More Common Nutrition & Supplement Myths!
Read about myth #1-2 in our PART 1 blog!
Supplement Myths #3: My Doctor Knows What’s Best About My Nutrition/Diet
Do you know how many hours of nutrition the standard MD (Medical Doctor) gets over their years of intense education?
Not 200 hours. Not 100. Not 50.
According to an NCBI study, the average medical doctor receives less than 24 hours of nutrition hours over the course of his or her entire medical training. And according to the Harvard Business Review, less than 20 percent of medical schools have a single required course in nutrition.
That’s actually frightening considering nutrition is what we put into our bodies every day. Our nutrition is what gives us energy and what creates and maintains most of our health.
Of course, we value and love our doctors, but the data is clear that they don’t deeply study nutrition and diet. And it makes sense in how they currently prescribe nutritional advice and their views towards health supplements. If doctors are unfamiliar with something, and they know that the solutions come from an industry with no regulation and a lot of litigation, they’re going to err on the safe side. Wouldn’t you?
But we still must wonder, who should you trust?
First off, you absolutely need to talk to a doctor about your general health, especially if you’re taking prescriptions.
But for diet, nutrition, and health supplements specifically, you should consider the professional training and experience of the healthcare practitioner you’re talking to — that means considering actual nutritionists, dieticians, doctors who have had decades of specific experience in nutrition and holistic diets/extra certifications, general practitioners with PhDs in nutrition, etc. Because if your doctor isn’t very confident in something like nutrition, they would rather say NO or default to current institutions, than take a risk. In their eyes, supplements are a risk in an unregulated world.
There is a “cycle” in the current medical scheme of things. FDA and pharma companies are sponsoring trials in medical schools to support their pharmaceutical drugs, and that’s also where they get their information. It creates a cycle where they don’t break out of the pharmaceutical/institutional industry and promote more natural, healthy, and nutritious solutions to basic health problems and diet issues. Consult your doctor. But also do your research, read studies, and consult a nutritionist, dietician/medical doctor with decades of nutritional experience.
Supplement Myths #4: I Can Trust The “Actual” Listed Ingredients on the Supplement Bottle
The label of a nutritional supplement can be a tricky place. What is “listed” on the bottle of supplements and what is actually inside them is actually an extremely important detail. You might be able to trust the “wording” on the label, but you may not be able to trust the actual quality and type of ingredients on the label.
Let’s compare two bottles:
Again, about 90% of supplements and ingredients out there are synthetic. This is an issue because of how your body metabolizes those synthetic ingredients, the toxins that can be created in your body, and the lower quality of the actual ingredients. Let’s return back to Vitamin B12. You’ll see that the Vitamin B12 is listed differently on the two bottles. When you break it down, look at the scientific names, and understand where they come from, the two labels are actually worlds apart.
HOW INGREDIENT DETAILS ARE LISTED
You see, clever marketers hide the synthetic nature of inferior supplements by listing only the generic name of each ingredient. Manufacturers using certified natural vitamin forms in their products will be happy and proud to list their full, detailed names on the label. This trick is used on unsuspecting consumers when comparing two or more similar products.
The ingredients will be listed generically, but one will cost a little less than the other(s). Since they appear to be the same, most of us will opt for the less expensive product. These same labels also use catchy phrases like “Fast Absorption” and “Energizing Formula”. They’re not lying, but they’re not being completely truthful either… So, our popular Vitamin B12 is uniformly recognized as the “energy” vitamin as it is necessary for our bodies to create ATP – the energy our cells use to function. But, it’s not that simple. When you see something that says it has Vitamin B12 in it, you have to look at what kind of vitamin B12. It’s not apples to apples.
Example: Types of B12
Let’s just quickly get into some big, sciency words. The most common and lower quality form of B12 in supplements is synthetic Cyanocobalamin which is recognized for being absorbed faster than other forms, so “Fast Absorption” is true. However, our bodies cannot use B12 in this form.
Cyanocobalamin actually breaks down in your body to cyanide and cobalamin. And we know that cyanide is not something you want building up in your body! It can leave toxins in people’s systems and make them feel sick.
On the other hand, high-quality, natural B12 comes in the form of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.
Methylcobalamin has become more popular, which is a good thing, but it does not provide energy – at least not the energy boost that people are expecting from taking a B12 supplement. This is yet another myth or misconception.
Adenosylcobalamin is a converted form of methylcobalamin and is essential for supporting the Kreb’s cycle (the process by which mitochondria create ATP, or cellular energy). When this process doesn’t work well, the result is cellular damage and potential DNA and RNA damage, setting the stage for degenerative disease. Early symptoms of this issue manifest as fatigue or early aging.
Most of the B12 on the market do not include these two high-quality, natural versions.
But to be clear, supplement companies are not just trying to scam you. Many of them simply do not know better; and with all businesses, they are looking for ways to cut costs and provide better prices to their consumers.
Few supplements provide adenosylcobalamin because it is very expensive.
Here’s a list of common synthetic versions on the left. And a list of high-quality versions on the right (and what we use in all of our supplements). Note the cost diﬀerence of synthetic versus certiﬁed natural.
As we ﬁrst mentioned, if a company is proud of its ingredients/product they’ll put the actual full name and details. Think of it like outdoor companies, like with quality hiking shoes. If the product is waterproofed they’ll put “Goretex waterproof” rather than just “waterproof”.
And to go even deeper, some companies may put a “long form name” to make it seem more impressive. Just because they write a detailed scientiﬁc name doesn’t mean it’s natural or good.
This is where you need to know the exact type of beneﬁcial ingredient (like we mentioned methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin above). If they do say what the speciﬁc ingredient is, you have to look to see if it’s the synthetic form or not. That’s why you need a detailed label like Dr. Tennant’s below:
Read about myths #5-6 in our PART 3 blog!