Metals Naturally Occur in Healthy Soil, What is Considered Toxic?
(February 6, 2014, Los Angeles, CA) – Axiom Foods, whose Oryzatein® enzyme-extracted, whole grain sprouted brown rice protein is supplied to food manufacturers throughout the U.S., Europe and other countries, is embarking on a campaign to educate consumers about the reality of heavy metals in plant foods.
Since the sharp rise of vegetarianism and veganism in the U.S. (Google Trends reported a doubling of veganism since 2010), those whose diets consist mostly of vegetables have a naturally higher heavy metal contribution to their bodies* than those who ingest an animal-based diet.
An ethically-based food ingredient provider, Axiom is on a mission to make consumers aware of all the aspects of how and why metals naturally occur in vegetables that grow in healthy soil, so they can make informed decisions about their intake and understand if and when those levels are toxic to the body.
The problem with any metals, beneficial or not, is when the substance reaches toxic levels in the body. The question is: what is considered to be toxic and what testing methods are certified to determine toxicity? What happens when test results are reported as parts per million vs parts per billion?
Here is a list of facts:
- Heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium and lead are found in all plants that grow in healthy soil because they are natural constituents of the Earth’s crust and have existed on earth since its formation (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2011)
- Some metals, such as iron, copper, chromium, cobalt, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc are required by the human body in trace amounts as essential nutrients. Naturally, any metal in the soil or surrounding bodies of water will leech into any plants we consume. This environmental exposure impacts both organic and conventionally grown crops (European Food Safety Authority, 2012, “Metals as Contaminants in Food.
- We consume metals in common plant foods daily, from spinach to spices. Any metal, including those that are essential to the body to function can cause toxicity if introduced at high levels (Total Diet Study Statistics on Element Results, 2007, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration).
- Some plants that grow in water, such as rice, spinach and asparagus, are often targeted as contaminated by heavy metals because some crops have been found to be in polluted areas of the world. This is well known by efficacious growers and manufacturers and as such they consciously choose pristine fields and regularly test in specifically certified laboratories to ensure levels are below what is considered to be toxic. In China, for example, one polluted field cited in the news recently was 3000 miles away from where Axiom has sourced rice on the Himalayan border of Tibet.
- Testing for contamination in food products needs to be done in accredited laboratories in the United States, where standards for calibration exist and highly-educated practitioners test with accepted scientific methodologies. Test results can vary vastly based on seemingly insignificant factors. In April, 2013, Dr. Tongesayi of Monmouth University, released a study showing he’d found levels of metal that exceeded FDA safety limits. It turned out he recalled his tests because his instruments were not calibrated.
- The benefits for plant-based protein outweigh the negatives. Approximately 50 million people in the US are allergic to or intolerant to dairy and 1 in 133 Americans suffer from allergies to wheat gluten, according to the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness; many plant-based proteins are allergen-friendly, aside from soy protein..
- Standards for levels of metals are set by World Health Organization (W.H.O.), The European Union, The Canadian Natural Health Products Directorate, the U.S. FDA (tolerable daily intake), US Pharmacopeia, U.S. EPA (drinking water) and California’s Proposition 65. All companies that sell products with any levels of metals must be tested by accredited laboratories. These tests are measured in “parts per million” (ppm); when numbers are reported as “parts per billion” (ppb) they appear exaggeratedly large and raise unnecessary alarm to the consumer.
- The FDA has yet to set levels for heavy metals in rice, but has used Axiom Food’s technology as the standard for responsible sourcing, fractioning and manufacturing of rice protein. Axiom’s Oryzatein® is in the process of becoming the first GRAS certified rice protein, which will lead toward it becoming the world’s first FDA monographed standard for the entire industry. Oryzatein® was also used in the first double blind clinical trial that showed it equals animal-based whey in building and repairing muscle.
- Errors can occur in testing and managing levels because natural conditions can change plus accredited labs report that levels can vary by 50% when the amounts of heavy metals that are being found and tested are so small. The amounts are similar to taking a cube of sugar, chopping it into 1,000 pieces, taking one of those pieces and then chopping it into 1,000 more pieces, and then testing that final piece.
- How much one ingests is not indicative of how much is retained as the body is a natural filter, dependent upon health factors and level of nutrition, as many foods act as natural antioxidants, helping further filter heavy metals.
“Because we provide whole grain sprouted brown rice protein to food manufacturers worldwide,” said Axiom CEO, David Janow, “certifying bodies such as the FDA and USDA watch what we do very closely and come to us for intelligence on setting standards. Testing our products in the most well-respected and, most importantly, certified laboratories, is a continuous part of our daily process. Proper testing will make the difference between something that appears to be safe or toxic. We provide our test results to our customers. We source from the most pristine fields in the world and avoid polluted areas. As makers of human food, we are in a highly responsible position and work as closely with Mother Nature as she will allow. At this time in history, avoiding pollution of any kind is no easy task, but it’s something we pursue diligently as part of our standards and practices.”
Here is a table that shows metals found in common foods:
|Max. Amounts of Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium found in commonly consumed Foods**
|Spinach, fresh, boiled (180g)1 cup
|Cucumber, raw (52g) ½ cup
|Strawberries, raw (72g) ½ cup
|Avocado, raw (75g) ½ cup
|Collards, fresh, boiled (190g) 1 cup
|Asparagus, fresh, boiled (180g) 1 cup
|Iceberg lettuce, raw (72g) 1 cup
|White potato baked w/ skin (138g) 1 cup
|Broccoli, fresh, boiled (156g) 1 cup
**Based on Total Diet Study Statistics on Element Results. 2007, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, US Food and Drug Administration
Axiom Foods is the most innovative source for allergen-friendly, whole grain brown rice ingredients and known for their natural and proprietary methodologies for extracting fractions of other plant proteins such as pea, sacha inchi and others. Since 2005, the California-based company has maximized the potential of whole grain brown rice in all its forms. Their signature Oryzatein® is the only sprouted brown rice protein of its kind. Axiom continues to widen the possibilities of the world’s third largest plant crop into healthful products on which humans thrive.
By Rick Cohen, M.D.
Core 4 Nutrition
Targeted Solutions for Optimal Health and Performance
If you’re like most busy people, you don’t always have time to eat regular, nutritious meals. As a result, You’re probably supplementing your diet with a multivitamin. Multivitamin formulas contain a variety of different vitamins and mineral combinations. But do you know what vitamins and minerals actually are? Or how much of which ones you’re currently taking?
Vitamins are organic substances that are essential for life. Almost all vitamins are phytonutrients, meaning they were originally sourced from plants.
The common textbook definition of a vitamin is “an organic substance that cannot be manufactured by the body but is regularly needed in small amounts to prevent a combination of symptoms (disease) that can develop over a relatively short term (months to few years).” For example, if your diet is deficient in vitamin C, you will develop a set of symptoms known as scurvy. A lack of vitamin D will present in a set of symptoms called rickets, and too little vitamin B1 causes beri-beri.
Vitamins are also called micronutrients because the amounts that are required for normal functioning are very small, but very necessary. Vitamins can be hormones, antioxidants or even the co-enzymes required for many metabolic functions. Among other things, vitamins help us digest our food, fight infection and manufacture new cells. Vitamins help our bodies operate fully and efficiently.
Unfortunately, almost all vitamins found in a typical multivitamin formula are isolates. Isolated vitamins are an incomplete, albeit inexpensive, alternative to a whole food extract or concentrate. Isolated vitamins are missing the essential, naturally-occurring, food-based co-factors that allow the nutrient to be used most effectively by the body at a cellular level.
Nature always packages vitamins in groups; they were designed to work together to provide nourishment to the cells. Vitamin isolates, on the other hand, do not provide the same synergistic benefits. In fact, the body often responds to an isolated vitamin like it responds to a toxin—it rejects it as a foreign invader.
Minerals are naturally-occurring chemical elements found throughout the human body in the bones, muscles, teeth, blood and nerve cells. Minerals support the health of virtually every human system; they influence everything from immunity to the beating of our hearts. Minerals cannot be manufactured by the body and must be obtained from foods or supplements.
Unfortunately, most multivitamins don’t contain real minerals; they contain mineral salts. Even though mineral salts are often labeled as “natural,” they are fabricated from chemical substitutes. While mineral salts are natural food for plants, they are not a natural food for humans. As a result they are very poorly absorbed and ineffectively utilized by the body.
Now let’s return to our original question—what’s in YOUR multivitamin?
Although there are thousands of healthful phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables, most multivitamin brands contain only 12 to 25 ingredients, the majority of which are isolated and derived from a synthetic source.
The vitamins are classes or groups of related compounds that perform some function in the body. There are fat-soluble vitamins including vitamin A, D, E and K and there are water-soluble vitamins including vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and the B vitamins, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenate), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalomin), and B15 (folate).
There are six major minerals your body needs to function. These include calcium, phosphorus, chloride, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. These minerals support many critical processes in human body, especially fluid balance, the growth and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, muscular and nervous system function.
Most multivitamins don’t contain enough of the major minerals, which our bodies need in relatively large amounts when compared to other nutrients—approximately one gram a day for most healthy adults. And the minerals that are present are man-made (discussed previously), which are counter-productive because they interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.
Next are the trace minerals. These minerals are all essential for good health, but your body needs only a very small amount of them. Trace minerals are important for immune system function, energy, metabolism, and antioxidant protection. Trace minerals include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium. You may also see products that contain iodine, boron, nickel, silicon and vanadium in very small amounts.
It is also important to identify what ELSE is in your multivitamin. Most conventional brands feature not only a low-quality, poorly-absorbed mix of synthetic chemicals, but a range of preservatives, additives, colors, fillers, processed oils and genetically-modified ingredients. Not vitamins, not minerals and not what I believe can even be safely classified as “edible.”
Here is the list of the OTHER ingredients found in the world’s best-selling multivitamin:
Microcrystalline Cellulose, Pregelatinized Corn Starch. FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake, , Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Hypromellose, Soy Lecithin, Magnesium Stearate, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Aluminosilicate, Tribasic Calcium Phosphate.
When you consider the purchase of ANY nutritional supplement, remember what’s most important!
Should you choose a soup of man-made isolated chemicals that has no measurable effect on your health and well-being or a whole food formula crafted exclusively from fruit and vegetable concentrates and organic botanicals? The answer should be easy. Getting the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals isn’t complicated or difficult when you use the right product—a pure, high-quality, food-based multivitamin that can be quickly and easily absorbed by your body.
Want to learn more about how to select and use a multivitamin formula?
Then visit us at http://www.core4nutrition.com. Here you can learn more about all the foundational nutrients your body needs for optimum health, energy and performance, including our “honest to goodness” multivitamin made exclusively from raw, organic, fruit and vegetable concentrates.
Have questions? Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.