A review of allopathic and holistic products, devices and therapies.

Archive for the ‘Mineral Supplements’ Category

Chromium polynicotinate

Trivalent chromium, unlike the toxic hexavalent chromium, is essential to the human body.

Chromium supplements are used in small amounts to help in the regulation of blood sugar and triglycerides.

Chromium works in conjunction with magnesium to maintain insulin receptors. If these receptors “close” due to deficiencies of either chromium or magnesium the body’s insulin will not be able to utilize its own insulin. Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are examples of the cells not being sensitive to insulin.

I have posted abstracts for chromium and magnesium for blood sugar control here:



There are different forms of chromium supplements though. The best known of these supplements is chromium picolinate, which is chromium bound to picolinic acid. It gained most of its popularity when it was promoted as a multilevel marketing product.

Being the best known though does not make it the most effective. Chromium polynicotinate has been found to be 300 times more effective than chromium picolinate. Chromium polynicotinate is chromium bound to four niacin molecules. It is one of the forms of chromium classified as a glucose tolerance factor (GTF) chromium. Of the different forms of GTF chromium though, chromium polynicotinate is still the best choice.

Because of the significantly higher cost of chromium polynicotinate though it is less often seen in supplements or supplemental form. Cheaper, but less effective forms of chromium are more commonly used by manufacturers to reduce costs.

Several companies do offer chromium polynicotinate as a straight supplement including Solaray, sold under the name of ActiChrom and by Nature’s Way under the product name GTF Chromium.

Recommended dose of chromium polynicotinate is 200mcg one to three times daily with meals.

SenTraMin “75 Plant Derived Minerals”


SenTraMin “75 Powdered Plant Derived Minerals”

Sentramin “75 Plant Derived Minerals” liquid

Claim: Plant derived minerals.

Truth: The minerals are not even close to being plant derived. The minerals in these products are provided by the Rockland Corporation, who owns and operates the Body Toddy Mine in Emery County, Utah. The minerals are derived from rock known as shale that is ground up in to a fine powder and either capsuled or has water percolated through it to form the mineral products. Rockland, and their competitor T.J. Clark provide crushed shale products often sold under the name “colloidal minerals” or “plant based minerals” to a variety of companies.

Shale is not a plant, nor really derived from plants. Shale is a form of rock containing fossils of plants. But this does not mean the shale was derived from plants, nor that the minerals derived from the shale is plant derived. In fact, plant fossils are formed in rock by being trapped in mud, which is also not a plant. The Mud covers the plant and the plant rots away while the mud eventually compresses forming in to rock.

The companies providing these rock based minerals go to great lengths though to hide the fact that their minerals come from shale deposits. Just look at this quote from one sales site:

Most mineral products are made from ground up metallic rocks, soil or Sea Salts and should not be confused with VeggieTrace™ Plant-Derived Colloidal Minerals. Even colloidal silver products are made using citric acid or electrolysis to dissolve metallic silver into a liquid solution. So beware, “Not All Colloidal Minerals are Plant-derived”!

Our rich source of plant minerals is mined in Emery, Utah from a deposit of plants known as Senonian Vegetate®. The vegetate is saturated with pure water and then filtered to a concentrate of 40,000mg/L of pure unadulterated plant derived minerals providing a complete spectrum of an average of 75 minerals by certified tests.

It amazes me that they think people are so stupid that they are not going to see the contradiction in their statement. They claim that not all colloidal mineral products are plant derived implying that their minerals actually come from plants. In their next paragraph though thy clearly state that their “source of plant minerals is mined”. Plants are not mined, rock minerals are.

In another claim about these minerals they state:

Rockland developed a method to slowly remove the water base from the liquid by low temperature evaporation. All of the moisture is removed by a high volume of warm air which never exceeds 100 degrees F. This low temperature maintains the integrity and enzymatic activity of the water soluble plant minerals.

Again they are trying to deceive people in to believe that their minerals are actually derived from plants by mentioning the “enzymatic activity”. The wording is carefully chosen to deliberately mislead people while actually being truthful. The truth part of their claim is that minerals are needed for enzymatic reactions in the body. Heat does not affect this though since the minerals are not affected by the heat used to dry them, which can far exceed 100F. Therefore, their claim was made to imply that the enzyme activity is coming from the plants. As pointed out though, the minerals never came from plants in the first place.

Even the name VeggieTrace™ Minerals falsely implies that the minerals were directly derived from plants.

They continue by claiming their minerals have been naturally chelated, but then continue by saying ” and metabolized by plants and vegetation as they grew during the prehistoric Senonian Period”. I will start by pointing out the fact that rock based minerals are not naturally chelated. Therefore, that claim is also fraudulent. Chelation refers to the mineral being bound to amino acids, which are not naturally occurring in shale. The only rocks that I am aware of that have been found to contain amino acids naturally are meteorites.

Note that they say “the prehistoric Senonian Period”. This points to the fact that the minerals were not derived from plants. Plants from this prehistoric period in what is now Utah have not existed in millions of years. Again, these minerals come from the shale deposits that formed from the hardening of mud, not plants.

Why would companies using these rock based minerals go to such great lengths to try and hide the fact that their minerals actually come from Utah shale deposits instead of actual plants? The safety of these minerals have been called in to question numerous times partly due to the very high aluminum content of the shale. These minerals also contain various toxic minerals such as arsenic, beryllium, lead, cadmium, nickel, mercury, etc. Unlike actual plant based minerals though these minerals do not contain compounds to protect the body from these toxins. Plants can contain various compounds that help bind, and protect us from toxic elements. These compounds include algins, phytates and pectins that bind and remove heavy metals and some other toxic metals from the body.