Luv Doctor Oz ~ he’s made my job as a nutritionist SOooo much easier. He helps people understand that they are in charge of their health. He gets the conversation going.
Recently Oz's guest was Dr. Todd Cooperman, President of Consumer Labs, which tested 16 popular protein powders. Results showed that some brands contained less protein and more of both carbohydrates and calories than was stated on their labels. That’s a problem!
Another huge concern raised was over some products levels of arsenic and heavy metals including lead. Of course the Oz show is limited in time and was only able to go into minimal detail. So, let’s look a little deeper. Dirt Deep!
Now, imagine that you’re deep within the Amazon rain forest. The foliage and greenery is so dense that you can barely make-out the dappled sunlight beaming in between the trees and vines. It’s very humid and smells green and alive. Let’s put you in some protective hiking gear and netting because there are some serious insects here. Okay, reach down and pick-up a handful of the soil. It’s nearly black it’s so rich with nutrients. It’s moist and the scent too is dense and well…earthy. That’s the stuff. Plant any seed here that you want and it will not only grow ~ it will thrive!
Now, zap yourself to any industrial agriculture farm. This is called arable land and we’re running out of it worldwide. Check-out this quick little video from the Farmland Trust. Every year we lose over a million acres of US farmland ideally suited to grow food. More than 75% of America’s fruit, vegetables and dairy products are produced on what are called urban edged farms. Go ahead, reach down and pick-up a handful of that soil. More like plain dirt isn’t it?
Crops grow but, the plants don’t thrive. This soil has to be replenished with fertilizers because it’s been turned over so many times and provided so many years of crops for the American dinner table ~ it’s lacking in natural nutrients. That’s the reason why I and other nutritionists recommend that our clients use dietary supplements. The soil itself that your food is grown in is lacking in nutrients, next combine that with the travel and storage time it takes for the food to reach your table ~ there’s very little nutrient value left.
But, take another look at that farmland out there. A field once used for corn, may now be used for soy plants etc. Again and again the land has been turned over and replanted. Also, seed is expensive. Farmers can’t afford to have crops taken over by insects, other pests or plant diseases ~ So, along with fertilizers, insecticides are used.
This isn’t a US problem. This is a worldwide issue.
But, back to us in the US and this protein issue…
China is now facing a grave soil pollution situation. Heavy metals have severely polluted some areas, mines and factories have degraded soil in industrial areas and the amount of arable land is decreasing due to the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In May of 2013, The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) refused to issue data related to soil pollution and declared that related data remains a ‘state secret.’ They continue to use chemicals which were banned many years ago here in the US. With an estimated $3.1 trillion of cash reserves, China has already been eyeing farmland purchases in a variety of countries (particularly at Africa). Already, China is becoming a net importer of food. According to a report from the US Grains Council, China will import as much as 15 million tons in 2014-2015.
All of the values (calories, carbs, protein etc.) on Vibrant Health product labeling are accurate; what’s more ~ we’ve ensured that the protein is the most bio-available possible.
At Vibrant Health we chose to use a plant based protein formula combining Non-GMO Rice, Pea, Alfalfa and Spirulina proteins. We took an additional step to maximize the bio-availability of those proteins, by adding a few select free amino acids, and creating a purely vegetable protein with an amino acid ration that surpasses albumin and whey proteins, which is nearly equal to that of human muscle tissue.
Sure, Whey protein isolates are popular but, they share the disadvantages that you’ll find with any dairy based product, which is antibiotics and pesticides in the grain that the cattle are fed. Another huge issue is that many people have lactose or casein allergies. Additionally, any dairy product sold in the US must be pasteurized which “de-natures” any Whey product, automatically reducing its nutrient value.
Dr. Oz and Dr. Cooperman raised valid concerns regarding heavy metals and arsenic. Yet, if you look closely at the Consumer Labs report provided by the Oz program, the rice protein product test results all showed: ‘Did Not Exceed Contamination Limit for Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic’. But, how did these contaminants get into the rice protein at all? Good question.
The major producers of rice in the world are China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Brazil, Japan, USA, Pakistan, and the Republic of Korea (in this order). Can you already see where a problem could arise for US products using rice? Many of them source their rice from overseas where standards for water safety and chemical usage are not as high as those in the US.
Notice in this chart the tiny amount of rice produced in the US?
The arsenic that Dr. Cooperman mentioned raises a very specific issue because the report is leaving out a very important piece of the picture. And speaking of Oz ~ Remember Dorothy and Glenda the so-called 'Good Witch'? Just think how much better-off Dorothy would have been if Glenda had given her complete information about those Ruby Slippers from the beginning!
The report fails to take into account that there are two types ~ organic and inorganic. This makes a HUGE difference.
Arsenic both organic and inorganic is more common than many people realize. In fact, arsenic may be essential for biological activity in many organisms, including humans, though nobody's officially named it as an essential nutrient.
Organic Arsenic is found in soil, rocks and water, and it presents no danger in small amounts. Looking at the organic arsenic that you may get from fish, seafood and algae; the specific arsenic compounds obtained from these sources are arsenobentaine and arsenocholine, which are relatively non-toxic and are rapidly excreted in unchanged form in your urine.
Inorganic Arsenic is a completely different story ~ with a bad ending. Disturbingly, low-level inorganic arsenic exposure continues to take place in our general population (as do some cases of high-dose poisoning) through the commercial use of inorganic arsenic compounds in common products such as wood preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and paints; through the consumption of foods and the smoking of tobacco treated with arsenic-containing pesticides; and through the burning of fossil fuels in which arsenic is a contaminant. Inorganic arsenic is known to be a carcinogen (a cancer-causing agent). It's also been linked to problems with the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, lungs and skin. Bad stuff.
So you see, it's not enough to simply list something as a dangerous toxin, without looking at the complete picture. Partial information is as harmful to consumers as flying monkeys.
Practically every plant food has some naturally occurring metals in it. Why? All plants absorb metals, etc. from the soil ~ which in turn absorbs it through ground water, rain water, etc. Carrots, corn, cucumbers, green beans, yams, potatoes, turnips, apples, tomatoes, artichokes, lettuce, spinach and many other fruits and vegetables contain arsenic. A one cup serving of your favorite classic Green Beans contain a whopping 28.75 micrograms of lead. That level is 56 times the allowable limit! You’ll still live after a serving of green beans, because your body is designed to remove these modest doses.
Guess what? The same varieties of veggies found for instance in our Green Vibrance, are the very means that your body needs to remove toxins. Because the phytochemicals in them naturally help to detoxify your body, while providing your organs with necessary nutrients, cruciferous vegetables for instance are simply an excellent way to return your body to health. Also, with the presence specifically of the phytochemical glutathione, your liver is also positively affected, as this amazing element helps the organ excrete chemicals and heavy metals.
At Vibrant Health we test for heavy metals, arsenic and other contaminants at several stages of our product manufacturing:
1. It begins with our careful selection of raw material supplier (who tests prior to shipping). We review their Certificate of Analysis (COA) on raw materials which test for microbiology and heavy metals. A COA tests for microbiology (yeast, e. coli salmonella and staff bacteria, mold, and fungus) and heavy metals (arsenic, lead, mercury, aluminum, etc.). Levels have to be below a certain threshold as determined by Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) and American Public Health Association (APHA) which set global standards for quality of ingredients.
2. We test again before a material is added to any dietary supplement formula.
3. A third test for a COA is conducted on our finished product and reports reviewed for any anomalies.
At any of these three stages, a raw material or finished product showing excessive levels of any of the heavy metals will be rejected. We use outside testing labs, which are not affiliated with the seller of the raw materials or with our company, which brings a level of impartiality to the process.
Although we believe our products are already safe when used as directed, Vibrant Health has been looking for ways to reduce lead and other heavy metals for many years now. While our arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury levels fall below recommended thresholds, we are currently evaluating new materials and new potential formulas for Pure Green Protein, etc. with the goal of reducing the current trace amounts of inorganic and organic arsenic, lead and other heavy metal content even more.
This is the whole reason behind our company’s Guiding Principal of ‘Formula Obsolescense’. Our Flagship product ‘Green Vibrance’ is in its 14th formulation. Why? Every Vibrant Health product is expected to change as new discoveries in science come to light, and as new raw materials become available. Vibrant Health products are ‘dynamic by design’ to stay at the forefront of nutritional science.
About the author: Jeanne Ricks is a Holistic Health Coach & Clinical Hypnotist who provides personal diet, wellness & nutrition coaching combined with Hypnosis to help you achieve your personal best. www.NuDay.org