Guide to Vitamins and Minerals

July 25, 2014 in Category: Guides

Vitamins and Mineral Questions

For many years, we've handled the highest quality Dietary Supplements at the lowest prices.

We work at being skilled buyers, not nutritionists or doctors. We're not here to prescribe or give advice on which vitamins you should take. We do think that if you have decided to take vitamins or minerals, Trader Joe's is the best place to buy top quality supplements at the best prices. Here's why:

•  We're selling them at prices considerably lower than similar markets elsewhere- whether in supermarkets, natural food stores, or even vitamin shops.
•  All of our supplements are made according to the highest standards, without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives-ingredients commonly used in commercial vitamins.
•  All of our nutritional supplements are assayed to ensure full potency.
•  We buy our vitamins in large quantities. Since we sell so many vitamins, and we buy often, our vitamins are always fresh and potent.

How is Trader Joe's able to sell top quality Dietary Supplements at low prices?

•  We distribute the product ourselves. No middlemen or additional costs are incurred.
•  We take our regular Trader Joe's grocery markup on vitamins, unlike other retailers who take a significantly higher mark-up on their vitamins.
•  Since Trader Joe's volume is large and our overhead is low, we can keep our costs down and pass the savings along to you.

How do brands of Dietary Supplements differ?

There are only a handful of manufacturers of vitamin and mineral raw materials. All tableters and manufacturers of vitamin and mineral supplements basically use the same raw materials. The main difference between brands of Dietary Supplements are what additional ingredients are used, i.e., items like sugar, coloring or preservatives; and what ingredients are used to make the tablet or capsule.

Vitamins, minerals, and other supplements in tablet form are manufactured products. A supplement may contain only one vitamin or mineral, like Vitamin C or Calcium, or may be a combination of vitamins or minerals, such as our Multiple Mineral or Anti-Oxidant. The manufacturer mixes the appropriate blend of raw materials and shapes it into tablets, capsules, or other forms.

Commonly used Dietary Supplement Terms

Our Dietary Supplement labels include full disclosure of all the materials used in making our supplements. We want to give you as much information as possible. We feel the more you know about Trader Joe's supplements, the more you'll like them.

Synergistic: From the Greek word synergia meaning "joint work." Substances are synergistic when they work together as a team to produce and effect greater than the sum of their individual effects, i.e., Vitamin C, rosehips and bioflavonoids.

Excipients: Various inert substances added to give the desired consistency or form for tableting. Vitamin tablets cannot be manufactured without excipients. Some common excipients are binders, fillers, lubricants, and disintegrants.

Binders: Substances that give cohesive qualities to powdered materials; in other words, they hold the ingredients together for tablet formulation. A common binder is cellulose.

Fillers: Inert material added in very small amounts (usually less than 1%) to the powder blend to prevent the compressed tablet from sticking to the tablet punches and dies. Common lubricants include vegetable stearins (similar to vegetable shortening), stearic acid, and magnesium stearate.

Disintegrants: Added to the formulation to help the tablet disintegrate after consumption, thereby releasing the active ingredients. Common disintegrants include several modified cellulose derivatives, which work by swelling when wet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Dietary Supplements

Which Vitamins do you recommend I take?

There is a lively debate in the scientific community about the value of taking vitamins. Scientists are beginning to believe that vitamins and minerals play a more complex role in assuring vitality and optimal health than was previously thought. No longer are they recommending vitamins just to remedy deficiencies, but as a means to ensure optimal health and the prevention of some chronic diseases.

We don't want to get into a debate that's best left to scientists or nutritionists. We're not here to prescribe or to give advice. Before beginning any vitamin regime, we recommend you see your healthcare practitioner. We do think that if you have decided to take Dietary Supplements, Trader Joe's offers the best values.

Where is the gelatin that is found in your Dietary Supplements sourced from?

The main source of gelatin in our supplements is a bovine source from the United States. If a supplier uses an outside source of gelatin, a certificate of sustainability is sent. None of the gelatin that is used in our supplements comes from a country that has been affected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)/Mad Cow Disease. No BSE has been found in US cattle. The United States government has been taking aggressive action for over a decade to make sure that BSE remains a foreign animal disease.

What is the source of your calcium?

Our calcium comes from a variety of sources. Calcium carbonate is a mined source of calcium. Calcium citrate is an additional source which is made by combining calcium carbonate with citric acid.

What is the source of your vitamin C?

All of our vitamin C is derived from corn or grapes. Ascorbic acid is another name for Vitamin C. It is a water-soluble antioxidant.

How long does it take for a supplement to dissolve in my system?

Since each individual's metabolism differs, it is virtually impossible to predict a specific dissolution time. For example, age, illness, physical condition, or level of activity are all factors which contribute to assimilation of a supplement.

Supplement manufacturers test their products by using a disintegration test, which mimics the action of the digestive tract. The procedure for disintegration tests are designed to take between two and six hours to disintegrate.

What is the best way to store my Dietary Supplement?

The best way to store dietary supplements is in a cool, dry, dark place, away from heat and moisture.

Do vitamins and supplements have a specific serving size?

Yes. Vitamin and mineral supplements have a specific serving size just as food products have a specific serving size. The serving size for supplements is listed on the Supplement Facts Panel.

What are the benefits of Natural Vitamin E?

Natural Vitamin E is derived from soybean oil and it is absorbed more readily by the body than Vitamin E that comes from a synthetic source. Trader Joe's only carries natural Vitamin E, naturally.

What is the FDA designation for a high potency multivitamin?

A multivitamin is considered high potency if at least two thirds of the nutrients in the supplement are at least 100% Daily Value (DV).

Why aren't all herbal supplements standardized?

All herbal supplements are not standardized because there are no agreed upon industry standards. Trader Joe's standardizes herbal supplements that have agreed upon industry standards.

Vitamins & Minerals: How Your Body Uses Them (with RDI*)

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Promotes proper protein and fat metabolism. Participates in neurotransmitter formation. (2 mg)

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Necessary for healthy red blood cell development, cell division, and nervous system function. Helps prevent heart disease. (6 mcg)

Biotin: Essential for fat synthesis and the breakdown of protein and carbohydrates for energy. (300 mcg)

Vitamin C: Water-soluble antioxidant. Promotes iron absorption from plant sources. Necessary for collagen formation. (60 mg)

Calcium: Strengthening component of bones and teeth. Integral to blood clotting and muscle and nerve function. May contain blood pressure control. (1000 mg)

Chromium: Works in conjunction with insulin to maintain normal blood sugar metabolism. (120 μg)

Copper: An important part of enzymes that maintain the integrity of bones, blood vessels, and lung cells; mobilizes iron. (2 mg)

Vitamin D: Regulates the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus, leading to proper muscle and bone function. (400 IU)

Vitamin E: Fat-soluble antioxidant which protects cell membranes from oxidative damage. (30 IU)

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid): Necessary for DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation; protects against certain birth defects and heart disease. (400 mcg)

Iodine: Principal component of thyroid-gland hormones, which control overall body metabolism. (150 mcg)

Iron: Needed for oxygen transport in blood and muscle. Part of the enzymes involved in producing energy. (18 mg)

Magnesium: Activates over 300 enzymes. Helps maintain stable levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bone. (400 mg)

Manganese: Involved in amino acid and energy metabolism. Can take the place of magnesium in some enzyme systems. (2 mg)

Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Cofunctions with enzymes to produce energy from foods. In large doses, reduces serum cholesterol. (20 mg)

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Used as a building block of coenzyme A, which the body makes to release energy from foods. Needed to make Vitamin D, red blood cells and hormones. (10 mg)

Phosphorus: Forms a complex with calcium to promote proper bone and tooth mineralization. (1000 mg)

Potassium: Required for normal nerve transmission, muscle contraction, and blood pressure. (3500 mg)

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Like niacin, works with enzymes to facilitate the release of energy from foods. (1.7 mg)

Selenium: Found in an anti-oxidant enzyme (glutathione peroxidase), which works with vitamin E to guard cell membranes. (70 mcg)

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): Necessary for the enzymatic conversion of carbohydrates and fats into energy. (1.5 mg)

Zinc: Integral to DNA synthesis, immune function, and taste acuity. Reduces oxidative damage to cell membranes. (15 mg)

*RDI=Reference Daily Intake
**IU=International Units, a measure of potency

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.