Secret #1: Hidden Toxicity
Research shows you have only a 2.5% chance of selecting a nutritional product in the market place that is both nontoxic and effective.
In other words, you have a 97.5% chance of selecting a nutritional product that is either toxic or doesn’t work. This shocking statistic was confirmed in a landmark study reported in the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association (winter, 1999).
How can this be? Unfortunately, toxic ingredients in nutritional products are now commonplace. We see many problems such as the use of the wrong herbal species, ingredients that are simply too old, that have been poorly grown, irradiated, fumigated or contaminated with pesticide/insecticide residues.
The Answer: Now more than ever, you can’t take a company’s integrity for granted. You must evaluate for yourself each company’s manufacturing methods. The mission at Premier Research Lab (PRL — one of our major suppliers of supplements) is to deliver 100% nontoxic and effective products. It has taken us almost a lifetime to figure out how to do this – since there are now so many pitfalls to avoid. Read on to learn what many of these common pitfalls are, so you don’t end up with products that don’t work.
Secret #2: Routine Herbal Contamination
Our research shows over 60% of the herbs currently used in nutritional products in the U.S. have been either fumigated, irradiated or contain significant pesticide/insecticide residues – including many organic herbs. We were shocked when we first began assaying herbs from many different growers in the U.S. Unbelievably, we found widespread contamination of most herbs, including fumigation, irradiation and pesticide/insecticide residues. This was true even of many organic herbs. Most product manufacturers do not test the raw materials used to make their products. They usually accept the Certificate of Analysis (C of A) from the suppliers. But the C of A is not enough, since it usually tests only for harmful bacteria and mold, and rarely tests for toxic contaminants.
The Answer: The key is thorough testing. At PRL, we absolutely do not use raw materials that have been fumigated, irradiated or that contain pesticide/insecticide residues. We do not rely solely on the supplier’s Certificate of Analysis for the presence of toxic agents. Unlike most manufacturers, we put every batch of incoming raw materials into a “quarantine area” for our own testing. Before we use any raw material, it must pass our standard biochemical and bacteriological test as well as our proprietary bio-energetic analysis.
Several years ago, PRL’s proprietary bio-energetic screening protected us from using green tea that had been gamma-irradiated. Although the tea had passed routine tests with flying colors, no tests were available to detect the irradiation and its toxic, radiolytic byproducts. (Up to 70% of green tea is now irradiated.) Today, newly developed photoluminescence equipment is able to detect irradiation and contaminants in products. PRL currently uses this technology to check every incoming, raw material and outgoing, finished product for positive identification of species, potency, purity and contamination.
Secret #3: The Grade 10 Scale
The nutrient content of an herb as well as its phytochemical properties can vary drastically, depending on its growing and harvesting methods. We have found most herbs grown in the U.S. are too weak, too toxic or both, to offer the full spectrum of benefits typically quoted in the scientific literature.
Depending on the growing and harvesting methods used, a plant can vary in its mineral content by over 900%. Likewise, its phytochemical nutrients can range from very potent with spectacular healing properties to virtually inactive. If an herb is poorly grown, even a concentrate or extract won’t help it yield better results. Therefore, how an herb is grown is of critical importance.
The Answer: To obtain 100% contaminant-free, raw materials, PRL sources most of its food and herbal ingredients outside the U.S. – where nutrients are grown in rich, unspoiled soil with pure water. Back in 1988, Tom Brokaw reported that even at that time, there were no uncontaminated drinking water sources left in the U.S. This means that virtually all crops, even organic, are now being watered with contaminated water.
But buying raw materials outside the U.S. in not enough. We have devised a Grade 10 Scale (a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best) to rate all nutrients. Our goal is to use exclusively grade 10 nutrient sources. To accomplish this lofty goal, we must gather nutrients from the best sources worldwide: from the deep central forests in India, to the wilds of the South American rainforests, to the pristine mountaintops of China.
Once we have located the key nutrients, we package them in rugged, HDPE drums with tamper-proof locking pins. This preserves their freshness and avoids the routine fumigation at the ports of passage on the way to the U.S. In contrast, other companies typically import herbs and foods in flimsy containers, such as burlap bags or cardboard boxes, which are easily fumigated and contaminated. One importer from India told us that his goods are fumigated 5 times (on average) between India and the U.S.
Secret #4: Infectious Prion Exposure
Animal-based organ and glandular products (from commercial animals) carry the risk of infectious prion contamination exposure as well as a greatly increased burden on the kidney and liver to metabolize them.
Great concern and fear over “mad cow” disease, which causes spongiform encephalopathy in humans, has now been reported in animals around the world, including the U.S. Mass animal exterminations have been carried out in numerous locations worldwide in an attempt to curtail outbreaks of the disease. In the U.S., the U.S.D.A. ordered mass exterminations on two sheep farms in Vermont (March, 2001) for fear of spread of the disease to other animals and humans.
Consequently, products made with constituents that have come from commercial animals (such as organs and glands) now carry the risk of contamination with toxic prions (infective particles which transmit the disease).
The Answer: Due to the widespread risk of prion contamination in commercial animals, the wisest advice is to avoid nutritional products made with constituents from commercial animals (including beef, sheep and pork) as well as avoiding gelatin capsules made from hooves of commercial animals.
PRL is the first company to design effective nutritional products that can target and strengthen specific organs or glands in the human body without using animal byproducts, thus avoiding the risk of prion ontamination. PRL’s unique organ and gland complexes are made with 100% grade 10 herbal and food concentrates and presents a novel approach to target and transport nutrients critical to the body’s own healing and recovery systems.
Animal-derived digestive enzymes may have the threat of prion exposure as well as containing other toxic tag-along chemicals. In contrast, PRL uses pure, non-animal digestive enzymes (called Quantum Digest), which are specially derived from aspergillus. Unlike other aspergillus enzyme sources, however, PRL enzymes are ultra-purified and filtered by special Japanese technology (not available in the U.S.), so they are free of fungal residue – a common problem in other enzyme products. These residues can elicit allergic-type reactions.
PRL’s unique enzyme process uses no heat, which ensures the enzymes are fully biologically active over the broadest range of gastrointestinal pH exposure – a key feature starkly missing in enzyme products extracted with heat.
Secret #5: The Calcium that Works
Most calcium products tend to promote remineralization of bone only, neglecting the tremendous need for remineralization of soft tissue (which includes all the body’s organs and glands). In addition, most companies do not provide a means of testing the body’s mineral reserves (via the pH) for regular monitoring.
Although replenishing minerals is of critical importance for bone physiology, little emphasis is typically given to replenishing minerals for soft tissue. However, adequate soft tissue mineral levels are critical for optimal organ and gland function. An individual may have adequate bone repletion while the soft tissue mineral levels badly suffer. In addition, most common sources of calcium are inadequate as agents to quickly replete lost bone and are also unable to replete soft tissue.
The Answer: PRL offers the Quantum Trio, a package of 3 products proven to rapidly replete calcium, magnesium and trace elements to both bone and soft tissue, a key ability most other mineral products simply don’t have. The pH testing allows you to test for yourself, to see the status of your mineral repletion.
The Quantum Trio includes these products:
Each player of the Quantum Trio works together to provide dramatic help to rapidly replete mineral uptake (including calcium, magnesium and trace elements) for good bone integrity as well as helping to restore soft tissue health.*
Each member of the Quantum Trio has been thoroughly tested to assure its potency and also to assure that it is both nontoxic and effective. The effectiveness and the speed of mineral repletion to both bone and soft tissue by the Quantum Trio can be accurately and inexpensively assessed by monitoring your first morning urine pH. (See “The pH Story” for details).
Secret #6: Toxicity of Isolated Vitamins and Minerals
When a product containing isolated vitamin and mineral nutrients is taken long term, it may induce side effects that are difficult to identify and correct. A person taking a formula with isolated vitamins and minerals may receive help at first, but later may begin to react to the imbalance of too much of a specific mineral or vitamin. A good example of a toxic overload from taking isolated vitamin/mineral formulas is a prostate formula containing 15 mg or more of zinc. The formula may be beneficial when taken during the first few weeks, but over time, zinc levels that have become too elevated may burden the body, imbalancing other mineral levels such as copper, triggering a cascade of new problems. The consumer may not associate these new problems with a product that initially helped.
The Answer: PRL engineers each of its phytonutrient/herb complex formulas so they are indeed modular. That means they can be taken in any combination. PRL’s complexes can be used without fear of inducing a toxic overdose of isolated vitamins or minerals or a toxic interaction so common when taking isolated vitamin/mineral preparations.
Secret #7: Toxic Agents in Tablets and Capsules
In the process of tableting or encapsulating, toxic agents such as binders, fillers and flowing agents are the rule. When these tablets or capsules are consumed over time, the toxic chemical agents can bio-accumulate and later create serious toxicity and absorption problems.
The Answer: PRL never uses toxic binders, fillers or flowing agents in our 100% pure vegetable capsules. If an ingredient is too light (and flies away easily), it may need a sister agent to assist in the process of putting it into a capsule at high speeds.
We have painstakingly researched the physical properties of each nutrient in order to use the most synergistic and beneficial nutrient blends to accomplish this task. In fact, during the research and development phase, PRL has meticulously elucidated the physical properties of each of its nutritional formulas and has pioneered novel ways to preserve their full potency as well as enhancing their bio-availability and transport to target tissues.
A good example of synergistic nutrients assisting one another is Premier Oleuropein, which features olive leaf extract. Olive leaf extract has a hydroscopic nature, a naturally high affinity for moisture. Within a month or so of encapsulation, it tends to absorb moisture and become hard, losing much of its potency. Rather than using common toxic encapsulating agents, we researched and found the perfect synergistic nutrients to protect the olive leaf extract from moisture damage as well as ensuring its full potency and activity.
Pull apart a capsule of Premier Oleuropein. Smell it for yourself. It will smell as fresh and potent as the day we encapsulated it. If you take an olive leaf product off a shelf and it does not smell fresh and aromatic, then it most likely isn’t.
We often recommend that doctors and patients use their own senses of smell and taste to assess the purity and potency of products. This simple testing provides you with an extraordinary discernment to assess the quality of any product.
Secret #8: Nondisclosure of Product Ingredients
To avoid alarming consumers about the use of toxic tableting or encapsulating agents, most manufacturers simply avoid the problem by not listing them on their label.
Flowing agents such as talcum powder, a suspected carcinogen (cancer-causing agent), are used routinely by most other manufacturers as well as polyvinylpyrrolidone, magnesium stearate (a proven immuno-suppressive agent), toxic waxes and many other known or suspected carcinogens. It is disappointing to find so many manufacturers who use these toxic agents in their nutritional products, making the choice not to inform their consumers about these hazards. We did not realize how widespread this problem of toxic additives in manufacturing was until we purchased our first high-speed encapsulator. We were shocked when the company reps informed us “how to best run product,” which entailed using all toxic agents. When we objected, the reps replied, “Don’t worry, everybody does it.”
The Answer: PRL does not use any secret toxic excipients or flowing agents in its products. By researching and developing new protocols, we are able to run our high-speed encapsulators with 100% nontoxic, top quality nutrients. In our manufacturing facilities, we have a saying: “We won’t make it if we won’t take it.”
Secondly, we choose not to use tablets to contain our precious nutrients. Making a tablet requires processing with heat, high pressure and toxic glues, all unacceptable to us, despite the fact that a tablet costs approximately 50% less to manufacture than a capsule. In addition a capsule is 50% better absorbed that a tablet. We have chosen to go even one step further using 100% pure, preservative-free vegetable capsules. Vegetable capsules cost twice as much as gelatin capsules but are 50% better absorbed than a gelatin capsule. In addition, they are free of the risk of toxic animal prions as well as toxic preservatives necessary to preserve gelatin capsules. These are critical considerations for people who take nutritional products on a regular basis.