Wellness is going to be the focus of our April blogging here on AntiAgingByDesign.com and today we kick it off with Pure Wellness. We are participating with the fantastic group over at UltimateBlogChallenge.com to blog throughout the month and really like the idea of targeting wellness – making the choice to live healthy.
You really should expect to wake up in the morning and feel great. If you have health challenges, are you looking at any natural health, natural nutrition or other lifestyle changes to improve your situation? While your doctor is important in this endeavor, as well as any regimen he or she may have you on, natural health solutions can provide help and even healing.
Today let’s look closer at the word pure. When I think about pure, I think no chemicals and no artificial anything. When something is in its pure state, it is natural and doesn’t contain any of these man-made or extra things.
I also think about safety and about not being contaminated with bacteria or fungus or other toxins. On this blog we talk a lot about all-natural supplements. These are nutrients that do not contain fillers or chemicals or other substances that are not pure and natural.
There are definite troubles in the commercial supplement industry, as well as weaknesses in the oversight that should be provided by the FDA. In the mid-1990’s there were still investigative reports being conducted by newspapers.
Their stories provided the platform to review products and ingredients, and test the truth in packaging. It was discovered that around 40% of companies that claimed to guarantee the potency of their supplements actually contained less than half of the active ingredients that would result in said potency (some only 20%).
Another measure of supplements is contamination, also an issue that would negate the pure properties. When the FDA tested 324 vitamin products primarily consumed by pregnant women and/or small children in 2007, only 4 of them were found to be lead-free.
Lead can cause permanent brain damage, limited IQ development, and appear to contribute to behavioral and learning disabilities. [The Daily Green]
More recently ConsumerLab.com did a review of multi-vitamins and the nation’s second largest retailer (Vitamin Shoppe) was forced to pull one of its leading formulations from shelves because there was lead contamination. Purity cannot be ignored.
Pure Sports Nutrition
How would you feel if you dedicated your life to training and excelling at a sport, only to have your career end in disgrace because you drank a protein or energy drink that was spiked with some kind of banned stimulant that you had no idea was present in the product?
I don’t know about you but I believe this is almost like criminal negligence, and certainly poor manufacturing standards.
While at our global conference this past year, we heard an Olympic Athlete tell the story about how Olympians are afraid to use sports nutrition due to the problems with contamination and potential interference with mandatory drug testing of athletes.
When you take a nutrition supplement with the goal to be healthier and stronger, better able to compete at the high level that is required of Olympic athletes, you should not have to be worried about negative consequences.
The reason why some of these sports careers have been destroyed is that there are manufacturers who add steroids or other growth hormones into their protein or energy drinks. The athlete is not aware because the ingredients are not advertised.
When 58 different brands of protein drinks were tested, there was steroid contamination in 25% of them and another 11% tested positive for other stimulants that are banned by international sporting authorities. [Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab]
These issues with sports nutrition, and the information in our last post that was stated in the Rich Food Poor Food book, is disappointing. The fact that corporations place profit above ethics, quality, purity, and all of their customer’s overall good health is not good. And it’s certainly not the way the brand we represent, the Shaklee Corporation, does business.
Purity and Safety
What sets Shaklee apart from other brands in the supplement world is that the profit takes a back seat to quality. Yes, Shaklee does earn a profit, but safety, quality, purity and efficacy come first.
This has been demonstrated numerous times when products have been pulled because we can’t get pure ingredients. In one case, back in 1993, Shaklee was the only company to temporarily discontinue manufacture of their ginseng product until pure ingredients could be secured.
Even though the whole industry’s supply was contaminated, other brands allowed their products to be sold to people who had no idea of the problem. You have to be able to trust your brand for purity since the products are not regulated by any national governing authority. The individual brand sets the standard for quality.
You Need To Verify Pure
If you buy supplements, you need to ask the brand you use: “Why should I trust the products you make, and can you prove to me that they are safe, natural and effective?”
Sometimes we don’t find out until years after consuming a product that it has been contaminated. In 2009 there was the issue of contaminated fish oil. Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are man-made chemicals and very dangerous environmental pollutants.
Eight different supplement manufacturers were called out for violations of a law that requires consumers be made aware of chemical exposures. Unsafe and illegal levels of these carcinogens PCBs were in the big-name brands of omega-3 supplements.
PCBs have been linked to birth defects and to cancer. Many pregnant women take omega-3’s for their growing baby’s brain health – so this is a serious issue. It puts a bad light on the industry and it doesn’t have to be that way.
A company can not take the word of the supplier that ingredients are pure. It is essential that brands do their own testing if they want to be able to verify safety. Quality control testing comes with a cost, and so if you are buying the cheapest supplement on the market chances are you are not buying from a brand that can verify purity.
When a brand regularly tests raw materials, they can immediately detect any toxin or chemical or any other substance that is not supposed to be there. I encourage you to pass the word about these issues to family, friends and other loved ones who may not be aware.
We will stick with our brand of choosing: Shaklee. That’s because they have systems in place at every point from the research of a product and ingredients to the creation, manufacture, distribution and shelf life. Let’s look at just one products, Shaklee Vitalizer – a comprehensive, daily nutrition foundation system that has over 80 nutrients inside one strip of 6 tablets.
There are hundreds of pages of specifications to provide detailed instructions on how to create and test every batch of Vitalizer. More than 60 different quality checkpoints are performed before Shaklee will even accept a shipment of raw materials. Extensive tests are performed on ingredients, including over 640 on every one of the 69 raw materials that make up Vitalizer.
In production there are over 200 validation tests and another 500 or so physical tests for consistency. 110 tests are conducted on each batch of products to make sure the amount of each ingredient stated on the label is present in the right amount. 100 visual inspection are done to review the appearance of each supplement.
And then after production there is periodic testing during storage to make sure all tablets keep their freshness and potency. I like being able to know that the supplements I take for better health are safe and in line with my desire for pure wellness.