The Way to BE

Could Your Multivitamin Be Making You Sick?

According to two large studies released this past month, there is reason to reconsider popping your one-a-day multi. (1)

These two studies make the argument that multivitamin supplementation may actually be causing more harm than good in the body.

What exactly did these studies show?

One study looked at vitamin E in the body and its relationship to prostate cancer. The study, called the SELECT trial, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The SELECT trial found that, contrary to general opinion, vitamin E slightly increases the chance of prostate cancer. The study also points out that taking selenium with vitamin E seems to reduce this risk. (2)

Before you pop that pill… Choosing the right supplement with essential vitamins and minerals can protect your health by supporting digestive function and aiding in detoxification.

The second study to raise alarm was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Known as the Iowa Women’s Health Study, researchers gathered information from a large pool of 38,000 women that averaged 61 years old. The results? Over time, from 1986 to 2008, it was determined that multivitamin use was linked with a slight increase in the risk of mortality or death. (3)

What These Studies Failed to Discuss:

The quality of the supplement and multivitamin. This piece of information is what is called a confounding variable.

For example, there are eight natural forms of vitamin E.

  • Most inexpensive, synthetic multivitamins and even skin creams contain only one form, called alpha-tocopherol.
  • Only including alpha-tocopherol in a formula decreases the protective action of other forms of vitamin E in the body.
  • When taking vitamin E, it should be in the natural form of d-alpha-tocopherol and combined with 50% as much mixed tocopherols.

One significant confounding variable in the Iowa Women’s Health Study: twice as many women in the group that were taking supplements were also taking synthetic hormones, like premarin or provera.

Did you know that these synthetic hormones, like premarin and provera, are now known to cause things like cancer, heart disease, and stroke? The Iowa Study did not account for this significant confounding variable.

In 2011, the general public is more educated than ever about health, the body, and industrial farming and agriculture.

Many of us know that:

  • Soil does not have the same nutrient profile as it did 100 years ago.
  • The nutrient profile of plants reflects the depleted soil our veggies are grown in.
  • The way that we raise animals is cluttered, toxic, and unnatural.
  • Our bodies eventually get sick from eating too much poor quality food.
Supplementation can fill in nutritional vacancies.

Most medical experts and nutritionists, including the ones involved in the recently published studies, will tell you that quality food and daily exercise is the best thing you can do for your health. This is because eating the right foods or choosing supplements that are based on Mother Nature can harmonize whole systems in the body.

  • Supporting digestive function with enzyme supplementation is broad spectrum, treats whole systems, and has multiple benefits.
  • When we open up detoxification pathways with liver support, like with Body Ecology LivAmend, we help multiple systems in the body to function as they should, and we create balance.

Synthetic and isolated supplementation - that you may or may not need - is a bit like stumbling around in the dark. Not only that, but keep in mind that most of the time these synthetic nutrients are useless or even harmful in the body because they simply aren’t packaged the way that Mother Nature intended.

When we use herbs, food, and whole-food nutrients to support entire systems in the body, such as the digestive system or detoxification pathways, we restore balance and optimize health.

So can a multivitamin or supplement make a bad condition worse?

The answer is: it is possible. There is a marked difference between poor quality and synthetic supplements compared to the nutrients found in a high quality, food-based supplement. Unfortunately, researchers did not investigate what kinds of supplements were involved in the SELECT trial and Iowa Women’s Health Study. They also did not account for other confounding variables, like hormone replacement therapy.

Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods!

If you are crunched for time and you do not have the hours to cook like grandma did, try these:

  • Pull out your slow cooker in the morning and let both meat and bone slowly dissolve into a delicious dinner.
  • An alternative to bone broth, which can take anywhere from 12 – 72 hrs to prepare, is powdered gelatin. Try mixing powdered gelatin into a smoothie. When replacing bone broth, go for high quality bulk powdered gelatin rather than the encapsulated form.
  • Consider making your own with Body Ecology Veggie Culture Starter. Once you get into the habit of tossing some veggies in your food processer and packing jars with the veggies and a starter culture, you will wonder why these simple steps were ever forgotten about in the first place.

What to Remember Most About This Article:

Two recent studies have raised questions about taking daily multivitamins, linking daily supplement use to prostate cancer and a slight increase in mortality. However, these studies failed to examine the quality of the supplements that were taken.

Today, it has become common knowledge that our soil is not as rich as it was a century ago. This nutrient depletion has caused poor quality in our food supply. Supplementation can be used to fill in these nutritional gaps.

However, taking a poor quality supplement could make a bad health condition even worse. Take the time to choose beneficial, natural supplements that will support digestive function and aid in detoxification. When cooking at home, opt for nutrient-dense foods that pack a punch to boost your health and strengthen your immune system.

Product Recommendations:

  • LivAmend


    Why Use LivAmend Every Day?

    • Proper bile flow is vital for peak vitality and longevity!
    • Research shows that the herbs in LivAmend increase bile flow and optimize the health of your liver.
    • Increased bile flow improves elimination helping with chronic constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome
    • A healthier liver produces glutathione, a primary antioxidant needed for detoxification
    • Healthy bile flow guards against parasites and candida!
    • Improper bile flow causes problems like gallstones, cholesterol problems, insulin problems and diabetes
    • Herbs are Non-GMO and Gluten free!
  • Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes

    Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes

    Break Down Food, Absorb Nutrients and Prevent Gas and Bloating

    • One of the most complete and powerful digestive enzymes available
    • Assures digestion of proteins over the entire pH range from 2.0 to 11.0
    • Fast-acting, high-potency enzyme formula
  • Ancient Earth Minerals

    Ancient Earth Minerals

    Protect Yourself from Mineral Deficiencies

    • The highest quality blend of humic, fulvic, micro and macro minerals and amino acids
    • The only high quality mineral supplement of its kind that you can take in capsule form
    • Helps your body to nourish your thyroid and adrenals, detoxify, reduce the signs of aging, and build immunity


  1. Wang, Shirley. Is This the End of Popping Vitamins? The Wall Street Journal. Oct 25, 2011.
  2. Klein RA et al. JAMA 2011;306:1549-1556, PMID: 21990298
  3. Mursu, Jaakko, et al. Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women: The Iowa Women's Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(18):1625-1633.

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  • brian

    Apparently, some raw foodists like Kevin Gianni had mineral deficiencies despite eating a healthy diet to the point of sensitive teeth. Is it possible that eating cold foods reduce the bioavailability of nutrients and may increase the risk of food sensitivities?

    Would certain people on a healthy diet benefit from multivitamins?

    I'm taking 1 cap instead of the recommended 2 a day of Active Men's formula. I seem to have more energy not sure if it's the minerals or the herbs. Maybe I had borderline deficiencies from eating too much unsoaked nuts, seeds, and rice but don't take my word. It's a hassle to soak them.

  • Marilyn

    Didn't that study get debunked when researchers more closely looked at it and found women who had been on hormone replacement therapy also generally used a lot of supplements?

  • Tabitha Teeter

    Do you have any grain free (and gluten free) supplements now? I was particularly interested in a nutritional supplement and enzymes. I'm not sure if I'm my allergies & intolerances have been there all along or if I just have a leaky gut. Either way I know wheatgrass, barley, etc. cause reactions.

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.