WHY ORGANIC SUPPLEMENTS?

mother nature knows best.

Somehow, it has become an accepted belief that we need to supplement our diets with vitamin and mineral capsules or tablets to fill in nutritional gaps we aren’t getting from our meals. So why don’t re-created vitamins work the same way as the ones naturally found in food? 

HERE ARE 3 REASONS WHY SYNTHETIC/ISOLATED VITAMINS DON’T WORK:  

natural vitamins, organic supplements, plant based vitamins, plant-based supplements, whole food vitamins

  • A 2002 study concluded that neither synthetic or partially synthetic nutrients could match real ones in absorption, retention and utilization by the body.
  • Food is complex. It contains dozens of micronutrients, cofactors, enzymes and phytonutrients that work synergistically together. In food, vitamins are in the form of enzymes or coenzymes. Changes to these natural structures destroys the nutritious effect that these nutrients have in our body.
  • They’re not in the right quantities. Taking isolated nutrients can cause dangerous imbalances in the body. “Too much” of one nutrient can seriously affect values of others (such as excess Vitamin D creating Magnesium deficiency and excess Zinc creating Copper deficiency).
WHOLE FOOD NUTRIENTS VS ISOLATED CHEMICALS

whole food supplements, plant-based vitamins, plant-based supplements, whole food vitaminsOrganic whole food grown in natural climates offers optimal health benefits. This includes seeds, nuts, legumes, fruits, grains and vegetables. The complex structure of the nutrients and vitamins found in these foods simply cannot be replicated in a lab. It’s kind of like if you asked someone for a carrot and they gave you a beta carotene pill. The carrot will give you a full spectrum of nutrition that your body understands how to naturally break down and use. The pill on the other hand is offering your body one, solo isolated vitamin. 

We know that a diet full of fruits and vegetables has been associated with reducing the risk of many chronic diseases associated with aging, such as cancer,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 cardiovascular disease,8,9,10 stroke,11,12 Alzheimer’s disease,13 osteoporosis,14, 15 and diabetes 16,17. Most of us could add more fruits and veggies to our diet, but the problem isn’t just poor food choices. Stress, digestion issues, disease and medications can also create nutritional deficiencies. When this is the case, often food is not enough and we need supplements to get the nutrients we need to promote health and well-being.

ANTI-NUTRIENTS & HOW THEY CAUSE DEFICIENCIES 

“Anti-nutrient: a substance that interferes with the utilization of one or more nutrient(s)” Synthetic vitamins are partial nutrients that can act like “anti-nutrients” because they are missing synergists (i.e. micronutrients, cofactors, and phytonutrients) that are required to transform the vitamins into energy. The body must then rob its own stores setting the stage for nutritional deficiencies. When a nutrient isn’t in it’s natural state, it offers very little to your body. Some milks for example are fortified with calcium. This means synthetic calcium is added into milk. Our bodies can’t naturally or easily absorb synthetic minerals, because that’s not the way our digestive systems work! Isolated and fortified proteins, vitamins and minerals are all absorbed very differently when compared to those found naturally in food. 

THE POWER OF SYNERGY

It’s believed the synergistic effects of phytonutrients in fruits whole food supplements, whole food vitamins, organic supplements, organic vitamins, plant based supplements, plant-based vitaminsand vegetables are responsible for their potent antioxidant activities, and the health promoting effects that we see in diets rich in fruit and vegetables.18 This explains why no single antioxidant can replace the combination of natural phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables to achieve the health benefits. The whole sum total is greater than it’s parts.

If your supplements aren’t giving you whole foods, but instead isolated forms of nutrients, you need to rethink your vitamins.

 

References:

1. Steinmetz KA, Potter JD. Vegetables, Fruit and Cancer Prevention: A Review. J Am Diet Assoc, 1996;96:1027-1039

2. Michels KB, Giovannucci E, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Colorectal Adenomas in the Nurses’ Health Study. Cancer Res, 2006;66:3942

3. 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

4. Gandini S, Merzenich H, et al. Meta-Analysis of Studies on Breast Cancer Risk and Diet: The Role of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and the Intake of Associated Micronutrients. Eur J Cancer, 2000;36(5):636-646

5. Cohen J, Kristal AR, Stanford JL. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Prostate Cancer Risk. J Natl Cancer Inst, 2000;92(1):61-68

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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.

9. 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

10. 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

11. He FJ, Nowson CA, MacGregor GA. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Stroke: Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies. The Lancet, 2006; 367(9507):320-326

12. 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

13. Kang JH, Ascherio A, Grodstein F. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Cognitive Decline in Aging Women. Ann Neuro, 2005;57(5):713-720

14. 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

15. 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

16. 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

17. 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

18. WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, 2003