Vitamin Supplement Scams: Who Can You Trust?
Whether you order your vitamins through the mail or pick them up at a local health store, when you bring them home, open the package, and take the first capsule or pill, you want to trust that it does what it says it’s going to, right?
Recently, an article published by NBC News called out some concerns regarding the so-called “sunscreen pills.”
The FDA made a statement on May 22, 2018, regarding the sunscreen supplements, saying that “There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen.”
Unfortunately, due to misleading claims, many were using the pills as a replacement for topical sunscreens. The FDA wanted the public to be aware in order to protect themselves properly.
“Legitimate sunscreens are made in a wide range of sun protection factor values, also known as SPF values, and are over-the-counter drugs that come in many forms. These include lotions, creams, sticks, and sprays,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said.
Here are some things to consider before buying a supplement…
• Is the company reputable?
Look for a company that has the heart for improving the health of the customer. Reputable companies have a philosophy that reflects their genuine interest to have multifaceted benefits to health, environment, and the economy.
• Are there any warnings about the product?
You can always search the FDA’s website to identify any warnings or advisories. They also keep a full list of recalled products. You can also do a Google search to see if there are any health risks associated with the supplement.
• Are there ingredients added that could be harmful?
Too often, there are fillers or artificial colors added to the supplement products. Ingredients such as hydrogenated oil or dyes are found in the vitamins and minerals to make them more appealing to the eye of the customer.
It’s important to purchase a product that is not only safe but also contains ingredients that do not actually negate the benefits.
• Is it a “miracle” product?
If it claims to cure or instantly transform your health or your life, it’s likely too good to be true. Supplements are just that… supplements. They are intended to add nutritional benefit to your diet, not to replace all healthy habits and nutritionally dense foods.
We’ve looked at questions to consider when choosing a supplement, but that still leaves the question…
Sunscreen: What’s the Harm?
There are a number of toxins we come into contact with every day. It is likely that those who purchased the so-called sunscreen pills were looking for an alternative to the “toxins” in sunscreen.
What’s toxic and what’s not in the sunscreen world seems to be up to debate by professionals. The several hot-topic ingredients currently revolve around retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, and nanoparticles.
What are these three culprits?
- Retinyl palmitate is a derivative of vitamin A and is added to some sunscreens to reduce the signs of aging. It doesn’t filter out UV light and has some dermatologists worried.
Some sunscreen manufacturers are removing the ingredient from their products and only about a third of those on the market have it.  But even doctors disagree on its safety.
- Oxybenzone does filter out UV light. However, when large amounts have been tested on animals, it has been shown to interact with hormones.
“If you covered your entire body with oxybenzone in the concentrations that are in sunscreens and used it every day, it would take over 30 years to get to the point of what these rats were fed in these studies,” says dermatologist Darrell Rigel, MD, FAAD, who is a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center.
- Nanoparticles, made of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are called “mineral sunscreens.” These
broad-spectrum protectors are most associated with the lifeguards on the beach who put the thick ointment on their noses and cheeks.
Now science has found a way to shrink the mineral particles into nanoparticles so they are colorless and can’t be seen on the skin, making them more popular. They have been used as an alternative to the other two sunscreen ingredients for those whose skin might be sensitive to them.
With all of these ingredients mentioned, researchers are studying their effects closely to gain more knowledge about their impact on the skin. They have been shown to protect against sunburn… but at what cost?
Most doctors can’t agree or answer the long-lasting impact these ingredients have on the body.
Debra Jaliman, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, says this: “You want to avoid any sunscreens that have nanoparticles. They are showing up in the liver and the bloodstream, and they are banned in a lot of places.”
However, dermatologist Henry Lim, MD, former vice president of the AAD, is of a different opinion: “We know that with intact skin, nanoparticles will stay on top of the skin. What is not knows is if the skin is broken, for example with eczema, would nanoparticles go in? That part we don’t have an answer for.”
How Can I Protect My Skin from the Sun?
Here are 7 methods most healthcare professionals agree on for skin protection:
- Limit sun exposure during the most sun-intensive part of the day, which is 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- If you are out, wear sun protective accessories such as hats, sunglasses with UV protection, long sleeves or shawls that can cover your arms, and an umbrella.
- Even though not all the science agrees with sunscreens, it is still widely recommended to use, especially for prolonged periods in the sun.
- Choose broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays, and have an SPF of at least 30.
- Apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before you go out.
- Reapply sunscreen every 1-2 hours, especially when swimming or sweating.
- Be aware of medications you are taking that could make your skin more susceptible to sunburn.
Even with foods that boost your skin’s natural ability to stand up to the sun, your body is limited. It’s always a good idea to consume foods that contain vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy lifestyle, but don’t neglect the largest organ of the body, your skin, when it comes to sun protection.
Likewise, eating foods that are overprocessed underperform when it comes to health. Not only are they full of empty calories, if you are sitting in the hot sun eating salty chips as part of a regular summer routine, the extra salt also leads to higher blood pressure.
At Dead Sea Moringa we want you to be healthy and treat your body with care both on the inside and the outside. Skin protection is only one part of the health picture. Living an active lifestyle, eating a nutritionally balanced diet, and protecting your health in any way you can allows you to live life abundantly!
Check out the abundant benefits of Dead Sea Moringa HERE!