The Synergy of Whole Food Organic Vitamins
Providing co-factors only found in nature
Nature has always delivered nutrients to our bodies in the form of whole foods. Shouldn’t your health supplements follow nature’s lead? Yet, the overwhelming majority of “natural” dietary supplements actually possess some of the most processed, unnatural, and artificial chemicals on the market today. You will not find these isolated, synthesized vitamins and minerals anywhere in real, whole food. Why should this matter to you? Very simply, because it matters greatly to your body.
The history of synthetic vitamins and minerals
In the early 1900s, scientists began analyzing food and identifying the compounds we now call vitamins and minerals. Vitamin and mineral deficiency diseases were also recognized, and for decades it was assumed that these individual compounds were responsible for the life-supporting benefits of food. Once this happened, pharmaceutical companies began manufacturing chemical nutrients: synthetic replications of the individual compounds identified as vitamins and minerals. For example, manufacturers can isolate and extract a sugar molecule from corn and chemically tweak it so that it mimics the ascorbic acid molecule found in foods. They then label it as vitamin C and sell it. Unfortunately, all of the other highly valuable bioflavonoids and antioxidant compounds that accompany vitamin C are nowhere to be found. But this was not well understood at the time.
Science is catching on to the benefits of whole food nutrients
Fortunately, science is finally beginning to catch up with common sense! Once researchers began to notice that there was a decided difference in the outcomes of studies that utilized food versus isolated, synthetic nutrients, they started reexamining the foods that we now know are particularly beneficial to health. In doing so, they have discovered several other classes of naturally occurring nutrients now known as cofactors, coenzymes, and phytonutrients. Some examples of these are trace minerals, bioflavonoids, carotenes, lutein, sulforaphane, anthocyanins and hundreds of others that are being discovered every year by researchers around the world.
A synergized “web” of living nutrients
These cofactors and phytonutrients, along with the amino acids, lipids and carbohydrates found in whole foods, form an incredibly complex grouping of compounds that also includes vitamins and minerals. In other words, a naturally occurring vitamin or mineral is not just one isolated molecule, it is actually a very complex group of hundreds of compounds bound together that are all required for optimum health.
It is essential to understand that no one isolated molecule in any nutrient grouping is responsible for the results or benefits we experience when consuming it, just as no one brick or piece of wood is responsible for creating your house. Moreover, isolated vitamins or minerals are not found in any food. For example, we don’t find just ascorbic acid, by itself, anywhere except in a chemical laboratory-made supplement. Vitamins and minerals always occur together in nature because they require one another’s support to be effective.
The elegant dance of nature
Just as the intricate interactions of these complex groupings found in whole food are not yet fully understood, neither are their complex interactions within the cells of our bodies. It’s a beautifully intricate and elegant dance!
Life truly is mysterious, and we will never understand it in all its magnificence and fullness by pulling apart the pieces and studying them. One cannot comprehend the complete beauty of a rose by plucking off its petals to view them under a microscope — when you destroy the whole, you destroy its true beauty and function.