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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Which is the best vitamin?
Date: 19 Apr 1998

In <> etroll@flash.netspam (Eric O.
Troldahl) writes:

>> Some vitamins are extracted from coal tar or other substances with
high levels of toxins.  I don't feel comfortable with the chemistry (or
the FDA) making sure that they are really okay.  I almost always buy
vegan-acceptable vitamins (I'm not vegan, btw), from a well known and
respected natural supplement company like Solgar, Twinlabs, Schiff, or
Solaray. <<

    Sigh.  Then you're taking vitamins made from coal tar-- most
particularly niacin and pyridoxine.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad

    The greatest secret in is where vitmins
come from.  I think most people where believe that Solgar finds them
under a cabbage leaf.  Or at least, in the garden.  Sheesh.  Time for
some nitty gritty education in the nasties.


From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Which is the best vitamin?
Date: 24 Apr 1998 18:25:16 GMT

In <> etroll@flash.netspam (Eric O.
Troldahl) writes:

>Steve, can you give details, the "nitty gritty education" you mention?
>At least I can be sure they don't include artificial colors, artificial
>flavors, sugar, or added starches.

   Which, compared with what's in the rest of your diet, would probably
be nothing.

    Vitamins don't come from the garden, they come from people like
Hoffman LaRoche.  Who make them from petroleum products, mostly.
Particularly the simple ones, like B3 and B6.  Vitamin C is made from
glucose.  Most vitamin E is either entirely synthesized from petroleum
products, or semi-synthesized from isomers in soy oil that the company
don't want.

   If you want to find out exactly how your vitamins started out, I
suggest you call your vitamin company and ask where they buy their bulk
B3 and B6.  You'll get some waffling, and some companies will never
tell you.  Ah ha, you've run up into the great fairytale, much like the
Santa myth.  Yes, Virginia, we too buy our vitamins from Du Pont.  But
you get through that, and companies like Archer Daniel Midlands will be
happy to tell you just exactly how they make their vitamin E.  They're
proud of it, and why shouldn't they be?

                                              Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: How to take "synergistic" vitamins?
Date: 12 Aug 1998 16:12:22 GMT

In <> "Robert K. Hollingum"
<> writes:
>Steven B. Harris wrote:
>> In <>
>> (Oliver Lu) writes:
>> >How would one go about obtaining/taking synergistic vitamins? that is,
>> >vitamins that have not been isolated (that is the meaning of
>> >synergistic, yes?) without going to an organic food source; so, for
>> >example if you wanted to increase your intake of vitamin A without
>> >eating a lot of carrots (or whatever had vitamin A naturally) and
>> >didn't want to take regular vitamin A pills because you believe that
>> >in that form they are not only ineffective but indeed possibly
>> >dangerous because they deprive the body of other substances, is there
>> >a product line or method to solve this?
>> >tia
>> No. With a very few exceptions (B12 grown in culture, 5 or 10% of
>> commercial E extracted from oil), you can either get your vitamins from
>> eating foods, or from an industrial lab, where they make them from
>> scratch. Those are about your only options.
>If you want to increase your Vitamin A - why not take Pro-Vitamin A,
>Beta Carotene that is safe at 10 times the RDA limit.

   You can, but the beta carotene you take will often be synthetic
also!  It is, unless it says on the label exactly where it comes from.
There ARE (I admit) a few products on the market where the beta
carotene is extracted from carrot oil, but they are a bit more
expensive.  Check the label.  Most of the dry products are synthetic,
and so is all the stuff in multivits, since it's cheaper.  Other
carotenoids are extracts, which is one reason they're so expensive.
Lutein comes from marigolds these days (that's what makes the flower
yellow, and there's a lot in the leaves also).  Alas, marigolds are
related to ragweed and make a lot of people sneeze.  Commercial
lycopenes are usually tomato oil extracts.  Neither of these have any
vitamin A activity of course, but they quench singlet oxygen (which
dispite what you see on vitamin bottles is NOT a free radical), and
lutein goes to your retina to protect it from light, which beta
carotene does not.

                                      Steve Harris, M.D.

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