Learn surprising facts about your daily dose of vitamins.
Every day we hear of something new in the vitamin world – much of which is confusing or contradictory. At Tespo, we believe that the vitamin industry could use a little transparency. So, in that spirit, we’re providing you with an all-in-one resource so you can make informed decisions for yourself.
The following information is not meant to convince you to take vitamins. Whether you take vitamins because of your diet, life stage, or certain conditions, the benefits of vitamins and supplements have been well documented.
What isn’t well documented is how the vitamin industry manufacturers the pills and gummies that are so popular. In short, there is a lot of room for improvement in everything from the quality of the ingredients to how the supplements are actually consumed.
Like all great stories, it’s best to start at the beginning…
VITAMINS AREN’T NEW
Let’s take a look at how we got to where we are today. And, here’s a sneak peak: Vitamins have changed a lot in the last hundred years. But, the pace of innovation hasn’t kept up with other industries.
It’s time for us to rethink what vitamins we take, and how we take them.
WHAT’S REALLY IN A VITAMIN PILL?
THE GOOD. THE BAD. THE UNPRONOUNCEABLE.
We all think of vitamins as having the right mix of ingredients. Or , the”good stuff”, which delivers the desired outcome. The truth is, the “good stuff” can actually have some pretty bad stuff mixed in.
Have you ever noticed the list of inactive ingredients on your vitamin bottle? The list of inactive ingredients is long, not to mention impossible to pronounce!
Pills and tablets contain a surprising amount of these fillers and inactive ingredients. They are used for three primary reasons: to extend the shelf life of your vitamin, to help the pill keep its form, and to prevent pill machines from gumming up.
You might be surprised to learn that as much as 50% of a pill is comprised of fillers.
Have you ever heard “Do not take your vitamins on an empty stomach”? The reason we hear this all the time is because our bodies do not know how to digest fillers and inactive ingredients.
As a general rule of thumb, the lower the price of a supplement or the larger the pill size are good indications that the pill has more fillers.
Some inactive ingredients include:
Hydrogenation is the process in which a liquid unsaturated fat is turned into a solid fat by adding hydrogen. This process creates Hydrogenated Oils and a trans fat, which many vitamin companies use to increase shelf life. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans specifically states: “Keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible by limiting foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils, and by limiting other solid fats.” Trans fats work against the body in many ways, promoting inflammation and negatively impacting cholesterol levels.
Artificial colors in your vitamins serve no function other than making food look more “fun,” or even worse, cover up the fact that the active ingredients in the vitamin have been degraded by exposure to light, air, moisture, heat, or poor storage conditions.
Magnesium Stearate is a flow agent used to keep manufacturing equipment from gumming up during vitamin production. It is used solely to increase output and cycle times during the manufacturing process, and actually hinders the dissolution and absorption of vitamins in your body.
Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring oxide of the element titanium. This mineral is used in vitamins as a pigment — the same reason it’s used in many cosmetics. However, research is now noting that titanium dioxide is a possible carcinogen and could possibly affect immune system function in the body.
Learn more about all the ingredients in vitamins.
WHAT’S IN A GUMMY VITAMIN?
One serving of gummy vitamins equals 10% of a child’s daily sugar intake.
VITAMINS AREN’T CANDY.
The U.S. Gummy Vitamin market is expected to reach $4.17 Billion by 2025. Millions of people are hooked on gummies as a health supplement. And they aren’t just for kids anymore. Many adults find pills difficult or unpleasant to swallow, so gummies have become a popular alternative.
You give your kiddo a gummy vitamin because it’s healthy and fun to eat, right? Well, you might find it shocking that those gummies aren’t the best choice for your kids. The problem is the quality of ingredients and the amount of sugar used to improve the taste.
In fact, one serving of gummy vitamins can equal as much as 10% of a child’s daily sugar intake.
Speaking of kids, what vitamins do they need?
With so much space used for fillers and additives to make gummies fun looking, there’s only so much space for active nutrients. Moreover, these fillers and additives stick to your teeth. Most gummies are so sugary that dentists recommend you brush your teeth after eating them.
Another issue with the sweet taste of gummy vitamins and supplements is that children might eat too many of them. If kids eat gummy vitamins like candy, they can end up accumulating dangerously high levels of certain vitamins. For example, some gummies contain iron. For children, iron overdose is a leading cause of poisoning-related injury and death.
The main lesson: vitamins aren’t candy!
Check out our children’s complete vitamin pod. Great tasting liquid without added sugar.
WHAT IS MEGADOSING?
Excited to see 400% daily value in some of your vitamins? Think again.
MORE. MORE. MORE.
Have you ever wondered why you see 400% Daily Value next to key ingredients in your current vitamin? Or, have you ever noticed that your urine turns fluorescent yellow after taking a multivitamin?
Vitamin manufacturers put extra amounts into pills because your body only absorbs a portion of the ingredients. Yellow urine is your body actually disposing of all those ingredients it can’t absorb. This gives new meaning to the phrase “flushing money down the toilet”!
The practice of adding large amounts of an ingredient to account for poor absorption is called “megadosing.”
Megadosing isn’t good for your health because some vitamins are toxic when taken in large quantities. This doesn’t happen with Tespo vitamins because we only provide you with what your body needs.
If you haven’t heard of megadosing, it started with doctors using megadoses of Vitamin D for years to treat tuberculosis. And, while many studies have tried to tie vitamin D to the prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases, cancer, and heart conditions, it has had mixed results.
In an effort to stand out from other products in the cluttered vitamin aisle, many companies tried to differentiate themselves by including high doses of specific ingredients without the research needed to support the larger levels.
The lesson here: more is not always better. And if you take too much of certain types of vitamins, you could be placing your health at risk. Our recommendation is that you should consult with your doctor or nutritionist to make sure you aren’t overdoing it with your current vitamin regimen.
Too much of a vitamin can be dangerous
Here’s what has the potential of happening with the megadosing of the following vitamins:
Vitamin A: May lead to liver damage, headache, vomiting, abnormal vision, constipation, hair loss, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, bone pain, sleep disorders, and dry skin and mucous membranes.
Vitamin D: Can cause irreversible damage to kidneys and heart. Smaller doses may cause muscle weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, retarded physical growth, and mental retardation in children, and fetal abnormalities.
Vitamin E: May cause upset stomach or dizziness.
Vitamin C: May cause upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation.
HOW DOES THE BODY ABSORB NUTRIENTS?
If your body can’t absorb a nutrient, it won’t improve your health.
THE SCIENCE TALK.
When you take a pill, it travels through esophagus, to your stomach, and then ultimately to your digestive system. The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The digestive system helps the body digest food, whether a hamburger or a multivitamin.
It’s this process of digestion that is essential for breaking down food into nutrients – nutrients the body uses for energy, growth, and cell repair.
For example, food and drink must be broken down into smaller molecules of nutrients before the blood absorbs them and carries them to cells throughout the body. The body breaks down nutrients from food and drinks into carbohydrates, protein, fats, and vitamins.
The body is able to use only a portion of the nutrients it takes in—a principle called bioavailability. The greater bioavailability, the better absorption.
So, what determines how the body absorbs nutrients. It’s a complex question, but there are a couple of key items:
1. Nutrient Type
Macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are usually easy for your body to absorb. We absorb an estimated 90% of the nutrients available from macronutrients. Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, flavonoids or carotenoids, are a different story. These exist in various forms which impact the predictability of their absorption. For example, the micronutrient folic acid is more bioavailable to the body in a fortified food or vitamin format than it is naturally in food.
2. Gender, Age, Health, and Existing Levels of Nutrients
For example, a healthy man absorbs less than 1% of the iron in a balanced diet, but a woman with anemia will absorb as much as 35% of the iron in her diet. A pregnant woman, who needs more vitamins and minerals across the board, will absorb and retain even more.
Age plays a role, too: People over 60, for example, absorb less vitamin B12, folate, and magnesium. Chronic diseases, especially of the digestive tract, can also affect bioavailability.
PROBLEMS TAKING PILLS.
Nearly 40% of Americans report an aversion to taking pills.
WE’VE GOT A PROBLEM!
Over time your metabolism tends to slow down, and the digestive system doesn’t work quite as well as it used to. All of a sudden, it’s more difficult to absorb nutrients and vitamins that were once easy to digest. This tends to be the case with vitamins.
Vitamin pills are not only harder to swallow, they become more difficult for the digestive system to break down and absorb. When it comes to taking vitamins, you can pop all the pills you want, but if the ingredients aren’t bioavailable to your body, then you’re wasting both time and money. For this reason, liquid vitamins tend to be a better option. They are simply more bioavailable.
Trouble Taking Pills
The medical term for physical difficulty swallowing or the sensation of difficulty swallowing is “dysphagia.”
15 million Americans have dysphagia, with approximately one million people annually receiving a new diagnosis of the condition. One in 17 people will develop some form of dysphagia in their lifetime.
Most doctors underestimate the number of patients who have trouble swallowing medications, as it is often up to patients to raise the issue. Chewing, breaking, or crushing pills changes the way a medication will be absorbed into the body and often affects the way a vitamin works.
Pill Routines are Hard to Manage
We all have the best intentions when loading up on a cart full of vitamins on Amazon or at Walgreens. But what happens? The first few days or weeks, things go as planned. You’re feeling great! Then one day slips, which turns into two, and then a week. Before you know it, you’ve completely stopped taking your vitamins.
Simply put, it’s hard to remember to take your vitamins on top of all your other responsibilities. And as much as you like loading up your weekly pill organizer, you’ve got more important things to do.
Enter, the vitamin graveyard…
Many people stop taking their vitamins and develop a Vitamin Graveyard. You know what we’re talking about. You’ll find it on your kitchen countertop or along a shelf in your medicine cabinet. Dozens of half-used or expired bottles.
SAY GOODBYE TO THE GRAVEYARD…
There are many reasons to empty that drawer on a regular basis.
First, you want to be sure that small children and teenagers can’t find and experiment with any of your medications. This includes vitamins.
Second, you should check to make sure that your vitamins are not past their expiration date. The potency of the vitamins goes down past their expiration date. Third, if bottles of vitamin pills are piling up, vitamin pills are probably not working for you. It’s time to consider other options for vitamin supplementation.
Good news! Tespo can solve many of the problems described in this guide. And we can definitely help you get rid of the Vitamin Graveyard!
WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE? TESPO LIQUID VITAMINS.
With Tespo, you absorb up to 90% of key nutrients as compared to 20% with traditional pills.
We’re changing the vitamin industry because we see an opportunity to help people improve their health and wellness in a way that reinforces compliance, and ultimately, leads to better results. Because what’s the point of taking vitamins if they don’t help you feel better?
We’ve figured out how to remove the inactive ingredients that plague current vitamin formulations. Our formulas have only what you need and nothing you don’t.
We’ve embraced liquid as the preferred delivery format, as liquid dramatically improves nutrient absorption in the body.
We’ve made it easy to remember to take your vitamins on a daily basis. 85% of Tespo customers report that the Tespo Dispenser on their countertop improves their compliance.
The future of vitamins is here and thousands of people just like you are ditching the pills and unnecessary fillers and using Tespo everyday to improve their health and wellness.
Every Tespo Pod has 31 individually sealed servings filled with custom formulated powder ingredients and natural flavoring. These ingredients are sealed until the time of use to protect them from environmental changes and degradation. Individually sealed servings also allow us to avoid using many of the manufacturing additives typically found in traditional pill-based vitamins. When you take a Tespo vitamin, the contents of the pod are mixed with a predetermined amount of water resulting in a consistently flavored liquid vitamin shot.
WHY A DISPENSER?
We didn’t set out to create a dispenser. We set out to deliver premium vitamins delivered in the most effective, easy to remember, and economical way. Pre-made shots like 5 Hour Energy would dilute the vitamins and large canisters of powder are a pain to mix and measure. The dispenser, on the other hand, helps our customers remember to take their vitamins. And, the simple one-button operation makes sticking to a vitamin routine easier than ever.
LONGER SHELF LIFE
Traditional pre-mixed liquid vitamins have a short shelf life once they’re opened. Packaging, shipping, and refrigeration can also make liquid vitamins expensive. The Tespo Dispenser allows us to put the highest quality ingredients in each formula while also maintaining a shelf life of up to 6 months.
TESPO DISPENSER IS SMART
It automatically adjusts the water amount and mix times based on the vitamins you’re taking. The result? An easy-to-take, delicious liquid shot.
DOES IT COST MORE?
Our vitamins are affordable to ship and we pass along those savings to you.
While pills or gummies may be less expensive on a per serving basis, keep in mind that your body absorbs 85-90% of liquid vitamins as opposed to 20% of pills or gummies.
Tespo’s pods average $.83 per serving.
HELPS YOU STAY COMPLIANT
Remembering to take your vitamins can be challenging. With the Tespo Dispenser on your countertop, it’s a fun and easy addition to your morning routine.
Over 85% of Tespo Customers reported that Tespo had improved their compliance.
DISPENSER FITS ALL TESPO PODS
It’s easy to swap vitamin pods so that your entire family can can enjoy Tespo whenever it’s convenient.
It’s difficult to consume a high enough dose of most water-soluble vitamins to cause dangerous side effects so liquid vitamins are naturally safer.