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How much do you know about Vitamins? Can you trust SeaSilver to give you proper information? Have a look at what I have to say then judge for yourself.


Are vitamin pills only absorbed 10-20%?

That's the claim that SeaSilver is making. Apparently, as much as 90% of the vitamins you take are "plugging up your septic tank".

So, what exactly is the basis for this claim? SeaSilver says it comes directly from the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR). They've even got a graph, supposedly from the PDR, showing the absorption rates of different methods (pills being the lowest on the list). The graph is shown in the next section,
Is oral absorption better?.

Here's what SeaSilver has to say about the subject:

Nutritional drinks offer a 98% absorption rate because they by-pass the digestive system- and the nutrient goes directly into the blood stream, as described. The Physician's Desk Reference shows that vitamins and minerals in a pill form are only 10-20% absorbed by the body. Because of this lack of nutrients, other companies must use mega doses of nutrients and this can cause a taxation on the kidneys.

(Click HERE for a page with an audio clip of a man explaining why regular vitamins are a waste of money)

This whole statement makes absolutely no sense. As far as I know, the only way for nutrients to go directly into your bloodstream is through an IV, and I haven't found any information that suggests otherwise.

And then it claims that other companies are using mega-doses of nutrients, which is pure fantasy. It IS possible to overdose on vitamins, but no self respecting vitamin company would ever recommend doing so. Plus, the effects of an overdose will vary wildly depending on the vitamin in question, yet SeaSilver's only claim here is that it will "cause a taxation on the kidneys".

There's only one vitamin I could find where an overdose was supposed to have a bad effect on the kidneys, Vitamin C. Vitamin C was originally believed to cause Kidney Stones if taken in excessive quantities, but now they've dismissed that claim for lack of evidence. Does SeaSilver know something the rest of the scientific community doesn't?

Here's a list of the side effects to overdosing on certain vitamins:

I've gone and taken a look at the vitamin supplement I use, Webber Naturals One Per Day Multivitamin. None of the values listed on the bottle are anywhere near high enough to be considered an overdose. Yet SeaSilver is claiming that in order to make up for their lack of nutrient absorption, vitamin companies are saturating their pills with an unhealthy concentration of vitamins.

Let's review: According to SeaSilver's figures, you would have to consume up to 10 of your regular vitamin pills just to absorb the same level of nutrients as SeaSilver offers. My multivitamin offers 10,000iu of vitamin A. An overdose is anything over 25,000iu. Go ahead, ask your doctor if it would be okay to swallow 10 of those, taking in 100,000iu of Vitamin A. After the horrified look on his face wears off he will tell you to under no circumstances follow that plan!

But according to SeaSilver, you'll only be really absorbing 10,000 - 20,000iu of the vitamin, still below the safety limit, right? Well, if you still believe that why don't you go ahead and try it, it's your funeral.

So let's go back and look at SeaSilvers supposed source for these figures. The Physician's Desk Reference is considered to be one of the standard reference books for physicians. It contains extensive information on drugs to allow physicians to make informed choices.

Karl Loren*, a researcher and writer, has looked up SeaSilver's claims. He owns a copy of the PDR and asserts that he can find no such statement within it's pages. My research tends to agree with his, I found a website carrying an online version of PDR information, and tried a few searches to see if I could find this illusive statistic. This is the most information I could find pertaining to vitamins in general:

It goes over different multivitamins on the market and comments on health benefits, as well as warning against overdoses. No mention of poor absorption, or of any kidney damage from "mega doses". In fact, I can't find any information on the web corroborating these absorption statistics, except for on other SeaSilver websites.

I think I know where SeaSilver DID get their 10-20% stastic though. New research I've done has uncovered that SeaSilver used to use Colloidal Silver as their main ingredient. Here's a statement from their webpage quoted on October 12, 1998:

The depletion of minerals in our soil has left us deficient of silver, one of our most essential trace minerals, causing a drastic increase in immune system disorders in our society in the last decade. Research has taught us that all disease is allowed to manifest itself because of a weakened immune system. In over 20 years of worldwide research on Colloidal Silver, numerous interviews with government agencies, health care practitioners and their patients, no other nutrient, herb or drug (prescription or over-the-counter) is as safe and effective against all known forms of unfriendly virus, bacteria, and fungus. Additionally, while it is generally known that most antibiotics kill only perhaps 6 or 7 different disease organisms, reports have shown that Colloidal Silver has been used successfully in the treatment of over 650 diseases! Furthermore, strains of disease organisms fail to develop in the presence of Colloidal Silver. Colloidal Silver's greatest attribute is its unique ability to function as a superior second immune system in the body!

Just about every statement in that quote is a lie, and the FDA confirmed this when they ruled on August 17, 1999 to ban the use of colloidal silver in over the counter products claiming to be effective in helping to prevent or treat disease. The ruling became effective on September 16, 1999, and it seems that SeaSilver had to change it's tune and discontinue it's use of the now publicly denounced Colloidal Silver. SeaSilver now contains Phyto Silver, an element they claim is commonly found in the sea vegetation and matrix aloe vera they use in their product. Despite their claims to it's healthful nature, I suspect the change had more to do with making sure that their name still made sense

Interestingly enough, SeaSilver now denounces any other supplement that uses Colloidal minerals:

How do you compare Seasilver to other so-called "colloidal mineral" products that I have heard about?

There is no comparison Seasilver is a complete Foundational Health Program, not just a mineral supplement. Colloidal mineral products that are in the market place today, come from humic shale deposits, making the nutrients in these products inorganic and the metals are unsafe for human consumption. The American Institute of Biosocial Research has conducted laboratory analyses on these clay-based liquid mineral products and they have been found to contain dangerous amounts of inorganic metallic aluminum. Products containing high doses of inorganic metallic aluminum have been known to cause brain seizures with long term use.

I don't know how much of this is true, even when they're debunking other health frauds I still have to assume based on their record that they might be lying. Even so, isn't their leap from believer to debunker of colloidal minerals an amazing turn around? Of course, now that they've discontinued using Colloidal Silver, the other colloidal mineral products in competition are much easier to target. There's no honour among theives.

What does this have to do with their 10-20% statistic, you ask? I know it looks like I've gotten off track here, but this information is important to understanding where that statistic came from. SeaSilver took this information directly from the mouth of Joel D. Wallach, DVM, ND - according to the most notorious Colloidal Mineral promoter around. One of Wallach's most common statements was:

Metallic minerals (i.e., regular vitamins and minerals) are only 8-12% absorbable while colloidal minerals are 98% absorbable.

Look familiar? The figures have only been changed very slightly. SeaSilver originally distributed Colloidal Silver in it's product, and my bet is that they quoted Mr. Wallach's statistic as though it were a revelation from God. When they stopped using Colloidal Silver, they didn't want to give up their impressive and attention grabbing statistic, so they changed it a little and falsely claimed that it came from the PDR just so that they could continue to use it.

And just in case you're thinking that Mr. Wallach's statistic might, in fact, be valid - let tell you what John H. Renner, M.D., President of the National Council Against Health Fraud said in response to that very statement:

No data support such a claim; the figures appear to have been pulled out of thin air

It should also be noted that taking Colloidal Silver can lead to a condition called argyria:

a condition in which silver salts deposit in the skin, eyes, and internal organs, and the skin turns ashen-gray.

It boggles the mind how SeaSilver could possibly endorse a product with such unhealthy effects, and begs the question: Are they still doing so? Could SeaSilver still contain ingredients which they claim are healthy but in reality have negative consequences on your health?

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Is oral absorption better?

By 'Oral Absorption', it seems SeaSilver intends us to believe that nutrients in liquid form are absorbed much more thoroughly than they are in solid form. I've looked, but I can't find any single study supporting that statement. There's no indication on any of the nutrition websites I've visited that you should calculate your vitamins from a glass of orange juice any differently than from a chicken breast. There's no listing anywhere that will tell you when calculating your daily nutrients to reduce your claimed vitamin intake from the chicken breast by 90% simply because it's not a liquid.

Let's review a little Vitamins 101: There are 2 types of vitamins,
Fat-Soluble and Water-Soluble (click on the links to go to an outside page with some basic information about each vitamin type). Fat soluble vitamins are, as the name implies, stored with the fat in your bodies, so your body usually has some reserves on hand. Water-soluble vitamins aren't stored as much in your body and are generally used by your body right away. The reading I've done on the subject makes no mention about either of these vitamin types requiring any further help for full absorption. In fact, some literature seems to suggest that water-soluble vitamins at least are extremely easily absorbed by their very nature.

But what's even more interesting is when you look at Fat-Soluble vitamins. According to

These vitamins are absorbed by the body from the intestinal tract and follow
the same path of absorption as fat

Hmmm... but didn't SeaSilver say that their 'Oral Absorption' process bypasses the digestive system altogether? (see previous section: Are vitamin pills only absorbed 10-20%?) If that actually were the case, any fat soluble vitamins they provide would be garbage, they couldn't be absorbed by your body. You wouldn't be able to get an adequate supply of any fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, or K.

It doesn't look like some water-soluble vitamins are meant for oral absorption either. Here's a little blurb about vitamin B12:

The vitamin is then bound by intrinsic factor, a protein secreted by parietal cells
of the stomach, and carried to the ileum where it is absorbed. ..... Vitamin B12
requires the presence of intrinsic factor from the stomach in order to be absorbed in
the small intestines.

Vitamin B12 NEEDS to be processed by the stomach first before it can be absorbed. There is no way you can get a good supply of vitamin B12 by "bypassing the digestive system" and sending it "directly to the blood stream". So far I've shown you a good number of vitamins that actually need the digestive system in order just to be absorbed properly - how much do you want to bet that there are tons more?

Once again I'm going to reference Karl Loren*, who also researched this topic:

Capsules and tablets are both made to dissolve in the stomach based
on the expected hydrochloric acid there. If, and only if, a person
has a shortage of HCl would the capsule or tablet NOT dissolve. This
is more common among older people.

All packagers routinely run these tests -- they put a finished tablet or
capsule into a liquid with the same amount of HCl as the usual stomach.

So what kind of mechanism do the staff at SeaSilver possibly imagine is behind you not being able to absorb nutrients dissolved by the stomach's hydrochloric acid, the sole purpose of which is to enable your body to absorb these nutrients in the first place? Strangely, SeaSilver is silent on that point.

But, you say, what about their bar chart? The one supposedly copied directly from the PDR:

Apparently, the people who wrote the PDR were really excited about it too, they even put in a little exclamation : "Oral Absorption Rate is Nine times Better Than Pills!". Does this chart seem legitimate to you?

Mr. Loren found the reference to this statistic, but there was no mention of any page or edition number - and if that doesn't seem suspicious to you, then I suggest you work hard on becoming less gullible.

He finally found one source that quoted a page (but not edition) number of 1542. Here's what he had to say:

There is no such chart on page 1542 of Edition Number 53 of the PDR.

I have then looked all through my copy and could not find such a chart.
I can guess, unless they are lying completely, that some drug company,
selling a liquid form of their drug, made the claim, as part of their
commercial claims, that their liquid was this much better than pills.
A claim by some drug company, included as part of their insertion in
the PDR, would be a deceptive source for the information as presented by
Sea Silver.

The PDR does NOT contain "articles" but only pages and pages of stuff put
there for specific drugs.

It would be enough for me to denounce them as complete frauds -- to either
invent data, not in existence where they say it is, or to mislead viewers as
to where the chart actually came from.

I would never deal with any company that uses such deception.

The current edition of the PDR, just released, is only number 57, so edition 53 isn't all that old. If this information about absorption is as basic and vital as SeaSilver implies, Mr. Loren should have been able to find it in his copy.

If anybody out there has a copy of the PDR that shows this graph or in any way corroborates it's data, I'd appreciate it if you could email me. A scan of the page in question would be very much appreciated.

I don't anticipate, though, that I'll be getting any corroborations. Based on the information available, I suspect that SeaSilver is lying through it's proverbial teeth.

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Do vitamin pills contain harmful binding chemicals?

This claim was put forward in the original message of the SeaSilver distributor that I'd had my discussion with. His exact wording was:

Did you know that synthetic vitamin mineral pills are held together by
harmful binders.

I found a SeaSilver website that goes into more detail:

First, lets expose the dangers of taking vitamin and
mineral pills. Nutritional supplements in tablet or pill
form have been around for decades. They're standard in
today's quest for optimum health. Yet few people realize in
order for the pill to take it's shape numerous binders are
used. These binders have little to do with nutrition and
are very hard for the body to dissolve.

The use of DCP to bind the pill ingredients is the problem.
DCP can't be broken down by the body, so it passes right
through along with the beneficial nutrients. That's why
sewer systems have literally tons of undissolved pills
clogging the pipes. But there is even more danger.

These binder compounds remain in your bloodstream long
after the pill has been eliminated. And that's where the
danger comes in. These remnant molecules can cause plaque
to form on the walls of your veins -- leading to heart
disease and possible stroke, even death. Not to mention
pre-mature aging, painful joints, and kidney stones.

All this time you thought you were improving your health
by taking your daily dosage of vitamin pills -- but reality
says you could be causing yourself serious harm.

Nothing of what is said here stands up to close scrutiny. The author mentions a chemical called DCP as though we're all supposed to know what that is and be scared of it. Truth is, you could make up any acronym, say it's a chemical, and people will start worrying about it. I looked for information on this DCP, though, and I did find it. You can take a look at the information page about it HERE.

To summarize, DCP(dicalcium phosphate) is a phosphate salt, and it's nothing to be scared of. It's actually a very healthy supplement because it's made with Phosphorus and Calcium, essential elements for your bones, tendons, and ligaments. It's widely used in a variety of products. For example, it's used in animal feed, and it's also added to wheat flour to enrich our baked goods such as bread.

The claim that DCP can't be broken down by the body may come from the fact that DCP powder is insoluble in water. However, the truth is that our vitamin pills don't need to dissolve in water in order to work, they only need to be able to dissolve in the stomach's hydrochloric acid.

In a delicious twist of irony, during my search for information I found out that DCP is also an acronym for the Department of Consumer Protection. That's where these jokers deserve to be reported, and I think I'll do that as soon as I finish this website.

By the way, did any of you notice that the author of the quoted statement above contradicted himself? First he said "DCP can't be broken down by the body, so it passes right through along with the beneficial nutrients." - and in the very next paragraph he says "These binder compounds remain in your bloodstream long after the pill has been eliminated. And that's where the danger comes in."

So, which is it? Does DCP stay in the body or get flushed down the drain? You can't have it both ways!

I also noticed that the author uses the plural form of 'compound' when he says 'binder compounds'. He's implying that there's more than just DCP involved in the equation, but mysteriously fails to mention any other 'dangerous chemicals' that might be involved.

Earlier, before I'd found SeaSilver's DCP misinformation page, I decided to drop into my local pharmacy. I had a chat with the pharmacist, Mindy, about what kinds of binders they use in vitamins. She assured me that there would never be any dangerous chemicals involved, and listed for me, off the top of her head, some of the most common binding compounds they might use. They included:

You probably recognize most of these - far from being dangerous chemicals, these are harmless materials that you know about and trust. Mindy didn't even mention DCP, so it may not even be that popular of a binding element in the first place. The important thing to remember here is that there are no health-damaging elements in that vitamin pill you take every day, no matter what kind of dirty fear tactics SeaSilver tries to use.

Don't be taken by pseudo-science and scary sounding acronyms. SeaSilver is a scam, you can't trust a company that lies to you.

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What about SeaSilver's own vitamin content?

SeaSilver makes the following claim:

Seasilver contains every Vitamin, Macro Mineral, Trace Mineral, Amino Acid, and Enzyme known to man in natures perfect balance.

Sounds pretty grandiose, doesn't it? If that's true we should be able to verify it in some way. Hey SeaSilver, what's the nutrient value of your product? You have that information on the bottle, right?

No??? Why not???

The FDA requires listing the amounts of synthetic nutrients (made from chemicals) on Vitamin or Mineral supplements only, because man can control the amount of each chemical put into these type of products. Seasilver, being a whole food product, does not contain any synthetic nutrients. Nature cares about balance, not potency. The key to nature and it's unique ability is to always balance the ratio of Vitamins to Macro Minerals, to Trace Minerals, to Amino Acids, to Enzymes. Potency in nature will vary. This is why you never see the amount of nutrients listed on foods in the produce section of your grocery store. We know oranges contain Vitamin C. If you pick 10 oranges of the same tree, they will all have a different amount of Vitamin C, but the ratio of nutrients one to another will be the natures perfect balance. That's the secret to Seasilver's effectiveness.

Dang, I'm gonna need a shovel!

Let's take this one step at a time. SeaSilver claims that the FDA only requires you to list your nutrients if they're synthetic - Not true! I did some digging around on the FDA website and came across a little thing called the Dietary Supplement Health And Education Act Of 1994. Want to see what it has to say on the subject?

Labels also must provide nutrition labeling. This labeling must first list dietary ingredients present in "significant amounts" for which FDA has established daily consumption recommendations, followed by dietary ingredients with no daily intake recommendations. Dietary ingredients that are not present in significant amounts need not be listed. The nutrition labeling must include the quantity per serving for each dietary ingredient (or proprietary blend) and may include the source of a dietary ingredient (for example, "calcium from calcium gluconate"). If an ingredient is listed in the nutrition labeling, it need not appear in the statement of ingredients. Nutrition information must precede ingredient statements on the product label.

Unless I'm missing something, SeaSilver is sold as a dietary supplement, and is therefore obliged to comply with these rules. There is no mention in the DSHEA that the FDA considers synthetic nutrients any differently than naturally occurring ones. That's another SeaSilver lie.

There's only one way SeaSilver could get around this, they don't have to put in their dietary ingredients if they're not present in "significant amounts". So, there are two possibilities here: Either SeaSilver is violating the DSHEA, or the product doesn't contain enough nutrients to make publishing them obligatory.

Next they try to validate their lack of nutritional labeling by claiming that SeaSilver is a "Whole Food Product". What they mean by this is that they've taken their ingredients directly from their food source instead of synthesizing the nutrients. Basically, they're repeating themselves, only changing the wording.

The next statement is so meaningless that it bears repeating:

Nature cares about balance, not potency. The key to nature and it's unique ability is to always balance the ratio of Vitamins to Macro Minerals, to Trace Minerals, to Amino Acids, to Enzymes.

You could make an argument that nature always reaches some sort of balance, but that's meaningless when you're talking about nutrition! There's no magical property in nature that will balance all it's foods with the exact proper ratio of nutrients optimized for human consumption! Different foods will always be higher in some nutrients and not in others, nature doesn't balance it for you, YOU have to balance your OWN diet!

Then SeaSilver tries to have you believe that it can't possibly estimate it's potency, because potency in nature varies. Sure, one orange may be slightly bigger than another and therefore have some more nutrients, but it really doesn't vary THAT wildly folks! You can find online nutritional information for any of your favourite foods, including oranges. These will be based on the standard size of the breed of orange you're eating, and you could rest assured that the information won't be far off the mark.

Perhaps SeaSilver can explain how, if it's impossible to estimate the nature's potency, that carton of fresh squeezed orange juice I have sitting in my fridge has all IT'S nutrition information right there for me to see. The point about no labels being on the fruit in the fruit aisle of your grocery store doesn't impress me either. Of course you're not going to expect SunKist to slap a nutrition label on it's oranges:

1. Where would they put it?
2. Standard nutritional information for fruit doesn't vary between brands and is already readily available.

Let's face facts people, SeaSilver's making claims that it's just not willing to back up with solid numbers. If SeaSilver really does contain "every Vitamin, Macro Mineral, Trace Mineral, Amino Acid, and Enzyme known to man in natures perfect balance" they should be able to prove it. Instead, they weaseled out of it with lies and deceit - but then, we've come to expect that from them.

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* Regarding Karl Loren: I have not personally had any contact with Mr. Loren nor have I checked out his webpages far beyond the one on SeaSilver. I do not know whether his knowledge qualifies him as an 'expert' in this area, however, he appears to have valid resources and makes logical arguments. I have found no information that would discredit Mr. Loren or the information on his webpage.