10 Really Scary Ingredients That Might Be in Your Vitamins

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A lot of people take vitamins, and there’s been a lot of news hitting the waves recently that have some people wondering, “What the heck is in these things?”

Katerina Schneider, founder/CEO of Ritual, a soon-to-launch “vitamin revolution” is pretty much on a mission to change that (the site is taking reservations now and is planning to launch later this fall). Her light-bulb idea: Create a vitamin that eliminates all the unnecessary ingredients and provides only what we need, while giving consumers all the research on what kind of vitamin does what. In a nutshell, be clean and transparent.

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“There are weird ingredients in some vitamins that you probably wouldn’t ingest in your food or even put ON your body,” Schneider says. Even scarier? She says one in two Americans takes a vitamin/supplement daily and yet 90 percent of vitamins contain one or more of the following ingredients:

Petroleum byproducts (source for most vitamins)

Coal tar derivatives (intermediates in vitamin production)

Polyethylene glycol (industrial antifreeze)

Titanium dioxide (indigestible colorant)

Mineral oil (causes vitamin deficiencies)

Carrageenan (gastrointestinal inflammation)

Parabens (hormone disruptors)

Ion-exchange resins (plastics)

Gelatin (cow skin and bones)

Artificial colorants (carcinogens)

So what is someone to do who is still keen to take vitamins yet wants to stay away from all this less-than-appealing list? Schneider says a good start is to look for vegan-friendly, allergen-free and non-GMO where applicable. “Know your source and learn which forms to look for. Many vitamin brands use the cheapest possible form of each nutrient that doesn’t do a lot of good in the body, and could actually be harmful.”

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