Results for Elemental

Taking Calcium Supplements Causes Brain Lesions

Taking Calcium Supplements Causes Brain Lesions

Taking calcium supplements -- even at low doses -- linked to brain lesions in the first study of its kind. 

USDA 'Organic-Washing': Another Way To Mislead The U.S. Consumer?

USDA 'Organic-Washing': Another Way To Mislead The U.S. Consumer?

USDA organic certification affords the U.S. consumer one of the only food quality protections available today, but does it really guarantee a product is chemical free?

What's a consumer to do today? Between cause- and patently false-marketing, looking beneath the surface appearances of product packaging and advertising becomes a necessity, lest we harm ourselves or the environment unknowingly, or support industries that don't have our best interests in mind.

You may already know about green-washing, pink-washing and so-called gene-washing (i.e. 'natural' labeled products containing GMOs), but prepare yourself for the next level of @%@#!% with "organic-washing."

We hit upon this topic recently in our exposé on USDA organic baby formula containing a chemical ingredient used as a pesticide, but the problem extends to many other "certified organic" products and brands on the market.

organic super puffs

For instance, recently my wife brought home a product by a generally good company, Plum organics baby, who deserves recognition for making some actually pure and organic products. The product is called "organic super puffs," and describes itself as "fruit & veggie grain puffs," bearing the reassuring "USDA organic" logo.  [See the product here] If I wasn't such a neurotic label reader I could have easily fallen for buying this product myself.

Nowhere on the seemingly wholesome product label is there an indication that it contains chemical ingredients. Even the Nutrition Facts panel doesn't help. Zinc 15%. Vitamin E 15%. Looking good, right?

Nope. A more careful analysis of the presumably organic "ingredients" below the Nutrition Facts panel reveals the following enhancements:

Vitamins and Minerals: Tricalcium phosphate (Calcium), Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C), Ferrous Sulfate Monohydrate, Dl-alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E), Mixed Tocopherols for Freshness (Vitamin E), Vitamin A Palmitate, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D).

We aren't going to nit-pick about all of these inorganic vitamins and minerals, but there are two that we must say a word about.  It is downright disturbing to find ferrous sulfate monohydrate (Elemental Iron) and dl-alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E) in any USDA certified organic product.

Ferrous sulfate is basically inorganic or 'elemental' iron. It is notorious for causing adverse symptoms as a supplement, including vomiting and constipation. When consumed in excess, as in the case of a child accidentally consuming their parents iron-containing supplements, elemental iron is the #1 cause of death from accidental poisoning in children under 6.  A common justification for its use as a 'nutrient' in food is that in 'small doses' it can do no harm; the body, after all, is a 'biofilter' capable of dealing with a wide range of toxins, and iron is essential for health, right? Even if this is true, it should be a consumer/parent's choice whether they are willing to take the risk, especially when higher quality iron supplements are available, such as glycine-bound iron.  The fact remains that elemental iron is closer to a chemical in definition than a nutrient (nutrients are organically bound to amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates), and at the very least, it shouldn't belong in a certified organic product because it misleads the consumer into thinking it is safe a priori. [Learn more about this substance by viewing its Material Data Safety Sheet]

Why Most Calcium Supplement Recommendations are DEAD WRONG

Why Most Calcium Supplement Recommendations are DEAD WRONG

An alarming new meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrients titled, "Cardiovascular Effects of Calcium Supplements," brings to the forefront the serious though mainly downplayed health risks associated with calcium supplementation, concluding they increase the risk of heart attack by 27%-31% and the risk of stroke by 12%-20%.[1]