First of all, let's recap last week's post. There are three types of vitamins: synthetic, natural altered and natural unaltered.
This is the very basic part of deciding what vitamins to buy and there are many other factors that come into play. Even if the average consumer knows of the three different types there are to choose from, how do you determine which is which? If you have not read the first post please do so here. It explains the difference.
Dr. Timothy O'Shea, author of Conventional Medicine Vs Holistic: A World of Difference points out: Vitamins are not individual molecular compounds. Vitamins are biological complexes. They are multi-step biochemical interactions whose action is dependent upon a number of variables without the biological terrain. Vitamin activity only takes place when all conditions are met within that environment, and when all co-factors and components of the entire vitamin complex are present and working together.
Vitamins cannot be isolated from their complexes and still perform their specific life functions within the cells. When isolated into artificial commercial forms, like ascorbic acid, these purified synthetics act as drugs in the body. They are no longer vitamins, and to call them such is inaccurate."
Does it matter where you purchase them? Yes. Drugstores and grocery stores carry synthetic vitamins. Period. Do not be fooled by labels. Most companies try to use the word 'natural' somewhere on their label; whether it be in the name itself or the description. COAL TAR and PETROLEUM are natural sources so legally the word natural can be used on the label. If you knew you were swallowing petroleum to improve your health, would you continue? Would you actually believe that these products could bring you good health?
What about health food stores? Most of the vitamins sold in these stores are either synthetic or natural altered. Next time you are in a health food store look around. You will find that many of the vitamins that GROW TOGETHER in nature are isolated and sold separately. Your body is not made to assimilate them in that state. They are out of balance and your body will reject them. This also applies to a multi-vitamin. Each ingredient listed must be in balance to how they grow in nature; i.e. zinc to copper ratio.
What if I get my vitamins from a medical professional or a naturopath? You have the right to ask them all the questions I will be listing in this series. They should be able to answer each one. Unfortunately, most often they simply do not understand the difference unless they have had specific training in that area.
I have written to dozens of vitamin companies asking them these questions. I have also asked doctors, nurses, nutritionists, etc. and most do not have the answers. They did not realize there was a difference or what questions they should be asking.
There are practitioners who have taken the time to educate themselves in this field. They know, without a doubt, that the products they are giving their patients will meet the criteria -- and can prove it.
The second point in last week's post was whether or not there is life in your supplements. The best test is to ask the company for a picture of the chromatogram of each individual pill. If the life factor, or live enzyme activity is there - it will be evident. A dead vitamin's picture looks dead. A live one looks like a picture of a sunburst.
There are a couple tests you can do for fun. Put one of your multivitamins on a little piece of aluminum foil and bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for about ten minutes. The only change you should see is a slight lightening in its color, the same as you see in raw versus cooked vegetables. More than likely what you will see is a black oozing of a sticky or coal-like substance. Sometimes it will just be black specks but you should be able to see it distinctly.
Another one is to put your multivitamin into a glass of tepid water. Within 10 minutes, the vitamin should disintegrate and form a volcano. If it is dead, it will just lie there. Sometimes, the coating will flake off but that's it.
Another one is to leave a vitamin on the counter for a few days -- it should start to "grow" and if it gets wet, it will get moldy -- like REAL food.
The vitamins you take must be bio-available - the ability for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs, when and where it needs them. Otherwise, why are you taking them?
Question number two
My experience has been that most companies that distribute vitamins don't have a clue about the source of the raw product. I know of one such company (which shall remain nameless here) that bottles vitamins for distribution to over 1500 different vitamin companies. All they do is CHANGE THE LABEL -- the product is all the same crap.
If a company is producing non-GMO products, they will be proud of it and be able to substantiate their raw sources.
I will continue this series next week. Please let me know if you run the vitamin tests I suggested and your results. Take a look at your labels and shoot your questions back - I'd love to help.