Are Whole Food Supplements Better?

The answer is yes.

Foods heal illness, provide our cells with energy, prevent disease and build our immunity.
Only whole, natural foods have this life-supporting power. Not synthetic vitamins, and not drugs. Whether you are suffering from a common cold, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, cancer, mouth sores, diabetes, prostate problems, PMS, osteoporosis, joint pain, headaches, back pain or any other symptom or disease, you absolutely need the full range of nutrients that are only found in nature’s real, whole, pure foods.

What are Whole Food Supplements?

Whole food supplements are what their name suggests: Supplements made from concentrated whole foods. The vitamins found within these supplements are not isolated. They are highly complex structures that combine a variety of enzymes, co-enzymes, antioxidants, trace elements, activators and many other unknown or undiscovered factors all working together synergistically, to enable this vitamin complex to do its job in your body.

This is what it says on my bottle of whole food multi vitamin, "Foodstate concentrates made from fresh, raw foods deliver 100% food nutrients and protective antioxidants - as nature intended. They are a natural source of vital phytonutrients, including CoenzymeQ10, SOD, glutathione, enzymes, lipoic acid, amino acids and beta glucans..."

Whole food supplements do not have as much for quantity in them, but they do have the most important part…THE FUNCTION. They are composed of everything they need to function in the body and be recognized in the body. They build the body up and strengthen it. 

What are Synthetic Vitamins?

comes from a non-food, non-living source, in fact from chemicals. Basically a chemist reconstructs the exact structure of the crystalline molecule by chemically combining molecules from other sources.

For example, Vitamin B1 is made from a coal tar derivative and ascorbic acid-vitamin C is made by reacting sugar with sulfuric acid.

The FDA’s regulations encourages this practice. Legally, you cannot call the whole foods Vitamin C Complex Vitamin C; only the fraction ascorbic acid can be called Vitamin C. Another example would be the fraction alpha tocopherol of the Vitamin E Complex. This is the only part that can be legally called Vitamin E. The whole complex is not recognized and therefore thrown out and yet this is not how it is recognized by the body.

Basically synthetic vitamins are reverses or mirror images of natural vitamins. Keep in mind that synthetic vitamins are not vitamins but synthesized fractions (parts) of a vitamin complex, a mirror image duplicate of just a portion of the real, biologically active and physiological precise nutritional complex. The analogy here is essentially the same as an automobile salesperson handing you a wheel from a car and telling you the wheel is an automobile, or wanting to eat an egg and getting the shell. 

At the very least synthetic vitamins can not help you as much as a high quality whole food and whole food based supplements can.

Why Whole Food Supplements Are Better 

they are readily absorbed by the body

A whole food supplement has better bioavailability – the ability to be absorbed and assimilated by the body – than synthetic supplements, because the vitamins and minerals have the same molecular structure as those found in real fruits and vegetables. Your body recognizes these compounds as real food, so they will be absorbed and assimilated quickly. Synthetic supplements can take longer to process and may leave behind byproducts and trace toxic compounds.

Studies have shown that vitamin C from citrus extract was absorbed 35 percent more than ascorbic acid. Other vitamins have been shown to be more effective in their whole food form. For example the Medical Science Research publication reported that whole food vitamin E and vitamin A are more bioavailable than isolated, synthetic forms of these vitamins. The examination of vitamin A showed the food base product was retained 9.4 times more than the synthetic form.

they are more effective

As you may imagine, taking part of a vitamin is not as effective as taking the entire thing. Vitamin E looses up to 99% of its potency when separated from its natural whole food family. When you just take the tocopherols, you are throwing out the real vitamin E. The tocopherols are nature’s way of protecting and preserving Vitamin E, like the skin on a fruit. There are many documented studies that prove how animals and humans respond to synthetic vitamins versus natural whole food complexes. It becomes obvious to those who study the topic that nature created a perfectly balanced natural whole food complex to work with human physiology and to correct a vast number of disorders.

they increase energy and improve health
Since a whole food supplement delivers more nutrition per serving than synthetic supplements, you’ll start noticing many improvements to your health. Whole food supplements contain essential nutrients and ingredients that can increase energy and alertness, strengthen the immune system, and also improve digestion. They offer  lasting continuous energy and health benefits.

Synthetic vitamins E and C were found not to prevent cancer in the large-scale Women's Health Study and the Physicians' Health Study II. But it is the opposite is true when a person takes or eats the foods that contain these nutrients.

The Washington University School of Medicine has stated that, "The women who get the most of their calcium from food have healthier bones and higher bone density than women whose calcium comes mainly from supplemental tablets."

Studies have also shown that whole foods like fruits and vegetables offer greater protection for eye health than the consumption of individual nutrients or phytochemicals.

And the studies go on and on.

no overdose possibility - safe
Whole foods are generally safer to consume. One reason why whole food supplements are safer is that whole foods often contain substances which naturally regulate each other. This lowers the chances of an overdose. For example, a particular substance in a food may be dangerous if taken in too high concentrations, but another substance may help neutralize excessive amounts which are not used by the body. If you take too much Vitamin A at a time, you could suffer a toxic overdose. However, it is virtually impossible to suffer an overdose while eating whole carrots. 

they offer balance and synergy
The substances in a whole food work synergistically together to enhance each others’ absorption and effectiveness. An example is one substance in a whole food helping to carry another substance in the bloodstream to various body tissues.

The various vitamins, minerals and other substances in a whole food supplement work synergistically together in a balanced fashion. One example is Vitamin C. When taken as part of a whole food supplement, together with the entire complex family of bioflavonoids, flavenols and other antioxidants, the health benefits far outweigh the consumption of Vitamin C on its own. This also means that a whole food supplement, even though it may contain lesser amounts of a nutrient, is much more powerful because of the synergistic effect than an isolate human-made supplement.

The Benefits of Whole Foods

Here are some interesting facts:

-Researchers have found that people who eat whole grain breakfast cereals 7 times or more a week have a 28% lower risk of developing heart failure.
The cereals made of whole grains contain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are essential to our health. They are low in saturated fat, but a good source of polyunsaturated fats, including Omega 3 lineloic acid.
Refined cereals, due to the process of refining them, and the removal of the bran and germ layers, contain up to 66% less fiber than whole grain cereals. They also have a 92% loss of selenium, a 62% loss of folate, and up to 99.8% loss of phytochemicals.

-1 out of 3 people will get cancer at some point in their life. Eating five or more fruits and vegetables per day will cut the risk of cancer in half!
People who eat eight fruits and vegetables a day have a thirty percent less chance of a premature heart attack than those who just eat one or two a day.
The benefits of whole foods such as fruits and vegetables also keep blood sugar down and may control diabetes.

-Some research has shown that antioxidants in certain vitamins may help ease certain symptoms of osteoarthritis. In general, vitamins from whole foods are believed to be better absorbed by the body than synthetic vitamins.
Homocysteine is an amino acid that can accumulate to unhealthy levels when nutritional status is compromised. Elevated homocysteine is a risk factor for developing blocked blood vessels that can lead to adverse effects such as heart attack and stroke.

-A clinical study of whole food supplements at the University of Sydney in Australia found a reduction in homocysteine in subjects whose levels were already within an acceptable range, while another study from Foggia, Italy found an even greater reduction in subjects with elevated homocysteine levels.

-Poor nutrition and lack of exercise combined are the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The benefits of whole foods also reduce the risk of cataracts, which is a cloudy covering on the lens of the eye, and is found in over half of all people over the age of 75. They help prevent arthritis and cardiovascular disease as well as premature aging.

-The benefits of whole foods also include antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to be one of the main things that fight unhealthy conditions. This is partly due to their ability to stop free radicals and other unstable oxygen molecules that are present in our cells. These can damage the cells membranes, and altar genetic material if they are not neutralized.
Different antioxidants provide protection to different parts of our bodies. Therefore, we need more than just a healthy amount of one type of antioxidant. We need the entire spectrum of them, and that's one reason it is important to have a healthy and varied diet.

-The benefits of whole foods also include Phytoestrogens. These are a special class of Phytonutrients. They include isoflavones and lignans. These are found in plant-based foods like flaxseeds and berries. People who eat these have a decreased risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers.

Where To Find 100% Whole Food Supplements

100% whole food supplements are actually quite rare and hard to find. If a company states that their product is a 'whole food supplement' that doesn't mean it is 100% whole food, and may only have a small amount of whole foods mixed in with the synthetic.

Here are companies that offer 100% whole food products:

Innate Response - offers a full line of supplements that use only 100% whole foods.
MegaFoods Multi Vitamins - offers 100% whole food multi vitamins.
Dr. Ben Kim - 100% whole food vitamin and mineral formula (a little bit pricey)
Madre Labs- Line of 100% whole food products including Madre C which is a food vitamin C supplement.
Vita Mineral Green - 100% whole food greens supplement. Highly recommended.
Phytovitamins - Line of unique quality 100% whole food supplements.


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