Three B-Complexes: The Worst Dressed, Best Dressed, and Fairest of Them All

by Karen Railey

Most people purchase supplements believing that the nutrients in them will benefit their health. Many do not know where the nutrients originate or about other ingredients lurking in those tablets and even in many powders and capsules. There appears to be so many choices on the store shelves, but are there really? Before we look in on our three B-complex supplements, let’s take a look at what these supplements consist of and what the choices really are.

Synthetic vs. Natural
Most vitamin supplements found in drug and health food stores do not contain vitamins that are truly natural, but are synthesized predominantly from petrochemicals and less frequently from plants. These are manufactured by six companies that are the sole producers of all the raw materials, which end up in the vast array of synthetic dietary supplements seen on store shelves. Also, only a small number of supplement companies, about 3%, actually manufacture their own products. The raw materials are purchased and a super assembler assembles the formulas for them.

There are three basic types of supplements: synthetic, crystalline, and whole food. These are available in numerous variations and combinations.

Synthetic vitamins are those that have been developed the laboratory. They are isolated chemical versions of vitamins. Crystalline vitamins originally had a natural food source, but have been extracted and isolated by processes that may have involved substances such as chemicals and solvents and high levels of heat. The crystalline vitamins, in the end, are much like the synthetics. "Whole food" vitamins are those that have been carefully processed and unaltered in any way that would change the molecular structure or biochemical combinations and actions of the vitamin complexes.

Many supplements claim to be "natural," but what does this really mean? To earn the right to be labeled "natural," supplements need only to originate from a natural source and/or be as little as 10% natural. Many supplements that are called natural have a food base but the primary ingredients are USP or synthetic vitamins. These would contain some co-nutrients that may assist the body in assimilating the vitamins in them.

There are companies who "grow" their vitamins in a "thick soup" of yeast and whole foods but the "nutrients" that are grown in this manner actually start out as USP (synthetic) vitamins. Nothing is going to change them from synthetic to whole and natural. Even supplements derived from natural sources such as herbs, yeast, foods such as rice bran, liver, berries, or bone can be dead and useless due to heat, pressure, or other processing techniques that destroy their enzymes. The way in which the materials are processed is extremely important in preserving the integrity of the nutrients contained therein.

Chemically, natural and synthetic vitamins are identical. The same ingredients are contained within the molecules but they are arranged in a different fashion. When a beam of polarized light passes through a natural vitamin it will always bend to the right, due to the molecular rotation of the natural substance. The letter "d" seen on some supplement labels represents dextro or "right." This indicates that the vitamin is the natural form.

As a beam of polarized light passes through a synthetic vitamin it splits into two parts, one part bending to the right and the other to the left. The synthetic supplements may be represented by the letters "dl" preceding the vitamin name. The "d" for dextro and the "l" for levo or left. This demonstrates that the molecular rotation of the synthetic is not identical to the natural form. The biological activity of synthetic vitamins can be 50% to 70% less than nutrients in natural, whole food supplements.

B vitamins are not generally referred to in conjunction with these letters but the difference in molecular structure between synthetic and a truly natural substance applies to them as well as any other nutrient.

Whole food supplements and some "natural" supplements will give foods as sources for the nutrients they contain. If a supplement is synthetic it will usually show the following as sources:

B complex – no source listed

B1 – thiamine mononitrate or thiamine hydrochloride

B2 – riboflavin

B5 – calcium D-pantothenate

B6 – pyridoxine hydrochloride

B12 – cobalamin

Folic Acid – pteroylglutamic acid

Biotin – d-Biotin

There is much controversy concerning the body’s reaction to synthetic vs. natural vitamin supplements. Many believe that the small differences between synthetic and natural are of no consequence. However, clinical evidence and several studies indicate that the body detects the difference and that natural forms of vitamins including A, B-complex, C, D, and E are more absorbable and assimilable by the body and have a more profound effect on deficiencies and disease than synthetics. This question comes to mind: Isn’t it possible that this could be true for all nutrients? Also, it has been shown that sensitive individuals who have reactions to the synthetic vitamins can take the truly natural forms with no problems.

There are some very real problems with synthetic vitamins and most supplements containing them. Not only are they synthesized, but are also isolated components completely removed from the family of micronutrients that accompany them naturally in whole foods. They are not intact with their co-factors such as enzymes, co-enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements, proteins, phytonutrients, and essential fatty acids as they would be in whole foods or properly manufactured whole food supplements. They cannot possibly have the synergistic, nutritional effect of the whole food vitamins.

Think about it! How can a dead, isolated, chemical supplement have the same action in the body as a live, whole, food concentrate? The human body was designed to recognize and utilize whole, live food not isolated chemicals. It is obvious however, that the synthetic supplements do have an effect on the body and even appear to be beneficial, at least initially.

In fact, synthetic isolates will draw the accessory nutrients needed to assimilate and metabolize in the body, from the body’s stores. It is possible for this anomaly to create deficiencies of other nutrients, or if a person is already deficient, synthetic isolates may further deplete the body and eventually cause larger and more serious imbalances.

It is not logical to expect a chemical to build the body in a nutritional sense. It is my belief that synthetic vitamins have a pharmaceutical or medical effect and whole foods, super foods, and natural whole food supplements have a nutritive effect and help to build the body’s cells nutritionally. There may be times when either may be useful, however, for the long term a truly natural supplement would be best.

There is some debate concerning whether the synthetics or the naturals work better for severe deficiencies or conditions where a quick therapeutic result is needed. There have been reports of good results and poor results with both, but according to Dr. Richard Murray synthetic vitamins fail time and time again when put to the scientific test in human feedings. Over 200 studies have proven the superior efficacy of whole foods and whole food supplements as compared to the synthetics.

Supplements made from whole food concentrates will often have lower nutrient amounts listed on the label. Due to the fact that more of the nutrients will be available to and utilized by the body from this type of supplement than from the synthetic supplements, I don’t believe that this is of principal concern in most cases.

What I consider as natural in the fullest sense of the word are those supplements concentrated from whole foods and processed in a manner that keeps all nutrients intact with all the co-factors and preserves the life of the enzymes in the concentrates. This type of supplement is generally more costly and difficult to manufacture, so consequently they are often extremely hard to find.

Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients that are included in vitamin supplements aside from the nutrients.

Excipients
The term "excipient" refers to materials used in tableting or encapsulation of nutritional supplements for any purpose other than its physiological effect. These range from natural and harmless to chemical and potentially problematic, particularly for sensitive individuals. In other words…some of these do have physiological effects even though that is not their intended purpose.

Fillers: These are used to increase the volume of material in a tablet or capsule to aid in easier processing. Tablets and capsules are generally made in only a few sizes so fillers are added to take up space in the molds or capsules.

Some of the common non-food fillers used are talc or silicon. These may cause problems with digestion and absorption. Food grade fillers include cornstarch, lactose, cellulose, sorbitol and calcium phosphate. There is a possibility that these may cause allergic reactions or sensitivities.

Binders: Binders are various compounds that are used to adhere all the components of tablets together. They are the base of many supplement tablets and include lecithin, honey, sorbitol, gum arabic, and cellulose. Gum arabic has caused asthma attacks, rashes, and allergies in some individuals.

Disintegrants: These are added to many supplements to aid in the disintegration of the tablet within the gastrointestinal tract by swelling and breaking the tablet apart. Most of these are made from cellulose.

Lubricants/Flow Agents: The use of lubricants aids in the release of tablets from molds and ensures unrestrained movement through the tableting machinery, making the manufacturing process smoother. Lubricants and flow agents such as magnesium stearate, calcium stearate, and stearic acid may be used that increase the time tablets take to dissolve thus, may reduce the bioavailability of the nutrients in a supplement. Other common flow agents are vegetable stearin and silicates such as silica.

Flavoring agents: Sweeteners commonly found in supplements are sucrose, fructose, maltodextrin, sorbitol, and maltose. Usually sweeteners are used in liquid, powdered, chewable, or sublingual supplements. Stevia may be found in a small number of supplements but will not be labeled as a sweetener due to FDA regulations prohibiting its use as a sweetener in foods or other products. Artificial or natural flavoring may also be added to supplements.

Coloring Agents: A pleasing and uniform appearance is the motive for adding these to supplements. Some of them are derived from beets, carrots or chlorophyll, but others are synthetics, which are often questionable as far as consumption and health are concerned.

Coating Materials: The reason these substances are used is to mask unpleasant odors and flavors, aid in swallowing the tablet, aid in preventing tablets from breaking apart and to protect them from moisture. A commonly seen coating material is listed on labels as pharmaceutical glaze, confectioners glaze or natural glaze is actually shellac. A supplement coated with shellac cannot be broken down or assimilated.

A vegetable protein coating (zein), which is derived from corn and Brazil wax is sometimes used as well as a coating made from palm trees.

Preservatives: There are companies that use natural preservatives such as vitamin C or E in their tablets. Tablets do not need added preservatives if they contain these or vitamin A, cysteine, methionine, or the minerals sulfur and selenium as they are all natural preservatives.

Capsules can be made without the use of excipients but are not always excipient free. Capsules are usually made from gelatin and are an animal by-product. There are some vegetarian gel caps available that are made from potato extract, however these are used by only a small number of companies.

Another interesting angle to think about. Some companies actually make tablets, crush them to a powder, and then encapsulate them. In this case you could still be getting some of those excipients inside the capsule! Powders may also contain excipients such as flow agents, sweeteners, colors, and/or preservatives.

Now, let’s take a close look at three different B-Complex supplements. The first two were chosen from what is available at drug and health food stores and the third is available only through health professionals. In all fairness it should be noted that tablets couldn’t be made without the use of some excipient material. Judge for yourself what is excessive and which would be the best for you.

Worst Dressed
YourLife B-Complex
Cost:
$5.69 for 100 tablets

Label
Each tablet provides:

Thiamin (Vit B-1) 10mg

Riboflavin (Vit B-2) 10mg

Niacin (Vit B-3) 10mg

Vitamin B-6 10mg

Folate 100mcg

Vitamin B-12 10mcg

Biotin 10mcg

Pantothenic Acid (Vit B-5) 10mg

Listed Ingredients:
Thiamin Mononitrate (B-1): This is not the most commonly used form of B-1 used in supplements. Thiamin hydrochloride is the form of vitamin B-1 that is used in most dietary supplements.

Riboflavin (B-2): Vitamin B-2, or simple riboflavin. Interacts closely with thiamin.

Niacinamide (B-3): Vitamin B-3 in the form of nicotinamide.

D-Calcium Pantothenate (B-5): The most common synthetic form of vitamin B-5 or pantothenic acid. The most active and useful form is panthethine.

Pyrodoxine Hydrochloride (B-6): A synthetic form of vitamin B-6 that is often used as a coating in the manufacture of supplements to mask taste and odor.

Folic Acid: Available as folic acid or folinic acid. To utilize folic acid the human body must convert it to tetrahydrofolate then add a methyl group in order to form folinic acid. Supplying the body with folinic acid would bypass this process.

Cyanocobalamin (USP Method 2) (B-12): This is the most common form of vitamin B-12 but is not an active form, nor the best form to use. Methylcobalamin is the most beneficial synthetic form of B-12.

Biotin (USP Method 2): This is the isolated form of biotin. Biocytin, a biotin complex from brewer’s yeast is also available.

Para-Aminobenzoic Acid: PABA is a member of the B-vitamin family and is part of the folic acid molecule. PABA is said to aid in the assimilation of pantothenic acid.

Calcium Carbonate: An insoluble form of calcium found in nature as calcite (in limestone, marble, or chalk), aragonite (pearls), and in plant ashes, bones, and many shells. It is often used as a binder in supplements. It is not absorbable by the human body and may cause constipation.

Maltodextrin: An unfermentable sugar obtained by the hydrolysis of cornstarch. It is used for flavor, as a texturizer and bulking agent. Maltodextrin may contain free glutamic acid (MSG), which occurs as a result of processing.

Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose: This excipient is a vegetable gum, which is commonly used as a main ingredient in artificial tear solutions. It is resistant to bacterial decomposition and is used as a disintegrant and emulsifier in this supplement. At this time there is no known toxicity.

Cellulose Starch: A starch made from plant material that is used as filler, binder and disintegrant. Starches processed from corn contain free glutamic acid (MSG), resulting from processing.

Croscarmellose Sodium: This material is a distintegrant derived from vegetable fiber.

Sodium Starch Glycolate: A disintegrant that is made from potatoes, maize, wheat, rice or tapioca starches. It is used in tablets containing insoluble ingredients such as magnesium stearate to help them break apart. If processed from corn, this starch will contain MSG.

Silicon Dioxide: Silica, a transparent, tasteless, powder that is practically insoluble in water. It is the main component of beach sand and is used as an absorbent and flow agent in supplements. It is also used in ceramics and scouring and grinding compounds.

Hydroxypropyl Cellulose: A vegetable gum commonly used in opthalmic applications. It is used as a disintegrant and emulsifier in supplements.

Red 40 Lake: An insoluble pigment used in food, drug, and cosmetics applications. The National Cancer Institute reported that p-credine, a chemical used in the preparation of Red No. 40, was carcinogenic in animals (Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, Ruth Winters, M.S., pg.185).

Polyethylene Glycol 3350: This excipient is used as an emulsifier, binder, and surfactant. It improves resistance to moisture and oxidation. Polyethylene is a polymerized ethylene resin and glycol is a dihydric alcohol.

Magnesium Stearate: This commonly used excipient can be made from animal or vegetable sources. It is used as a flow agent and surface lubricant. It is insoluble in water and said to be non-toxic but may hinder the absorption of nutrients.

Resin: Resins are used as binders and aid in water resistance. They may be of plant or synthetic origin and are used in lacquers, varnishes, inks, adhesives, synthetic plastics and pharmaceuticals. Synthetic forms include polyvinyl, polystyrene, and polyethylene. Toxicity is dependent on the ingredients used in the manufacture of the resin.

Dicalcium Phosphate: A mineral complex of calcium and phosphorous that is commonly used as a tableting aid, filler or bulking agent. Phosphates can induce the same symptoms as MSG in those who are extremely sensitive to MSG.

Polysorbate 80: A non-ionic surfactant that is a polymer containing oleic acid, palmitic acid, sorbitol, and ethylene oxide and is formed by microbial fermentation. It is used as an emulsifier, dispersant, or stabilizer in foods, cosmetics, supplements and pharmaceuticals.

Titanium Dioxide: An inorganic, white, opaque pigment made from anatase (from minerals) that is often used in supplements as a whitening agent. It is also used in paints and coatings, plastics, paper, inks, fibers, food and cosmetics. Titanium Dioxide is an oxidant.

Povidone: PVP is a synthetic polymer used as a dispersing and suspending medium.

Pharmaceutical Glaze: Shellac used by some manufacturers to coat vitamin tablets. Shellac is insoluble in stomach acid and supplements coated with shellac are difficult for the body to break down and assimilate.

Suggestions for use: Take one tablet daily with a full glass of water, preferably after a meal.

This supplement is very inexpensive but it isn’t even worth its modest price.

The nutrients in the YourLife B-Complex are isolated synthetics and some of them are the least useful and/or least absorbable forms of the vitamin. All the amino acids and minerals that are needed to assimilate the nutrients that are in the tablet will be taken from the body. By the time the body deals with this, the fact that some of the forms used are not the most bio-available, and the various excipients in the tablets, some of which impede absorption, only miniscule amounts of the vitamins will be available to and assimilable by the body.

Nutrient levels in this supplement, though they do exceed the RDA, are very low if they are to be taken per label instruction. With these levels it would be better to take a tablet 3 to 5 times a day.

The YourLife B-Complex contains 18 different excipients and only 8 nutrients. This is a very lopsided picture. One would be ingesting more excipients than nutrients if taking this supplement. The pills are glued together with binders and coatings then have disintegrants that are supposed to disintegrate the tablet from inside out once consumed. Some of the excipients may cause allergenic responses in sensitive people and who truly knows what the long-term effect of ingesting them are.

In 1976 the Journal of Food Science carried an interesting report. When rats were given three different additives, one at a time, they stayed well. When they were given two additives at the same time they became ill. With a three additive combination they all died within 14 days.

Even if many of these excipients have been tested for toxicity, they have generally not been tested over long periods of time, nor have they been tested in combination. Aside from this, everyone is unique in how his or her body processes chemicals and responds to them.

This B-Complex contains no co-nutrients such as amino acids, vitamin C or magnesium to aid with the absorption of the nutrients. It does contain some PABA, which may help in the absorption of pantothenic acid.

Best Dressed
Source Naturals, Coenzymate B-Complex
Orange Flavored Sublingual
Cost: $15.40 (sale price) for 60 tabs

Label
Two tablets provide:

Coenzyme Vit B-1 (Cocarboxylase) 20mg

Coenzyme Vit B-2 (Flavin Mononucleotide) 15mg

Vit B-3 40mg

from: Coenzyme B-3 (Nicotinamide 10mg

Adenine Dinucleotide)

Inositol Hexanicotinate 34mg

Niacinamide Ascorbate 30mg

Vit B-5 (Pantothenic Acid) 25mg

Coenzyme Vit B-6

(Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate) 15mg

Coenzyme Vit B-12 (Dibencozide) 1,000mcg

Biotin 150mcg

Folic Acid 400mcg

Vit C (Niacinamide Ascorbate) 22mg

Other Ingredients:

Inositol (Inositol Hexanicolinate) 3mg

Coenzyme Q10 12mg

Inositol: This nutrient is part of the B vitamin complex and is found in lecithin. It acts as a mild lipotropic agent in the body, helping to emulsify fats.

Coenzyme Q10: There are 10 types of CoQ and CoQ10 is considered to be the main active one in humans. Ubiquinone is an electron carrier and is extremely important in the cell mitochondria, where it assists in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphatase) and ultimately helps to generate energy.

The supplement’s base consists of Mannitol, Sorbitol, natural orange & licorice flavors and sodium citrate.

This supplement is suitable for vegetarians and is hypoallergenic. It contains no yeast, dairy, egg, gluten, corn, soy, wheat, sucrose, starch, preservatives, artificial color, flavor or fragrance.

Mannitol: A sweet alcohol that occurs naturally in beets, celery and olives and is also synthesized from hydrogen and glucose (corn sugar). Mannitol is used primarily as a thickener, stabilizer and sweetener.

Sorbitol: Sorbitol is a natural sugar that is found in fruits such as berries, pears, plums, apples and cherries, and sea vegetation. It can also be synthesized from dextrose (corn sugar). Sorbitol is used for many applications: it is a thickener, humectant, texturizer, sequestrant, stabilizer, and sweetener.

Mannitol and Sorbitol are generally considered as safe, but there are some things to consider before using products containing them.

Sorbitol is contraindicated for diabetics. Also, Earl Mindell, in his book Safe Eating, claims that Mannitol can cause irritation to the intestinal tract such as cramps, bloating and diarrhea when taken frequently, in large quantities or in those with gastrointestinal problems.

The combination of the two can increase tooth decay by promoting the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium that sticks to the teeth. The bacteria are usually harmless but when combined with Mannitol and Sorbitol it promotes tooth decay. Brushing the teeth after taking this supplement will solve that problem.

Source Naturals states that there is a very small amount of Mannitol and Sorbitol in their enzymated B-complex.

Natural orange and licorice flavors: These are natural flavorings and will not generally present any problems. However, it is possible for them to contain small amounts of MSG as a result of processing.

Sodium Citrate: This excipient is extracted from citrus fruit or can be made by fermenting crude sugar. It occurs naturally in citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, apricots, peaches, pineapples, and some berries. Citric acid has been used for many years and is considered as a safe food additive, however, it is possible for it to alter urinary secretion of drugs making them less effective or more toxic. It is used to enhance flavor and add a tangy taste to products as well as being used as a buffer and sequestrant.

Suggested Use: 2 to 3 tablets daily or as recommended by your health care professional. Place tablet under the tongue and allow to dissolve slowly, altering the position of the tablet to avoid prolonged contact with the same area.

Coenzymate B Complex is a fairly expensive supplement. Let’s take a closer look at it.

This formula contains the B vitamins in their coenzyme forms; this means that they are already attached to the amino acids and mineral cofactors needed to make them biologically active. The body, specifically the liver, doesn’t have the task of converting the nutrients to their active form before they are available for use by the body.

This supplement is sublingual so the nutrients go into the bloodstream immediately as they are dissolved under the tongue. Because the tablets do not go through the digestive process, where much of the nutrient value of a supplement can be lost, a greater percentage of the nutrients are available to the body. With the coenzymate form of the B vitamins, you’ll need to take only half as much as you would of a standard B vitamin (Julia Ross, The Diet Cure, 1999).

Coenzymate B-Complex also contains Vitamin C and CoQ10, which helps with the absorption and assimilation of the B vitamins in the tablet.

Taking 2 to 3 of these tablets a day will provide ODA’s (optimum daily amounts) for B-12 and folic acid, two nutrients that Americans are typically deficient in. B-12 is in excess of the ODA, which would be excellent for those deficient in B-12, vegans and those who eat animal products in minute amounts. Others may find one tablet a day to be enough. The formula includes all the B vitamins, which is important because they work together and need each other to perform their individual, specific tasks in the body.

The nutrients in this B-Complex are synthetic but the supplement has been shown to be effective and is recommended by a number of people including Julia Ross, MA who practices at Recovery Systems, a California clinic. Because Coenzymate B-Complex can’t be used by diabetics and some people may be sensitive to Sorbitol, an alternative recommended by Ms. Ross is Country Life Coenzyme B-Complex capsules.

It still remains that this is a synthetic supplement and its effects will be that of a synthetic and not of a whole food supplement.

It is important to note that supplement manufacturers are not required to list all excipients of a product on the label. It may be necessary to contact the manufacturer to find out what is in the supplement aside from the nutrients if the other ingredients are not listed.

Most manufacturers are willing to answer questions about their products, however some may be uncooperative. Such was the case with Source Naturals. I spoke to a customer service representative who was very uncooperative. She didn’t want to take the time to answer questions and told me that the company did not send out full disclosure statements, monographs, certificates of analysis, research abstracts, or technical sheets to anyone, even health professionals.

When asked, she did tell me that they made most of their own supplements right there and that "of course, they tested all substances when they came in, and tested lots during and after manufacture." She seemed rather defensive about this. She did offer to send me some standard information of their enzymated B Complex, which she did.

The Fairest of Them All
NutriPlex Formulas, B Food Complex
Cost: $34.00 for 250 tablets

Label

B Food Complex proprietary blend 300mg

Primary Yeast

Rice Bran Extract

Defatted Wheat Germ

Sprouted Barley Malt

Peavine

Oat Bran

Beet Root

Liver (lyophilized)

Brain (lyophilized)

Figs

Sunflower Seed Powder

Other Ingredients:

calcium, cellulose, vegetable stearate and silica

Calcium: There are many types of calcium and it would be better if this was clarified on the label.

Cellulose, vegetable stearate, and silica have all been described above.

This product contains no corn, dairy, soy, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

The NutriPlex B Food Complex is reasonably priced and of good quality. It is truly what it claims to be…a whole food concentrate.

The label is quite different from what we are used to seeing; there are no separate vitamins or milligram amounts listed. This is because the supplement is made from concentrated whole food and not isolates or chemicals. The nutrients in this supplement are an entire B complex, which includes all the B vitamins intact with all the other nutrients that are with them in nature. You are getting 300mg of a complete B complex in each tablet.

I spoke to Vic Shayne, PhD, who founded NutriPlex two years ago. He and his wife, seeing the rarity of properly manufactured, truly natural whole food supplements, made the decision to develop their own. Dr. Shayne was friendly and helpful, freely answering my questions. He assured me that their products are chemical free and that care is taken to use those excipients that are less likely to inhibit the dissolution rate of the supplement or hinder the assimilation or metabolism of the nutrients by the body. Proper manufacturing processes insure that the enzymes in the products remain alive and intact.

These supplements are made from organic (both certified and non-certified) vegetables and any animal products used are acquired from New Zealand cattle that are not given antibiotics, pesticide laden food or growth hormones.

This product contains glandulars so would not be acceptable for those who are strict vegans. Vitamin B-12 is not readily available from vegetable sources so this leaves a choice to be made: Take synthetic B-12 or take natural supplements containing B-12 derived from animal products.

The clinical results obtained with the use of NutriPlex supplements have been encouraging and many people have benefited from their use. These supplements provide a way of obtaining concentrated whole food nutrition that the body recognizes and can easily utilize. B-Food Complex provides all natural food sources of the complete vitamin B complex and its synergists including enzymes, coenzymes, minerals trace minerals, and amino acids.

These supplements can be taken indefinitely and without concern for toxicity, which is often a consideration with long term and/or high dose usage (over the therapeutic doses) of many synthetic vitamins.

The B vitamins are vitally important in supporting the brain, maintaining proper function of the nervous system, endocrine system, digestion and elimination, enzyme systems, and the liver, heart, kidney and other organs. They assist in blood sugar regulation, protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, building red blood cells, hormone regulation and production, the maintenance of mucosal, epithelial and eye tissues, normal growth and development, and more.

This whole food B complex makes available to the body an excellent and recognizable form of the B vitamins, which will be of great nutritional benefit in supporting the aforementioned functions and systems.

Suggested Use: 2 to 4 tablets daily or as directed by a health care practitioner. Some of the literature recommends chewing or breaking up the supplements for best results, though this is not stated on the product label. They don’t taste bad either!

Diet and Supplementation
The extreme importance of responsible, healthy food choices and eating a diverse properly balanced diet as a number one priority must be emphasized here. The next step would be to address juicing and booster foods including products such as green foods (barley grass, wheat grass, chlorella, spirulina, etc.); Living Food, bee pollen, kelp, nutritional yeast, and stabilized rice bran to add needed nutrients to the diet. Then as necessary, supplements should be added to the protocol. It is difficult to get all the nutrients needed from food alone, particularly in the case of a deficiency, condition, or disease state where food and even booster foods cannot provide enough nutrients to produce the needed therapeutic effect.

It is important to remember that health will never be optimum if an unhealthy diet is consumed and lots of supplements taken with the idea that the supplements make up for eating poorly.

There are no completely perfect vitamins out there so we must choose from the myriad of choices that ironically, offer so few choices and learn to distinguish the "worst dressed" from the "fairest," and make decisions concerning what is best for us and our health. Remember…a supplement is only as good as its ingredients.

Click here to see a chart which shows the various daily requirements for the B vitamins. Obviously this does not apply to the NutriPlex or other natural, whole food vitamins.

Resources
Research, contacting manufacturers and reading books can help in choosing a quality supplement.

Following are some helpful books that may be of interest.

A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, Ruth Winters, M.S. (A new edition is scheduled to be released in August, 1999.) This book includes the additives that are in supplements as well as foods.

Earl Mindells’ Supplement Bible, Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D

Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, Michael T. Murray, N.D.

The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book, Shari Lieberman, Ph.D

The NutriBase Nutrition Facts Desk Reference, Dr. Art Ulene (This book contains the nutritional content of over 40,000 different foods.)

Enzyme Nutrition, Dr. Edward Howell (This book, though not specifically about supplements, will open your eyes concerning how important enzymes really are.)

The following book is not available at Amazon:

The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants, Judith DeCava, PhD

For information about this book and NutriPlex supplements, contact Dr. Shurtleff at 1-800-294-6686

References
"All Nutritional Supplements Are Not Created Equal"

http://www.motherearthworks.com/articles/Vitamin.supp.htm

Buist, Robert PhD., Food Chemical Sensitivity Garden City Park, NY, Avery Publishing Group, Inc., 1986

Crayhon, Robert, "Mastering the Clinical Use of Nutritional Supplements" Designs for Health Institute, audio cassette series

Czap, Al, reprinted from Alternative Medicine Review,

"Supplement Facts = All the Facts: What the New Label Does and Doesn’t Disclose" Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, July 1999, #192

Dox, Ida G. Ph.D., The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary New York, New York, Harper Perennial, 1993

Haas, Elson, Staying Healthy with Nutrition Berkley, CA, Celestial Arts, 1992

Kava, Judith, MS, LNC, The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants Columbus, GA, Brentwood Academic Press, 1996

Murray, Michael T., N.D., Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements Rocklin, CA, Prima Publishing, 1996

NutriPlex Formulas: http://www.nutriplexformulas.com

Reilly, Lee, "What’s In This Pill" Vegetarian Times, 03/98, p90

Ross, Julia, M.A., The Diet Cure New York, NY, Viking, 1999

"Toxic MSG and Truth in Labeling"

http://sightings.com

Jeff Rense with Jack Samuels, Radio Broadcast from May 30, 1999 (Archived Shows) 6/12/99

Wallace, Jean M., Ph.D, CNC, "Selecting High Quality Dietary Supplements" Santa Cruz, CA, Nutritional Solutions, 1998





Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.