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       About Heavy Metals in Supplements                                                       Updated: April, 2012

 

In The News:

Recently there were three articles in newspapers concerning metals in the environment.

- The first article describes how each time you apply the brakes you contribute to endangering marine life. How? Well there is copper in brake pads protecting them from overheating and each time you brake copper becomes airborne, then settles on the street to be washed away by rain ending up in water ways and in the ocean, where it contributes to endanger fish life.

- The second article talks about the death of many children in Nigeria by lead poisoning from illegal gold ore carrying high concentrations of lead.

- A third article warns about the presence of lead in Chinese herbs.

With the media focusing on the health effects of toxic metals, it should not come as a surprise
that someone would question the presence of heavy metals in supplements.

HOWEVER, the question is not if lead, arsenic and mercury are present, because
lead, arsenic and mercury, like other minerals are everywhere in nature.
The question is rather how much is present.

To verify if their supplements contain dangerous levels of lead, arsenic or mercury we have investigated two products of the company Youngevity, Plant Derived Minerals and Tangy Tangerine.

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Lead :

Although lead is a natural component of the soil, human activity has increased the soil levels of lead. Lead has been mined for more than 2,000 years, distributed into the air, into the soil and taken up by plants.
Lead is trace amounts may well. sooner or later. become an essential mineral.
It is also worth mentioning that a recent FDA survey supports low lead levels in supplements.
Read more about Lead at the Longevity Institute website by entering “lead” in the search box.

Table one presents the lead content of Plant Derived Minerals and Tangy Tangerine compared to the Non-Observed-Adverse-Effect-Level (NOAEL) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The NOAEL denotes the level of exposure of an organism, found by experiment or observation, at which there is no biologically or statistically significant (e.g. alteration of morphology, functional capacity, growth, development or life span) increase in the frequency or severity of any adverse effects in the exposed population when compared to its appropriate control. The EPA is a well-recognized unbiased source of information.

PRODUCT

Lead content of one serving

Comparison with NOAEL

Plant Derived Minerals

>0.14 micrograms

400 times less than the NOAEL

Tangy Tangerine

0,07 micrograms

800 times less than the NOAEL

Table 1 – Comparison of the lead content of one serving with the Non-Observed-Adverse-
Effect level (NOAEL) for lead intake by human of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

There is actualy much interest for the state of California proposition 65 limiting the accepted level of heavymetals and other toxic substances in food.
Lead was about the first chemicals listed in 1987.
The FDA had set the limit for lead in one serving of any product to .6 micrograms. Prop 65 lowered the limit to .5 micrograms per serving. A non-for-profit organization Environmemtal Law Foundation has started an action to enforce prop 65.

See a list of food actually available in California that exceed the prop 65 limit.

Table 2 compares the lead content of Plant Derived Minerals and Tangy Tangerine with the strict limits imposed by prop 65.
It appears the two products comply with the law and by a serious safety margin.

PRODUCT

Lead content of one serving

Comparison with .5 microg. limit of proposition 65

Plant Derived Minerals

>0.14 micrograms

3.5 times less than the limit

Tangy Tangerine

0,07 micrograms

7 times less than the limit

Table 2 – Comparison of the lead content of one serving of PDM and TT with the California proposition 65
limit for the lead content of food.

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Arsenic

Arsenic (As) is an essential element, crucial for general growth and for the maintenance of fibrous tissue. As shares with selenium (Se) the particularity to be an essential element, beneficial at low concentration and toxic above a certain level.

One serving of Plant Derived Minerals contains 0.15 micrograms of Arsenic.

Table 3 present the arsenic content of one serving of 100 g. edible portion of some foods compared to the As content of one serving of Plant Derived Minerals. The food data is from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

PRODUCT

Arsenic Content per Serving

Comparison with one serving of PDM

Orange

1 microgram

6.6 times more arsenic in oranges

Grapefruit

3 micrograms

20 times more arsenic in grapefruit

Avocado

4 micrograms

26.6 times more arsenic in avocado

Peanuts

7 micrograms

46 times more arsenic in peanuts

Crab

33 micrograms

210 times more arsenic in crab

Table 3 – Comparison of the Arsenic content of one serving of some popular foods with the Arsenic content of one serving of Plant Derived Minerals.

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Mercury

One serving of one fluid ounce of Plant Derived Minerals contains 10 nanograms (ng) of mercury and one serving of one fluid ounce of Tangy Tangerine contains 5 nanograms of mercury. According to the GlaxoSmithKline Beecham Laboratories, the normal human blood content of mercury can reach 1.000 ng (1 micrograms) per deciliter.

Table four presents the content of mercury in one serving of one fluid ounce of Plant Derived Minerals and of Tangy Tangerine compared to the normal mercury content of human blood.

PRODUCT

Content in mercury per serving

Compared to Human Blood

Plant Derived Minerals

10 nanograms

30 times less than in human blood

Tangy Tangerine

5 nanograms

60 times less than in human blood

Table 4 – Comparison of the mercury content in one serving of Plant Derived Minerals with the content of
mercury in human blood. The data is from the EPA and from Glaxo SmithKline Beecham Laboratories.

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CONCLUSION

The amount of Lead, Arsenic, and Mercury in the Youngevity products Plant Derived Minerals and Tangy Tangerine are absolutely safe.

In fact, Lead, Arsenic, and Mercury are present in Plant Derived Minerals and in Tangy Tangerine only in levels below the usual detection limit.

The mention of heavy metals present only at a level below the usual detection limit
illustrates the thoroughness and transparent policy of a Company
.

Copyright: 2010: Edmond Devroey, M.D.



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