Why Whole-Food Nutrients?
Whole Food Complexes instead of Isolated Vitamin/Mineral parts?
With the advent of laboratory science, it has become customary to extract "active ingredients" from the plants and foods that are known to have healing qualities. After the desired nutrient is extracted, the rest of the plant is thrown away. The extracted portion is called an 'isolate'…it has been isolated from the rest of the surrounding materials.
But perhaps we should leave the entire plant alone and allow the known active ingredients, those usually extracted and isolated, to co-exist with the other nutrients with which they occur naturally. These other nutrients are called synergists and the evidence is overwhelming in favor of honoring their natural co-existence with the known active ingredients. Store bought vitamins and minerals differ from whole food supplements. "Whole food supplements" means just that, supplements in pill form containing the "whole food"; and, of course, they are organically farm-grown.
Regular vitamin and mineral supplements represent only "part" of the plant from which they are extracted. Most are actually "synthetic," i.e., factory-made from food fractions and none of them come with their synergists. Ascorbic acid, for example, can be extracted from a plant source or produced synthetically and marketed as vitamin C.
Most foods which are high in vitamin C, however, include many other plant chemicals (now called "phytochemicals") including the bioflavonoids and phytonutrients, and many which we can not yet identify; but whose presence are necessary for the assimilation of vitamin C. Synergistic molecules, existing with the nutrients we can identify, have not been identified and there is no way to extract them as separate entities. If they are not extracted they will not be in the vitamin/mineral tablet sold in health food stores. The synergists are thrown away by the manufacturer and your body never benefits from the substances that we don't yet realize we need. What a shame that everyone is buying vitamins and minerals, enzymes and amino acids without synergists!
Given the average diet, when you supplement with "whole food" products you are consuming nutrients in quantities you may have never consumed before! We must ask ourselves, why did a group of volunteers receiving lemon juice containing 25 mg of vitamin C improve faster than another group receiving 25 mg of isolated vitamin C in tablet form only? What the FDA calls vitamin C is really ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is much more complex. Ascorbic acid is the "preservative" portion of the entire complex. In whole-C there is an iron portion and a fat molecule as well. Ascorbic acid should rarely be taken alone or in high quantity.
Regular vitamin/mineral mega-dose therapy can often complicate a patient's symptomology. In many cases such treatment can result in systemic toxicity, suppression of the immune system and degradation of the patient's condition.
We can look to our ancestors to know what we should eat. Nutritional supplementation, per se, will not substitute for a poor diet.
Sally Fallon's book, 'Nourishing Traditions', explains how fermenting grains removes phytates from breads and cereals; how sprouting grains destroys enzyme inhibitors and releases nutrients, and how the eating of unadulterated meat (with naturally occurring beneficial fats), and use of whole butter and other dairy products, leads to longevity. Surprising? Not really.
Nutritionists Lee, Price, Pottinger, Kelly and even Atkins have advocated such practices as long as carbohydrates are kept to a minimum. Carbohydrates trigger the release of insulin and an overabundance of insulin causes many problems. This approach has existed for centuries and has been promoted since the 1920's by the above nutritionists. One should avoid all refined foods such as sugar, sodas, alcohol and flavored drinks. Most snack foods, including chips, cookies, candies, etc., are loaded with the wrong fats, adulterated salt, and sugar.
When eating a low carbohydrate diet, quantity of food consumed is rarely an issue. Our digestive system is built for this kind of eating; having only one stomach, we are not built to eat like cows. We also have omnivorous intestines; long enough to digest animal products but, with only one stomach, as opposed to beeves which have three, our intestines are too short to handle an over abundance of plant matter. Our anatomy facilitates the rapid digestion of animal protein and fats and is just long enough to handle plant matter as well, but not too much plant matter. We are omnivorous…a good survival trait. Dr. Atkins has 20,000 documented case histories attesting to the benefits of eating as our ancestors did. Atkin's and Sally Fallon's book give information showing us how the food "processing industry" offers University grants to obtain studies that support eating "processed foods" which the media then innocently reports to us.
Consider getting all your food organically grown, your animal products graze fed without antibiotics, and sometime through 4H clubs you can find raw and non-homogenized milk. Both pasteurization (heating) and homogenizing (mixing milk's own fat into itself) change the spatial configuration of milk proteins. The body then recognizes these odd proteins as allergens.
While some patients, especially those with acute conditions, experience remarkable turnarounds with clinical nutrition, most require weeks or even months for the restoration of normal body functions.