Do I need a multivitamin?
This might be a question you’ve pondered in the past. Maybe you grew up watching your parents swallow a multivitamin pill the size of a pen cap. Or perhaps you chronically snacked on gummy vitamins after dinner.
I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to not have my nutritional supplement taste like candy or come in a gag inducing, plastic looking pill. And yet, vitamin pills are a billion dollar industry.1
Here’s a wild concept; getting nutrition from food. Studies show nutrients from food absorb 200 to 1500 times better than synthetically derived nutrients in pills.2,3 But isn’t that what your pen cap pills are, food? I mean, they say they come from food, but do they really? I’ve never seen a nutritional pill out in the wild. “Pick your own pills, $2.50 a pound” signs aren’t typically visible at the farms I visit.
So let’s myth bust vitamin pills once and for all and get into why you need to gain your vitamins and minerals, nutrients, from actual food!
Do vitamins work?
First, let’s differentiate between: vitamins from food, and vitamins in pill or synthetic form. Vitamins from food are needed by everyone on this planet. We need them avoid malnutrition, stay healthy, energized and ensure our bodies have ‘fuel to burn’. Additionally there are several studies that suggest there is a strong relationship between nutrition, food security and mental health.4,5,6 This means by having nutritious food available to you, your mental health will likely benefit. Which is not hard to believe! Think about how stressed out your body would be if it had to work extremely hard without proper nourishment. Sooner or later, this would absolutely take a toll on your mental, physical and spiritual health.
Now, what about vitamins that are in pill or synthetic form? These vitamins are synthetically derived sometimes from food, sometimes not! Not to mention this process takes place in a lab (very natural, right?) and usually provides you with 1 small isolated extract of a vitamin, and not the nutrient in its entirety.
Nature always packages vitamins in groups, not isolates. Vitamins in food form are bound to carbohydrates, fats, enzymes and other supporting cofactors that help your body easily absorb, metabolize, store and use nutrients.
Taking an isolated vitamin and expecting your body to use it properly is like trying to call someone on the phone when you only have half of their phone number. The message is being sent but it probably won’t be received.
What we mean by this is comparing a Vitamin C, ascorbic acid tablet or pill to an orange. You get much more from that orange than you would in the pill. Plus, your body isn’t used to digesting ascorbic acid on it’s own! It’s familiar with pulling vitamins and minerals from the orange, not the man made pill formulated in a lab.
FAST FARMING, FAST FOOD, BUT WHAT ABOUT FAST VITAMINS?
Fast farming involves crops being grown at rapid rates that are not natural, while being doused and altered with chemical sprays. This is why more than ever, people are choosing organically grown foods.7
Fast food is something we’re all familiar with. It’s very common for people to question the ingredients in their food, and how their food was made, in an effort to avoid daily consumption of processed food that lack nutrition.
But what about vitamins and supplements? Do you ever wonder how that pill was processed, it’s ingredients, the capsule? Why do capsules look like plastic? Why are they brightly coloured? That can’t be healthy. Yet so many of us accept vitamin pills liquids and powders as ‘healthy’ without a single objection. Perhaps this is the work of being fed marketing messages for decades coercing with facts about how healthy vitamin pills are, and you’re not giving your body the nutrition it needs if you don’t start your morning off with a handful of pills! It’s time to challenge that logic and look elsewhere to fill in nutritional gaps.
how did you think they made that shiny pill?
No but seriously, did you think they just pulled that bright orange tablet from an apple or something? Again, let’s take a look at Vitamin C pills as an example to understand the processing methods that go into making vitamins.
As discussed above, most vitamin C pills, liquids, powders and sprays contain ascorbic acid and not whole food Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid comes from corn starch. The corn starch is made into sorbitol which is an alcohol sugar. Using acetone, the synthetic ascorbic acid compound is then extracted from the sorbitol.8 From there it’s likely placed into a refined, chemical ridden capsule that is very hard for your digestive system to break down. It’s no wonder vitamin C(aka ascorbic acid) pills don’t actually help with immunity.9 Remember, even if it’s labeled as Vitamin C, always check the ingredients to see if ascorbic acid is listed.
Stop throwing away your money, and learn about what ingredients you should be on the watch for, by reading our Vitamin Shopping Guide. Pro tip: The best practice when buying anything; read the label!
why food supplements work
Incorporating more nutrient dense plant foods into your diet will help give you more energy, help your body adapt and recover from stress, prevent many chronic illnesses, and other health benefits.10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26
Seeing as how organically grown fruits and veggies contain more healing compounds than those that have been conventionally grown;27 on average organically grown produce contains more antioxidants, anthocyanins and flavonols. These are all healing compounds associated with health and preventative wellness.27,28 By taking an isolated vitamin pill instead of getting your vitamins from food, you don’t get any of the antioxidants, enzymes, fibre, minerals or other healing compounds found in food!
Knowing this, wouldn’t it make sense to just eat tons of organic fruits, veggies and superfoods? Except, those are expensive, sometimes only seasonally available or hard to find, and don’t even get us started on the ingredient synergy and preparation methods you would need to bypass inhibitors like antinutrients.
This is where our organic, whole food nutritional powders come in. They’ve been expertly crafted by a Naturopathic Doctor with over 25 years of clinical experience. Dr. David Wang uses his decades worth of knowledge to handpick organic foods that have synergistic capabilities, leading to a nutritional powders that delivers more than singular foods could on their own.
What is ingredient synergy? Synergy means the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. An example of this would be the ingredient synergy in our PureFood Iron. Learn more about ingredient synergy and how it related to our PureFood Iron by reading our article; What is ingredient synergy?
The all food multi
Our traditional PureFood A to Z and Women’s PureFood A to Z make it easy to get your essential vitamins from whole, organic fruits and veggies! Our ingredients read like a recipe so you won’t find anything like ascorbic acid in there! Not to mention the synergistic benefits, 20+ organic fruits and veggies in every serving and the ease of it all. Just add to a smoothie, juice or water, and you’ve given your body exactly what it needs.
Always turn to organic unprocessed foods for chore nutrition because Mother Nature knows best!
2 Vinson JA, Bose P. Bioavailability of Synthetic Ascorbic Acid and a Citrus Extract. Ann New York Academy of Sciences, 1987;498:525-526
3 Vinson JA. Human Supplementation with Different Forms of Vitamin C. University of Scranton, Scranton (PA)
8 Thiel R. The Truth About Vitamins In Supplements ANMA Monitor, 2003; 6(2)
10 Steinmetz KA, Potter JD. Vegetables, Fruit and Cancer Prevention: A Review. J Am Diet Assoc, 1996;96:1027-1039
11Michels KB, Giovannucci E, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Colorectal Adenomas in the Nurses’ Health Study. Cancer Res, 2006;66:3942
12 Trichopoulou A, Katsouyanni K, et al. Consumption of Olive oil and Specific Food Groups in Relation to Breast Cancer Risk in Greece. J Natl Cancer Inst, 1995;87(2):110-116
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14 Cohen J, Kristal AR, Stanford JL. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Prostate Cancer Risk. J Natl Cancer Inst, 2000;92(1):61-68
15 Peluso M, Airoldi L, et al. White Blood Cell DNA Adducts and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Bladder Cancer. Carcinogenesis, 2000;21(2):183-187
16 Pavia M, Pileggi C, et al. Associaton between Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Oral Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Am J ClinNutr, 2006;83(5):1126-1134
17 Daucher L, Amouyel P, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies. J Nutr, 2006; 136:2588- 2593.
18 Bazzano LA, He J, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in US Adults: The first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Am J Clin Nutr, 2002; 76(1):93-99
19 John, JH, Ziebland S, et al. Effects of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption on Plasma Antioxidant Concentrations and Blood Pressure: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Lancet, 2002;359(9322):1969-1974
20 He FJ, Nowson CA, MacGregor GA. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Stroke: Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies. The Lancet, 2006; 367(9507):320-326
21 Dauchet L, Amouyel P, Dallongeville J. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Risk of Stroke: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies. Neurology, 2005;65(8):1193- 1197
22 Kang JH, Ascherio A, Grodstein F. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Cognitive Decline in Aging Women. Ann Neuro, 2005;57(5):713-720
23 McGartland CP, Robson PJ, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Bone Mineral Density: The Northern Ireland Young Hearts Project. Am J ClinNutr, 2004;80(4):1019-1023
24 New SA, Robins SP, et al. Dietary Influences on Bone Mass and Bone Metabolism: Further Evidence of a Positive Link between Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Bone Health? Am J Clin Nutr, 2000;71:142-151
25 Carter P, Gray L, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. BMJ, 2010;341(c4229):1-8
26 Harding AH, Wareham NJ, et al. Plasma Vitamin C Level, Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, and Risk of New-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Arch Intern Med, 2008;168(14):1493-1499