Thursday, August 30, 2007

Whole Food Vitamins vs. Synthetics

Whole Food Vitamins and supplements are critical for maintaining
good health!
After reading this section, you will be shocked at how damaging
synthetic vitamins can be to your body! Please take the time to read
this entire section. If you do, you will never look at supplements or
your body the same way ever again!
According to Taber's Medical Dictionary, vitamins are essential for normal metabolism, growth and life of the body.1 They are indispensable for the maintenance of health. Up until now there has been some controversy regarding the necessity to supplement vitamins back into the diet. The Journal of American Medical Association concluded from a study that every individual should
supplement everyday, thus ending that controversy.2
Research has proven that your body begins to pay the price as it tries to compensate for nutrient deficiencies. Eventually, poor nutrition can lead to devastating consequences. Please do not make the mistake of thinking that your body is invincible. Your health is worth a billion dollars and it doesn't take much to give the body what it needs and deserves. Bottom line, getting the proper nutrients and micronutrients each day is critical to maintaining good health.
So, now hundreds of supplement companies have looked to chemical derivatives and synthetic vitamins as a solution. Vitamins are found in food, and just because current growing and processing methods have depleted the vitamins available from our foods, it does not mean that we should come up with newfangled ways to get these micronutrients from some other source. Instead, we
should look for a way to get more of the safe, effective supplements that are available only from foods.
For instance, look at the use of vitamin C as an example. Ascorbic acid is often sold as vitamin C, and yet it is only a chemically derived fraction of the whole food vitamin. As it is found in food, vitamin C is a complete complex which is actually made up of ascorbic acid plus rutin, bioflavonoids, K factor and J factors - as well as other substances that no human experiment has been able to replicate. You must have all of these fractions in order for the Vitamin to be complete.
Taking the synthetic form of vitamin C, for example, can actually thicken the arterial walls of the heart by as much as 2.5 times which can harm the body! Ascorbic acid (synthetic vitamin C) is the word that you need to watch out for! Large doses of this material have been found to cause collagen disease,
rebound scurvy, kidney stones and impaired mineral metabolism. In order for the body to absorb and use a supplement, all of the parts of the complex must be present. That means that in order to use the fractionated form of the supplement, the body must first supply the other parts of the whole food
complex. If ascorbic acid alone is ingested, the body must complete the complex by robbing its own collagen tissue of the elements that are missing in the "vitamin C" you supplied.
This process is rarely complete and can even cause increased deficiencies. A published study by Doctors Vinson and Bose showed this to be the case. They found that vitamin C from citrus extract was absorbed 35 percent more than ascorbic acid. Their conclusion was that; "Although natural and synthetic ascorbic acids are chemically identical, citrus fruits contain bioflavonoids such as
naringin and hesperidin as well as carbohydrates and proteins that might affect the bioavailability." 3
Likewise, other supplements have been shown in study after study to be more effective in their whole food form. One study by J.A. Vinson and C. Hsu, published in Medical Science Research, found whole food vitamin E and vitamin A to be more bioavailable than isolated, synthetic forms of these vitamins. In the case of vitamin A, results showed the food base product was retained 9.4 times
more than the synthetic form. 4
Synthetic vitamins only give you 50% of biological activity as compared to whole supplements. In fact, research studies show that synthetic vitamins can be dangerous to your health! Synthetic stripped down processed vitamins are currently being sold in almost every brand name supplement today.
Most Vitamin nutrients on the market today use stripped down synthetic vitamins rather than whole vitamins straight from vegetables and fruits. Synthetic vitamins are much cheaper to produce.
Taking the synthetic form of Vitamin E is proven to actually suck vitamins and minerals right out of the bones which can do more harm than good to the body! Once again, most vitamin supplements today are using all the synthetic vitamins because they are cheap to manufacture. Synthetic vitamins simply cannot measure up to the real thing. As of 1996, over 3,800 different compounds have been identified in foods as having nutritional significance. 5 However, in a laboratory, twenty nutrients are about all that modern science can reproduce and put into a vitamin product.
Even more of a concern than the ineffectiveness of these synthetic vitamins is the harm that they can cause. Fat soluble isolated/synthetic vitamins are significantly more toxic, and isolated/synthetic minerals can settle out in the tissues without being utilized, causing similar toxicities and serious problems (isolated/synthetic iron found in supplements contributes to heart disease in adults and is a cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6, for example). With all this evidence to support whole food supplements, why do you think companies continue to make and market the "cheap imitations"? The answer: Because they are cheap. However, while these companies may save money and make more profit, there is no way the synthetic forms can match the effectiveness and health promoting qualities of a whole food supplement. The best supplements and vitamins for you are those that are made from natural, organic foods.
The human cell recognizes and can use for fuel, repair and function, only natural, whole food complexes.
Whole food supplements do not rob precious nutrients from the body, but supply the individual cells with the nutrients they need to flourish. For greatest gains in terms of health, take only whole food supplements. When evaluating a supplement, you can simply read the label. Rather than multi-syllable, unpronounceable chemical names, you should find the names of foods listed as the vitamin sources. This is your way of knowing that you are getting the best possible absorption and retention of your supplements.
Remember, next to the name of any vitamin or supplement, if you don't see a name of a food or an asterisk leading you to a place on the label that tells you the food source of the supplements, you are more than likely looking at an inexpensive, processed vitamin that is stripped of all other compounds that are normally present with supplements that are found in fruits and vegetables. If you see the name of a food referenced to the supplement, be excited to know that you are getting vitamins direct from the whole food and, therefore, you are also getting the essential precursors, enzymes, activators, antioxidants, and micronutrients (essential compounds) that are natural. These essential compounds make it much easier for the body to absorb and utilize the supplements you are taking! Your body deserves to be given the right supplements that are essential for your good health!
Eating healthy, getting the proper nutrients, annual medical checkups, and exercise are all critical in keeping the body strong and healthy.
In addition to taking our whole food based supplement, please feed your body less processed foods and more raw fruits and vegetables. The difference could be amazing!
Years ago we thought nothing of our children riding in a car with just a seat belt to protect them. Today, since we are far more educated, most of us would never consider having a baby ride in a car unless properly secured in a car seat. Educating yourself regarding the facts about your body and the nutrients that are essential for good health, is as important as brushing your teeth daily for good dental health.
Your body is worth a billion dollars and yet most of us abuse our body as though it has the ability to handle major abuse year after year without paying any price. It’s often many years later when we discover all that abuse comes at a major price. Let’s educate ourselves and others about nutrition and our body so we can all live a longer and healthier life.
1. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, Edition 16. F.A. Davis Company: Philadelphia ,1989, p.
2. JAMA 2002; 287:3116.
3. Vinson, J.A., Bose P. Comparative Bioavailability to Humans of Ascorbic Acid Alone or in a
Citrus Extract. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1998, Vol 38, No 3, p. 601-604.
4. Vinson, J.A., and Hsu. Effect of Vitamin A,E, and a citrus extract on in vitro and in vivo Lipid
Peroxidation." Medical Science Research, 1992, 20, 145-146.
5. Duke, James. Handbook of Chemical Constituents of Grasses, Herbs, and other Economical
Plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton . 1992
Thank you to Carla Mason for finding and formatting this article.

No comments:

Post a Comment