As far back as 15 years ago impeccable research was being published in reputable scientific journals making it obvious that human beings benefit from taking the right kind of multivitamin supplement. For instance, one excellent study which appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed that women who take over-the-counter multivitamin supplements in the first months of pregnancy dramatically reduce the risk of giving birth to a neurologically damaged child. Neural tube defects are amongst the most horrible and most common birth defects. They cause everything from death to paralysis in the child and they affect between 1 and 2 babies in every 1000 births. The study was carried out under the direction of Aubrey Milunsky, director of Boston University’s prestigious Center for Human Genetics. It involved 23,000 women, half of whom took multivitamin pills containing folic acid (a B-group vitamin in particularly high demand during pregnancy). The results were astonishing. The incidence of neural tube defects in babies born to the women who took the multivitamin pills was only a quarter of what it was amongst those women who took no supplements.
So remarkable were these results that they shook United States Federal officials who have for generations claimed that taking nutritional supplements is not only unnecessary but can be damaging to an ordinary ‘healthy’ person’s wellbeing.
Nonetheless, the FDA and CODEX still insist that “nutrition is not relevant to health” and that if any vitamins and minerals are to be allowed on the market they will only be permitted in ultra-low doses. Clinically effective nutrients and doses are month-by-month being treated as “toxins” and removed from public access. How do we get around this? By taking good quality Food State Supplements instead of the run-of-the-mill chemically produced varieties.
CHOOSE FOOD STATE
Most vitamins sold in stores and online are synthetic man-made vitamins that have been produced in the laboratory in an attempt to match the molecular structure of naturally occurring vitamins normally found in our foods. As a result they tend to contain high doses of the chemically-made nutrients in an attempt to make enough of each nutrient biologically available to the body. It is just these high dosages that the FDA and CODEX are targeting by making them illegal to be sold over-the-counter. But there is a wonderful way around this which I strongly urge you to explore—to shun chemically made vitamins (which over 90% on the market are) and go for their Food State cousins, Food Supplements.
Our bodies have been accustomed to absorbing with ease the vitamins and minerals that we get from our foods. Man-made synthetics, even though they try to match the molecular structures of vitamins and minerals, are not the same. Our bodies do not handle them as well, so you may be taking a high potency man-made synthetic that has come recommended, but you may not actually be absorbing the vitamins and minerals it contains. This is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about whole-food, natural multi-vitamins and minerals.
Good manufacturers of whole-food vitamins and minerals grow the majority of the foods and botanicals that go into their formulas themselves. Then, using state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, they test, validate and document the potencies of all the raw materials that make up the formula. This is achieved by using high performance liquid chromatography to test vitamin potency and inductively coupled plasma optimal emission spectrometers to test mineral potency. They are also very careful in how they handle the food extracts that are often added to these supplements. For instance, they use a very specific system of drying which transfers heat gently and efficiently, removing moisture from delicate foods and botanicals while preventing oxidation of the raw materials. This protects the integrity of the food and the botanicals as well as protecting against the degradation of their nutrient content, maintaining the color and the flavor.
Because natural Food State vitamins are indeed natural and food-state, you will find that the recommended daily serving of vitamins per person is usually somewhere between six and eight tablets a day in order to be able to obtain the full benefit. In addition to the usual vitamins, i.e. vitamin A, C, D3, E, K1, folate, and so forth, there should be a good broad spectrum of minerals: calcium, iodine, magnesium, selenium, chromium, molybdenum, manganese, etc. These wonderful food-state vitamins also often contain extracts taken from other plants that are beneficial to the body, things like extract of barley grass and green papaya, extract of carrot for instance, as well as astragalus. They may also contain many of the Ayurvedic herbs or the herbs that are used in Chinese medicine—reishi and shitake mushrooms, foti and kudzu root. This is the kind of vitamin that I think you will benefit most from.
There are many vitamins on the market that claim to be whole-food vitamins but that are not of top quality. Always make sure, whatever vitamin/mineral complex you choose, that it is free of corn, soy, yeast, wheat and dairy products, and it has been formulated without the use of preservatives, artificial flavors or coloring.