Are Your Supplements Doing More Harm Than Good?


By Travis Wade

The Truth About Your Supplements

Sayer Ji is an expert in vitamin and mineral supplements. It was his first love in the wellness industry and he is now well known in the wellness industry as the guy who puts it all together. At first I didn’t like this guy because he has no credentials, so I thought “Why is this guy speaking?” He’s now one of my favourite speakers to listen to because he knows his stuff better than anybody. He has the world’s largest evidence based natural health resource. Check him out here



According to Sayer Ji, Centrum and Flintstones multivitamins have known toxins in them and do more harm than good. Sodium selenite, for example, is a toxin commonly found in a multivitamin. Centrum is the number one most common brand of multivitamin recommended by doctors. Flintstones multivitamin is the leading children’s multivitamin. Bauer and Pfizer are the pharmaceutical companies making these multivitamins.

In their ad, Flintstones vitamins say that 82% of children don’t eat enough vegetables and if they are not eating enough vegetables they may not be getting the nutrients they need. So you would think that taking a cheap Walmart multivitamin is better than taking no vitamins at all.

Some of the ingredients in Flintstones vitamins are aspartame, cupric oxide which is known as a pesticide, artificial colouring agents that have been banned in the European Union because of known problems with neurotoxicity and attention deficit disorder, zinc oxide which is used in sunscreen and isn’t very bioavailable, sorbitol, hydrogenated fat, and GMO corn syrup. All of the above are found in Flintstone’s vitamins.

The Top 10 Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies

The number one nutrient deficiency over all is vitamin D which is why I wrote an article on it. You can’t get enough sun my friends. People around the equator are getting 40,000 units of vitamin D a day. Get out in the sun and take your clothes off. Wear shorts. Not only will you get Vitamin D, but you will get infrared rays which detoxify heavy metals better than anything. The difference between D2 and D3 is D2 comes from plants and D3 comes from animals. The D3 is 87% more effective and converts to its active form 500% faster. Other sources of vitamin D are fish, beef liver, and bone broth.

The second most common nutrient deficiency is omega 3’s. I was just talking to a masters student and she was reminding me that through evolution, human brains grew massively after we starting eating fish with omega 3s. Our brains are made from omega 3s. It is true brain food but it is also the third leading legal performance enhancer. We die without omega 3s. If you want more info on omega 3’s; read my article on omega 3’s here. Common sources are the SMASH diet: sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, and herring. I’d like to add a few more of my favourites: cod, oysters, and bone broth.

The third most common nutrient deficiency is vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 makes sure calcium is being used where it needs to be used. I’ve seen people with kidney stones; it’s a medical emergency due to the extreme pain. Take your vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 also prevents calcium from building up in your vasculature preventing heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis, strokes, and other blood clotting disorders. It prevents cancer and builds strong bones. Menaquinone-7 (MK-7), is the kind of vitamin K2 you want to look for in supplements as this form is extracted from real food. The foods that have vitamin K2 are fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and grass fed butter.


#4 is magnesium found in spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, bananas, bone broth, and pumpkin seeds. I’ll get into this one in detail later.

#5 is vitamin B12 found in grass fed beef and beef liver, lamb, snapper, venison, salmon, shrimp, scallops, organic-pastured poultry, eggs, and bone broth. Vitamin B12 is involved in every process of the body and deficiencies will commonly result in lethargy, brain fog, and possibly numbness of the extremities. A lot of people will have a bacteria in their gut that steals vitamin B12 and taking an oral supplement will feed this bacteria and grow it. I take an injectable form of vitamin B12.

#6 is vitamin E found in hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, olive oil, legumes, spinach, broccoli, and bone broth. If you take a supplement, natural vitamin E is always listed as the “d-” form (d-alpha-tocopherol, d-beta-tocopherol, etc.) synthetic vitamin E is listed as “dl-” forms. You want the natural forms to get the benefits.

#7 is vitamin A. Retinol is pre-formed vitamin A, found in animal products such as grass-fed meat and poultry, liver, fish, grass fed butter, and bone broth. This is the form of vitamin A your body can actually use. Beta-carotene is pre-vitamin A. You need to have a well-functioning digestive tract and sufficient bile produced by your gallbladder for the conversion into retinol. My favourite supplement for vitamin A is fermented cod liver oil. It also has vitamin D, a probiotic, Omega 3s, and vitamin K2.


#8 is iodine found in sea vegetables, eggs, spirulina, and bone broth if you use fish bones. Iodine is really important for your metabolism. Having iodized salt can help.

#9 is calcium found in leafy green vegetables and bone broth. If you want a pill form, calcium from eggshells is a great supplement.

#10 is iron found in grass fed meats, oysters, lentils, sesame seeds, spinach, and bone broth. A great resource I use to look at nutrient content of food is World’s Healthiest Foods. They used to have a website but it appears to be offline now.

Dr. Mercola and Bulletproof are where I get a lot of my supplements and health products. Things you should look for are, chelated minerals for good absorption. They are attached to an amino acid. Glycine is the amino acid commonly used to bind to a mineral for a healthy supplement.

Some forms will give you problems and if it does then you obviously have to try a different form. Oxides for any supplement tend to have a low bioavailability. Bioavailability is the ability of the body to absorb and use a substance. Citrates tend to cause toilet destruction. Not a great form either.

Get Your Nutrients From Food

vitamin supplement

In reality, I do my best to get all nutrients from food because it will be much more bioavailable and beneficial. Most food will have much more than the specific nutrient you are looking for and a lot of times those other nutrients will help the nutrient you are looking to absorb. When the nutrient isn’t possible to get with food is when I look for supplements.

I personally use creatine because I will not eat the amount of meat required to get what I need from meat. I use a collagen peptide supplement, glycine, melatonin, a couple different kinds of magnesium, L-glutamine, vitamin D, and a few others as I see needed.

Dr. Longo recommends a multivitamin every 3 days instead of every day. Dr. Longo did 30 years of research to come up with what he calls the longevity diet. It’s a great book that explains fasting as well.

I avoid some supplements altogether like omega 3 supplements. Omega 3s are poly-unsaturated meaning there are lots of double bonds with hydrogens “missing” all over it. Poly-unsaturated fats will get oxidized easily, meaning they go rancid very quickly. What you will likely be taking if you take an omega 3 pill is rotten fish oil. Rancid fish oil is a toxin that causes all the problems you are trying to cure by taking omega 3s in the first place. Please read my article on omega 3s.



Magnesium is the number one leading mineral deficiency in our society. It’s not in the soil anymore and the toxins in the environment deplete our minerals. When I say environment I mean the air, water, things we eat, things we touch, and our inner environment in our bodies.

Things like heavy metals such as mercury or phthalates and other things like glyphosate  bind to our minerals and deplete them even more. All kinds of things deplete our magnesium including stress. Magnesium is the first thing to be released from our cells when we are stressed. Not just mental stress but physical stress too.

Jane Goodall (famous anthropologist), has talked about the decline of nutrients in the soil and how the soil has dozens of nutrients, but we use 3 nutrients to fertilize our soil; nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The lack of nutrient in the soil is the number one reason why magnesium is the most deficient mineral in our society.

I’m just saying you may need to take a magnesium supplement. It’s needed for over 300 processes in the body. It’s recommended by Wendy Myers, to take a variety of magnesium supplements. Meaning take magnesium that is bonded to various substances. Stay away from oxide. When bonded to oxide, magnesium has a 3-4% absorption rate. Citrates are also terrible for absorption but they are great for destroying toilets; be careful with them.

Wendy Myers recommends magnesium glycinate which raises red blood cell magnesium, magnesium malate which helps with detoxification, and magnesium threonate is the only magnesium that can cross the blood brain barrier. As we get older we become more deficient of magnesium in the brain. It helps memory and cognition and in the mitochondria it helps make energy. You need about 5x your body weight (lbs), in milligrams for dosage.

Mineral Deficiencies


Everyone Wendy Myers (detoxification expert), has tested has been mineral deficient. The good news for me is that meat is very rich in minerals. Lamb and bacon are high in selenium. Unless you’re actively doing something about it, you’ll likely be deficient in selenium. If you don’t like bacon then fish, beef, turkey, chicken, and eggs are other great sources.

Selenium also detoxes the body from mercury which we all tend to have. Selenium needs to be taken in the form of se-methylselenocysteine. Or bacon. I stay away from Brazil nuts because they can have a mold toxin that is a very powerful neurotoxin called aflatoxin.

Chromium is another very common deficiency along with sodium and potassium. Sodium isn’t the big enemy we thought it was. The ratio of sodium to potassium is much more important and according to Dr. Joseph Mercola we should be taking 5x as much potassium as sodium. Thallium is a heavy metal found in gasoline that blocks our usage of potassium which prevents us from producing hormones. We all breath in massive amounts of thallium if you live in an urban area.

Trace mineral supplements can have heavy metals bonded to them. Wendy advises against taking them unless you are working with a qualified practitioner doing a toxic metal detox. For more help with minerals and your heavy metal detoxification you can go to

I know doctors and our health care system have their place, but so does proper diet and exercise. A lot of the things I talk about are cutting edge topics in the health industry and some stuff you probably never heard of before, so I encourage you to do your own research. A couple of resources you can and should use are google scholarNational Library of Medicine, and pubmed. Pubmed is a government agency that shows you the research that has been done. You can look all this stuff up yourself and make your own decisions on what’s right.

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton

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