Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Dr. David Brownstein, M.D.

Supplement Ingredients to Avoid

Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 09:21 AM

By David Brownstein, M.D.

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Question: When reading supplement labels, I have noticed a number of things listed in the "other ingredients" section that make no sense to me. Can you offer some guidance?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

In order to pick a quality supplement, it is important to read the product’s entire label, including the section entitled, “other ingredients.” Much information on the quality of the product can be gleaned from that section. Poor-quality supplements often have questionable materials added to their products. These are often listed in “other ingredients.”
 
Furthermore, this part of the label may reveal whether the manufacturer is using synthetic or natural, bioidentical forms of nutrients. Ingredients found in this section that would cause me to say that this product should not be taken include dyes such as FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake, and FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake.
 
These are coloring agents derived from coal tar, and they contain aluminum atoms. Aluminum can compete with calcium for absorption and elevated aluminum levels have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other health problems, according to a report in the June 2011 issue of Neuroscience Bulletin.
 
There is no known health benefit of aluminum ingestion. It makes little sense to add aluminum to any nutritional product. Many products also list hydrogenated oils in the “other ingredients” section. Hydrogenated oils contain trans fatty acids, which are associated with a host of health issues, including obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
 

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David Brownstein, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is author of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter.
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