Food Investigations: Fish oil vitamins exposed as containing questionable chemicals

The Health Ranger exposes the truth about cheap fish oil supplements, showing that they contain questionable chemicals such as methylparabens and polyparabens.

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What You Don’t Know About Vitamins

Working mom Cylina Slajda is like millions of Americans who spend billions of dollars on vitamins and supplements.

“I take a multi-vitamin, I take fish oil, and usually a B12 for energy – because I have a 4-year old I like to keep up with.”

Experts say in many cases, their money could be better spent. The estimated 40% of the population currently taking multi-vitamins may be getting little in return.

“Multi-vitamins are a shotgun approach. You’re just taking all of the vitamins, but you really don’t have a clue what you’re really supposed to be taking,” says Dr. Sal Lacagnina, vice president of health and wellness for Lee Memorial Health System.

And mega-doses of specific vitamins can be downright dangerous. While water-soluble ones like B and C will flush through the body, others stick around.

“When you’re looking at the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, over a long time period, if you’re taking in too much, it actually stays in your system. And can become toxic,” Dr. Lacagnina says.

When you say ‘supplements’ you’ve said a mouthful. They include not only vitamins, but minerals and antioxidants. The term refers to ‘adding’ or ‘supplementing’ them into your diet. Calcium is the most notable. And doctors find it might be better as a supplement.

“We’ve all been taught over the years that you have to have dairy products to get your calcium. All you really need to do is take a calcium supplement. You don’t need to be getting calcium from milk or cheese or dairy products because what you’re getting in addition is all of the extra fat,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

Being educated and paying attention to your body may be your best guide.

“I notice a difference in my energy level and even my focus if I’m not taking them.” says Slajda.

Food for thought as you ponder how to spend your green.

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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.


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Nutrition 101 with Joan O’Keefe, RD – Healthy Breakfast and Protein

Video 3 in the Nutrition 101 series with Joan O’Keefe, RD. For more information, please visit

The right way to start your day is with protein. Protein is different because it takes longer to digest. It is a larger, more complex molecule and takes a very long time to break down, which makes you feel full, satisfied and high energy. You aren’t having cravings, you’re able to think clearly and you aren’t thinking about your next meal until you should be. When your breakfast includes a protein source your blood sugar does not spike and crash, but rather goes up very slowly and comes down very slowly. You never hit that low that causes tiredness and irritability. Egg whites, cottage cheese, a handful of nuts and Whey Protein are excellent sources of protein in the morning.

The benefits to eating protein in the morning are you feel full longer, snack less between meals and you eat half as many calories.

Please visit for more information or to leave a question on the blog for Joan O’Keefe, RD.

Coming soon, Joan O’Keefe, RD discusses green in your diet.

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SmartyPants Vitamins – All-in-One Gummies for Adults and Kids

SmartyPants offers the only premium All-in-One Gummy Vitamin for adults and kids that combines eco-friendly omega 3 DHA & EPA + a multivitamin + Vitamin D3 in one serving.

We started this company because it’s just become too hard to be healthy. We know what it’s like to stand bewildered in front of a wall of vitamins and wonder, What Now? So we decided to combine those well researched and supported nutrients that are toughest to get safely from food into one serving that tasted so good, you wouldn’t have to worry about remembering to take them every day.

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