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If A Vitamin Label Says "Whole Foods" Is That What's In It? Think Again...

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:37pm
When I see brands like Whole Foods I think of something healthy made from whole foods. After all it says "Whole Foods" on the package. I was surprised today when I opened a package for the multivitamin trade program and saw "Whole Foods Daily Multivitamin." I've placed dozens of orders since this trade program started and I expect to get store brand multis and lots of One A Day multis. Since I was clear that anyone could trade any brand of " synthetic" multi for a whole food multi I was ready to return this "whole foods daily" to the sender. I can't let people trade their whole food multis for ours so I was prepared to send it back with a note saying they were already using a whole food multi. That's until I looked at the Supplement Facts.

I was surprised and disappointed to see every ingredient was synthetic. I expected more from a grass roots Whole Foods company. I have nothing against this company, in fact they are pioneers in offering organic foods and helping the "clean – real food" movement. Back to this multivitamin, there's no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, that's a good thing – but it makes little difference in the rest of the ingredients.

A little science – just a tiny bit so if you are not into knowing the science behind products, like me, this will be short.

Synthetic ingredients are made in a laboratory from isolated chemicals that mirror their counterparts found in nature but are not from real food.

Natural vitamin and mineral supplements are made from real food sources, specifically vegetables, fruits, herbs, seaweeds and spices.

Here's a little quiz for you. Read the following ingredients to see if you know the vitamin and what food the vitamin comes from. The answers are below but don't cheat!

Pyridoxine HCL
Beta carotene
Calcium ascorbate
d-alpha tocopherol

Yes these and the other 19 synthetic vitamins/minerals are in these multis and most other vitamins sold in the U.S.

Now the food ingredients and vitamin from the food from a whole food multivitamin: (same order as the synthetic ones above)

Spinach (B 6)
Carrots (*Vitamin A -beta carotene) *The natural beta carotene from carrots is converted to Vitamin A in your body
Oranges (Vitamin C)
Broccoli (Vitamin E)
Cauliflower (B 5)

Wasn't that an easy science lesson? You don't need to know the names of the synthetic ingredients. Look for vitamins with food listed and leave the science out of it.

In case you want to know why synthetic supplements are not good for you I've included the following from the actual source:
Balch, James and Balch, Phyllis, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 2nd Ed., Avery Publishing Group, New York, 1997.
Shayne, PhD, Vic, Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency and Why Vitamin Pills Are Not Enough, 2005

"For years synthetic vitamins have been sold and marketed as the “magic bullet” for all health conditions. The problem is that vitamins, when not still contained in their original food (oranges, bananas, spinach, broccoli, etc.) are merely chemicals. Our bodies do not recognize synthetic vitamins as nutrients, because they don’t work the same way as whole foods for these simple reasons:

1. Foods contain not just vitamins, but the co-factors (synergists) and helper nutrients that allow vitamins to work.

2. Foods are never found in high potency, so you won't suffer any toxic side effects that have been proven to exist with synthetic vitamin pills. The most recent example of vitamin toxicity was the report about vitamin E being toxic. Real foods never deliver toxic doses of vitamins.

3. Vitamins are just a small part of what our bodies require for health and healing. It is very often that it is the other food properties that help us while the vitamins are secondary.

For these reasons, and more, synthetic vitamin pills, despite their use and overuse, are lacking the properties of real nutrition, which can only come from eating nature’s real, whole, raw foods. The ONLY supplement that someone should take, therefore, is a whole food formula WITHOUT any isolated (singular vitamin). In order to know whether your vitamin and mineral supplement comes from whole foods, you have to carefully read the labels. Instead of just names of vitamins and minerals on a label, you should be looking for the names of foods and herbs on the label, such as kale, dandelion, kelp, ginger, cinnamon, apples, carrots and broccoli."

I think that tells it pretty simple, it's the Food that our body needs, not isolated chemicals that are being flushed away or worst, causing harm.

If you still need help figuring out if your vitamins are safe there's a free report, Are Your Vitamins Safe?
This free report has studies done on people taking synthetic vitamins and the outcome was not encouraging for vitamin users.

The synthetic multivitamin program is still open for people who take synthetic multis and are concerned about the benefits and safety. More here for people who care about their vitamins.

Thanks for reading Whole Food And More!

To learn more about the synthetic multivitamin trade program click vitamin image in upper left corner of this blog.
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