evidence that you do not have deficiencies of those nutrients. If you take vitamins and your urine does not get more yellow, your body can probably use more of those nutrients.
All vitamins and mineral forms manufactured in the United States are manufactured according to standards of purity and safety set by the U.S. government. The United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) issues these standards.
The term “USP” refers to all vitamins and mineral forms manufactured in the United States regardless of subsequent commercial processing. USP vitamins and minerals are biochemically identical to the vitamins and minerals found in food (like clones).
The body is made of skin, muscles, bone, teeth, blood, your heart, and all the rest of the organs and glands. All these organs and glands are made up of tissues. Muscle tissue is tough, bone tissue and teeth tissues are hard, and skin tissue is waterproof. All these tissues are made up of chemicals. These chemicals are necessary for life. According to chemists, the whole world is made of a couple of hundred of simple individual chemicals that combine to make billions, perhaps trillions of more complicated chemicals. These combinations of chemicals are called molecules and they are the building blocks of tissues.
Like most life forms, our bodies make up most of what they need by converting molecules from our diets into energy, power, and tissues.
Many life forms, like bacteria, can make up all the molecules they need for life from their basic diet, but many life forms can’t. They must rely on their diets to get the life-necessary molecules their bodies can’t make. These molecules are called vitamins and essential minerals.
There are 13 known and recognized vitamins.
|The B-Complex Vitamins (Dissolve in Water)||The Other Vitamins That Dissolve in Water|
|Technical Name||Technical Name|
|Vitamin B-1||thiamine||Vitamin C||ascorbic acid|
|Vitamin B-2||riboflavin||Vitamin K||phytonadione|
|Vitamin B-3||niacin & niacinamide|
|Folic Acid||pteroylglutamic acid|
|Biotin||apo [methylmalonyl-CoA:pyruvate carboxytransferase] ligase|
|Pantothenic acid||pantothenic acid|
|The Vitamins That Dissolve in Oil|
Vitamin A is a vitamin and this means that it is essential for life. Vitamin A really refers to many forms of retinoic acid that are found in the body. Retinol is the most common form and is used in general speech to stand for all the other forms.
No one knows. The U.S. Government estimated for decades that about 5000 IU was enough for adults. But recent research has shown Vitamin A, alone among all the vitamins, may have a narrow range of safety for bone health and a few people may get bone deformities if their total daily intake of Vitamin A is not held between 2000 IU and 2800 IU daily.29,30,31,32,33
Vitamin A dosage outside these levels is dangerous for bone health only in a very few people.
Many doctors and researchers feel the many health advantages of higher doses outweigh the slight risk of bone problems and recommend 10,000 IU to 15,000 IU of Vitamin A daily for optimum health. Nonetheless, the government remains careful for safety’s sake and has lowered the RDA for Vitamin A. It now recommends 2333 IU daily for adult women and 3000 IU daily for adult men.35
Statistics indicate that most healthy people get almost that much from their diet,30 so it may be wisest for your best bone health to supplement a moderate amount of actual Vitamin A and check with your doctor to be sure your Vitamin A serum retinol levels are within best range. (An inexpensive serum retinol blood test.)
For over 70 years, Vitamin A has been considered toxic only in extremely large doses. The lowest reports of toxicity from long-term intake had been about 21,000 IU per day. Most of the toxicities began to show up at a higher level, closer to 50,000 IU per day.
In 1941, the U.S. Government declared that 5000 IU was the Recommended Daily Allowance necessary for good health and without known toxicities. In the subsequent seventy-plus years, there has never been a report of side-effects or problems at this level. Furthermore, since then many doctors and researchers have used 10,000 IU as a higher but safe amount of Vitamin A.
Some Doctors Begin to Be Concerned about Vitamin A and Bone Health
During the 1990’s, the State of California declared that 8,000 IU’s of Vitamin A was their maximum safe level (since some birth defects had been reported with Vitamin A intakes as low as 10,000 IU per day).
At the same time, many doctors and researchers began looking at population studies and became concerned the “high” Vitamin A intake may be associated with bone problems.
Then Four Major Science Studies Said They Were Right!
Then, within a few years, four large, well-developed studies found that a special type of Vitamin A toxicity, bone toxicity, began far lower than 8,000 IU’s or even 5,000 IU’s.
They found that the concerns about Vitamin A and bone toxicity were real, and that total Vitamin A intake (from both diet and supplements) higher than just 2800 IU’s daily over time was associated with bone abnormalities in normal adults. Additionally, daily total intake of Vitamin A below 2000 IU’s per day was also associated with bone abnormalities.
This was such a blockbuster that the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association wrote an editorial telling doctors about this. Many thought it would rock the dietary supplement world. It didn’t.
But Who Cares ? Well, We Do!
In spite of the fact that the U.S. Government Institute of Medicine has published their recommendation that the RDA be changed to 2333 IU for Women and 3000 U for men, the hullabaloo died down and most multivitamin manufacturers continued including 5000 IU or more in their supplements.
We did not. Research indicates that our customers eat well and get between 1700 IU and 2000 IU of Vitamin A from their diet, so we elected to supply only the amount that would keep then in the safest total intake levels: 500 IU (550 IU for pregnant women). Thus their total Vitamin A intake will add up to between 2200 IU daily and 2800 IU daily.
This is part of our commitment to offer our customers only the most effective and safest forms and potencies of nutrients.
What About Our Own Bone health?
Now that we know that Vitamin A can cause bone abnormalities in some people, should we be worried as the national progression of osteoporosis continues to be a major health threat in our country, especially after the age of 50?
A Simple Test
Of course, why take a chance? Best suggestions: Ask your doctor for a yearly bone scan of your little finger or heel. They are minimally expensive and minimally invasive and will tell if your bone density is O.K. and if the bone is normal. If there are problems, you should also examine your calcium-magnesium-Vitamin C-Vitamin K-boron-manganese intakes, as these are all important factors in bone health or bone problems.
There is also a simple blood test that can tell you if your bone metabolism seems to be O.K. If you won’t get an x-ray, this will give you some information, but we recommend you consider a yearly x-ray scan for best information. We recommend checking with your doctor if you want more information on this very important aspect of long-term health.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant but it has not yet been determined how effective an antioxidant it is. It belongs to a plant family called carotenoids, all of which are antioxidants of varying strengths. Carotenoids give the bright red, orange and yellow colors to vegetables.
Not Just Another Pretty Carotenoid
Beta-carotene is not just another pretty, red carotenoid. It has another, very different but important function for the body.
Very similar to Vitamin A in what it looks like, beta-carotene can be converted into Vitamin A by a short series of biochemical steps.
The body has a mechanism to turn this conversion on, and it is set to operate only when the body is short on regular Vitamin A.
This is an excellent survival mechanism (to keep you from ever running out of Vitamin A). If there is a lot of beta-carotene in the body and you don’t need any additional Vitamin A, it won’t be converted into Vitamin A. Unfortunately perhaps 50% of American may not be able to make this conversion in their body. (See reference below.)
But all is NOT completely O.K.
Until a few years ago, researchers thought it took 6 mg of beta-carotene to give 1 unit of Vitamin A. Today, with better research, it’s now estimated the conversion ratio is 20 mg of beta-carotene to give 1unit of Vitamin A, but no-one is really sure.
The biggest problem has only shown up recently. Two small studies have shown a statistic that could represent a big problem. One small study was with well-fed, healthy American men36 and the other with healthy, well-fed women.37 Both studies showed the conversion of beta-carotene to Vitamin A was not working in about half of the men and the women. So prudence says perhaps we can’t rely on the conversion mechanism completely.
Vitamin A is not found in the plants we eat, only in foods of animal origin. Modern American diets vary from low intakes of carotenes to high. The low intakes may not supply enough beta-carotene to convert to enough Vitamin A. Furthermore, perhaps half of Americans may not actually be able to make the conversion from beta-carotene to Vitamin A. 36,37
Our SuperNutrition multivitamins are designed to be wide spectrum (“complete”) and high enough in an orthomolecular potency to cover a wide variation of nutritional balances, but without imbalancing other nutrients or ever approaching toxic levels. We also offer no-iron multivitamins.
Beta-carotene is a desirable antioxidant and “back up” for Vitamin A for perhaps half of Americans. According to our statistical evaluations, many of our steady multivitamin consumers may need additional Vitamin A to reach the “zone of safety” from bone problems. Statistically, the amount they need is about 500 IU.
Not necessarily. In this rapidly growing field of information about vitamins and minerals and body chemistry, there will be new information. We keep a continual watch on research, to ensure first, safety, and second, that our potencies are the most effective. Lowering the Vitamin A levels is part of this ongoing program to ensure safety for our customers.
As another example: A few years ago, scientists discovered that there was a possibility that all the research about Vitamin D in foods had underestimated the actual amount and that there was a chance that we were getting far more Vitamins D from foods than thought, and that supplementing large amounts was questionable.
In the interest of total safety, we immediately dropped our Vitamin D from 1000 IU daily dose to 400 IU. We kept it at that level until researchers were sure that the amounts of Vitamin D estimated in foods originally was correct and then we brought our Vitamin D levels back up to 1000 IU.
The Women’s Blend and the Perfect Family contain 500 IU of Vitamin A, perfectly safe for pregnancy. See “Pregnancy.”
The Prenatal Blend contains 550 IU of Vitamin A, perfectly safe for pregnant women. Again, see “Pregnancy”.
In the beginning days of modern nutritional science, two medical doctors who were brothers (Dr. Wilfrid E. Shute and Dr. Evan V. Shute) revolutionized cardiology (heart medicine) by introducing orthomolecular Vitamin E therapy. Over several decades, they successfully treated over 30,000 patients with large doses of Vitamin E.
Because these were new dosages for vitamin E, they used extreme caution and because they were concerned about the possibility of Vitamin E increasing blood pressure, (but without adverse incidents or proof), they warned that there might be problems with increased blood pressure.
There are no reports of increased blood pressure from Vitamin E in the more than 25,500 studies in the National Library of Medicine. (In fact, there are many reports on Vitamin E lowering blood pressure.)
We have never found any reports of increased blood pressure from Vitamin E intake, nor have I heard of it except from one nutritional medical doctor who told me that as he slowly raised the Vitamin E in his supplement, his blood pressure rose.
He told me that when he stopped, it stopped, and when he cut down his Vitamin E intake, the blood pressure dropped proportionately. So, without proof either way, and in the interest of total safety for our customers, we continue to honor the original concern of the Drs. Shute by expressing it.