Vitamin D has major health benefits.
The best source of vitamin D is from the sun, but you also see many
foods fortified with Vitamin D. Unfortunately, milk and other foods
fortified with vitamin D often contain a synthetic form called ergocalciferol,
or vitamin D2.
This synthetic form isn’t as potent
and doesn’t last as long in your body. In fact, synthetic vitamin
D becomes toxic in your body at far lower levels. Too much synthetic
vitamin D2 may be linked to health problems. A number of studies link
synthetic vitamin D2 to irritation of the lining of blood vessels.
In fortified milk, you may not know even
how much you are getting. When Dr. Michael Holick and his colleagues
at the Boston University School of Medicine tested samples of milk,
they found 8 out of 10 samples contained either 20 percent less or 20
percent more vitamin D than the amount the label advertised -- and some
of the milk tested contained no vitamin D at all.
In the video above, Dr. Levy gives an
enlightening demonstration for why eating enriched foods isn't your
It should be clear by now that fortified
processed foods will never be equal to fresh whole foods. Similarly,
synthetic vitamin supplements cannot compare to whole food supplements
that contain naturally occurring vitamins in their unadulterated form.
With all the focus on getting enough
of certain essential nutrients, many have been fooled into thinking
they can supplement their way to good health, using fortified foods
and vitamin supplements as an easy way out of having to make significant
More often than not, this simply will
not lead to the healthy results you’re looking for.
Whole Food Nutrients Vs. Synthetic,
Most people who read this newsletter
are probably familiar with the idea that whole foods are FAR better
for you than refined, processed foods.
Although there are differing viewpoints
on what kind of foods you should or should not be eating, as well as
the ideal ratio of these foods, nearly everyone from all corners of
the diet and nutrition world seem to agree on one thing: No matter which
foods you choose and in what ratios you eat them, whole foods are better
for you than refined foods.
The same goes for supplemental vitamins,
whether they’re in pill form or added to an enriched food product.
Just like processed foods, most commercial
vitamins are synthetic vitamins that have been robbed of all of the
extra accessory micronutrients that they naturally come with. In turn,
like refined foods, they can create numerous problems and imbalances
in your body if taken at high levels for long periods of time.
They can also act more like drugs in
your body. At the very least, they won't be as beneficial as high quality
food and food-based supplements are.
Fortified foods are essentially processed
foods containing synthetic vitamins and minerals. There’s nothing
natural about them. And as the video above shows, certain additives
cannot even be considered suitable for human consumption at all!
Who in their right mind would voluntarily
consider feeding their child a pinch of iron filings for breakfast each
I’d venture to guess that if you
did, and someone found out about it, you’d have children’s
social services knocking on your door questioning the safety of your
And yet, many children and adults end
up consuming metal shavings every day, courtesy of their fortified breakfast
The Best Sources of Iron
Rather than eating cereal enriched with
toxic iron filings, your best bet is to make sure you’re eating
enough whole foods that are rich in bioavailable iron.
Good sources include:
•Grass-fed red meats, such as beef,
pork, lamb and veal
•Green leafy vegetables, such as
spinach, asparagus, broccoli, collard greens, kale, parley, cabbage,
chard, watercress and Brussel sprouts
•Most kinds of dried beans, including
lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans and black eye beans
•Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews,
walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and hazelnuts
If you need to use a supplemental form
of iron please avoid ferrous sulfate, which can be highly toxic. The
safest form of iron that I know of is Feosol Carbonyl Iron, which is
available at Costco or Target. There has never been a case of iron toxicity
from accidental overdose of this type of iron. This is in stark contrast
to all other iron supplements, which regularly kill children every year
from accidental overdoses.
Keep in mind that although iron is found
in many foods, some people do not absorb it well. Vitamin C helps your
body absorb iron, while caffeine can hinder iron absorption. Again,
you’ll want to get your vitamin
C from natural food sources rather than a supplement.
Why Eating Vitamin D Fortified
Foods Won’t Do You Much Good
As described in the article above, vitamin
D fortified foods will not give you the vitamin D you need, for two
1.Most foods are fortified with synthetic
2.Fortified foods may contain either
more or less than stated on the label, so you don’t know how much
you’re actually getting
In addition, although vitamin D2—the
synthetic form of vitamin D—is less potent than the natural vitamin
D3, it becomes toxic in your body at far lower levels than the natural
As with most nutrients and compounds,
it is always best to get them from their natural sources, and vitamin
D is no exception.
Interestingly, the only vitamin not found
in breast milk is vitamin D. To me that’s a giant clue that we
were NOT designed to swallow vitamin D. Newborn infants, just like you,
were designed to produce it by exposing their skin to natural sunlight.
Without question, the best way to get
the right amount of vitamin D is to spend some time in the sun. The
problem arises during the wintertime, when, depending on where you live,
of course, sunshine is too scarce.
One alternative is to use a safe
tanning bed that is shielded from harmful emissions, or by using
a high-quality vitamin D supplement.
What You Need to Know About Vitamin
The vitamin D that’s added to milk
is the synthetic and highly inferior vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Only
vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the type of vitamin D found naturally
in foods such as eggs, organ meats, animal fat, and cod liver oil is
appropriate for supplementation.
The term ‘buyer beware’ definitely
applies to fortified foods...
Perhaps the most important aspect of
vitamin D supplementation is the need for regular testing.
Do not embark on a supplementation program
without first checking
your vitamin D levels, and getting tested regularly to make sure
a healthy range. Whereas you cannot overdose on vitamin D from the
sun, you definitely run that risk when you’re taking supplements.
For more information about this important
topic, please review the articles listed below.