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Category Archives: Food Supplements

Consumers Redefining Dietary Supplement Categories – Nutritional Outlook

Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:56 pm

By Bob Sanders, Executive Vice President, Healthcare Practice Leader, IRI

Armed with the confidence that comes from their Internet-driven research on the benefits of dietary supplements, todays consumers have gone after their health and wellness goals with a targeted approach that has changed the face of the supplements market in the past two decades. Today, consumers seek solutions, and not necessarily product categories, which has blurred category lines and opened up opportunities for key, sought-after benefits like immunity, pain relief, and memory, for example.

Diet and supplementation have spurred a hybrid approach combining the benefits of traditional pills and delivery methods with foods and now popular smoothies or shakes to combat chronic ailments and conditions. While 37% of Americans say that food is just as powerful as medicine and that they intentionally eat products such as kale and spinach with known health benefits, nutritionals and supplements will continue to play a critical role because most Americans also say that eating the recommended dietary allowance of a nutrient is often impractical, unhealthy, and expensive to do, according to IRIs 2017 Self-Care Study. Combined with healthy diets, supplements contribute to consumers efforts to seek solutions and drive the self-care movement.

Its a Mainstream Movement

Most notable in the evolution of supplements throughout the past two decades is their mainstream appeal; no longer are these products just the territory of health food stores. Todays nutritionals, including vitamins, minerals, herbals, and other supplements, are widely distributed through online and brick-and-mortar retailers, and theyre increasingly sought after by various demographics.

According to IRIs 2017 Self-Care Study, 85% of Americans say that they continue to engage in self-care activities at a similar level compared with the year prior. Some 15% say they are doing more. Specific to supplements, 22% of respondents say they take more supplements than they did a year ago.

Millennials, in particular, have embraced supplements and are buying and taking more than generations before them. Todays younger generation of adults is using supplements in daily living and before and after exercising, and theyre honing in on specific products to help them meet their health and fitness goals. This has been a huge mindset shift from the 30-somethings of 20 years ago. Twenty years ago, for instance, by no means could marketers have convinced the 30-something generation to take supplements, while today, this group demonstrates great engagement, potential, and spending power in this space. Theyre learning about supplements and their value online, and theyre buying niche products as they work to take control of their health and fitness as well as actively stave off any signs of aging.

Ready-to-drink smoothies have also captured a lot of attention in the past decade, delivering benefits in a convenient, on-the-go format, positioned as the perfect complement to todays busy lifestyles. Smoothies also allow for inclusion of specific value-added ingredients and removal of others, such as gluten or dairy, as consumers address their unique health goals.

Natural and organic ingredients are also popular, and they reflect a much more globally inspired marketplace than in decades past. Twenty years ago, hot ingredients were antioxidants, vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, and herbals such as ginseng and ginkgo, while today, hot ingredients better reflect our diverse, global ingredient world (think cumin, maca, turmeric, and protein-rich options as well).

As the blurring of nutritional lines continues, it will be harder to differentiate which categories and nutritional benefits are considered mainstream. For instance, consumers may indeed perceive nutritional shakes such as Boost and Ensure as very viable alternatives to meet nutritional needs. In years past, this benefit was only associated with the traditional vitamin supplement category.

The supplements market has grown dramatically, reaching nearly all consumer groups and delivering products in a global marketplace. Self-care is the consumer behavior shift, and health and wellness is the outcome. It is clear that consumers wish to increasingly control their long-term health, and they will seek a much broader, blurred solution set to meet these needs.

Bob Sanders is executive vice president, Healthcare Practice Leader, at IRI (Chicago). IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics, and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC healthcare, retailers, and media companies to grow their businesses.

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Is 2017 a Better Year for Dietary Supplements than 1998?

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High doses of vitamin B tied to lung cancer risk, study says – CNN

Posted: at 11:56 pm

The study found a 30% to 40% increased risk of lung cancer among men taking these vitamins from individual supplements -- not from multivitamins or diet alone. But the effect seemed to be driven by current smokers who far exceeded the recommended daily amounts of the vitamins, according to study author Theodore Brasky, an epidemiologist in the division of cancer prevention and control at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

"I think these results point to a synergism" between high-dose B vitamins, smoking and lung cancer risk among men, Brasky said.

"If you look at B-vitamin supplement bottles ... they are anywhere between 50-fold the US recommended dietary allowance (to) upward of 2,100-fold," Brasky said. B12 injections have also become "in vogue" in recent years, he said.

In smaller quantities, these vitamins are involved in several vital processes in the body, including DNA replication. But many high-dose supplements, he said, claim to boost energy and provide other unproven benefits.

"That's marketing. That's not science," he said.

The study was limited to roughly 77,000 Washington state adults, ages 50 to 76. This included 139 cases of lung cancer among more than 3,200 current male smokers. Over 93% of participants were white.

There were too few cases of lung cancer among nonsmokers to include them in the full analysis. An increased risk of lung cancer was not seen among women or with the vitamin B9, also known as folate.

A focus on B vitamins may not be the most effective way to protect against lung cancer, experts warn.

"Combustible tobacco smoke is the No. 1 most important factor, not just only in lung cancer but in many cancers," Brasky said.

"When we're talking about what to be concerned about most: If you're a male smoker and you want to take B vitamins, you can stop smoking," Brasky said.

"Smoking is the most important thing here, and that's preventable."

"In the average person in this country, it's tough to be deficient" in B vitamins, Brasky said.

Those who are -- those with anemia or celiac disease, for example -- will feel tired and run down. For them, supplements might help.

But taking "megadoses" of these supplements doesn't do much for the average healthy person, Brasky said, nor does it cause immediate harm. The body tends to get rid of excess vitamin, he said.

Stomach acid and digestion, Bailey said, are able to "rip out" B12 from food so that the body can absorb it. Some synthetic supplements, however, may be more easily absorbed.

In high concentrations, however, the exact relationship between the vitamins and lung cancer is unclear. If the vitamins are indeed responsible for increasing the lung cancer risk, Brasky said, another question would be whether B vitamins are hastening the development of a lung cancer that's already there or leading to new cancers.

Bailey warned that we are nowhere close to claiming that these high-dose supplements cause cancer. She added that the dietary survey the researchers used -- which calculated the average daily intake over the prior 10 years -- can be imprecise. But Brasky said that adults generally recall which supplements they've taken, allowing researchers to get a good idea of their average doses.

"In my mind, people take supplements because they're sick and trying to get better or because they're healthy and want to stay that way," she said.

"There might be one reason why somebody takes something, but it can have other effects on our bodies," Kantor said. "We don't know the whole host of effects."

The good news, Bailey said, is that most people aren't taking the single-vitamin, high-dose supplements that go far beyond recommended levels.

"Most people are taking multivitamins," she said, "and for that, there's really been no (cancer) association, which I think is a success story."

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Here’s Why Taking Too Much Protein Powder Can Be Seriously Dangerous – Reader’s Digest

Posted: at 11:56 pm

The protein supplement market is booming. Protein powder, shakes, bars, and gels offer gym-goers and health-conscious people a nutritious alternative to junk food, or even a complete meal substitute.

Some 1 in 5 men regularly replace meals with protein drinks or bars, according to a 2015 study presented at the American Psychological Associations annual convention. And its not just men; a 2013 survey published in The FASEB Journal, reported on Shape, found that 50 percent of female recreational endurance athletes and 100 percent of female bodybuilders use protein supplements.

On balance, protein is super important for almost every function in the body. Everyone needs protein to help their body repair cells and make new ones. According to MedlinePlus, the daily recommended intake of protein (which is plentiful in eggs, quinoa, chicken, and fish) for healthy adults is 10 to 35 percent of your total calorie needs. For example, if a person on a 2,000 calorie diet ate 100 grams of protein per day, this would provide 20 percent of their total daily calories. (Here are signs you may not be eating enough protein.)

Nick Starichenko/shutterstock

However, the recent death of bodybuilder Meegan Hefford from Australia highlights some potential dangers of consuming too much of the nutrient. According to Perth Now, Hefford increased her protein consumption (both from food and dietary supplements) leading up to a competition, and she was not aware that she had urea cycle disorder, a rare disorder that prevented her body from properly metabolizing protein. (Urea cycle disorder has no outward symptoms.) Heffords death certificate listed the condition as a cause of death, along with intake of bodybuilding supplements. Heffords mother revealed that she found half a dozen containers of protein supplements in Heffords kitchen, along with a detailed diet plan including protein-rich foods like lean meat and egg whites.

Consuming too much protein powder can be dangerous for your health, particularly if there are underlying medical conditions, says Vinh Nguyen, MD, family medicine physician at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA. People who have disorders where protein cannot be properly metabolized can become very ill or die, as the incompletely processed protein metabolites can build up to toxic levels in the body. Studies show that excess protein consumption can lead to kidney disease, as well as kidney stones. Excessive protein intake can also cause dry mouth, constipation, and hair loss.

When it comes to recommended daily amounts of protein, there are no hard and fast recommendations. You must factor in a persons dietary protein intake and wheather he or she has a medical condition that needs to be factored in, explains Renato Roxas Jr., MD, Chief of Medicine at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital. Some reputable sources suggest that 1.2 grams of whey protein supplementation per kilogram of body weight as a good guide. It is best for people to work with their doctor to determine the safe amounts for them. [In Heffords case], she unknowingly had a fairly rare congenital condition that hindered her ability to properly metabolize protein, leading to the accumulation of toxic byproducts.

Here are great sources of lean protein from foods, so you can lean less on supplements. But if you are going to dabble in supplements, heres how to choose the best protein powder for you.

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Hungarian authorities pull more supplements due to banned substances –

Posted: August 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Two brands of dietary supplements imported from China have been withdrawn from sale in Hungary after banned pharmaceutical substances were found.

According to the Hungarian, The National Food Chain Safety Office (NBIH), the two Chinese made supplements were found to contain forbidden pharmaceutical ingredients including Sildenafil and its analogues Thioaildenafil and Tadalafil.

All three active pharmaceuticals are banned from use in food products, including dietary supplements, and are the main ingredient(s) in pharmaceutical products to treat erectile dysfunction.

The two products, Ingenium Nutritional and SPX - Nutritional Supplement, were removed from sale by Hungarian authorities and an immediate recall was made for the dietary supplements that had already been supplied to customers.

The presence of drug agents can only be tolerated in medicinal products that are produced under controlled and controlled conditions.The use of these substances in food, including dietary supplements, is strictly forbidden! said the NBIH

In the absence of medical expertise and supervision, drug agents in the human body may cause circulatory or neurological problems, it added.

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Assessing Nutrition in Pregnancy and Additional Supplements – Medical News Bulletin

Posted: at 6:13 pm

Many pregnant women have trouble obtaining the required amount of various nutrients through diet. A recent study assessed nutrition during pregnancy and additional multivitamins required to reach the optimal nutrient intake.

Diet and nutrition during pregnancy are essential for maintaining both the mother and babys overall health. When the required prenatal care and nutritional requirements are not met, there can be serious short and long-term health consequences for mother and child. However, many studies now recognize that the required amount of nutrients cannot be obtained through diet only, but also require additional supplements. A study published in 2011, presented data from various developed countries that showed women have difficulty meeting national dietary guidelines during their pregnancy and lack the necessary amount of macro and micronutrients. As a result, multivitamins were recommended,in addition to having a balanced and healthy diet during pregnancy.

A recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, investigated nutritional intake in a large group of pregnant women in Quebec, Canada.Diet and nutritional intake during pregnancy was assessed according to the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI). This cohort study consisted of 2366 pregnant women during 8-14 weeks of pregnancy from one of nine hospital research centers in Quebec between May 2010 and August 2012. The women had middle to high income and an average age of 31.5 years. Participants were interviewed each trimester to collect information related to their health and to track the progress of the fetus. Data was collected with questionnaires, interviews, and anthropometric measures such as, body measurements related to height, weight and body fat percentage.Furthermore, the women completed a 3-day food record during their second prenatal visit, when they were between 20-24 weeks pregnant. They were asked to record the food and beverages they consumed on one weekend and two weekdays in a given week to understand their dietary intake.

The results indicate that food alone did not provide enough iron, vitamin D and folate. Moreover, about 10-15% of women during their pregnancy had inadequate levels of vitamin B-6, magnesium and zinc. Other alarming results showed that a third of the women had a total fat intake higher than the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) and a significant number of women had a lower than recommended fiber intake. In agreement with previous studies, Health Canada recommends that during pregnancy women should take multivitamin supplements containing 0.4 mg of folic acid and 16-20 mg of iron. Another issue noted was that even though most of the women in this study consumed prenatal vitamins, these supplements had higher amounts of vitamins than required. For instance, a popular multivitamin contained 1.3-1.5 times recommended doses and folic acid higher than the upper intake level (UL).

The authors conclude that although many foods in Canada have mandatory nutrients and are usually accessible, the nutrient intake of women is still low and additional prenatal vitamins are needed. Dubois and colleagues found that additional supplements and vitamins helped to reduce the risk of deficiencies. One of the main issues they noticed was that there was a higher intake of fat and sodium and a lower intake of fiber and potassium than recommended. Further studies are required, particularly to determine vitamin D intake, as it has the highest prevalence of deficiency possibly due to minimal exposure to sunlight in Canada.This study consisted only of women located in Quebec and of a higher socioeconomic status so results may not be generalizable to other populations. Despite this, Dubois and colleagues, in accordance with many other studies, suggested that taking additional vitamins and supplements on top of a healthy balanced diet is very important during pregnancy.

Written By:Seema N. Goolie, BSc

Dubois, L., Diasparra, M., Bedard, B., Colapinto, C., Fonataine- Bisson, B., Morisset, A., Tremblay, R. and Fraser, W. (2017). Adequacy of nutritional intake from food and supplements in a cohort of pregnant women in Quebec, Canada: the 3D cohort study. The American Clinical Journal of Nutrition, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.117.155499.

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Give your healthy diet a boost with supplements – USA TODAY

Posted: at 6:13 pm

Mary Helen Berg, USA TODAY Best Years magazine Published 9:55 a.m. ET Aug. 18, 2017

Dietary supplements can help prevent deficiencies and improve your health.(Photo: Getty Images)

Dietary supplements cant replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, but as we age, we may need a little boost to stay in top shape.

The bodies of older women dont absorb or process vitamins and minerals the way they did when they were younger, and require more of some micronutrients to run smoothly, says Alexander Michels, clinical research coordinator for Oregon State Universitys Linus Pauling Institute, where scientists study the role of vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals.

Supplements can help prevent deficiencies and improve your health.

Here are the best to try:


Women 50 and older need 1,200 milligrams a day. It:

Vitamin D

Our bodies make less vitamin D as we age, says Michels. It:


This multitasking mineral is one of the most important, says Dr. Todd Born, a naturopathic doctor and certified nutrition specialist in Alameda, Calif. It:

Omega-3 fatty acids

These are the most widely used natural supplement in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health. They:

May help prevent, treat or lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, arthritis pain and stiffness, diabetes, Alzheimers and dementia.

Vitamin B12

If I have to pick just one vitamin that we need as we age, B12 is the one, Born says. Older adults have difficulty absorbing B12 from food. It:


Found in red wine, red grape skins, mulberries, blueberries and peanuts, this substance has been found to prolong life in non-human primates, fish, flies, mice and worms. In humans, it combats:


One of my favorite botanicals, says Born. It seems as if there isnt anything that Curcuma longa cant do. One 2017 study questions turmerics promise as a cure-all, but others show the super-spice, the main flavoring for curry, has the potential for treating:

Grapeseed extract

Found in grape skins and seeds byproducts of winemaking the extract is available in capsule, tablet and liquid form. It:

Coenzyme Q10

With age, your level of this naturally occurring antioxidant, also known as CoQ10, drops. Studies show it may prevent or treat:


A new study will test whether multivitamins and cocoa extracts prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease in women. Multivitamins:

Not all supplements are ready for prime time, advises Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard University-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospital. Consult your doctor before adding supplements. Some have side effects or can interfere with medications.

USA TODAY Best Years magazine(Photo: Studio Gannett)

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Health & Wellness: 3 easy ways to prevent kidney stones – Montrose Daily Press

Posted: August 18, 2017 at 5:12 am

It can strike anyone, at any time. And the pain ranks right up there next to, say, drinking fire or having your legs gnawed off by wild animals.

Its a kidney stone.

And for the over half a million Americans who experience this unpleasant ordeal every year, it spans days of excruciating pain. Statistics show one in 10 of us will suffer from kidney stones at some point in our lives. But what is a kidney stone, and how can we prevent them from forming?

What is a kidney stone?

Kidney stones are comprised of minerals (most often calcium and oxalate deposits) that are collected from the bloodstream. Its not uncommon for stones to remain in the kidneys for a time, but the moment they start to move around and make their way through the ureter which connects the kidney to the bladder look out!

Kidney stones are becoming more prevalent in our senior population and create unique concerns for those caring for them, says Marissa Tan, director of nursing at French Park Care Center. But our focus is on prevention. By monitoring medications for possible side effects that increase the incidence of kidney or bladder stones, and encouraging a balanced diet with plenty of water, magnesium, and vitamin E-rich foods, and daily exercise, we are working to reduce the risks of nephrolithiasis.

Fortunately, improved surgical methods are less invasive and require less recovery time, but before you consider surgery, here are three strategies that prevent and treat painful kidney stones:

1. Stay hydrated.

Most Americans arent drinking enough water, and that creates the perfect breeding ground for kidney stones. Doctors say an active kidney is a healthy kidney, and that means producing at least two liters of urine each day to ensure your kidneys are regularly flushed and functioning properly.

2. Monitor your diet.

The best prevention is a diet high in citrates and low in oxalates. Surprisingly, some popular health foods such as spinach, avocado, beans, nuts, wheat and potatoes, are high in oxalates. So, add foods rich in vitamin E and magnesium like kale, cauliflower, peppers, sunflower seeds, corn, fish, grapes, berries and cabbage. Also, reduce the amount of salt and animal proteins in your diet.

By minimizing the amount of protein or meat as well as salt, stones are less likely to form, says University of Utah Health Care.

To build up citrates and improve bicarbonate levels that keep the bodys pH levels in balance and reduce the risks of kidney stones, Kalani Raphael, MD, a nephrologist at University of Utah Health, suggests eating fruits and vegetables high in citric acid, which prevents stone formation and breaks down stones that have already formed. For example, drinking an 8-ounce glass of water with the juice and grated peel of a fresh lemon can help break down calcium deposits that adhere to oxalates to form stones. When life hands you lemons, a daily dose of foods high in citric acid is great for overall kidney health.

3. Look at medications and supplements.

Kidney stones are often caused by medications or supplements. For example, some medications used to treat heartburn, acid reflux, or ulcers have been linked to higher incidences of kidney stones, so its important to talk with your doctor about the risks.

As for supplements, experts say using a food source rather than relying on a supplement is the best way to get essential vitamins and minerals.

With the exception of vitamin D, we can get adequate supplies of nutrients from eating a balanced diet, says Lydia Ramsey.

And as the debate between the merits or deficiencies rage concerning supplements and the increased risk of kidney stones, Michael Greger, MD, author of How Not to Die, points out that the nice thing about a healthier diet is that there are only good side effects.

If you have partnered dietary supplements with prescribed or over-the-counter medications, its important to discuss those supplements with your doctor.

Lets face it. Dealing with painful kidney stones ranks right up there with giving birth or getting shot out of a circus cannon. But with proper hydration, medication, and diet, you can prevent kidney stones and enjoy overall kidney health.

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Talk to your doctor before taking supplements –

Posted: August 16, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Q. I've been reading about athletes using steroids to build themselves up. Do these drugs work for older men?

First, some background on steroids. There are two types of steroids: corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids, such as cortisone and prednisone, are drugs that help control inflammation. Anabolic steroids, such as androstenedione or andro, are substances that can help the body make muscle.

Corticosteroids, which are like hormones that your adrenal glands produce to fight stress, are used to treat arthritis, asthma, lupus, multiple sclerosis, eczema and some kinds of cancer.

Anabolic steroids are drugs that are like the body's natural male sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone directs the body to produce or enhance male characteristics. Medical uses of anabolic steroids include some hormone problems in men, late puberty and muscle loss from some diseases.

When anabolic steroids increase the levels of testosterone in the blood, they stimulate muscle tissue in the body to grow larger and stronger. The effects of too much testosterone can be harmful. Some of the negative effects are rage, liver disease, high cholesterol, severe acne, baldness and infertility.

So-called natural steroids such as DHEA that are sold as over-the-counter supplements at many health food stores can have the same harmful effects as synthetic steroids. The only difference between natural and synthetic steroids is that synthetic steroids are made in a lab and are chemically altered.

Prior to January 2005, anabolic steroid supplements containing androstenedione also were available at health food stores. Because of safety issues, however, these supplements now cannot be sold without a prescription.

Because some hormone levels drop with age, there's a theory that this decline causes us to age. Declining levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone, have been linked with decreased energy and sex drive, muscle weakness and osteoporosis. But, can you reverse aging by restoring your hormones?

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland. DHEA levels in the body begin to decrease after age 30. Your body converts DHEA into the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Proponents say it slows aging, increases muscle and bone strength, burns fat, improves cognition, bolsters immunity and protects against chronic diseases.

There is no convincing medical evidence to support these claims about DHEA. Even short-term use of DHEA may cause liver damage.

There is sufficient evidence supporting the use of DHEA in the treatment of adrenal insufficiency, depression, induction of labor, and lupus.

There is a lack of available studies on the long-term effects of DHEA. However, DHEA may cause higher-than-normal levels of androgens and estrogens in the body, and theoretically may increase the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian, and other hormone-sensitive cancers. Therefore, it is not recommended for regular use without supervision by a licensed healthcare professional.

Don't believe advertisements that tell you supplements are natural remedies, implying that they can't hurt you. Some people try supplements such as coral calcium, ginseng and echinacea to stop aging. There isn't any evidence to support the claims for these supplements either.

Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement. Ingredients in supplements can cause harmful interactions with your medications, and serious side effects.

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Dr Libby: How to get the most out of food supplements | –

Posted: August 15, 2017 at 12:14 pm


Last updated14:45, August 15 2017


While nutritional supplements can help to bridge any gaps or to address deficiencies, they cannot replace a nutritious way of eating.

Nutritional supplements are very common these days.

For some people, supplements are necessary to cover nutritional gaps that can arise from excluding certain foods from their diet, regardless of whether this is by choice or necessity. For others, supplementation is something they view as an insurance policy, to ensure their nutrient intake is adequate if they don't always eat as well as they know they should.

Perhaps you choose to take a multivitamin to top up your intake of a range of nutrients, or maybe you take a specific vitamin or mineral that is lacking in your diet. Or you might take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement, or use a greens powder as a convenient way to increase your vegetable intake.

Good quality nutritional supplements are a financial investment, so you definitely want to be sure you are getting the maximum benefit from what you are taking.

READ MORE: *The problem with vitamin pills and supplements *Why this naturopath won't take supplements *Ask Dr Libby: the best supplements for joint health

If you're not effectively absorbing the nutrients from your supplements, you're not going to be getting all of the potential benefits from these. The old adage that you are what you eat isn't quite correct. You are what you eat, absorb and assimilate, and this is something to consider when it comes to supplementation, too.

Let's consider some common nutritional supplements and how you can get the most out of these.


Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, and it can be difficult to restore depleted iron levels without a supplement. Many iron supplements lead to constipation, but most people find this does not happen with liquid iron supplements.

If you take an iron supplement, avoiding tea, coffee or red wine within at least an hour of taking your supplement is essential, as the tannins inhibit iron absorption. Consuming calcium-rich foods away from iron-rich foods and iron supplements can also make a difference to iron absorption, as iron and calcium compete for absorption in the gut.

If you take a calcium supplement, it's important that this is taken at a different time to your iron supplement. The same goes for zinc supplements to maximise absorption, they should be taken at a different time to iron supplements.

Vitamin C, however, significantly enhances the absorption of iron. So if you take an iron supplement, you might like to check the label to ensure it also contains vitamin C.


To maximize absorption, zinc supplements are best taken away from food (before bed is a good time) and away from any iron, calcium and folic acid supplements. Tannins in tea, coffee and red wine can also inhibit zinc absorption, as can fibre, so these are best avoided for at least an hour either side of taking zinc.


Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so absorption of vitamin D supplements will be enhanced when taken with a source of dietary fat. This means it's best to take your vitamin D supplement with a meal that includes nourishing fats from foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil or oily fish such as salmon. There are two different forms of vitamin D they are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is the more bioavailable form.


Multivitamin supplements are best taken with a meal. When you eat, stomach acid is produced to help digest your food properly, and this will also enhance absorption of some of the nutrients in your multivitamin. The fats that are present in the meal will also help your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K). It's also best to avoid drinking coffee, tea and red wine within an hour of taking your multivitamin to get the most out of it.

While nutritional supplements can help to bridge any nutritional gaps or to address nutrient deficiencies, please be aware that they cannot replace a highly nutritious way of eating. Nothing in this world can.

Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. Join Dr Libby for her upcoming Food Frustrations New Zealand tour. For information and to buy tickets, visit



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FDA Warns of Potential B. cepacia Contamination in Drugs, Dietary Supplements – Infection Control Today

Posted: at 12:14 pm

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers and healthcare professionals not to use any liquid drug or dietary supplement products manufactured by PharmaTech LLC of Davie, Fla., and labeled by Rugby Laboratories, Major Pharmaceuticals and Leader Brands, due to potential contamination with the bacteria Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia) and the risk for severe patient infection.

The drug and dietary supplement products made by PharmaTech include liquid docusate sodium drugs (stool softeners), as well as various dietary supplements including liquid vitamin D drops and liquid multivitamins marketed for infants and children.

B. cepacia poses a serious threat to vulnerable patients, including infants and young children who still have developing immune systems, said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD. These products were distributed nationwide to retailers, healthcare facilities, pharmacies and sold online making it important that parents, patients and health care providers be made aware of the potential risk and immediately stop using these products.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), B. cepacia poses the greatest threat to hospitalized patients, critically ill patients and people with health problems such as weakened immune systems and chronic lung diseases. The symptoms of B. cepacia infections vary widely from none at all to serious respiratory infections. It can spread from person-to-person by direct contact and is often resistant to common antibiotics.

Consumers, pharmacies and healthcare facilities should immediately stop using and dispensing all liquid drug and dietary supplement products manufactured by PharmaTech and labeled by Rugby Laboratories, Major Pharmaceuticals and Leader Brands. These distributors voluntarily recalled the following products:


Liquid Multivitamin Supplement for Infants and Toddlers 50 mL, UPC: 096295128611 ALL LOTS Liquid Vitamin D Supplement for Breastfed Infants 400 IU 50 mL, UPC: 096295128628 ALL LOTS MAJOR PHARMACEUTICALS Certa-Vite Liquid 236ML 00904-5023-09 ALL LOTS Poly-Vita Drops 50ML 00904-5099-50 ALL LOTS Poly-Vita Drops W/Iron 50ML 00904-5100-50 ALL LOTS Ferrous Drops Iron Supplement 50ML 00904-6060-50 ALL LOTS D-Vita Drops 50ML 00904-6273-50 ALL LOTS Tri-Vita Drops 50ML 00904-6274-50 ALL LOTS Senna Syrup 237ML 00904-6289-09 ALL LOTS RUGBY LABORATORIES C Liquid 500mg 118ML 00536-0160-97 ALL LOTS Diocto Liquid 50mg/5ml 473ML 00536-0590-85 ALL LOTS Ferrous Sulfate Elixir 473ML 00536-0650-85 ALL LOTS Fer Iron Liquid 50ML 50ML 00536-0710-80 ALL LOTS Senexon Liquid 237ML 00536-1000-59 ALL LOTS Diocto Syrup 60MG/15ML 473ML 00536-1001-85 ALL LOTS Aller Chlor Syrup 120ML 00536-1025-47 ALL LOTS Calcionate Syrup 16OZ 00536-2770-85 ALL LOTS Cerovite Liquid 236ML 00536-2790-59 ALL LOTS D3 400iu Liquid 50ML 00536-8400-80 ALL LOTS Poly-Vitamin Liquid 50ML 00536-8450-80 ALL LOTS Tri-Vitamin Liquid 50ML 00536-8501-80 ALL LOTS Poly-Vitamin W/Iron Liquid 50ML 00536-8530-80 ALL LOTS

On Aug. 8, 2017, the FDA advised healthcare professionals and patients not to use any liquid drug products manufactured by PharmaTech, following CDCs laboratory testing of PharmaTechs oral liquid docusate detected a strain of B. cepacia linked to recent patient infections.

In 2016, the FDA advised health care professionals and patients not to use liquid docusate drug products manufactured at PharmaTechs Davie, Florida, facility after the products were implicated in CDCs public health investigation into a multistate outbreak of B. cepacia infections.

The FDA encourages healthcare professionals and consumers to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of drugs and dietary supplements products to the FDAs MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program; complete and submit the report online at

Source: FDA

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FDA Warns of Potential B. cepacia Contamination in Drugs, Dietary Supplements - Infection Control Today

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