It could be argued that never in history has so much money been spent on the advertising and purchasing of any merchandise, with so little knowledge of the product itself, on the part of either the seller or the buyer, as has been spent on vitamin and mineral supplements.
Consumers know little of how supplements are made, their characteristics, their attributes, their sources, their uses, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to tell one from another by reading a label.
What Is The Difference Between Natural and Synthetic?
In short, it’s the difference between something that’s living and something that’s dead.
That’s a big difference.
Natural Whole Food Vitamins
On vitamin labels the word “natural” has no specific definition other than that the substance exists somewhere on the planet or in outer space.
The key words to look for are “Whole Food Vitamins” — this means vitamins as they are found in food, untampered with in any way that would change their molecular structure, their biological or biochemical combination, or their actions.
Vitamins in their natural state exist as living complexes with specific synergistics co-factors, enzymes, phytonutrients and organic mineral-activators, and never as isolated single factors.
A vitamin needs all of its synergists to function.
Further, there are literally hundreds of such synergists, most of which have not yet been studied but are nevertheless very important.
Organic food sources are preferred since they are more nutrient-dense and contain no pesticide residues.
“Crystalline” means that a natural food has been treated with various chemicals, solvents, heat and distillations to reduce it down to one specific “pure” crystalline vitamin. In this process all the synergists, which are termed “impurities” are destroyed. There is no longer anything natural in the action of crystalline “vitamins” — they should more accurately be termed “drugs”.
Do Synthetic Vitamins Function As Well As Natural Whole Food Vitamins?
No one would argue that high-performance, complex mechanisms like computers or space shuttles require very specific, high-quality materials in their makeup.
Living systems are even more complex and specific in their need for building materials. In addition, living systems are constantly breaking down cells, organs and tissues, and rebuilding and repairing them. For these processes the body must have a continual supply of high-quality material.
If you build a house with cheap, immitation construction materials, your house will quickly fall into disrepair. The same is true for the physical body. The body has a very precise design which is so incredibly intricate and complex that even with all the scientific and medical research thus far, we have only scratched the surface of understanding it.
What arrogance it is to think that we can alter a design we don’t even understand.
Many conventional and non-conventional healthcare practitioners think that there is no difference between whole food and synthetic vitamins, or between naturally chelated minerals and inorganic minerals. This, of course, is incorrect and has led to enormous confusion in the nutritional field.
The following examples are a handful of hundreds that could be given to illustrate this point:
- Reported on April 14, 1994 in The New England Journal of Medicine was a study in which 29,000 male smokers were given synthetic beta-carotene and synthetic Vitamin E to evaluate the cancer-protective effect of these “vitamins.” After 10 years, the men taking the synthetic beta-carotene had an 18% higher rate of lung cancer, more heart attacks and an 8% higher overall death rate. Those taking synthetic Vitamin E had more strokes.Food sources of these same nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables, consistently demonstrate protection against cancer, heart disease and stroke.
- On November 23, 1995, the following was reported in The New England Journal of Medicine: 22,748 pregnant women were given synthetic Vitamin A. After four years the study was halted because of a 240% increase in birth defects in babies of women taking 10,000 IU daily, and a 400% increase in birth defects in babies of women taking 20,000 IU daily.Women eating natural food sources of Vitamin A showed no increase in birth defects.
Standard Process Whole Food Supplements
Eating a diet rich in whole foods is the best way to get your vitamins and maintain health. However, busy lifestyles and the standard American diet can leave us lacking many important nutrients. Specially formulated whole food supplements can bridge this nutritional gap.
When comparing multivitamins, examine the source of ingredients. Manmade compounds, found in typical retail multivitamins, provide vitamins and minerals, but Standard Process goes one step further — by delivering whole food ingredients.
For example, Catalyn contains 15 whole food ingredients, including carrot root which supplies over 200 known phytonutrients. It’s the combination of these foods, not just a single component, which provides the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients you need to help maintain optimal health. Multivitamins comprised solely of single vitamins and minerals do not have the full spectrum of components that whole food multivitamins offer.
At our office we believe that given the proper nutrition your body has the amazing capability of keeping itself healthy. We also believe that nutrition should be individualized to meet each patient’s needs. For these reasons and many more, we proudly recommend Standard Process whole food supplements.
For more information on whole food supplementation visit Standard Process.