B-Complex Vitamins – What to watch out for by Jamieson Jackson
The most complex thing about b-complex vitamins these days are the nasty additives that are being added into the mixture.
A short shopping trip to my local supermarket revealed a load of unnecessary chemicals that were added to these supplements.
This article is a guide to the chemicals you should watch out for and how to avoid them.
What is a B-complex vitamin?
A b-vitamin complex includes some or all of the 8 separate water-soluble vitamins that make up the b-complex.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica the B vitamins help with:
· Various metabolic functions
· Maintaining healthy skin and muscle tone
· Promoting red blood cell growth
· Enhancing immune system and nervous system function
· Fighting stress, depression and cardiovascular disease
Natural sources include bananas, potatoes and unfiltered beer!
Unfortunately today, most of us are turning to supplements that aren’t quite as natural.
I did a quick tour of my local supermarkets and health food shops to see what was in the various b-complex vitamins – a search for the “nasties?”.
As usual, I wasn’t disappointed.
Here is a quick list of the additives I found on the shelves of our local supermarkets:
A complex carbohydrate that is used as a cheap filler material. Always a staple of the low-quality supplements, manufacturers use this instead of the more expensive ingredients that add nutritional value. Two pounds sterling of maltodextrin will make up to 1600 tablets! More info on maltodextrin is available on our website (see author’s bio below).
This is one of the main components of white paint, originally discovered as a paint pigment in Norway and then mass-produced in the U.S. from 1921 onwards. Manufacturers use this to colour the tablet and “bulk” it up.
Unfortunately the US and UK governments consider it a hazardous substance and it therefore requires a Material Data and Safety Sheet (MSDS).
The MSDS sheet for Titanium Dioxide says:
“CAUTION! MAY CAUSE IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES, AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. MAY AFFECT LUNGS.”
Does this sound like something you would want added to your supplements?
In their defence, the MSDS sheet does say that the chemical is safe for ingestion though.
All of this information begs a question, however.
If Titanium Dioxide causes irritation to your skin, eyes and lungs…
DO YOU WANT TO EAT IT?
I’ll leave that decision in your hands.
Mannitol is a sugar alcohol that is used extensively in various medical treatments (1). Its main function is to open the blood-brain barrier through shrinking a couple of key tissues and is used in Alzheimer’s treatments to deliver drugs directly to the brain and is sometimes used to lower intracranial pressure.
Mannitol is also used a laxative in doses over 20g and is a main ingredient in many children’s laxatives.
Where else can you find it?
In your B-complex supplement of course.
Sound out of place? It is. Manufacturers use it to sweeten many vitamins and it is totally unnecessary.
Magnesium Stearate is a “flow agent”, or a chemical that helps the raw vitamin ingredients flow through the machinery. It is an extract from animal cartilage (typically beef) and is a cheap ingredient added to the mix that doesn’t add much nutritional value.
When there are many natural flow agents like horsetail that will work and add nutritional value, magnesium stearate is another unnecessary additive.
Here is a short list of the nasty additives you need to watch out for in a typical b-complex vitamin supplement:
· Titanium Dioxide
· Magnesium Stearate
All of these add minimal nutritional value to the vitamin and are unnecessary.
Any one of these additives in a supplement is an indication that you are not getting a high-quality product, no matter the price or what the branding says.
Your only defence is to read the label and know what goes into your supplements.
To your health,
1 – RX list.com
About the Author
Jamieson Jackson writes on health and fitness topics relating to natural and organic products. He is the co-founder of Absolutely Pure http://www.absolutelypure.com and All Natural Vitamins http://www.all-natural-vitamins.com