Do You Take Multivitamins? The Toxic Ingredients You Probably Didn’t Know Your Vitamin Has

It is all about our health where there are no compromises at all. Recently, I read about harmful ingredients hiding in multivitamins. Oh gosh, this is unbelievable.

Imagine substances commonly used in paint, and paper production or commercially used in deodorant and cosmetics are added during the manufacturing of multivitamins.

We take multivitamins so that we can stay healthy, but what if it deteriorates our health over time? Not only is it a waste of money for our health investment, but this is deceiving the consumers.

Here are a few things hiding in our multivitamins that might be harmful to our health.

Photo by Ready Made from Pexels

It Contains Cheap Minerals, Synthetic Nutrients, Folic Acid Not Folate

Zinc oxide

Commercial brands use the oxide form of minerals like zinc. Just because it is cheap, the brands utilize it to save more money in production, however, this zinc oxide is a poorly absorbable form of minerals. If zinc oxide is used, consumers will not get enough zinc absorbed into their bodies.

Synthetics form of alpha-tocopherol

In the production of vitamin E, the brand is using a synthetic form of alpha-tocopherol, an isomer of vitamin E. Research says the synthetic alpha-tocopherol is only half as active as the same amount in the natural form.

Folic acid rather than folate

In multivitamins, vitamin B9 is called folate when it occurs naturally in foods. However, some brands are using folic acid rather than folate. Both folic acid and folate will be converted into 5-MTHF. But for folic acid, the process is slow and inefficient. 

As such, folic acid supplements or fortified foods may cause unmetabolized folic acid (UMFA) to accumulate in your blood. High levels of UMFA appear to be linked to various health concerns such as the potential to increase the risk of cancer, and disguising vitamin B12 deficiencies, especially for elderly people.


Some multivitamins for women contain iron. Research shows that taking iron together with vitamin C might exacerbate oxidative stress in the gut. Hence, potentially creating ulcers and even cancer in some individuals.

An excess of iron in the body over the long run may lead to liver damage and even diabetes.

It Has Toxic Ingredients Like Titanium Dioxide, Hydrogenated Oil, Artificial Colors

Titanium Dioxide

This substance is commonly used in paint, paper and cosmetics and serves only as a filler to whiten products without any actual nutrient value. The reason why titanium dioxide is applied in vitamins is for its aesthetic properties — to provide a clean and white appearance to pills, powders and tablets.

Titanium dioxide can lead to pulmonary damage if inhaled and The International Agency for Research on Cancer has listed this ingredient as a possible carcinogen.

We tend to choose products with alluring visuals, but this is not worth the price of safety at all.

Hydrogenated Oil

Hydrogenated oil is a highly processed oil and has been identified as a risky food additive due to several flagrant weaknesses. 

It is put to use in the manufacturing of supplements as a lubricant (flow agent) to prevent the nutrient particles from sticking to the equipment when the powder is compacted into solid tablet form. 

For example, the hydrogenation of cottonseed oil is trans-fat and linked to an increased risk of forming heart disease. It has the highest levels of pesticides compared to other commercial oils. 

Research revealed another dark side of hydrogenated oil is a formaldehyde-causing agent.

Hydrogenated oil from genetically modified (or non-organic) such as soybeans is noted to cause cardiovascular problems, diabetes, nervous system problems, and non-absorption of essential fatty acids.

Well, there might be a debate if this substance is harmful to human health or low risk of toxicity. In my opinion, this substance should not be added to any supplement manufacturing.

Artificial Colors

It is kinda attracted when supplements come in many colours. Artificial colours in the vitamins are added to make the vitamins look good, besides covering up the products that are degraded by exposure to light, air, moisture, heat and storage conditions.

Artificial colours can lead to allergies and children’s hyperactive behaviour, as reported by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest:

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) 

I am a bit surprised to read that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is added to the making of multivitamins. MSG has been associated with damage to the brain.

Here is some good information — many ‘natural flavours’ are substances that contain MSG. Hence, try to avoid supplements with the label of ‘natural flavours’.


In a 2015 article in Newsweek magazine that many popular kids vitamin brands contain high amounts of sorbitol, corn syrup, artificial colours and flavours.

Sugar is one of the culprits in children’s vitamins and mineral supplements. Try to avoid sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, or aspartame.

These Chemicals Are Cheap And Toxic, So How To Protect Ourselves From Buying Multivitamins With Bad Ingredients?

Taking multivitamins are good, but not all are created equal.

Check USP verification seal

Check if the labelled product has a USP verification seal. It is the U.S Pharmacopeial Convention, an independent, non-profit organization that determines whether dietary supplements contain ingredients listed on their labels. 

However, do not be fooled by labels that use the letters USP. Check online the multivitamins to make sure they have been verified.

Read labels

When you buy any supplement, please give some time to read the labels, so that you can do some research about the product.

Avoid buying cheap vitamins since they are usually made in a lab chemical altered.

Buy with caution

Buy vitamins that follow the standards of these – 

  • GMO-free vitamins or organic, 
  • made from natural whole food source, 
  • buy from the reputable company with a track record of high quality of processing and manufacturing, 
  • Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) certifications, 
Photo by Anna Tis

Do You Think You Need To Buy Supplements? Think Twice

You can get natural supplements easily.  You can get vitamin A from eggs and whole milk, vitamin B from animal-derived products, vitamin C from citrus fruit, and vitamin D from your mid-day sun. Easy right?

Do you include fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy and protein as part of your daily diet? If yes, most probably you have no reason to buy supplements.

Think again before buying your supplement. Buy it if you need it to improve your health, and ensure you get it from a trusted and recommended brand. Never purchase it just because the price is cheap. 

Remember, the greatest wealth is health.

Emphi Yap is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Emphi Yap
Author: Emphi Yap

Mom of 3, A Blogger And Content Writer 🌻