Revolution Health & Wellness

Podcast 21 – Not All Supplements Are Created Equal

Podcast 21 - Not All Supplements Are Created Equal

Not all supplements are created equal


Dr. Dr. Chad: This is Dr. Chad Edward and you’re listening to podcast number 21 of Against the Grain.


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Marshall: Welcome to Against the Grain podcast with Dr. Chad Edwards where he challenges the status quo when it comes to medicine. Look at into hot topics in the medical fields with real stories from real patients to help you on your way to a healthy lifestyle. Get ready because we’re about to go, Against the Grain.


Hello this is Marshall Morris and today I am joined by Dr. Chad Edwards who believes that 80% of the medical recommendations are crap and that’s technical speaking right there. He is the author of Revolutionize Your Health With Customized Supplements and he served in the US Army for 23 year, as both an Enlisted Soldier and as an officer as a physician. He graduated from Medical School at Oklahoma State University, Go Pokes and he is the founder of and the Against the Grain podcast. Welcome Dr. Edwards.


Dr. Dr. Chad: I think it is good to be here.


Marshall: Yes it will. I got to harass you just real quick. My family is from Cleveland and Akron so I was raised, the real Ohio State.


Dr. Dr. Chad: It’s the wrong way– as you can.




Marshall: So what we’re talking about today, what we get into?


Dr. Dr. Chad: So, this is actually a tag on from our previous podcast where we talked about, why people need a nutritional supplements so if everybody listens to it they’re going to run out and go get a handful of nutritional supplements because they’re listens to podcast number 20. And I’m going to actually discourage them from doing that. Tulsa prolotherapy,


Marshall: Okay. So it’s not go by as many supplements as I can it might local warnings.


Dr. Chad: Absolutely not.


Marshall: Okay.


Dr. Chad: And so that why we’re going to talk about today, why that’s probably not the best plan. We mentioned, we’re going to kind of touched on– I don’t recommend a whole bunch of nutritional supplements but I do recommend some. You want to make sure that they’re focused so that we get maximum benefits about sort of speak. Tulsa prolotherapy,


Marshall: So, are you telling me that like not all supplements are created equal or why is what’s the common misconception here, what do most people believe a supplements to be and why is it that not the case.


Dr. Chad: Yes, first of all, I remember, when I was in medical school I would ask some of my physician colleagues and my mentors and staff why not consider nutritional supplements or why not there so why not that, what about this and a lot of time supplements or anything you bought over-the-counter anything you go just to your local drug store and get was kind of boohooed in their mind and as why and they said, :the quality of that stuff is crap,” and there may not be good studies on at or whatever. Tulsa prolotherapy,


So, there is a lot of studies out there on supplements and there is a lot of conflicting data for example with vitamin E, there was a lot of hoop-law for several years the vitamin E was great as an oxidant and might prevent death and these kinds of things. And when they actually studied that they saw that what maybe there are some, may be vitamin D is actually causing a little bit of harm but the problem is the nutritional supplements that they tested were actually alpha-tocopherol and not mixed tocopherols, they weren’t vitamin E as we find in nature. It was one portion selected out and tested specifically, doesn’t have the same benefit. Tulsa prolotherapy,


So, there is conflicting data on some things when it comes to nutritional supplements but the big thing for me is this quality piece and that’s where we’re going to focus on here. Tulsa prolotherapy,


Marshall: Okay so we’re talking about the quality of the supplements and why that’s important so give me the two ends of the spectrum. What is what constitutes a good supplement and what constitutes may be not as high quality supplement.


Dr. Chad: Well, as a good quality supplement is one that has exactly what is stated on the label. So it contains if it says it contains ingredients 1, 2, and 3 at dose at 10 mg each then it should contain exactly that.


Marshall: You’re making me nervous here. You’re making me nervous because I don’t know what you’re going to say for a bad quality supplement but if it’s anything other than what you just said you had me worry.


Dr. Chad: Well, that’s exactly right. And some people will because the bad quality supplements don’t have that the problem is you don’t know and that’s a big problem because you’ll look at the ingredients. For example, we several podcasts where we talked about some skin care stuff with some hormones and acne and things like that. And one of the things that Sue, who is just phenomenal one of the things that she talks about is cosmetic grade ingredients in the skin care lines versus pharmaceutical grade and there are two very, very different levels of quality and two very different levels of outcome.


So the ingredients in the two skin care lines may be the exact same on label. But, what you’re actually getting a dramatically different, now I would argue that’s the same, the exact same for nutritional supplements. So there are one of the things that I’ll often see as you look the ingredients and they will say proprietary blend of. Well, proprietary blend means that Bobby had a list of ingredients and we put them together and you don’t know what they are and so he didn’t tell how much it is in there.


So if you’re looking for something with, I don’t know methylcobalamin and it says proprietary blend of methylcobalamin listed in there. Well, you might need 1 mg but what’s actually in there might be 0.0001 but it’s actually in there. So what is it that you’re actually getting you don’t know. In a proprietary blend you don’t know and that bugs me.


Marshall: Okay. So what really comes down to the makeup, the makeup of what is in that supplement being high quality or low quality what’s contained in it why are you so passionate about the high quality versus low quality supplements.


Dr. Chad: Well. So, there was a consumer labs that were reported in 2007 so I have always been if any consumer reports they’re actually independent third party organization that will go in and test things. And, so they if you go to they actually discuss this report and I think they did another one since then. But in 2007, they found that there was a lot of misleading stuff, there was a lot of contaminants. There was a lot of just lot of stuff was crap out there and the supplements simply we’ll talk about supplements not being regulated by the FDA and the truth is they actually are regulated by the FDA but they’re regulated as a food not as a medication.


So there are two completely different standards and you want to say what the differences are for another podcast so they are regulated by the FDA but they are not regulated as medications which is how I think most people would want them to be regulated if in order to say they are regulated. So, when they started testing some of these things in 2007 what they found was that less than half of the supplements tested met the claims on the label.


They found that one of the products in particular had more lead contamination than the lead had ever seen in anything so we’re talking lead contamination. So not only we’re talking about something that contains what stated on the label but it doesn’t contain anything else, there is no toxins, there is no crap, there is no anything else in it. And lead is a toxin, we shouldn’t have that stuff and this stuff had more than they’ll ever seen in anything in their lab so it’s impressive. Since it’s not controlled by the FDA and the pharmaceutical standard, then who is watching out, who is watching this, who is the watchdog?


In the testing, they found that the products contain 10 times the amount of lead that is required to warrant an issuance of warning in California turns put a label and there is a warning that contains lead, it was 10 times above that, it’s shocking. They found some products contain more or less of the ingredients that were stated on the label. One product had 216%, of the vitamin A that was stated on the label and that could be too much for someone. On the other hand of the spectrum they found that one multivitamin only had 2% of the label claims for being in quarantine. So, you go one at 216% you got one at 2%, it’s crazy. Fish oil once some of the supplements that were tested in regards to fish oil were spoiled meaning that they’re oxidized and I would argue that.



Dr. Chad: And I would argue that if you’re taking a spoiled or oxidized fish oil supplement you are doing more harm than if you aren’t taking any at all.


Marshall:Now at a very high level explain that to me.


Dr. Chad: So fish oil is a polyunsaturated fat. Oxidation is a chemical process where it comes in and it almost rusts that chemical. So, rancidification if smell like if you smell fish and it smells like really fishy part of that is that oxidation. When it smells really bad like “oh, that smells like nasty fish,” reminds me of a few good men when thew the–grumpy old men when they threw the fish in the back seat of the guy’s truck and it made smell awful, that is the rancidification of those fats. So if you open your fish oil and it smells bad it rancid and you shouldn’t take, it’s oxidized and broken down and probably more harmful than not taking anything at all.


Marshall: Okay. So, some kind of chemical reaction has occurred that has caused it to spoil?


Dr. Chad: That’s correct.


Marshall: Cool.


Dr. Chad: That’s correct. And in these fish oils they found that there was a range of 20-80%of the quality stated on the label. So the point is there is just a lot of inconsistencies now that was from 2007, we’re 2016, we’re nine years ahead so surely we’ve done better than then, right. Surely, we’ve done better.


Marshall: Yes.


Dr. Chad: Yes. I wish that were the case. So in February 3rd, 2015 in New York the attorney general issued letters of cease and desist to four companies.And I have no bias for or against these companies this is just the facts of what it was. You can actually go search the web find the actual reports, I did this and you can read exactly what happened. So, the Attorney General’s Office went in and purchased supplements from four different– from several locations of four different major retailers. They looked at GNC, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.


And they tested each sample of their particular thing fivetimes, five different bottles and they tested each one of them. And they utilized DNA barcode analysis to see what was actually in the bottle. And I won’t go through all of the details of this, but one of them, for example, only 41% of the supplements resulted in the DNA match for the label. Only 41% of them had what was on the label. 21% of the test revealed material other than what was on the label and 38% had no plant DNA at all and to be clear we were testing things like Echinacea that is a plant based supplement. 38% didn’t have any DNA evidence of having any plant at all. Let’s take a quick break and we’ll come back and talk a little bit more about the quality of the supplements.


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We’re back talking about all these fun supplement quality issues. Now the reports that I just read, that was from one of the companies and that was actually from Targets’. So, Walgreens only 8% of the supplements resulted in DNA match for the label, 45% of the tests revealed material other than was on the label and 37% contained no plant DNA at all. This is a consistent problem so that’s two of the four, Wal-Mart, let’s talk about them real quick. So, they had significant concerns as well as did GNC.


Basically the attorney general issued letters of cease and desist said, “You cannot longer sell the supplements.” It’s now also to be cleared, excuse me, these were supplements that were private label, they were manufactured by someone and Walgreens, Target they put their label on it so it was manufactured for Walgreens. And the quality was so bad the attorney general told them that they had to quit selling them until the quality came up.


It’s just shocking what is in the bottle and the fact that you don’t know what it is. And again, you can scourthe web for quality of nutritional supplements it’s all over the place out there. It is a common and consistent problem and again, there is no watchdog watching out to say this one is good this one is not other than some like consumer labs.


Marshall: So, as a consumer and I know that a lot of the listeners out there are wanting to learn how do you take what you’re telling us and put it into application. What are some of the things that the consumers can do as they’re looking through the supplements to vet or research whether or not it’s good for them to be taken.


Dr. Chad: Well, it’s difficult to do and I would argue that if I were going to get vitamin D from one of the major players, there is no way to know. Because, there is no way to contact the lab. Some of these manufacturers, nobody contact the manufacturer and get a good answer. Some of these manufacturers even if they do an independent third party testing, and what that means is, let’s say, I am a vitamin D manufacturer and I make vitamin D. I can test it in my lab in my manufacturing facility and produce results. And the problem is that subject bias because it’s my lab, it’s my all that stuff.


What you’re looking for is an independent third party so I want to send my vitamin D that I manufacture to Marshall’s labs and have you test it and I have no affiliation with you so that you can say, “yes that meets standard or no it doesn’t.” So, independent third party testing is what you want. The other piece is that some and I see this even with “pharmaceutical grade supplement manufacturers” they’ll do what’s called skip-lot testing. So when you buy something and had a lot number and expiration date and they will test this lot independent third party analysis and they’ll say “this stuff is great,” but they may not test for three or four more lots or five lots or six lots but they’ve tested some lot.


What you want is consistent every single lot is tested by an independent third party and it meets label claims, that’s what you’re looking for. That’s not easy to find there are some good supplement manufacturers out there that will hold that kind of standard but that’s what you’re looking for. Generally, you’re going to find that more out of the physician’s office, chiropractor’s office like a professional level. That doesn’t mean all of them are that way, but, that’s generally what you’re going to find that level of quality.


There are– we were talking about fish oil the other day and there is an independent third party lab called IFOS, I-F-O-S and it’s like international fish oil something. They test a number of things about fish oil and looking at the quality and its stability and its oxidation and those kinds of things. And you can go to their website, and you can actually pull up the different companies and look at the stability, how long is this going to be good, those kinds of things.


One of the things that I would recommend and certainly any of our listeners can do this go to our website and click on the tab at the top on supplements and there is a section on there where you can go on and take the assessment. And it’s 19 question assessment that will walk you through all process. And some of the things that we talked about in Podcast 20 was, why people need to be taking supplements. So, we’re talking about, there are medical conditions that will consume nutrients, and you need the higher nutrition levels of certain things. But, it will walk you through your lifestyle and your nutrition and all those kinds of things.


And it will recommend based on scientific, medical evidence nutritional supplements that you should be taking. It might say don’t take this because you have this problem or do take this and then if you’re on, for example, if you’re on statin medication, then you absolutely have to be taken CoQ10 and so this system will help you with that. But, the manufacturer of those supplements are true pharmaceutical grade, in fact, they are manufactured in an FDA certified pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. What that means is that anything coming out of that facility has to meet FDA requirements for a pharmaceutical. Meaning, if the same level of quality where you’re getting prescription.


We know exactly what’s in it. Additionally, I’ve actually exercised this twice.A patient came in and say he had a problem with one of the supplements they recommended and we can actually get a certificate of analysis on that supplement on that lot and from that independent third party that says “This is exactly what was in it.” It’s a really cool way to go.


Marshall: There is a couple of a tool or things that listeners can be empowered to do. One is go take the assessment on their Website revolution health, and it’s a 19 questions assessment and they can begin investigating what type of supplements might be appropriate for their lifestyle.


Dr. Chad: Correct, they can actually go on there and it will make a recommendation but they can actually order the supplements directly from there.


Marshall: And the difference in ordering directly from there is you can actually get specific certificate of my  third grade mind wants to say certificate of authenticity of accurate compounding you know of the supplement rather than going to your local drug store where you have no idea what’s actually in it.


Dr. Chad: That’s correct. Now we will have to request that certificate but if someone called and said hey I want a certificate on that law we can get it because they do it.


Marshall: Very cool. Well, thank you so much for kind of explaining this they have anything in closing four supplement for the listeners out there.


Dr. Chad: You know again those four kind of foundation things that i think most people need the daily multi vitamins, the fish oil vitamin D and probiotic most people need and benefit from that, just make sure you are getting a good quality one and we will have more podcast on like vitamin D and the quality and why you should be taking that one and why you should be taking fish oil and what to look for and you know probiotic. Those are probably multiple podcasts topics each one of them so stay tuned we will be having more of that.


Marshall: Damn. Thanks so much Dr Edwards.

Dr. Chad: Thanks marshal.

[00:21:33] Thanks so much for listening to this week podcast with Dr. Chad Edwards tune in next week we will be going Against the Grain.


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