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September 12, 2011


Whole Food vs. Synthetic Supplements

What’s the difference?

Whole food supplements are concentrated whole foods. They are processed at low temperatures to preserve all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, co-factors and undiscovered nutrients.

True whole food supplements contain all the components of the whole food. They do NOT isolate a whole food component and make a supplement out of it.

On the label of a whole food supplement, you will see a list of foods, rather than a long list of individual nutrients. Some individual nutrients may be included on the list, but you will notice that the potency is much lower than what you see on other supplement labels with a long list of vitamin and mineral ingredients. This may cause you to erroneously believe that because the potency is so low that the product will not be effective.

On the contrary, the whole food concentrates do not need high potency ingredients. They contain the whole food with all the nutrients in the proper balance as provided by nature. Your body was designed to eat real food. The same goes for nutritional supplements … your body needs real whole food supplements.

Synthetic supplements, on the other hand, are not whole foods. They’re commonly derived from petroleum. They do not have all the nutrients in the proper balance as provided by nature in real food and they don’t contain the “undiscovered nutrients” that make the whole food supplements so much more effective.

When you see a long list of high potency vitamin and mineral ingredients, that ‘s a give away that the supplement is synthetic. Names of nutrients like vitamin A acetate, beta carotene, thiamine HCl, niacin, ascorbic acid, d-alpha tocopherol are all names of synthetic vitamins.

If instead you see fish oils, carrot powder, nutritional yeast, buckwheat juice, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ oil, these are whole food ingredients.

Don’t be fooled by products that contain the long list of high potency synthetic ingredients in combination with a long list of whole food ingredients. True whole food supplements do not contain the synthetic¬† nutrients.

Now, while you may feel better at first on a high potency synthetic supplement, the effect doesn’t last because you do not have complete complexes of the vitamins and eventually the missing components will contribute to a deterioration of your health.

For example, d-alpha tocopherol is only one tiny component of the whole vitamin E complex. By taking a supplement with d-alpha tocopherol, you will be causing a deficiency of vitamin E because you are missing the majority of the vitamin E complex.

The same goes for vitamin C. If you take a supplement with ascorbic acid as its vitamin C, you will eventually cause a vitamin C deficiency. Even ascorbic acid + bioflavonoids is only a small component of the vitamin C complex and over time will cause a vitamin C deficiency.

To learn more about whole food and whole food supplements, get the book, “Back to the Basics of Human Health” by Mary Frost.

To make sure you are getting the right whole food nutrition to meet your body’s needs, fill in the form on the top right side of this page to request a Free Nutritional Consultation.