Not all vitamins are created equal, at least that’s the claim of a new kind of vitamin supplement. Whole Food Vitamins look to be the future of nutritional supplements.
Whole food supplements are not very complicated. They are what their name suggests: Supplements made from concentrated whole foods. This may sound like an obvious way to make vitamin supplements, but it is actually a radical deviation from how vitamin supplements have traditionally been made in the past. Traditional vitamin supplements are highly concentrated doses of vitamins that are removed and isolated from the basic foods where they are naturally found. In some scenarios, vitamin manufacturers use chemicals to synthesize vitamins, skipping over naturally occurring vitamins altogether. This is not the case with whole food supplements. Whole food supplements are made by leaving the vitamins in the foods where they are naturally found, but in order to get large amounts of them the foods are pulverized and condensed. Vic Shayne, PhD, author of Whole Food Nutrition: The Missing Link in Vitamin Therapy said, “Vitamins never exist in isolation, but rather within an interwoven complex of food nutrients and substances along with myriad co-factors and synergists.” For example, when you get vitamin A from a whole-food supplement you also get retino, retinal, retinoic acid, carotenes (there are more than 500 carotenoids in nature); essential fatty acids, fiber, grass factors, pigments, natural sugars, minerals (such as zinc and copper), lipids, bioflavonoids, and nutrients that fall under the broad spectrum of “phytochemicals,” ranging from terpenes to isoflavones. This is not the case with other vitamin supplements. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with vitamins. Getting vitamins that come with other synergistic food properties may be the best way to get them, and possibly the future of vitamin supplements.