70% of Sunscreens are Toxic

The epidemic of skin cancer is highlighted each year with the entrance of summer and the heightened exposure our skin has to the sun.  Each year more than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer. And even though more and more people are using sunscreen each year, the incidence of skin cancer continues to climb worldwide.

It’s that time of year where we all start enjoying the weather outside, but did you know that 4 different studies conducted in the 1990’s indicated a higher risk of malignant melanoma among individuals who used the most sunscreen!

The Dangers of Conventional Sunscreens
According to research from the EWG: Our review…shows that some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood, and some have toxic effects. Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some act like estrogen and disrupt hormones, and several can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. The FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients. Sunscreens haven’t been regulated since 1978 in the USA, and the SPF factor only tells you how effective a sunscreen is against UVB rays which cause sunburn.

In Review – Some ingredients may:

  • Absorb into the blood
  • Release free radicals in sunlight
  • Act like estrogen
  • Disrupt hormones
  • Cause allergic reactions
  • Cause skin irritation
  • Have no rigorous safety standards

A recent study published in Environmental Science Technology has also shown the common sunscreen ingredients oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, and PABA are estrogenic chemicals linked to cancer.  If you’re a label reader we would recommend paying close attention to not only your food labels but labels of anything you are putting on your skin.  If your sunscreen contains any of these chemicals I’d throw it away right now!

List of Unsafe, Toxic Chemicals in Sunscreen

  • Para amino benzoic acid
  • Octyl salicyclate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Homosalate
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Octocrylene
  • Methoxycinnamate
  • Parabens

Try and avoid these chemicals and use an all-natural sunscreen like HAVVN Sun Lotion.  It is a 100% natural-organic composition that will protect and improve the skin’s immune system to respond to damaging sun rays allowing it to take in the optimal daily dose of vitamin D.

Improve Your Mood and Outlook NATURALLY….

Spring is upon us.  It is a time for new beginnings…new starts….The air is clean, life is once again being infused into our surroundings as the flowers, tress, and plants come out of hibernation.  So why are we not HAPPY…full of joy and energy?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a 2011 study showed most Americans suffer from moderate to high stress and 44% have seen an increase over the past five years. In 2009, US News said, “Americans are 10 times as likely to have depression or a mood disorder today as they were 60 years ago.” As these two studies show, the increase in stress has led to an increase in mood disorders. “Who’s not stressed? That’s just life. Life is stress,” says Kathleen Hall, Founder of the Stress Institute in Atlanta. The APA says one reason for the increase in stress is that self-care isn’t a priority. “Only 40% of Americans rate their health as very good or excellent….Instead of managing stress in healthy ways, Americans are indulging in unhealthy behaviors.”  Is there a natural and healthy way to improve mood and increase energy levels?

The answer is YES!  You can naturally improve your mood and increase energy by putting the right types of nutrients into your body. In addition to a healthy diet, adding advanced nutritional products to your daily regimen can begin to positively impact the genetic code in your body to deliver energy, mental focus, vigor, harmony, and health.

Here are some key compounds that the experts agree play a vital role in your mood, mental clarity, and energy.

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – Coenzyme Q10 is a key player in energy production.  A study published in the journal, Neuro Endocrinology Letters reported that “patients with depression and patients with chronic fatigue syndrome appeared to have lower levels of Coenzyme Q10 in their bloodstreams,” says Cindy Ell of LiveStrong.com.
  • Ginseng – According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y., Ginseng may reduce fatigue and increase overall psychological well-being.
  • Vitamin C Marie Claire shares, “A German study in Psychopharmacology found that vitamin C helps reduce stress and return blood pressure and cortisol to normal levels.”
  • Green Tea – A study from the University of San Francisco shows polyphenols in Green Tea boost availability of dopamine. Dopamine signals brain circuits that are needed for positive mood.
  • Quercetin – University of South Carolina completed a study showing that aerobic capacity and general exercise endurance was increased after taking Quercetin. By drinking HAVVN GO, you will have the needed Quercetin to exercise longer and feel better afterwards.
  • B-12 & B-6 Vitamins – May Clinic psychiatrist Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, MD says, “Vitamins B-12 and B-6 play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions.  Low levels of Vitamin B-12 and B-6 may be linked to depression.” Dr. Hall-Flavin also discussed how the lack of these vitamins can cause some depression.
  • Vitamin D – According to the Vitamin D Council, a non-profit organization, Vitamin D lowers the risk of depression by reducing the production of cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that increase inflammation and have been shown to be a possible risk factor for depression.

Lack of energy and poor mood is not destiny.  With the proper nutrition you can begin to extend youthful vigor from the inside out.

Do you know your Aronia Berry?

Let’s talk about a special berry in JUS that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. The Aronia Berry, also known as the Chokeberry, was an important part of the Native Indian diet for hundreds of years and is a close cousin to the blueberry. Found in swamps and damp woodlands throughout eastern North America and Europe; the hardy aronia shrub reaches 6 to 12 feet in height and produces clusters of round, pea-sized, dark purple and black berries. Can something called a Chokeberry be good for you? Let’s find out.

The Technical Stuff: The Aronia is a very powerful “super-berry” that has an unmistakable astringent and bitter flavor. It has been studied extensively in Bulgaria and is extraordinarily high in antioxidants; higher in fact than blueberries, bilberries, red grapes, cranberries or even pomegranates! Of special importance are the very high levels of anthocyanins, proanthocyanins and epicatechin. These water-soluble plant pigments possess powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which are useful in combating oxidative stress and free-radicals.

What do the Experts say? Well, in regards to the epicatechin found in the Aronia, Dr. Norman Hollenberg of Harvard Medical School believes that it can improve heart health and perhaps lower the risk of stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes. As a matter of fact, among the Kuna people of Panama, who consume a considerable amount of epicatechin everyday; rates of stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes are less than 10% What’s in it for Me? The possibility of lowered rates of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancer are huge potential benefits that we all want to take advantage of. How do you go about getting a daily dose of Aronia? It’s easy! Drink Jus! Featuring Aronia and 22 other Superfoods from around the world, Jus is your key to Living Young and Looking Healthy!


Turmeric….as effective as a medication?

I recently read a great article by Sayer Ji in regards to Turmeric and its powerful health benefits.   Being one of the most researched plants today it is no wonder that a growing number of studies have concluded that it compares favorably to a variety of conventional medications.   Read more here.

We like to think that here at HAVVN we were a bit ahead of the curve when we introduced HAVVN GO featuring Turmeric as a key player in our proprietary Anit-inflamatory Gene Cluster Blend.  The turmeric used in the GO Stick is a highly potent form of turmeric standardized from Curcumin. This acts on 100 promoters of inflammation, mainly NFkB, which is a master switch known to regulate 300 genes. In studies, curcumin has shown antitumor, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid, anti-ischemic, and anti-inflammatory properties. An issue with turmeric supplementation has been poor bioavailability. The HAVVN GO Stick contains a proprietary, patented ingredient clinically shown to increase the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000% (see Bioperine ingredient).

Today, our life spans are the longest in recorded history.  The scientific discoveries of our time have extended life expectancy from 30 years to 80, 90, and even 100 years.  However, these extra 50 plus years are creating new problems for humanity, problems of aging.  As we live longer and longer, suffering from aging rises.  Aging is not destiny.  Science is unlocking the causes of and solution to aging.   Turmeric one such discover.

A Better Way to Age…A Journey of Passion by Dubravka Pavelic

Many  years ago I asked myself a very important question:  “ When I am 60 years old, do I want to look so spent, un-cared for, and old like my mom and her girlfriends.“   Even then, I knew the answer was NO.  It was then that I committed to searching  for another choice….a better solution!   I needed to understand why we aged the way we did.  I wanted  a different destiny.

That was the  beginning of my journey.  Today many people know about the harmful ingredients found in cosmetics, personal care products, and food .   But 30 years ago it was not so.   I felt as though I was a pioneer in finding all natural ingredients that would dramatically impact the look and feel of my skin.    As a result I began developing  my own remedies. Nothing  that I would buy at the store felt healthy enough for my skin.   I knew then that the very best thing for my skin was an all-natural remedy which I made myself.   My skin simply whispered to me.   I needed only  to listen and follow that inner voice which I did with great passion.

The single most difficult part of developeing a truly 100% Natural Skin Care product is the emulsification process.  How do you get water based ingredients to bond with oil based ingredients without using a toxic chemical.  NO ONE could.  For seven years I worked tirelessly to develop a natural way to emulsifuy all natural ingredients.   I refused to use anything that was a chemicaly derived ingredient.   I have to admit that is was extrememely difficult.  There were times that it felt impossible, but my vision for what could  and should be,  and my passion to offer the world a better way to age pushed me through.   In the deepest crisis, when it seems to me there was no solution to certain problems the answere  would be given to me in my dreams while I slept.   Exact instructions on how to procced.  Once awake I would rush into my small lab and work out the solution.

After seven very difficult years we mastered the process of naturally emulsifying all-natural ingredients offering the world a truly 100% Natural and Organic skin care line of products.

Your skin is the single largest living organ on your body.  The reality is that whatever you are putting on your skin is it’s food.  This is why my work has been such a deep passion for me.  Offering people a truly healthy & natural solution for their skin.

HAVVN DNA, Toner, Cleansing Milk, Body Lotion, Baby Cream, & Eye Serum are the result of my 30 years of work and why I am so passionate about getting them out to the world.

We have developed unique products that are in harmony with nature, as well as with your skin, that contain no harmful toxins. Our products are an extension of our family’s commitment to life and nature. — Dubravka

For more information on HAVVN Skin Care: Click Here


Q: Dr. Munoz, on many occasions we have heard that chemotherapy patients should not take antioxidants.   If somebody is currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer is there any problem with them being on JUS since it is a very powerful antioxidant? 

A: When people ask me this question I usually refer them to a greatly referenced book by Patrick Quillin, PhD called “Beating Cancer with Nutrition”.  The bottom line is that antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer has been shown to make the chemotherapy and radiation therapy MORE EFFECTIVE in cancer elimination (most authorities however consider this topic controversial since some other studies on individual antioxidants, i.e. vitamin E, may have been shown to make chemotherapy less effective).  Antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy and radiation therapy has also been shown in some studies to improve survival and to decrease the toxic side effects secondary to chemotherapy.

Dr. David  Munoz is an Emergency Physician in Torrance, California and is apart of the HAVVN Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Munoz graduated from the Harvard Medical School in 1996.

For more information on HAVVN JUS Click: HERE


According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a 2011 study showed most Americans suffer from moderate to high stress and 44% have seen an increase over the past five years. In 2009, US News said, “Americans are 10 times as likely to have depression today as they were 60 years ago.” There is a connection between stress levels and depression. As these two studies show, the increase in stress has led to an increase in depression. “Who’s not stressed? That’s just life. Life is stress,” says Kathleen Hall, Founder of the Stress Institute in Atlanta. The APA says one reason for the increase in stress is that self-care isn’t a priority. “Only 40% of Americans rate their health as very good or excellent….Instead of managing stress in healthy ways, Americans are indulging in unhealthy behaviors.” Since this is the case for a majority of Americas, there needs to be a natural and health ways to reduce stress levels, thus reducing depression.

Naturally reduce stress and depression by putting the right types of nutrients into your body. Marie Claire shares, “A German study in Psychopharmacology found that vitamin C helps reduce stress and return blood pressure and cortisol to normal levels.” Vitamin C has been shown to be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health. Study researcher Mark Moyad, MD MPH, of the University of Michigan says, “The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer.” Vitamin C is an important nutrient to have in our bodies. Ginseng is equally important when it comes to reducing the amount of stress hormones released. Families Online Magazine says, “Ginseng is thought to keep cortisol and other stress hormones from surging out of control, thereby preventing chronic stress from draining energy.” If you do need a little more energy, Coenzyme Q10 is the nutrient you will want to add to your diet.  Coenzyme Q10 is a key player in energy production.  “A study published in the journal, Neuro Endocrinology Letters reported that patients with depression and patients with chronic fatigue syndrome appeared to have lower levels of Coenzyme Q10 in their bloodstreams,” says Cindy Ell of LiveStrong.com.  Increasing your energy can help you be more productive, which in turn may help with any depression you are feeling.

Adding the right types of nutrients to your body will help to naturally reduce stress and depression. The HAVVN G.O. has these nutrients and many more. HAVVN GO is the most advanced and complete nutritional product. It has Vitamin C, all the B vitamins, Ginseng, Coenzyme Q10, and so much more. HAVVN G.O. works with your body’s natural structures to help improve your mood, balance, and mental clarity. HAVVN G.O. is designed to give you the energy you need from the inside out. Its natural compounds communicate with the code in your body to deliver energy, mental clarity, vigor, harmony, and health. The ingredients combined together really make the difference.

“I replaced my daily coffee with a GO Stick and am feeling great!!!” D.M.

“I take my GO about mid-day so it peps me up for the rest of the day…it’s a great product that I literally NEED” D.B.

Using a supplement to increase your nutritional intake not only helps decrease your stress levels and depression feelings, it gives you the nutrients your body needs. Start using HAVVN G.O. and you will see a difference in how you feel and react. Click here to purchase now!

DETOX – It’s good for your cells!

Detoxification means removing poisons from your body. When the toxins are tucked inside your cells, they interfere with the cellular chemistry and decrease your body’s energy production. When they come out of the cell, they come back in contact with the nerves. This irritates the nerves and you feel it! When you first let the toxin into your body, your body gave you a sign that something was wrong. Maybe you had a headache or a runny nose. By ignoring that sign or taking some kind of medication to “cure” the symptom, you weren’t allowing your body to heal itself. Over the years more and more toxins are then getting stored into your cells. This can cause a multitude of problems ranging from a simple cold to something more serious like cancer. When you’re eating nutrient rich food, your body has the power to rid itself of the toxins! Unfortunately as the toxin leaves the body, those signs are going to come back! It’s so important at this point to allow your body to go through the whole detox process! Also remember that detoxing takes time. The older you are, the more toxins you have stored in your body. The way you treated your body over the years also reflects the amount of toxins in your body. Common Detox Symptoms Cravings – You will most likely crave the most toxic foods for your body. Everybody is different. It’s similar to a smoker trying to quit smoking or an alcoholic trying to stop drinking. That’s all your body wants both physically and mentally. It’s the same with food! Fatigue – When your body is fighting the toxins, all your energy goes into healing. This can leave you feeling exhausted. Irritability – This is mostly mental. You’re not hungry, but may be used to eating something out of boredom. This causes stress and irritability. Physical pains – These include aches and pains, nausea, headaches, runny nose, gastrointestinal disturbances, and sleep problems. Ways to Deal With Detox Symptoms Rest – When you’re fatigued, the best thing you can do for your body is to just rest and let it go through the healing process. Cleanse your colon – Colon cleansing can be done several ways. The simplest method is to administer an enema on yourself. Some more intense and time consuming methods would be colonic hydrotherapy or to use some sort of colon cleansing product. Drink water – Water helps to flush the toxins out and keep the colon moving. It also helps to keep your belly feeling full!


Clearing the Vitamin Confusion— What’s Natural, What’s Not

There’s a lot of confusion—and misinformation—about what’s natural and what’s not when it comes to nutritional supplements. So we’re going to try to clear some of the confusion and misunderstandings.

natural vitamin

What’s natural and what’s synthetic when it comes to vitamin supplements?

Many people envision vitamins being squeezed from foods and then put into tablets, capsules, and beverages. While picturesque, this is not the case. Various technologies are used to extract or produce vitamins. These technologies help ensure consistency and safety in the products HAVVN provides. Some vitamins can be described as “natural-source” or “nature-like,” whereas some synthetic vitamins (e.g., synthetic vitamin E) are derived from petroleum byproducts. HAVVN uses “natural sources” for vitamin fortification in our products.

For example, nearly all of the vitamin C used in supplements is produced from corn sugar. This is similar to how the vast majority of animals make their own vitamin C; they convert blood sugar to the vitamin in their liver or kidneys. The difference is that vitamin suppliers use technology to make vitamin C from corn sugar on a much larger scale. As another example, B vitamins are produced through a process called bacterial synthesis. Basically, vats of harmless bacteria are grown to make the B vitamins. This process is comparable to how bacteria in the intestines of people make small amounts of some B vitamins, such as B3.[i] Again, the difference is one of scale.

Some people believe that making vitamin C from corn sugar or B vitamins from bacteria is synthetic or unnatural. We believe these processes have strong similarities to how these vitamins are produced in nature.

Is ascorbic acid synthetic vitamin C?

Ascorbic acid is simply the chemical name of vitamin C, just as alpha tocopherol is the chemical name for vitamin E and thiamine is the chemical name for vitamin B1. Every compound in nature has a chemical name and formula.

Vitamin C has diverse benefits in our health. It is required for the body’s production of collagen, a protein that makes up most of our tissues, including our skin. It is a potent antioxidant, which protects against cell-damaging molecules called free radicals. Recent research has shown that vitamin C also has broad effects on our genes. In one experiment, using a technique called gene-array analysis, researchers found that vitamin C affected the activity of 6,000 genes in liver cells—almost one-third of our genes.

Aren’t “whole-food” supplements more natural?

There are many misunderstandings about what whole-food supplements are and are not.

First, if a product uses ground-up dehydrated food as the only source of its vitamins, the amounts of the vitamins will be very low. This is because vitamins occur in relatively small amounts in foods, even in vitamin-rich foods. For example, it is impossible to insert the 300 mg of vitamin C (found in the GO Stick) along with its bulky whole-food source into  a small stick pack or tiny capsule. Second, the dehydration and manufacturing process of whole-food supplements would likely destroy much of the vitamin C, as well as other vitamins.

Third, many whole-food vitamin supplements actually consist of small amounts of dehydrated foods with commercially sourced vitamins, such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, to make higher potency supplements. These are not really whole-food supplements, so the practice is dishonest. Not surprisingly, whole-food companies don’t like acknowledging this practice.

Fourth, a high-quality supplement should provide amounts of vitamins greater than what would be found in most foods—to provide an advantage in terms of ensuring nutritional adequacy and reducing the long-term risk of disease. Because of their inherently low-dosages, whole-food supplements cannot provide this benefit.

Are vitamin supplements safe?

Vitamins and other types of supplements are exceptionally safe—far safer than over-the-counter and prescription medicines. According to the latest report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, not a single American died from any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid, or herbal supplement in 2009 (the latest year for which statistics are currently available). This report is consistent with previously published analyses.[ii]

What about the sources and safety of vitamin D?

Vitamin D supplements come in one of two forms: ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol. Ergocalciferol is made from ergosterol, which is found in the membranes and yeast and fungal cells (but not plants per se). Cholecalciferol is made from sheep lanolin.

People make their own vitamin D when their skin is exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun for a few minutes or longer. The exposure to UV light converts 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin to cholecalciferol, which is then converted to calcidiol and then to the hormone calcitriol. Calcitriol is the active form of vitamin D.

Years ago, vitamin D was believed to be toxic in large amounts. This misconception was based on a very small study—now known to be inaccurate. Over the past 10 years, there has been a renaissance in vitamin D research. Studies have shown that a person would have to take an entire bottle of vitamin D daily for months for toxicity to occur. Research has shown than three of every four Americans do not have normal or optimal levels of vitamin D.[iii]

Vitamin D can reduce the risk of many diseases, including infection (e.g., colds and flus), cancer, heart disease, and depression.[iv] The vitamin also activates more than 1,000 genes, prompting them to do their jobs. In addition, vitamin D also functions as an “autocrine agent,” meaning that cells secrete the active form of vitamin D, which turns around to regulate those cells’ activities.[v] Experts now recommend that everyone take at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily.[vi] [vii] This is the reason the HAVVN GO Stick has 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).

Is there a difference between natural-source and synthetic vitamin E?

There is a huge difference. Studies of people have shown that natural-source vitamin E supplements are assimilated twice as well as synthetic vitamin E.[viii] Natural-source vitamin E can be identified on labels as d-alpha tocopherol. Synthetic vitamin E is identified as dl-alpha tocopherol. If a vitamin E supplement does not include the “d” or “dl” in fine print on the label, it is likely synthetic. The HAVVN DNA skin care products and the HAVVN GO Stick contain the natural d-alpha tocopherol vitamin E.

But isn’t alpha tocopherol just one of eight different forms of vitamin E?

Vitamin E consists of four related molecules known as tocopherols and four related molecules known as tocotrienols. However, alpha tocopherol appears to be the most biologically active form of vitamin E, and the vast majority of research on vitamin E (since the 1920s) has used the alpha tocopherol form. Alpha tocopherol is by far the most common type of vitamin E sold as a supplement.

Scientists have identified a specific transport mechanism in the body that delivers alpha tocopherol to tissues.[ix] No such transport mechanism has been identified for the other forms of vitamin E. Alpha tocopherol is the form of vitamin E considered to be nutritionally essential. The other seven forms of vitamin E are found only in trace amounts in foods and, while they are probably helpful as minor antioxidants, no one yet knows if they are essential for health.

What’s the difference between folate, folic acid, and folinate?

Folate is the form of vitamin B9 found in plants, and folic acid is a synthetic form of the nutrient (although the body converts it to the natural form). Folinate, such as calcium folinate (used in HAVVN GO Sticks), is a natural or nature-like form of the vitamin.

Why would one want to take large amounts of vitamins, such as amount above the federal government’s Daily Value (DV)?

Like the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs), the DVs are a very conservative standard, which is intended to ensure complete safety for millions of people. Unfortunately, such a cautious approach limits the potential benefits of vitamin supplements. Many scientists and doctors believe it is better to focus on larger amounts to achieve optimal nutrition.

There is considerable research showing that vitamin deficiencies are involved in the development of many different diseases. Obtaining optimal amounts of vitamins from the diet or supplements can reduce the risk of developing these diseases.[x] [xi]

Some people claim that vitamin supplements increase the risk of death—is this true?

Absolutely false! This misconception is based mostly on two reports that have been widely criticized. In both instances, the researchers did not actually conduct a study on people. Rather, they did a statistical analysis on previously published studies that, ironically, were generally positive or neutral. This statistical approach, called a meta-analysis, is prone to errors, depending on the consistency or inconsistency of the original research. Another problem is that meta-analyses do not include subsequent critiques of the original studies, so flaws are typically ignored.

In one of the reports, the researchers looked at 19 studies in which vitamin E was given to people with heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The researchers concluded that vitamin E increased the risk of “all-cause mortality” very slightly. All-cause mortality meant the researchers did not know the exact causes of death among groups of elderly and critically ill patients, and yet they still attributed the deaths to vitamin E.[xii] [xiii]

In the other report, researchers analyzed on 68 antioxidant studies in which deaths occurred, but ignored 405 other studies in which there were no deaths—and where antioxidants probably saved lives. This statistical analysis looked at several different types and dosages of antioxidants, given from one day to years—a real hodgepodge of data. Again, the researchers did not know the actual causes of death, so their conclusions have to be viewed skeptically.[xiv]

Does too much folate increase the risk of colorectal cancer?

No, it does not, and it does not make sense biochemically. This idea is based on several speculative reports (again, not actual studies of people) by the same researcher and some of his colleagues, suggesting that folic acid might promote the growth of colorectal cancer.[xv] [xvi] The idea was promulgated by repetition in medical journals, newspaper stories, and the internet, but it is false.

Subsequent medical journal reports have found no association between folic acid or folate and colorectal cancer. In fact, they found that folic acid appeared to be protective.[xvii] One of the most recent studies was conducted by researchers at the American Cancer Society, who concluded, “Intake of high levels of total folate reduces risk of colorectal cancer; there is no evidence that dietary fortification or supplementation with this vitamin increases colorectal cancer risk.”[xviii]

One of the roles of folate is in the “epigenetic” regulation of our genes. Folic acid plays an essential role in the production of chemical units called “methyl groups.” These methyl groups attach to genes and, in doing so, regulate the activity of those genes. Methyl groups are known to turn off many of the genes involved in promoting cancer.

Are vitamins really effective in preventing disease?

This issue is really about reducing risk, as opposed to guaranteeing prevention. No one guarantee complete prevention, but the scientific evidence indicates that taking a multivitamin and many types of individual vitamins can reduce a person’s risk of disease. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, large numbers of Americans do not obtain optimal amounts of vitamins or minerals, a situation that would increase the risk of disease. [xix] No one benefits from a nutritional deficiency.

For example, USDA data indicate that 81 percent of Americans do not consume recommended amounts of vitamin E, 75 percent do not consume enough folic acid, 54 percent do not consume sufficient vitamin A, and roughly one-fourth- of Americans fail to get enough B vitamins. Furthermore, many drugs, such as acid-blockers, reduce the absorption of vitamins.[xx]

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, only one-half of middle-age and older men and women were able to obtain recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals from their diets. However, 80 percent of them were able to obtain the recommended amounts when taking vitamin and mineral supplements.[xxi] This study demonstrates the importance of vitamin supplements.

One of the ways a multivitamin can reduce the risk of disease is by controlling inflammation, which is involved in every disease process. Deficiencies of some nutrients can affect the body’s ability to regulate inflammation and may even stimulate inflammation.[xxii] In fact, several studies have found that multivitamins can reduce levels of C-reactive protein, an important marker of inflammation. Like other types of supplements, a multi can have many “side benefits.” Still other studies have shown that vitamin supplements can lower the risk of heart disease, as well as the rate of gene damage—important for lowering the risk of cancer.[xxiii] [xxiv] [xxv]


Jack Challem, B.A., A.S.N., is the author of more than 20 books on nutrition, including No More Fatigue (Wiley, 2011), Stop Prediabetes Now (Wiley, 2007) and Feed Your Genes Right (Wiley 2005). A member of the American Society for Nutrition, Jack also writes and publishes The Nutrition Reporter™ newsletter. Sample issues of his newsletter and excerpts from his books are available at jackchallem.com. Jack serves as a consultant to HAVVN.

[i] O’Neil MJ. The Merck Index. Fourteenth Edition. Whitehouse Station, New Jersey: Merck Research Laboratories: 2006.

[ii] http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/Portals/0/2009%20AR.pdf. The data discussed are found in Table 22B, pages 1138-1148.

[iii] Ginde AA, Liu MC, Camargo CA. Demographic differences and trends of vitamin D insufficiency in the US population, 1988-2004. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009;169: 626-632.

[iv] Garland CF, Garland FC, Gorham ED, et al. The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention. American Journal of Public Health, 2006;96:252-261.

[v] Heaney RP, Vieth R, Hollis BW. Vitamin D efficacy and safety. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2011;171:266.

[vi] Vieth R. What is the optimal vitamin D status for health? Prog Biophys Mol Biol, 2006;92:26-32.

[vii] Vieth R. Critique of the considerations for establishing the tolerable upper intake level for vitamin D: critical need for revision upwards. Journal of Nutrition, 2006;136:1117-22.

[viii] Acuff RV, Thedford SS, Hidiroglou NN, et al. Relative bioavailability of RRR- and all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate in humans: studies using deuterated compounds. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1994;60:397-402.

[ix] Traber MG, Arai H. Molecular mechanisms of vitamin E transport. Annual Review of Nutrition, 1999;19:343-55.

[x] Ames BN. The metabolic tune-up: metabolic harmony and disease prevention. Journal of Nutrition, 2003;133(5 Suppl 1):1544S-8S

[xi] Ames BN, Elson-Schwab I, Silver EA. High-dose vitamin therapy stimulates variant enzymes with decreased coenzyme binding affinity (increased K(m)): relevance to genetic disease and polymorphisms. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002;75:616-58.

[xii] Miller ER 3rd, Pastor-Barriuso R, Dalal D, et al. Meta-analysis: high-dosage vitamin E supplementation may increase all-cause mortality. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2005;142:37-46.

[xiii] Gerss J, Kopcke W. The questionable association of vitamin E supplementation and mortality – inconsistent results of different meta-analytic approaches. Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2009;55:OL1111-OL1120.

[xiv] Bjelakovic G, Nikolova D, Gluud LL, et al. Mortality in randomized trials of antioxidant supplements for primary and secondary prevention. Systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 2007;297:842-857.

[xv] Protiva P, Mason JB, Liu Z, et al. Altered folate availability modifies the molecular environment of the human colorectum: implications for colorectal carcinogenesis. Cancer Prevention Research, 2011;4:530-43.

[xvi] Mason JB. Folate, cancer risk, and the Greek god, Proteus: a tale of two

chameleons. Nutrition Reviews, 2009;67:206-212.

[xvii] Lee JE, Willett WC, Fuchs CS, et al. Folate intake and risk of colorectal cancer and adenoma: modification by time. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2011;93:817-25.

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