Supplement absorption, are there dangers to using them daily? What health benefits do they have?
November 15 2016

Some of the most common questions we are asked relate to how often a vitamin supplement should be taken, whether it is safe to use for prolonged periods, and whether a particular pill can be taken the same day as another. It is very difficult to give answers that would apply to everyone since there are so many factors that influence your need or response to them. These factors include your age, sex, overall health status, activity level, climate you live in, diet, types of fluids consumed, alcohol or caffeine use, body weight, whether you are currently on prescription medicines, quality of the herbal products, your sensitivity and tolerance, whether the herbs are whole herb or extracts, whether the supplements are taken with food or on an empty stomach, the time of day they are used, and the dosage of the supplements. However, since may people who email us are frustrated that their doctors have no clue, I will provide some general guidelines that you can adapt to your own unique situation. There’s not enough space to cover all the products available online, in health food stores and pharmacies in one page. One point we would like to emphasize: When you take a supplement you have never been exposed to before, do your best to try it a on day when you are not using other supplements or medicines. This way you can better tell what kind of effect this new pill has on you. Also, if you are sensitive to herbs or supplements, at first use a portion of a capsule or tablet to avoid any potential harmful effects, particularly if you are taking pharmaceutical medicines or are taking hormones.

Where to Purchase from an online vitamin store
Purchase High Quality Natural Supplements

What does the “SD” in a product name stand for?
SD stands for spray dry, which is a method utilizing an atomizer to feed through the liquid with hot air blowing to dry the liquid. However, if the material is sensitive, nitrogen gas will be used instead of air. The liquid feed varies on the material being dried and is not limited to food or pharmaceutical products. It may be a solution, colloid or suspension. Vitamin E powder is one of the spray dried products offered by certain ingredient sellers.

Safety, reliability
There was a disturbing report on PBS Newshour Oct. 21, 2010 on herbal supplements. It was about a new technique developed by scientists that “barcodes” herbs so that you can now test the authenticity of supplements claiming to contain them. The reporters asked the lab to do a (non-scientifically selected) sample of about a dozen herbal supplements to see if they really contained what they claimed to contain, and found an alarming number had ZERO. Ginseng, for example, was the worst. Some had none whatseover, some had unknown constituents which could be quite harmful. In fact, there was an MD who was involved with getting this analytical method started who said part of his motivation was that a lot of his female patients were taking black cohosh (or at least that is what the labels claimed) and were getting actually ill from it.This took us aback as we’ve used many supplements for many years… I wonder how many of them are totally bogus and even harming us long-term? Especially skeptical now of the ones from China, like schizandra…with all the cases of contamination of Chinese food exports, etc. Any thoughts? This would be worthy of an article on your site.
There is no doubt that certain companies are not honest with their products. That’s unfortunately true of almost any industry, including the pharmaceutical industry that has been known to bribe researchers for skewing results of drug studies in the favor of the tested drug or may not list all the possible side effects of the drugs. The bottom line is to purchase products from reliable companies that have been around a while and realize that there are no guarantees in life in anything we purchase. Overall the use of dietary supplements has caused much less harm and more good to the public than the media would like people to believe.

Emergency room visits due to supplement overdose
An estimated 23,000 emergency department visits in the United States every year are attributed to adverse events related to dietary supplements. Such visits commonly involve cardiovascular manifestations from weight-loss or energy products among young adults

Are you aware of anything that will help the body to get the full potential of supplements by assisting in absorption?
Supplements are better absorbed than people realize, there is no need to be concerned about taking other things with it, most people have more than enough of what the body needs.

Vitamin A lotion for skin health and medical uses.

Are you overdoing it with supplements? by Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., printed with the doctor’s permission, Taking breaks, not using daily
Dr. Sahelian says: A friend of mine called me recently for advice. He is 53 years old, very healthy, and wanted to know what I thought about his supplement regimen. I was shocked when he read off 15 different supplements that he was taking every day. “I often take two or three capsules from each bottle,” he added. “I want to take a lot of antioxidants to stay young.” I’m a strong believer in supplements and truly feel that they are underused by the medical profession. Sometimes people proudly list a dozen supplements they take daily, thinking that the more they ingest, the healthier they will be. I don’t think there is any evidence to support this viewpoint. In fact, my interpretation of studies leads me to believe that a certain amount of supplements can be helpful, but after a point they could interfere with optimal health and lead to unexpected or unforeseen health problems. Since my friend had about 15 different bottles on his kitchen counter, I suggested that perhaps he could alternate their use and take five or six different supplements a day rather than 15. This way he could go through all of them every three days. I also told him that I had no proof that taking more would not be helpful, and ultimately it is up to him and his health care provider to decide what to take. Some people may not need any supplements, others may do fine taking 10 or more different ones. However, as a general rule, there should be a good reason for taking more than six to 10 supplements each day (such as treating a medical condition). Think of supplements the same way as the produce section of your grocery store. Dozens of healthy vegetables and fruits are available to you and each one of them has a unique set of vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, flavonoids, and other beneficial substances. However, this does not mean you should eat them all every day. Same with supplements. Literally hundreds of products have antioxidant and potential health-benefiting properties. But it is not reasonable to take them all every day. You may be taking too many pills if you notice your heart rate increasing or your body temperature rising, feel overstimulated or anxious, have uncontrolled or restless energy, or if you find your sleep is disturbed. Many herbs (including ginseng, aphrodisiacs, and herbs that increase energy) and nutrients (like B vitamins) can cause alertness. You may have trouble falling asleep, experience shallow sleep, or wake up an hour or two earlier than usual. If this happens, take a break from these supplements and resume a couple of days later at a lower amount. Also, keep in mind that the effects accumulate over time. If you take a pill, some of the effects may last into the next day. So, when you take the same pill the second day, it is already adding on to some of the remnants of the first day.

Q. I read in one of your web pages that you should take a break from supplements, why is that?
Q. Another reader asks: I find that Tongkat ali worked great for a while for libido, but then as I kept taking it, it didn’t seem to work as well. Do I need to take a break?
A. As a rule, we recommend taking a break from taking supplements.
Note: The dosage makes a huge difference in how often to take breaks from supplement use. If your dosage is very low, you can take supplements for prolonged periods with hardly any breaks. If the dosage is high, you would need to take more frequent breaks.

The Age Limit for Supplements
As a strong believer in natural remedies, I am constantly recommending that people turn to supplements to help them fight disease, stay healthy, and keep their brains and bodies strong. Recently, a 65-year-old reader of my newsletter wrote me to ask: “Is there an age limit on taking the herbs, hormone supplements, or amino acids?” The simple answer is that there is no age limit – you can take supplements into your 80s and 90s and beyond. However, you should reduce the dosage of those supplements as you grow older. This is because many herbs (including ginseng and many sexual enhancing herbs) can stimulate the heart to beat rapidly, which can cause problems for those with weak hearts. In general, supplements such as fish oils, garlic, and most vitamins and minerals are fine no matter how old you are. Hormones, on the other hand, can be dangerous unless used in tiny doses of less than five mg. Individual amino acids such as tyrosine and phenylalanine can also cause heart rhythm problems in high doses, and so can SAM-e, a nutrient used for depression. As a rule, as you get older, you should take a portion of the suggested dosage, perhaps half the amount recommended on the label of the supplement bottle – at least initially – to find out if there is any untoward effect. You should also be cautious about using supplements while you are taking prescribed pharmaceutical drugs, because we don’t fully understand their interactions.

Brain health in children
 In a 2013 study of six-year-olds, researchers found no IQ differences between kids who were fed formula supplemented with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) as infants and those who got regular formula, but the PUFA kids were notably faster at picture-matching games.

Dietary supplement use could reduce health care costs
2007 – A study shows that over the next five years, appropriate use of select dietary supplements would improve the health of key populations and save the nation more than $24 billion in healthcare costs. The study, commissioned by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA), updated research conducted by The Lewin Group in 2004 and 2005 that included a systematic literature review of the most rigorous scientific research available. Key study findings include:

Calcium with vitamin D supplement use – Appropriate use of calcium with Vitamin D for the Medicare population shows potential avoidance of approximately 776,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures over five years, as well as avoidance of stays in skilled nursing facilities for some proportion of patients. The five-year (2008-2012) estimated net cost associated with avoidable hospitalization for hip fracture is approximately $16.1 billion.

Folic Acid supplement use: if just 11.3 million of the 44 million American women who are of childbearing age and not taking folic acid, began taking 400 mcg. of folic acid on a daily basis neural tube defects could be prevented in 600 babies, saving as much as $344,700,000 in the first year. Over five years, taking into account the cost of the supplement, $1.4 billion could potentially be saved

Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplement use: The estimate of the potential five-year savings in health care expenditures resulting from a reduction in the occurrence of coronary heart disease (CHD) among the population over age 65 through daily intake of approximately 1800 mg of omega-3 is $3.2 billion.

Lutein with zeaxanthin: Through daily intake of 6-10 mg of lutein with zeaxanthin, it is estimated that $3.6 billion could be saved over 5 years by helping people with age related macular degeneration avoid dependency. Across the five year period, approximately 190,927 individuals could avoid the transition to dependence either in the community or a nursing facility that would accompany a loss of central vision resulting from advanced AMD.

About DSEA:
DSEA is a coalition of industry leaders whose mission is to educate consumers, media and policymakers on the benefits of dietary supplements for optimizing health and prevention of disease, with a focus on their safety, efficacy and regulation. Its donors include nutritional and dietary supplement suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and publishers.  Since its inception five years ago, DSEA has generated millions of media impressions increasing public awareness of the benefits of nutritional supplements through its education project, the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau (DSIB). In addition to media outreach, DSEA has produced a Web site which has become a well-known resource for objective information about nutritional supplements accessed on an ongoing basis by media, consumers, health professionals and legislators. DSEA board members include the American Herbal Products Association, The Canadian Health Food Association, Capsugel, Herbalife (HLF), NBTY, the Natural Products Association, Natrol, Inc.(NTOL), New Hope Natural Media/Penton Media, Virgo Publishing and the Vitamin Shoppe.

Supplement use by children
A study published is October 2007 suggests that more than 30 percent of American children take dietary supplements daily — most often multivitamins and multiminerals.

Changing of guidelines
In general, medical advice changes about every five years because of new evidence. In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative found that hormone replacement therapy, formerly thought to protect against heart disease, actually increases the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. Since 2005, several studies have shown that, contrary to previous assumptions, B6, B12 and folic acid may not prevent heart disease. In 2008, a large trial challenged the belief that selenium and vitamin E can help prevent prostate cancer.

Weight loss product
Advantra Z is a supplement marketed for weight loss.

Q. I have noticed that there are many supplements with the following extra ingredients Hydroxypropyl cellulose, dibasic calcium phosphate, stearic acid, modified cellulose gum, colloidal silicon dioxide, and magnesium stearate. What are the effects of these? Why are there so many?
A. In order for the herbs or supplements not to clump together and form a had gel, softening agents are used to keep the material apart so that it can be manufactured easily and the raw material placed in capsules without clogging or clumping.

Q. I came across this info on supplement legality and wanted to pass it on to you: Lame Duck Congress Threatening To Pass Anti-Supplement Bill. It is a regrettable fact that our legal-political system is so often characterized by deception and ambush. During the heated political campaigns prior to November 7, 2006 members of Congress would not dare pass a bill that would interfere with consumers’ free access to dietary supplements. Now that the election is over, there is an attempt to attach a new law onto an existing bill that would give the FDA greater powers to remove dietary supplements from the marketplace and put a heavy burden on smaller dietary supplement companies. This ominous Senate Bill ”S.3546—is deceptively titled Dietary Supplement and Non-Prescription Drug Consumer Protection Act. The charade behind this title is that it would largely function to protect large pharmaceutical companies against the low cost competition they are encountering from makers of natural alternatives to their toxic drugs. As many of you know, this year’s election was one of the closest on record. If the re-elected members of Congress know how outraged citizens will be if S.3546 is passed, it will almost certainly be killed. Please know that members of Congress now prefer email as the most efficient way to hear from their constituents.

Q. Do you have any information on the supplement zeolite?
A. You can find information about zeolite here.

PET scans, CT scancs
Q. Can you tell me if the results of the PET scan my mother will be having will be affected by any of the following supplements: liquid calcium, turmeric powder capsules, acai powder capsules, or any supplement not mentioned?
It seems like glucose metabolism is key for this test and since turmeric and acai do something to fat metabolism, I was just wondering if she should she stop the supplements. If you think she should stop taking them, how long before the test does she need to stop taking them?
A. We have not seen any studies that have looked into supplement use and whether this influences results of a PET scan. We suspect not, but this is just an opinion.

Q. Please send information on Risotriene, (powder rice husks) also how to purchase.
A. A search in google reveals RiSoTriene is a granulated powder extracted from the outer layer of the brown rice kernel. We are not familiar with research with this trademarked product.

Q. Could you please tell me whether you think it would be okay to supplement with gingko, panax ginseng, carnosine at the same time?
A. Much depends on the dosage of the supplements and your overall health. No firm answers can be given since there are too may variables involved.

A list of supplement products
Alteril as a sleep aid
Ambrotose glyconutrition product from Mannatech
Anatrim supplement for weight loss
Arginmax supplement for sexual enhancement
Avacor supplement for hair loss

Please Send Me Information On The Most Important Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids, Enzymes, Prebiotics and Probiotics For: Duhring’s Disease, O.C.D. (Bassilaphobia), Bi-Polar-Manic Depressive Disorder, A.D.D., Hyperthyroidism, Hypoglycemic, Asthma, Scoliosis, Allergies (Cats, Birds, Mold, Dust, Pollen, Penicillin), Constant Fatigue, Constant Thirst, Thank You And May YAHWEH (GOD) Bless You And Yours In The Name Of YAHSHUA HA MOSHIACH (JESUS THE MESSIAH) I Pray Amen And Amen!
The home page of this website has information on these topics.

Celadrin for arthritis
Cellfood dietary supplement

Diachrome is a patented combination of chromium picolinate and biotin.

Essaic is a mix of several herbs and often touted as an anticancer combination.
Immunoguard for immune system supplement
Manapol supplement
Memoprove supplement
for men is promoted as a male enhancement product.

I would like to introduce to you Neurofencine, a first-of-its-kind treatment solution for pain-free nerve function affording a better quality of life. Neurofencine was developed for nerve health based on our discovery of the neuroprotective properties of G-agmatine, which was substantiated by extensive scientific research. Recent clinical trials now demonstrate the benefits of G-agmatine, the active ingredient in Neurofencine, in accelerating neuropathic pain recovery and improving health-related quality of life in sciatica (Keynan et al., Pain Medicine, 2010).NeurofencineTM is now available for general use in neuropathies exclusively from Gilad & Gilad.

Penis enlarge patch rx supplement for increased penis size, no evidence of effectiveness
Phenocane as anti-inflammatory
Product B has Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) seed extract, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root extract, horny goat (Epimedium sagittatum) weed extract, grape (Vitisvinifera) seed extract, turmeric (Curcuma longa) root extract, resveratrol (Polygonum cuspidatum), bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) leaf extract, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, green tea (Camellia sinensis) leaf extract, pomegranate (Punicagranatum) fruit extract, Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) root extract, DL-alpha lipoic acid, boswellia (Boswelliaserrata)fruit extract, bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) fruit extract, blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) fruit extract,red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) fruit extract, white tea (C.sinensis)leafextract, black tea (C. sinensis)leaf extract, quercetin, L-glutathione, velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) root extract, maca (Lepidium meyenii)root extract, harada (Terminalia chebula) fruit extract, shilajit extract, chia (Salvia hispanica) seed extract, Chinese goldthread (Coptis chinensis) rhizome extract, acacia (Acacia nilotica) bark extract, hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida) root extract, hawthorn (C. pinnatifida) fruit extract.
Testimonial: Having just started taking “Product B” since the 10th day of April 2014 (today is the 18th) for the past two days I’ve experienced lack of appetite, nausea, bad taste in mouth, and diarrhea. My intent is to discontinue use of the product to find out if it will go away.
Spectracell information
Testofen supplement
Trigogen supplement, a fenugreek extract

Here is what my wife has been taking and for good reason too long to go into but from what Dr friends I have all over the country. This is what she is taking now. there was more before but this is what is settled on now. The red yeast rice caused liver problems so her Dr took her off after I researched for him what possibilities caused a high AST and Alt. Sure enough it was red yeast rice. That’s why you don’t see it here. Used to be lovanza also on here. as well as Beta Sitosterol that gave problems with sugar rise. Policosanol didn’t do much either. Will read the diabetes also. Garlic 2 pills 1500 mg blood press etc Calcium 1 pill 600 mg + 400 I.U. Of D-3, Vit. C 3 pills 1 gram over all Fish oil 3 caps 3 grams for arteries Multi vitamin 1 a day Lutein 1 pill 20 mg for eyes, Inistol Niacin 2 tabs 1 gram for diabetes Bilberry 1 cap 1 gram for eyes Hawthorne Berry 1 565 mg for heart CO -Q-10 3 cap 450 mg heart & every cell Milk Thistle 1 cap 175 mg Liver R Lapoic acid 1 a day 100 mg For diabetes. Flowers 6 pills a day Blood pressure1 Generic Glucophage & 1generic 1000 mg for diabetes. Vanadyl Sulfate 2 a day 20 mg. Pantethine 25 mg a day.

VitalzymSEB and Vitalzym
VSL#3 probiotic supplement
Zestra is used for sexual enhancement

Economic contribution 2009
A study funded by the Natural Products Foundation has found the total economic contribution of the dietary supplement industry to the U.S. economy is $61 billion dollars per year. The study also showed that the dietary supplement industry has enough activity throughout production and sales to support more than 450,000 jobs, while industry concerns paid more than $10 billion dollars in taxes in 2006. “Most industry assessments primarily focus on sales, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg,” said Tracy Taylor executive director of the Natural Products Foundation. “The labor, materials, and technology necessary to move each product from a raw material to the final sale cause a whole spectrum of economic consequences.” The Economic Impact Report, completed by Dobson | DaVanzo, a Washington D.C.-based economic research firm, is the first to quantify the dietary supplement industry’s overall financial impact on the national economy by considering such contributing factors as supply, production, research, direct employment, manufacturing, taxes, and the extended financial effects these factors produce. “Not only does the dietary supplement industry represent an important and growing component of the U.S. economy, it is interconnected in essential ways with many other industries,” write the study’s authors. “For example, the dietary supplement industry contributes to output (or spending) in other industries, such as retail and wholesale trade; real estate, rental and leasing; finance and insurance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and manufacturing.” The dietary supplement industry’s influence is expanding, with the entire industry growing at a rate that exceeds the rate of inflation. While health care providers are often given a “market basket” increase to account for medical and other inflation, usually between two and three percent, the dietary supplement industry is steadily growing at a rate greater than five percent per year. As the core sales of the dietary supplement industry grow, so too does its extended effects on the economy, providing sustainable jobs, manufacturing infrastructure, and health care benefits by way of prevention.
Supplements and Herbal Index tongkat ali home page

Are your vitamins derived from plant or animal products, or produced synthetically in a laboratory?
There are hundreds of products that are sold on the website and most are plant derived products and some are made synthetically.

I am wondering if there is any scientific basis for claims made by New Chapter that their whole food based, probiotic nutrients are better than supplements that use isolates? I’m curious as to whether the liver breaks down or utilizes the New Chapter supplements in a different manner than regular supplements. The company literature says that all of their vitamins and minerals are bio-transformed through fermentation into glycol-protein bound food complexes many times more potent than USP, and that fermentation creates powerful bacteriocins and immune enhancing ferment metabolites. This just sounds like a bunch of junk science to me and I’d like to know if there is any truth to it, if there are any studies that backup their claims and if there is any scientific literature/studies that can be provided to prove that these supplements are superior. Thank you, and I look forward to your evaluation of these statements found in their literature.
Unless studies are done comparing New Chapter products comparing to other supplements on the market, and benefits are shown superior to other supplements, at this point it would be premature to make such claims.

Just a quick Thank you for your high quality supplements and all the vital information you post on your web site! I wanted to know if you could one day do an article or better explanation on supplement sensitivity or side effects? You mention this often but not much information is given. And there is virtually no information out there on this subject. I’m more curious if people develop a sensitivity to the regular regime of daily multi-vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, B’s, C, D, Calcium, etc Not necessarily a sensitivity to the obscure supplements like L-Theanine, Ginseng, et I’m 57 and have taken multi-vitamin/minerals daily for 30+ years, but have noticed more and more feelings of an odd anxiety, anxiousness, and un-restful sleep when I take them, and then these feelings stopping when I stop taking supplements? Do you have an article I have missed somewhere on this? Or, where would I find information on bad, or unpleasant side effects of vitamins and supplements. Most all the info is positive info.
On each page of the website there are reviews and explanations of possible side effects of supplements. The reactions you are experiencing may not necessarily be due to sensitivity, but just an accumulation over time and it is a good idea to take breaks from use.

I was shocked to have read a CONSUMERS REPORT ON HEALTH VOL 22 # 2 (February) headlines which completely denies hardly any benefit of supplementation citing Major studies from Major health organizations as proof. I am confounded by these negative claims and wonder how such a responsible organization can go so far?
We do not pay attention to these types of articles CONSUMERS REPORT ON HEALTH, we just focus on the studies published by scientific journals and we do our own interpretation, not interpretations by those who have not studied these topics in detail and do not have medical degrees.

I keep hearing lately that you should cycle all supplements so your body will not build up a resistance to them, but everyone I talk to says you need to take supplements continuously to have any effect. Can you let me know if cycling is correct and if yes do you cycle 7 different supplements over 7 days etc?
There are no easy answers, each person is different and the dosages make a big difference along with one’s age, diet, medications used, activity level, etc.

Q. I am pretty sure you are aware of the dire need for improving the curriculum of nutritional sciences in the medical schools in North America. This has been discussed in nutrition science journals so I won’t dwell on that. The lack of sufficient training in nutrition and related sciences makes most family physicians to avoid any reference to nutrition/supplements and its role in disease prevention when talking to their patients. You are among the very few who not only show extensive knowledge of the biochemical function of a large variety of nutritional supplements but also formulated new products that helped people in many medical conditions. My previous project was a book titled: ‘An Introduction to Vitamins, Minerals and Oxidative Stress’ meant as a companion to the general biochemistry course taken by first year life/medical sciences undergrad students (Universal Publishers, 2008). It has an electronic version (in html format), which makes it more appealing to read than the standard pdf files in which most if not all ebooks are presented.

Nutritional tree review
Q. I wanted to make you aware of Nutritional Tree dot com, a consumer review site for over 8000 supplements. We have collected tens of thousands of reviews so far and are growing rapidly. Congratulations on your online success. If you think of any way that we can work together, we would love to. We would for example, be glad to syndicate our reviews to you if that would help you. Also, if you have your own products that we have not collected reviews on, we would be glad to add them to our database and make them available for review.
A. Thank you for contacting us but we are not sure how reliable the Nutrition Tree review site is since anyone can post anything on any product including saying negative things about a competitor and no one would know whether a real person took the supplement or whether it was placed there with one star rating by a competing company. If there was a better way to determine or monitor the honesty of the posters, we would gladly work with you.