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Vitamin/Mineral Pills Exposed

The benefits of consuming whole foods can be better explained by exploring how synthetic supplements are generally produced. By gaining a better understanding of the process, you may be able to vividly envision why your body reacts as it does to synthetic materials. We tried to make this explanation as simple as possible because it does teeter on the edge of getting too detailed and overly scientific but you should get the main points.

Synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements are initially designed in a laboratory. Each individual element is broken down into their most simple forms: the chemical make-up. Take for an example; the vitamin known as Vitamin A is comprised of the following three compounds (3) H3C, (2) CH3, and (1) OH. Those compounds are made of elements. The elements are hydrogen (H), carbon (C), and Oxygen (O). (We know you probably feel like your back in chemistry class  – but we promise it serves a purpose – keep reading.)
A scientist takes each part and combines them to create a chemical version of Vitamin A. Then the manufacturing processes must take over to create a suitable form for the synthetic vitamin to be sold and consumed. The overall process that a pill manufacturer follows is typically called a recipe. The recipe consists of the active (synthetic vitamins) and the inactive ingredients (binders, etc.).

This creates a powder like substance. The powder is then dampened to create a thick paste. The paste is then fed through a machine where the machine distributes the paste to be cooked, essentially, until it becomes hard. The heating process actually binds the elements together creating a completely different end result. This product is then broken into smaller piece that are run though a compression machine, also called a “tableting” machine.

Do you know what most manufactures use as "binders"? It’s not pretty and honestly is rather unnerving to think about once you are aware of what you are eating.

In the process of “tableting” or encapsulating, toxic agents such as binders, fillers and flowing agents are most commonly used. Talcum powder, a suspected carcinogen (cancer-causing agent), magnesium stearate (a proven immuno-suppressive agent), calcium stearate, silicon dioxide (i.e. ground sand), waxes, and many other known or suspected carcinogens are found in common nutritional products.
Here are some interesting facts about magnesium stearate (a proven immuno-suppressive agent):

•  Solid at room temperature
•  Common ingredient in baby powders
•  The substance can be a dust explosion hazard
•  The source of this ingredient is typically beef

Silicon Dioxide (aka: sand), for example, when ingested orally passes, unchanged, through the gastrointestinal tract. It is indigestible and has zero nutritional value. Vitamin companies have to use these binders to provide a product that supplies the vitamin doses they need. These binders are usually only used because it keeps the ingredients in the vitamins from sticking to the machinery because the binders have a lubricating effect, thus lowering the cost of production. The binders, such as those listed above, tend to engulf the actual vitamin itself causing it to not get broken down enough for cellular use or never get recognized by the cell, because the binder makes them insoluble in water. Essentially, these binders camouflage the actual vitamins used, and most of the vitamin passes through your system. Sadly, on average 50% of a vitamin and/or mineral tablet are mostly fillers or glue.

"It is a manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that its products are safe and properly labeled prior to marketing", as stated by U. S. Food and Drug Administration, December 1, 1995, about the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. Manufacturing of supplements generally fits under Title 21 Part 110: Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing, or Holding Human Food.

Some of the pills are then dyed to make more visually appealing. The key to really understanding how this process affects the product is the simple introduction of heat. By heating an element, you change its physical properties. This is basic elementary science. A secondary process that will affect the structure of the final product is the pressure experienced by the compression machinery. Chemical thermodynamics is the study of how heat can affect the physical properties of something. What scientist fail to understand is how the actual manufacturing process and the inactive ingredients interact with yet another, much more advanced, chemical reaction called digestion.