Cultured, Whole Food Vitamins and
– Best Source of Dietary Supplementation
By Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH
Whole Foods for Optimal Nutrition
Whole foods are our best source of nutrition and
provide the most complete sources of vitamins and minerals. We are
nourished by eating whole foods because they contain the necessary
proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals,
antioxidants, and other micronutrients that our body needs for proper
nourishment and optimal health. Unfortunately, most of us do not eat
enough variety of whole, nutrient-dense foods for proper nutrition
levels. Instead, our modern diets include too many processed foods
that provide sub-standard levels of nutrients. These days, dietary
supplementation is often needed to provide our nutritional
requirements for optimum health and energy.
The Complexity of Whole Food Vitamins and
Supplements made from whole foods contain not only
recognized vitamins and minerals, but a whole symphony of other
micronutrients (phytonutrients or phytochemicals) that work in concert
with vitamins and minerals to orchestrate a natural harmony in our
bodies. More than 25,000 different micronutrients, also known as
cofactors, have been discovered in whole fruits and vegetables alone.
These micronutrients are still being studied, but what we do know is
that they not only provide additional nutritional support, they also
enhance the effectiveness and absorption of other nutrients contained
in whole foods.
An interesting study was conducted by researchers at
the USDA’s Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at
Tufts University in Boston. Two different age groups of men and women
were fed a diet containing ten servings of fruits and vegetables a
day. Then they measured the ‘antioxidant capacity’ of the
participants’ blood samples by seeing how well the blood deactivated
damaging oxidized free radicals in a test tube. After two weeks, the
antioxidant capacity of the participants’ blood rose in both groups,
though more consistently in the older people. Based on this and other
studies, it appears that compounds other than vitamins C and E and
carotenoids contribute a major portion of the increase in antioxidant
Food researcher Vic Shayne, Ph.D. clearly describes
the complexity of whole food nutrition and how this cannot be
duplicated in the lab with vitamin isolates, in the following
"Since whole food ingredients are natural, they
contain a host of nutrients that exist within a complex.
A food complex includes not only vitamins and minerals, but also
many cofactors (helper nutrients) that are found in nature’s foods
as a result of the evolutionary process.
Cofactors and food complexes therefore cannot be made in a
laboratory nor can they be duplicated by scientists.
Many nutritional doctors and researchers conclude that cofactors are
often more valuable than vitamins and minerals, and that food cannot
be duplicated due to its complexity, dynamism and energy.
Cofactors within nature’s foods (which are found also in whole food
supplements) include, but are not limited to: vitamins, minerals,
terpenes, trace mineral activators, enzymes, co-enzymes,
chlorophyll, lipids, essential fatty acids, fiber, carotenoids,
antioxidants, flavonoids, pigments, amino acids, whole proteins and
The human organism is biologically suited to ingest and utilize
nature’s whole foods for its sustenance, including the optimal
functioning of cells, and for the processes of healing and
Because (isolated) vitamin and mineral pills are merely comprised of
isolated chemicals, the body often regards these as foreign
Many vitamins, minerals and amino acids produce toxic side effects
ranging from skin itching and flushing (niacin, for example) to
liver impairment (vitamin A palmitate, for example).
The ingredients within foods operate on a system of synergism; in
other words they work as ‘teams’ to feed cells. The interwoven,
interrelated and complementary functions of food particles represent
some of Nature’s most wonderful properties of synergistic power and
Synergism is defined as the interaction of two or more agents or
forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of
their individual effects: working together."
The Power of Fermentation and Probiotic Cultures
We understand that nutritional supplements created
from whole foods provide a more complex source of nutrition than
isolated supplements created in a lab. So, what happens when we
incorporate a probiotic fermentation process to whole food nutritional
I am sure we have all heard of Captain Cook’s remedy for scurvy on his
ships. Due to the lack of fresh produce on long voyages, he would
require all his sailors to eat sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage.
Scurvy is caused by a vitamin C deficiency; by fermenting cabbage, the
Vitamin C levels of the cabbage are increased.
The power of the fermentation and culturing process is due to the
additional nutrients that are created by the activated bacteria. By
culturing live, whole foods in probiotics (healthy, beneficial,
naturally occurring bacteria), a synergy of health promoting compounds
is created. Those compounds produce much greater results than the sum
of the individual whole food nutritional ingredients. According to Dr.
Richard Sarnat, M.D., co-author of
The Life Bridge: The Way to Longevity with Probiotic Nutrients,
"These (cultured) nutrients promote the health of the entire
digestive system. It's the process of fermentation that unlocks all
these wonderful nutrients."
In her book,
Nourishing Traditions, author Sally Fallon, further explains
the benefits of the lacto-fermentation process: "Like the
fermentation of dairy products, preservation of vegetables and fruits
by the process of lacto-fermentation has numerous advantages beyond
those of simple preservation. The proliferation of lactobacilli (probiotics)
in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases
vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful
enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their
main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in
a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of
healthy flora throughout the intestine.”
By supplementing our diets with cultured, whole food
vitamins and supplements, we are able to provide our bodies with the
complexity of nutrients missing from our modern diets, delivered in a
cultured, whole food form that our bodies recognize and utilize
efficiently. Nutrients from isolated vitamins and supplements are not
adequate for our dietary requirements because they lack the cofactors
and micronutrients needed and are not recognized by our bodies as
As a Clinical Nutritionist, I recommend that my clients and customers
eat a whole food, natural diet and use cultured, whole food vitamins
and supplements for optimal health. I am impressed with nutrition
companies such as
Garden of Life Whole Food Nutritional Vitamins & Supplements,
Mt Capra Organic Goat Whey & Whole Food Nutritional Supplements,
New Chapter Organics Whole Food Nutritional Vitamins & Supplements,
because they follow these health promoting principles of using only
whole food ingredients and a culturing probiotic process in their
vitamin and supplement formulas.
Biography - Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH
Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH is a Clinical
Nutritionist, Herbalist, Author of “The
Cleanse Cookbook” and President/Founder of Christine's Cleanse
Corner, Inc., (a nutritional company that specializes in nutritional
and health education). Christine is the Editor and Publisher of the
free, online Transform Your Health Nutrition and Health Newsletter.
She is also a Health and Nutritional Speaker and Teacher, and a
Nutritional, Diet and Internal Cleanse Consultant. For more
information, visit Christine on the web at:
http://www.TransformYourHealth.com or call 858-673-0224.
© copyright 2008 by Christine’s Cleanse Corner, Inc.
Dr. Richard Sarnat, Paul Schulick and Thomas M. Newmark, “The Life
Bridge: The Way to Longevity with Probiotic Nutrients,”
Jordan Rubin N.D, J. Brasco M.D., “Restoring Your Digestive Health”
Sally Fallon, “Nourishing Traditions”
Cooking culture: tangy, tasty, and teeming with health benefits,
fermented foods are the new stars of a wholesome diet - Healthy
Appetites - Natural Health, April 2004, Jill Newmark
Nutrition, June, 2001, Marie Moneysmith