While there are still debates on whether GMO food is safe or not. We, the scientists at Vital Formulas, believe that there has not been enough research to prove that GMO food is safe and does not caus
e any damage to the bodies over long-term use. There have been several studies that showed negative effects of GMO food on reproductive system and increased risk for allergies. From our personal experience with our children, we know that their bodies can distinguish organic corn from non-organic GMO corn and organic wheat from non-organic GMO wheat. Some of our children would develop either skin or digestive reactions when given GMO grains, while having no reaction when given similar organic grains. This might partially be explained by presence of pesticides in the GMO crops. However, these children had no reaction when given other non-organic food.
We are sharing this poster with you, so that you will recognize companies that support GMO food and companies that oppose GMO food when shopping. We encourage you to buy GMO-free food when shopping for yourself and especially for your children.
When selecting ingredients for Balanced Trio we take great care to insure that they are GMO-free.
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is one of our favorite herbal remedies. It is a thorny shrub that grows on hillsides and in sunny wooded areas in North America and other parts of the world. Its berries, leaves and flowers have been used to treat heart disease for over two thousand years. Hawthorn berries are edible and have a pleasant tart taste.
Recent research found hawthorn to be a good cardiovascular tonic. A number of studies show that hawthorn significantly improves heart function, protects the walls of the arteries, improves blood flow to the heart and the pumping function of the heart. Traditionally hawthorn has also been used to lower blood pressure.
These days there are a number of hawthorn supplements available. Hawthorn berries tea makes a pleasant refreshing beverage. If you are looking for stronger support, consider standardized extracts and tinctures that include hawthorn berries. Our Balanced Trio Morning formula includes 100 mg of standardized hawthorn berry extract.
Today we will start discussing some of the most widespread myths about multivitamins.
Myth #1: Food-based, whole food, raw multivitamins are superior to regular multivitamins
Most consumers believe that food-based multivitamins are more natural and thus superior to regular multivitamins. Marketing claims and pretty images often make one believe that food-based vitamins are indeed derived from real fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. Just think of it, each fruit and vegetable contains a vast variety of vitamins and minerals all mixed together and not very concentrated. For example, half of a carrot contains roughly 100% DV of vitamin A. How can one naturally extract all this vitamin A from a carrot and concentrate it to fit into one small pill? That’s right, you cannot.
Most food-based vitamins on the market can be divided into two groups:
The first group consists of mostly synthetic vitamins and minerals cultured with small amounts of whole foods and yeast. The supplement facts table of such vitamins lists vitamins and minerals without specifying the forms of these vitamins and mineral. It also list whole foods blend (often organic) in the amount less than 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon is roughly equal 2000 mg). You will see a statement similar to this “Nutrients are created through cultivation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae” or “Nutrients and herbs are cultured in organic media that may contain: organic milled soy, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast: active and inactive), etc”. These statements mean that synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals listed on the label were combined with the minute amount of whole foods and cultured with yeast. After that the mixture was dried and put into tablets.
The second group consists of vitamins and minerals derived from enriched yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Yeast is naturally rich in some B vitamins and minerals. To obtain yeast rich in other vitamins and minerals that it normally does not contain in large quantities, yeast is grown in a bath of vitamins or minerals (mostly synthetic) which it absorbs. When the yeast is dried the vitamins and minerals obtained from it are called food-based. After the names of these vitamins and minerals on the label you would see “from S. cerevisiae” in parenthesis. You can read more about the process of growing enriched yeast here.
Are these “food-based” vitamins and minerals better for you? It is an open question. Many experts argue that bacteria in your gut can process the vitamins and minerals just as well as yeast. Is it worth to pay 3-5 times more for the same synthetic vitamins just because they were cultured with yeast?
Most data shows that Saccharomyces cerevisiae is non-allergenic. However, we do know people who cannot tolerate it. Also, there are no studies showing long-term safety of its use. For these reasons we do not use yeast-culturing in manufacturing of our products.
DV (Daily Values) are based on recommendations for dietary intake that were established in 1968. Current recommended amounts are called DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes). For most vitamins and minerals 100% DV are close to DRI. However, for some others 100% DV is much higher than DRI.
Multivitamins sold on the market contain dramatically different amounts of vitamins and minerals. Some include 100% DV of all the ingredients, others include percentages less than 100% such as 30%, 50%, 75%. Still others include very large amounts of vitamins, often as much as 2000% DV or even more.
What is the logic behind these numbers? Is it the more the better?
As with many things, more is not always better. What will happen when you take mega-doses (200% DV or more) of vitamins and minerals? In the case of fat-soluble vitamins (A,E,D,K) the body stores the excess. In the case of water-soluble vitamins (such as B-vitamins) the excess is eliminated.
Short-term supplementation with high doses of vitamins usually causes no harm except extra strain on kidney and liver. One should be more careful with minerals. High doses of some minerals might lead to dramatic imbalance in other minerals and might have toxic effects. Generally, for daily supplementation it is prudent to stay with the amounts of vitamins and minerals not higher than 100% DRI. Excess doses should only be taken under guidance of qualified health care practitioner. Long-term effects of supplementation with mega-doses of vitamins and minerals have not been sufficiently studied.
How do DV and DRI compare to each other and what should you look for on the supplement labels? Supplement labels always list %DV. To see how it relates to current DRI requirements please see comparison table created by Linus Pauling Institute of the Oregon State University.
Sometimes we get asked why we have selected particular ingredients for Balanced Trio formulas, why they are important and why these and not others.
Our goal in creating Balanced Trio multivitamins was to combine essential and well researched ingredients that would be beneficial for the human body on a daily basis. Thus, Balanced Trio includes the following groups of ingredients:
1. Vitamins. Balanced Trio includes all 13 of the essential vitamins: four fat-soluble (A,D,E,K) and nine water-soluble (C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid). Plus choline and inositol that are also considered vitamins, but not included in the essential group. All these vitamins are constantly used by the body to perform a number of vital functions. The human body and healthy bacteria in the gut are able to synthesize some of these vitamins. However, the quantities are not sufficient and the rest needs to be obtained from food or supplements.
Many multivitamin formulas on the market include mega-doses of B vitamins. While one can often feel immediate effect from taking such formulas, long-term effects of this supplementation has not been studied. We strive to include all the ingredients in the amounts that were documented as safe for long-term use, thus the quantities of all vitamins that we include are based on current DRI norms.
2. Minerals. Balanced Trio includes eleven essential minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium and molybdenum. Of the essential minerals sodium, chloride and phosphorus are not included because they are required daily in large amounts and generally consumed in sufficient quantities from food. Potassium is also generally consumed in sufficient quantities from food. Small amount of potassium is included in the Evening formula because of its synergistic action with magnesium. Also included is a blend of 72 trace minerals, such as boron, bromide, carbonate, lithium, sulfate and other trace minerals found in seawater. All of these minerals are required for normal functioning of the body. The body cannot synthesize minerals, so they need to be obtained either from food or supplements.
Importantly, our formulas include 50% of daily requirement for magnesium and calcium, which are rarely included in multivitamin formulas because of the extra volume these minerals add to the supplement.
Minerals come in many different forms. The forms most commonly used in supplements are sulfates and oxides forms, such as zinc oxide, magnesium oxide, cupric sulfate, manganese sulfate, and others. Oxides and sulfates are some of the cheapest and most concentrated forms of minerals, which results in their popularity for use in multivitamins. Unlike other products, our formulas include the most expensive and much better absorbed organic forms of minerals from Albion®.
3. Herb and fruit extracts. Balanced Trio includes extracts of pomegranate, bilberry, hawthorn, red wine, turmeric, cinnamon, marigold, chamomile, lemon balm and hops. All of these herbs have been used for centuries in Europe and Asia and they benefits are verified in the resent scientific literature. We include standardized extracts to insure consistent quality and potency of these extracts.
There are many novel herbs and fruits coming to the market every day. While they might offer some benefits, their long term effects have not been sufficiently studied. When selecting ingredients our key priorities are safety and time-tested effectiveness.
4. DHA/EPA-rich fish oil. Balanced Trio includes DHA and EPA which are the essential omega-3 fatty acids.Their benefits have been verified by a number of studies and include support for cardiovascular system, neurological function, healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels and many others.
Current recommendations call for daily intake of 500mg of DHA and EPA. Balanced Trio Mid-day formulas includes 218 mg of DHA and 308 mg of EPA.
The source of our DHA and EPA is purified dry fish oil. The fish oil has been molecularity distilled to remove any potential environmental toxins. Then it was pulverized and covered in protective layer of gelatin. The advantage of using dry fish oil is that it is easily digestible and does not cause fishy burping in vast majority of people who take it.
5. Coenzyme Q-10. Balanced Trio includes CoQ10 in Mid-day formula. CoQ10 has two vital roles in our bodies: energy metabolism and antioxidant protection. CoQ10 is involved in energy production in mitochondria and is found in the highest concentrations in organs that have the highest metabolic energy requirements, such as the heart, kidney, liver and skeletal muscle.
It is important to note that the levels of CoQ10 decrease as we age and that this decrease in CoQ10 is associated with the aging process and many age-related conditions. Supplementation with CoQ10 replenishes the diminished levels of CoQ10, fostering a protective defense against oxidative stress and age-related disease.
6. Carotenoids. Balanced Trio includes the following carotenoids lutein, lycopen, astaxanthin and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are fat-soluble natural pigments responsible for bright red-orange color of tomatoes, bell peppers, salmon, caviar, shrimp. Carotenoids are powerful anti-oxidants and act in synergy with vitamin A. They are included in our Mid-day formula.
7. Vitamin C complex. In addition to 90 mg of vitamin C divided into two servings, Balanced Trio includes flavonoids rutin, quercetin and citrus bioflavonoids. They all act in synergy with each other and vitamin C. Rutin and quercetin offer anti-inflammatory effect and are used in many countries for blood vessel protection.
These are the only ingredients included in Balanced Trio besides the cellulose capsule in Morning formula and very small amount of neutral ingredients added to form the tablets. Balanced Trio does not contain wheat, dairy, gluten, egg, corn, peanuts/tree nuts, artificial colors of flavors.
Pomegranates have long been praised for their nutritional value and health benefits. Well documented studies in humans show that pomegranates or their compounds have anti-inflammatory effect, decrease oxidative stress and are beneficial in treatment of various ailments.
There is nothing better than eating fresh fruit. However, pomegranates have a very short season and often one cannot find them in the stores. Pomegranate juices contain a lot of sugar, are pasteurized and often made from concentrate. For these reasons they are not a good substitute to real fruit. When you see fresh pomegranates in the stores buy them. At the end of the season get extra ones and store in closed container in your refrigerator. They will be good for another 2-3 months.
We have looked for a good source of pomegranate to include in our formula. Our Morning Unit contains POMELLA® – the most pure and effective pomegranate extract on the market.
Welcome to Vital Formulas blog! Here we will post information about nutrition and dietary supplements. We will share research related to vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. We will explain how Balanced Trio formulas were created and how to maximize absorption of vital nutrients from foods and vitamins.