First, What to AvoidSynthetic vitamins:
Most vitamins products available today are made from synthetic or isolated nutrients. They only 'mimic' the real vitamin form found in nature. This process of extracting and isolating nutrients always leaves important co-factors behind. Without these co-factors, we can only absorb a tiny fraction of the nutrients, our bodies then have to supply the missing co-factors from other areas. Long-term use of isolated nutrients can cause critical shortages of the body's "co-factors", accelerate aging and degradation of the cell's DNA, causing all sorts of degenerative problems.
A common example of synthetic vitamins are B vitamins. About 99% of all B vitamin products on the market today are synthetically made in a laboratory. They are cheap to make and will be listed on the label as follows; vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (calcium pantothenate),......
Or isolated vitamins such as ascorbic acid which exits the body rapidly and bioavailability is very low. B vitamins are often used alone, i.e., B12. To be effective Bs must be taken together and in balanced ratios as they occur in the body.
Fish Oil Supplements and Vitamin D: Most vitamin D supplements are synthetic D2, (ergocalciferol). This form of vitamin D is commonly added to milk and cereals. It can be potentially toxic and should be avoided. Also many cod liver oil products are produced from "animal feed-grade" oil. They can be rancid, contain significant levels of heavy metals and PCBs, and have synthetic vitamin A added back.
There are many misleading nutritional products on the market today. It's truly "buyer beware" out there. One example of a misleading product you might find in your local health food store is Wild Yam Cream. Contrary to the claims - it cannot be converted into active progesterone. By contrast, the progesterone available to my clients is U.S.P. grade, bio-identical progesterone which naturally provides safe hormone balance and support.
The idea that one supplement will do everything for us and give us all the nutrients we require is certainly an appealing one. However, it is important to keep in mind we have our own unique biochemistry and specific needs. Generic multivitamins are simply not going to meet your needs and an effective supplement program must be tailored to your individual biochemistry.