Three questions to ask about vitamins before you buy…

Some of you market whole-food type supplements. So does the tiny start up I own part of. So we have some similar challenges.

Example. One thing I know is that most people who take vitamins and/or supplements have no idea how little they really do for them…Here’s one approach we’re using to get their brains to wonder…

“Three questions to ask about vitamins before you buy…

1. Are the main ingredients synthetic?

2. Does it contain other synthetic ingredients or additives?

3. If it’s not a fiber supplement, does it contain added fiber?

If your answer is Yes to one or more of the questions, you may be wasting your money, risking your health, or both.”

If you were taking vitamins or supplements, and were not really into the nitty gritty of it, might you be curious now?

More here on why these three things matter. Warning: this is an information page posted by the tiny start up I own part of. Click at your own risk.

I feel some of you might want to know what we’re doing. And because I’m not worried about sharing the market, I’m happy to pass on what seems to be working. So if you are in a search for legitimate supplements or over-the-counter medications that also don’t break the bank, a company like RxOneShop is a nationwide wholesale pharmacy distributor which is trusted by hundreds or even thousands of people.

Education, it seems, short and to the point, helps people – the right people, of course.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • WOW (excuse the caps – but yes that was a shout). Excellent information. I didn’t know of the synthetic names. This will certainly help me. Appreciate you letting us know. We can all learn from each other here.

  • Yes, sooner or later the word will get fully around (our company is credited with producing the first multi vitamin/mineral from natural plant sources over 50 yrs ago) that plant sourced food supplements are more effective.

    Mike S. Upland, Ca.

  • Hi Kim, Good luck with your new venture. We have an integrative medicine doctor on staff at ITV Ventures and have a conference call with him every monday evening. The most important things about the supplements you are taking is that the ingredients are bio-available. That is that they actually go into the cells as opposed to being pooped out the other end as so many synthetics are. The other thing that is really important is to take a pro-biotic to replace the good bacteria that is lost through anti-biotics, candida, and other patrasites most of us have because we do not do adequate liver and colon cleansing. Any vitamins that have to be heated before they are made into tablets is not a good idea. Therefore capsules are usually much better. All ITV’s supplements are bio-available and we also have a great colon cleanse product that prepares the body for what is to come on the road to health. Hope that information is useful. Juliette Gray

  • Here is an article from my company’s Scientists:

    “There is a common misconception that ‘natural’ vitamins and minerals are extracted from plants in their pure form and as such are superior to ‘synthetic’ vitamins and minerals which are made in a laboratory.

    In reality, this is a misleading distinction. First, it is not possible to extract pure vitamins from plants without considerable and significant chemical processing. (So much for the term “whole foods” – that would be an awfully big pill to swallow!)

    Second, the biological activity of a compound has nothing to do with its source, but is determined by its chemical structure. In other words, it makes no difference whether the chemical originates from a leafy plant or a test tube – it is the same compound regardless.

    Some vitamin and antioxidant compounds can be efficiently synthesized in factories to produce products that are identical in chemical form to those found in nature and that are pure and fully safe. In addition, some synthetic vitamins are preferentially absorbed over food sources. One example is folic acid, which is preferentially absorbed and utilized over natural food folates that must go through several conversion processes to be utilized as folic acid.

    Additionally, the government doesn’t currently regulate the definition of “natural” in foods and dietary supplements, therefore the interpretation can vary from product to product.

    The raw ingredients that go into [our] products come from a variety of sources. Some are derived from plants (our vitamin E is derived from soy) and others produced synthetically. Most importantly, all of the raw ingredients that go into [our] products are selected for effectiveness, purity and safety. We use vitamin and mineral compounds in those chemical forms, whether ‘natural’ or ‘synthetic’, that are best absorbed and utilized by the body. And we purchase those materials with the highest standards for quality.”

    Our company’s founder perfected the ability to keep human cells alive and healthy, WITHOUT SIGNS OF DEGENERATION, in the lab for over 30 years! Because of this accomplishment, he was able to patent the first Diagnostic test Kits for infections disease, still considered the Gold Standard worldwide today. He still uses the same basic formula as he did on his lab cells, except for what the more recent research has found to improve quality.

    Think about it…if this theory is true, that only non-synthetic vitamins are effectively absorbed, how would it explain why synthetic pharmaceutical medications are absorbed?

    From my study on the subject, what is more important is:
    1.) Is the product Pharmaceutical Grade and made with GMPs?
    2.) Do they have the right combination of nutrients to make them bio-available?
    3.) Do they have the optimal dosage levels that research has shown is effective for lowering the risk for certain diseases?
    4.) Are they “full-spectrum”?
    5.) Are they manufactured in-house and tested by an independent lab?
    6.) Is purity, safety and potency guaranteed?
    7.)Finally, are there potentially toxic levels of ‘natural’ iron or “natural” vitamin A?

    While the theory sounds rational and reasonable, and while it is partially true that some ingredients do need to be from natural sources for superior effectiveness, this is a vast over-simplification of the issue. What I want to know is WHERE’S THE SCIENCE that backs it up?

  • >Education, it seems, short and to the point, helps people.

    Agreed. Now let’s be mischievous…

    Why can’t we have a company that autoships me ‘fresh air, walks in the park and good organics’? Seems we’d all be better off with that.

    Perhaps I should launch an Oregon-hippy commune with an MLM structure… hhhmmm, binary, infinity bonuses, whatever.

  • That is so true. Synthetic Vitamins are rampant in today’s marketplace. The REAL value is in whole, FOOD-FORM Vitamins… ones that your body can recognize and assimilate, (break down), effectively.

    – Martin

  • Three studies? Siting a few studies is not a responsible way to “educate” people. Remember a short while ago the media jumped all over a study that showed Vitamin E lead to increased mortality? Many people stopped taking Vitamin E despite the thousands of studies that has shown Vitamin E is beneficial to human health. There are hundreds of thousands of studies showing the benefits of vitamins and mineral derived from both natural and synthetic sources. Weren’t there some studies that stated cigarette smoking was not harmful?

    A compound is what it is regardless of how it was created. Water is two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen bound together. Water is water whether it’s naturally occurring or man-made. If the same atoms are used with the same bonding and the same structure, it is the same thing. The same principle holds true no matter what the compound is. It is true for water, it is true for Vitamin C. There is no special little tag on the molecule that says, “naturally occurring,” or “man-made.” If two molecules have the exact same structure, it is not possible to distinguish which was made where.

    Is natural cyanide better for humans than man-made cyanide?

  • Glad to see some different points of view. In the end, different things matter to different people, depending on their world view, or the way they see things.

    I have been a whole food/organic person for 30 years. I have always stayed away from drugs, which is why pharmaceutical-grade doesn’t do much for me.

    However, I realize others have a different and equally valid perspective, for them, and I respect it.

    Like different religions, all help different people.

  • Kim you are so right about different things matter to different people.

    I’m a healthy pet nut and stay away from anything artificial with pets. I educate pet lovers about products and show the benefits of going as natural as possible. I will not use things known to cause ill health with my pets, but others say what they are using is working just fine. Who am I to try to convince them otherwise? All I do is tell story and reach the pet lovers who are into the same things I am.

    I’m known as a healthy pet nut so many people may not know I’m the same way about what I use with my human family. It’s all linked together even though I learned about what is important for my family because of the information I’ve gathered about my pets. I found your information very useful.

  • All I can add to this discussion is based on my personal experience. When I was taking synthetic, lab-made, high-quality nutritional supplements from a very well-known MLM, at first they worked fine.

    After awhile, about a year, I stopped feeling any beneficial effects from them. That is when I started looking to find something that would help me feel energetic again. I discovered organic foods, and whole food nutritional supplements. (I was having trouble getting my energy back after childbirth). I haven’t looked back since.

    Nature-made supplements are better, in my personal experience. Though I also see quite clearly the points made in the article that Carol Anderson posted. There was a time in my life that that sort of science and hands-on creation of a supplement was very appealing to me. I feel I know better now, and so I moved on. My opinion, based on what works for me.


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  • Boy, after reading all these I don’t wonder at everyone’s confusion. Every associate representing a different company is positive that their product is not only the best but also the only one-of-a-kind on the market. I know in my company we are told that we have the only plant based mineral on the market as well as plant based vitamins. Of course the common thread is the bio-availability of the product is important.

    As I read the above notes I see words like “Bio-availability”, “GMP”, “Gold Standard”, “Pharmaceutical-grade” being bandied about. This borders on techno babble! Let me see if I can sort out these words:

    bio whatever – our body actually uses it

    GMP – some sort of standard where pill # 1 has the same contents as pill # 42 as pill # 548….

    Gold Standard – haven’t a clue – all I know is they mine gold here in Porcupine….

    Pharmaceutical-grade – oh gosh, I am confused. Maybe that is the standard where pill # 1 has the same contents as pill # 42…..

    Perplexed Peggy from Porcupine

  • Kim

    I really like your idea of the educational website.

    Your distributors get to learn nutritional tips and share pop talk.

    A potential customer will feel she is visiting a community of people who are fun and also knowledgeable about health.

    It would be great if more NW companies have informative and interactive website like yours. It takes a lot of heart work to do this.

    All the very best to your new venture.

  • Carol, I was just thinking about the quote from your company: “First, it is not possible to extract pure vitamins from plants without considerable and significant chemical processing. (So much for the term ‘whole foods’ – that would be an awfully big pill to swallow!)”

    Oops, not at all, actually. 🙂 Whole food nutritionals are not made of pure vitamins extracted from the plants — the idea is to keep all the tens of thousands of nutrients from the produce in the capsule, not just a few isolated vitamins. The fruits and vegetables are juiced and dried without heat or oxygen, which would cause damage to the enzymes and antioxidants. That nutritional concentrate takes miniscule space once the sugar, salt, water, and fiber are removed.

    Just so you know — whole food capsules are very swallowable. 🙂


  • Oh, a ‘ps’ as it were:

    I recently came across an Evaluation Chart for Vitamin, Mineral and Phytochemical Products, evaluating 23 different products, some through MLM, some ‘over the counter’. They checked the following catagories:

    1 “All-Natural” or “Whole Food-Sourced” Vitamin Claims
    2 Standardized Vitamins with Labeled Ingredients
    3 Standardized All-Natural Vitamin Complex with Labeled Sources
    4 Standardized Minerals with Labeled Ingredients
    5 Standardized Plant-Sourced Minerals with Labeled Sources
    6 Standardized Phytochemicals with Labeled Amounts

    Of the 23 products tested here is a summary of the results:
    # 1 – 14 products passed
    # 2 – 18 products passed
    # 3 – 2 products passed
    # 4 – 16 products passed
    # 5 – 1 product passed
    # 6 – 4 products passed

    The company that did these tests also provide CME/CE courses on “Advances in Vitamin and Mineral Technologies” as well as other CME/CE courses on nutrition.

    By the way, the product I carry is the only one that passed all 6 catagories. Two had 4 out of 6, and 4 had only 1 of the 6.

    (If you want info on this course, etc., click on my name and contact me that way.)

  • Hi Kim,
    I believe you are right in saying there are 3 questions a vitamin user needs to ask before they buy, but they are not the ones you posed. The questions should be
    1. Is it safe
    2. Does it work? ie get to the cells
    3. Can the company prove it scientifically?
    If users want products that are like that they can click on my name below.

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