Know the difference: whole vs. synthetic
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Whole Food Supplements
"Whole food supplements are what their name suggests: supplements made from concentrated whole foods."
A lot of people who are interested in improving or maintaining their health are at least somewhat familiar with the idea that whole foods are better for you than refined foods. Everyone agrees raw honey is better for you than white sugar and brown rice is better for you than white rice. Why should it be any different for vitamins?
Just like refined foods, refined vitamins have been robbed of all the extra accessory nutrients that they naturally come with. In turn, like refined foods, they can create numerous problems and imbalances in your body if taken at high levels for long periods of time. They can also act more like drugs in your body, forcing themselves down one pathway or another. At the very least, they won't help you as much as high quality food and food-based supplements.
Whole food supplements are what their name suggests: supplements made from concentrated whole foods. The vitamins found within these supplements are not isolated, they are highly complex structures that combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements, activators and many other unknown or undiscovered factors all working together synergistically, to enable this vitamin complex to do its job in your body.
The perfect example of this difference can be seen in an automobile. An automobile is a wonderfully designed complex machine that needs all of its parts to be present in and in place to function properly. Wheels are certainly an important part of the whole, but you could never isolate them from the rest of the car, call them a car or expect them to function like a car. They need the engine, body and everything else.
The same analogy applies to the vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or Vitamin E (delta tocopherol) you can find on most health food store shelves. They are parts of an entire complex that serve a purpose when part of the whole. However, they cannot do the job of the entire complex by themselves.
With similar logic, one can analyze what a typical multivitamin truly is. The automobile equivalent of creating the multivitamin would be going to a junk yard, finding all the separate parts you would need to make up an entire automobile, throwing them together in a heap (or capsule), and expecting that heap to drive like a car.
Obviously there is a difference. Science cannot create life. Only life can create life.