There is a lot of misinformation in the nutritional supplement world. The popular trend for the health seeking individual is towards isolated or synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements, and this has a lot to do with price. Large corporations synthetically manufacture these “vitamins” in large quantities, meaning they can produce them extremely cheaply. However, what they produce are not actually vitamins and they generate no health benefit once inside the body, in fact, they are flagged as a foreign invader by the body and your body’s resources then focus on getting the problem out of the body.
You see, despite how it seems, the nutrient world is not very well known by us.
All in all it is estimated there are around 25,000 phytonutrients (plant nutrients) and we only know of about 10,000! So how we can presume we can isolate only the health inducing part of the plant, replicate it synthetically and expect it to produce the health benefit that the plant does when we are yet to discover the majority of the health inducing components of the plant is somewhat baffling!
What is a vitamin?
A natural vitamin is a complex biological structure with many parts that need to work together in synergy in order for it to produce its natural health benefit. A vitamin can be compared to a car, it is a complex system where all the parts perform a separate function which all contribute to the main function of the car. All the parts need to be present in order for the primary function to be realized. It is the same with a vitamin. Once you take part of the vitamin away from the natural source, it no longer possesses any health benefit and it becomes disabled.
This can be seen proven in recent studies. One study found that isolated Omega-3 does not help with cognitive decline but this study found that cod liver oil does help with cognitive decline. The nutrient, when in its natural form, with all the synergistic compounds working together in harmony produces the health benefit, when isolated, it becomes useless and even harmful to the body.
Vitamin C is a prime example of this. The synthetically produced vitamin C is really only ascorbic acid (which they indicate on the packaging). Ascorbic acid, when in its natural form, is part of the whole vitamin C in the same way a spark plug is part of a car. Once you remove a spark plug from a car you would not call the spark plug a car, in the same way, ascorbic acid should not be called a vitamin. Ascorbic acid is the antioxidant wrapper of the whole vitamin C, it prevents the functional parts of the vitamin from rapid oxidation. Once isolated it becomes irrelevant.
How to get nutrients in your diet
In nature, there are no isolated nutrients. Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to digest plants which contain nutrients in their natural form with all their synergistic compounds in-tact. Asking the body to digest anything which isn’t natural is like trying to teach it a new evolutionary process, which can take millions of years to implement! Avoid isolated or synthetic vitamins and minerals. Give your body what it wants, whole food vitamins and minerals! If you have a full and complete diet you should have no need to supplement, but this is hard to achieve in the modern world. The only supplementation which works is through natural supplements which contain whole foods.
The rule for what you put into your body should be, if it grows naturally…eat it, if it doesn’t…don’t!
We wish you all the best on your journey for health!