Category Archives: Vitamins/Supplements

Vitamin water … too much of a good thing?

main-vitamin-enhanced-drinks-may-be-harming-your-health-study-findsWe hear all the time that most of us aren’t getting the vitamins our bodies need to keep us healthy. So it’s no surprise that vitamin water has been such a big consumer hit. We’re going to drink water anyway — why not include some extra vitamins while we’re doing it? It’s good for us.

A study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism finds that it may be just the opposite.

Researchers analyzed 46 beverages, with and without added sugar, and found many “contained vitamins B6, B12, niacin and vitamin C in quantities ‘well in excess’ of the average daily requirements for young adults,” the New York Times reports.

These juices, waters, and sports drinks entice consumers with mood- or performance-enhancing benefits as well as immune system boosts, but the added nutrients are unnecessary and potentially harmful; for example, a 2012 study published in the Cochrane Database found that heart disease patients treated with folic acid and B12 had higher mortality and cancer rates.

Furthermore, a 2012 nationwide study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that the most common vitamins added to these beverages are already plentiful in the average person’s diet, between the foods we eat and the supplements we take. Conversely, the vitamin niacin (naturally found in mushrooms, fish and avocados) is difficult to ingest in large quantities, but is found in excess within a single bottle of “formula 50” Vitaminwater, the New York Times reports—it contains 120% of the daily recommended value.

“You couldn’t possibly get that much from any natural foods,” Dr. Tarasuk told the New York Times. “That’s concerning to me as a nutrition scientist because we don’t know what the effects of chronic exposure may be. With these products, we’ve embarked on a national experiment.”

Most folks we know are taking vitamin supplements. They’re also trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet consistently. is also aware that most in our community conscientiously avoid most processed foods that are devoid of nutritional value. Because of these significant lifestyle practices, the addition of vitamin water to an already healthy diet may in fact be too much of a good thing. Whatever your beverage choices are, make them carefully and consciously.

Possible link between autism in children and inadequate iron supplementation during pregnancy

image_mediumMost people are aware of the many different efforts being made by researchers to understand the cause of autism. Suspected culprits have ranged from vaccinations containing the preservative thimerosal, to mercury, lead, pesticides and genetics. These links have been creating controversial debate for years. New research, however, is pointing in a new and different direction

Mothers of children with autism are significantly less likely to report taking iron supplements before and during their pregnancies than the mothers of children who are developing normally, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found.

Low iron intake was associated with a five-fold greater risk of autism in the child if the mother was 35 or older at the time of the child’s birth or if she suffered from metabolic conditions such as obesity hypertension or diabetes.

The research is the first to examine the relationship between maternal iron intake and having a child with autism spectrum disorder, the authors said. The study, “Maternal intake of supplemental iron and risk for autism spectrum disorders,” is published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

“The association between lower maternal iron intake and increased ASD risk was strongest during breastfeeding, after adjustment for folic acid intake,” said Rebecca J. Schmidt, assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and a researcher affiliated with the MIND Institute.

The authors of the current study in 2011 were the first to report associations between supplemental folic acid and reduced risk for autism spectrum disorder, a finding later replicated in larger scale investigations.

“Further, the risk associated with low maternal iron intake was much greater when the mother was also older and had metabolic conditions during her pregnancy.”

The study was conducted in mother-child pairs enrolled in the Northern California-based Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study between 2002 and 2009. The participants included mothers of children with autism and 346 mothers of children with typical development.

The researchers examined maternal iron intake among the study’s participants, including vitamins, other nutritional supplements, and breakfast cereals during the three months prior to through the end of the women’s pregnancies and breastfeeding. The mothers’ daily iron intake was examined, including the frequency, dosages and the brands of supplements that they consumed.

“Iron deficiency, and its resultant anemia, is the most common nutrient deficiency, especially during pregnancy, affecting 40 to 50 percent of women and their infants,” Schmidt said. “Iron is crucial to early brain development, contributing to neurotransmitter production, myelination and immune function. All three of these pathways have been associated with autism.”

“Iron deficiency is pretty common, and even more common among women with metabolic conditions,” Schmidt said. “However we want to be cautious and wait until this study has been replicated.

“In the meantime the takeaway message for women is do what your doctor recommends. Take vitamins throughout pregnancy, and take the recommended daily dosage. If there are side effects, talk to your doctor about how to address them.” understands that most of us are related to or at least personally know a child with autism. There’s a reason for that. Incidences of autism are still on the rise. According to the CDC, one in every 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder. And that’s up from one in 88 just two short years ago. Researchers are working intensely to find some key to this growing — and often heartbreaking — disorder so that more can be done to help affected children, and to work towards the prevention of Autism.

Even a small deficiency of Vitamin B-12 may put your at risk for accelerated cognitive disease

Since launching FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals earlier this month, has been actively researching vitamins and supplements and their effects on our health and well being.

Today we found a recent study that suggests that older adults may be at greater risk for accelerated cognitive decline if they aren’t getting enough Vitamin B-12. The study comes out of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

Researchers at the HNRCA at Tufts examined data from almost 550 men and women who were enrolled in a heart study. They focused on their scores of the Mini-Mental State Examination. This exam consists of a list of questions and tasks that are routinely used to diagnose dementia. The participants were split into five groups all based on the levels of Vitamin B-12 in their blood.

The two groups of participants who had the lowest levels of Vitamin B-12 had experienced significantly Being in the two lowest groups was associated with a significantly faster rate of cognitive decline. This was determined by following their test scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination over the course of eight years.

While a severely low level of Vitamin B-12 deficiency is related to cognitive impairment, this study suggests that there are adverse effects related to levels of deficiency that are not considered severe. Over time, those participants in the second lowest group of Vitamin B-12 levels had the same outcome as those in the very lowest group. This leads researchers to believe that even small deficiencies of this important vitamin are effecting a larger population.

The analysis discovered that the Mini-Mental State Examination scores dropped an average of .24 points per year for the first three groups of participants, while falling an average of .35 points yearly in the lowest two groups. This is a meaningful difference in cognitive decline.

The study raises a definite concern regarding the population’s intake of Vitamin B-12 and notes that it becomes more difficult to maintain normal blood levels of the vitamin as we age. Older adults seem to have a more difficult time absorbing Vitamin B-12 from food into the blood stream. It’s because of that that the USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that people over 50 incorporate B-12 fortified foods or supplements into their diets. is again happy to see that science is exploring the effects of natural solutions to health problems. If you’re over 50, you might want to consider this product from FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals for its quality ingredients and purity. However you decide to supplement, make sure you do. It’s a natural answer to a difficulty that would be best to avoid!

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Vitamin D linked to women’s cognitive health has always appreciated the importance of vitamin intake in the health of the population. Our concerns with the quality of the vitamins and supplements available today have led us to launch our own brand, FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals that meet our high standards for purity and natural ingredients. Needless to say, we pay a lot of attention to news concerning how vitamins affect our lives.

There are two new studies of note that are illustrating how vitamin D may have a direct effect on the cognitive abilities of women as they age. It appears that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. This is from research conducted at the Angers University Hospital in France. In another similar study out of the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, researchers found that low levels of vitamin D in older women are linked with a greater risk of cognitive impairment and decline.

The U.S. research analyzed over 6,000 older women. These participants had their vitamin D levels measured during a study dealing with fractures and their cognitive functioning tested by a state examination.

Low levels of vitamin D in these women were associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment. And for those women who were cognitively impaired, low levels of the vitamin were linked to a larger risk of continued cognitive decline.

The study originating in France considered data from almost 500 older women. These participants were part of an osteoporosis study. The women in the study group who developed Alzheimer’s disease had lower vitamin D intake weekly than those who developed other forms of dementia or no dementia at all.

Studies have been published earlier this year that expressed concern that both men and women are not getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D can come from diet, supplements or the sun. So there are a number of different opportunities to incorporate it into your life. If you have any concerns about your intake of vitamin D, you should access your sources. If you’re looking for a way to supplement, allow us to suggest FoodFactsTRI Vitamin D. Coming from, you’ll know that these supplements contain nothing controversial and the purest ingredients available. Regardless of how you incorporate more of this important vitamin into your life, it’s important for everyone to access their current intake and adjust accordingly!

We’re welcoming a new brand to the family … Introducing FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals!

Tonight we have a tremendous announcement to make here at We are launching FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals. We’ve been around a long time – well over 15 years. One of the things we’ve been exceptionally aware of throughout those years is how poorly most vitamin and supplement products rate on our Health Score. has brought its tremendous knowledge to bear in this product category and is debuting FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals – vitamins and supplements you can feel good about. Take a look at our new site: FoodFactsTri … for the most part we are free of everything you want to avoid – Gluten, Sugar, Salt, Yeast, Dairy, Artificial Flavors, Artificial Colors. Our brand – FoodFacts Tri – has been run through our own scoring system.

We’re so excited – just take a look … These days your expenditures are so important. We really believe that our new brand of vitamins and supplements are really above the bar that’s been set. And we want you to know that this launch for FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals has taken us well over twelve months to formulate and decide on so that we can present to you the best formulations we can honestly bring to market.
We are happy with our work. Please visit our site: Please let us know what you think! We hope that you’ll be happy with the research and development we’ve put behind this new brand! will continue our research and hopes to add to our brand with products you can feel good about. We want to bring you the products you can trust for purity and quality. We hope you’ll feel the same way!

Nutritional link to fertility for men is happy to see that finally, science is looking into the fertility concerns surrounding men of a certain age AND finding that nutrition appears to play a part in the improvement of sperm quality in men over the age of 44.

That’s right, there seems to be a link between micro-nutrients and healthy sperm. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Folate and Zinc help turn back the biological clock for men. In a new study 80 healthy men between the ages of 22 and 80 were studied for sperm quality. Those participating in the study who were over the age of 44 and consumed the greatest amount of Vitamin C had 20 percent less DNA damage in their sperm than the control group of the same age who consumed the least amount of Vitamin C. This same finding was also true for Vitamin E, Zinc and Folate.
Through this study it was determined that men may be at an increased risk for sperm DNA damage as they get older, but that they can actively do something about this through the use of supplements.

Year after year, there are greater numbers of men and women who are putting off child birth until they are over 35 years of age. There are greater health concerns associated with conceiving in this age group. A recent study, for example, linked an increased risk for autism and schizophrenia to infants of older men. In addition it was been discovered that older men are less fertile than their younger counterparts and have an increased number of chromosomally defective pregnancies. While this information has been known about older women attempting and achieving conception for years, the studies for men are relatively newer.

The new information linking Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc and Folate to an increase in sperm quality is good news for men in this age group and suggests the need for additional studies on the affect of antioxidants on fertility as well as the risk for genetically defective pregnancies across the board. Can an increase in micronutrients result in healthier offspring with a decrease in genetic problems? The results are yet to be seen … but thinks that it can’t hurt any man over 40 who’s looking to embrace fatherhood to up their intake of C, E, Zinc and Folate. The answer to men beating their biological clocks may just be waiting for them at their local health food store! That would certainly be worth the trip!


Vitamin D in the news

There have been so many different health headlines featuring Vitamin D lately! We wanted to make sure that our Food Facts friends have the information they need to make informed decisions.

Most of the information out there encourages people to have their Vitamin D levels checked in order to assure that there are no deficiencies. Studies are suggesting that getting enough Vitamin D is essential to your health and longevity. These studies include:

- Calcium and Vitamin D levels can reduce the mortality rate in older adults.—$800798920.php

- Low levels of Vitamin D may increase stroke risk.—$800793033.php

- Treating Vitamin D deficiency can improve depression.—$800806477.php

These and many more benefits have been coming to light for Vitamin D recently. Truly sounds like this could be the wonder-vitamin. So, why aren’t we all being advised to find ways to get more Vitamin D?  That’s where it appears that experts seem to disagree. While we can be sure about defining too little, there is some concern about what defines too much. In 2010 the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin D was raised to 600 IU for anyone from 1 – 70 years of age and increasing to 800 IU if you’re over 70. There are studies showing that up to 10,000 IU would not be toxic, and could be considered the upper limit for dosing of the vitamin.   But this was in 2010 and there are new studies coming online all the time that show more and greater benefits.

Interestingly, our intake of Vitamin D is less food dependent than our intake of other vitamins. There are certainly foods containing the important vitamin. A variety of fish, including salmon, tuna, cod, flounder, halibut, herring, mackerel, oysters and shrimp; cheeses like swiss and cheddar; whole eggs (the D is in the yolk), milk, all contain Vitamin D. But, traditionally, most of our Vitamin D intake occurs through our skin’s exposure to the sun. It’s widely felt that 30 minutes of sun exposure twice per week gives us the Vitamin D we need to maintain our health.

The recommendations we’ve all followed to limit our skin’s exposure to sunlight does have something to do with the idea that Vitamin D deficiencies have increased. There are studies that show that sunscreens can reduce ultraviolet-radiation-generated vitamin D in the skin. Since those recommendations are probably not going to go away and are necessary to maintain our good health as well, we may need to look at food and supplement sources to take advantage of all the good news that seems to be connected to Vitamin D.

Are Supplements Necessary? An original article by a nutritionist.

Are Supplements Necessary?


It seems that when science talks about the health benefits of foods, they often break
them down to their individual chemical components.  This process has been very helpful in
discovering nutrients that are both beneficial and detrimental to our health
(i.e. antioxidants and trans fats). However, when it comes to the positive
health effects fruits and vegetables have (such as anticancer properties),
research seems to look at single nutrients, which has helped to drive the nutraceutical
business. However, this blog article is going to focus on the known nutrients
that fruits and vegetables naturally contain and how they might work together
to help our bodies.

What do we find naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables and how do they play a role in our health? Vitamins, minerals,
fiber and phytonutrients are found in whole fruits and vegetables. There has been research showing that each of these may have antioxidant, antimicrobial, cardioprotective and/or anticarcinogenic properties.

Vitamins and Minerals:
Fruits and vegetables naturally contain Vitamins A, C, E, K and B vitamins such
as Niacin, Riboflavin, Folate, and B6. Minerals that we can find include iron,
potassium, calcium, magnesium and molybdenum. These vitamins and minerals help
to promote and maintain regular bodily functions, where each nutrient has a
unique role or some might work together towards a common goal. Many of the B
vitamins function as coenzymes (molecules which help enzymes carry out their
functions), are required to help our bodies get energy from proteins, fats,
carbohydrates and alcohol. Vitamin B6 is used in protein metabolism; folate and
B12 function together to ensure normal cell division. Vitamin K is required for
blood clotting, Vitamin C plays an essential role is synthesizing proteins for
connective tissue, neurotransmitters and hormones. Vitamins A, C and E act as
antioxidants to protect against oxidative damage to our cells. Vitamins A and D
along with calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, play an important role in
building and repairing our bones. This is just a very short list of the
functions vitamins and minerals have, not only in regulatory bodily functions, but
also in prevention of damage due to oxidation (which include cancers and heart


Fiber:  We could write whole books on the benefits of fiber and the mechanisms by which they do their work, but we’ll try to make
this short and sweet.  Fiber is a carbohydrate that human enzymes cannot digest. Fiber can help us lower our cholesterol, maintain blood sugar, relieve constipation and help us stay fuller, longer. Foods that are high in fiber are also nutrient dense and lower in calories. Fiber helps lower cholesterol by binding to bile and carrying it out of our bodies, our liver then uses cholesterol to create more bile. It helps us feel fuller, longer because it takes long to digest. Furthermore, since our bodies cannot digest fiber, it does not raise blood glucose and insulin levels. Fiber can help relieve constipation by adding bulk to stool and helping it move through our intestines.


Phytonutrients:  There have been about 8,000 phytonutrients discovered in fruits and vegetables and while we may not be completely sure of their benefits, there have been research showing that people, who consume more than 4 servings of fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients such as flavonoids, lessened their risk of cardiovascular disease. In certain in vitro (test tube) and in vivo (living organism) trials, flavonoids have shown promising results as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic agents. They help our cell processes, including growth and death. This could help prevent cancer by helping our bodies destroy damaged/cancerous cells, which do not respond to signals from our bodies telling them to stop duplicating.

You could find each of these nutrients in supplement form (either in pills or powders), but do they have the same benefit as whole foods? They are the same nutrients, so why not? According to an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, supplements do not have the same effects as nutrients found in whole foods. “The isolated pure compound either loses its bioactivity or may
not behave the same way as the compound in whole foods.” It also mentions “in a human study, involving 30 healthy individuals whose diets were supplemented with 500 mg vitamin C showed an increase of oxidative damage in the DNA
isolated from lymphocytes.” Suggesting that it is not a good idea to take high dose supplements of Vitamin C. Another reason to choose foods over supplements are that supplements are not regulated by any government agency and some comes
with added sugars and other fillers.

For most people, taking supplements may be unnecessary and we can, instead, eat fresh, whole foods. Perhaps the next time we read emerging research on the benefits of nutrients that are found in fruits and vegetables, it will reaffirm our decision to choose a diet which includes a variety of whole foods, rather than encouraging us to go out and purchase a variety of supplements.


If you’re curious about the amount of flavonoids found in your favorite foods, visit here:

Or for a much more simplified version, visit here:
and here:


Smolin, Lori A., and Mary B. Grosvenor. Nutrition: science and applications. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007. Print.