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The Milligram Myth by Taryn Forrelli, N.D.
Comparing isolated vitamin nutrient measures with whole-food nutrients benefits

If you are a health-conscious consumer, you are probably interested in supplementing your diet with essential vitamins known to optimize health. But with all the different brands of supplements available, how do you choose the right one? You might be tempted, as so many people are, to select the one that delivers the highest quantity or milligram amount of individual vitamins. If a little bit is good, more must be better, right?

Most nutritional supplements do not contain the same forms of vitamins found in food. Rather, they feature synthesized or isolated vitamins in a chemical form. Ascorbic acid, for example, which is more commonly known as vitamin C, is typically synthesized from high fructose corn syrup. The isolated molecule that results does not share the same properties of the vitamin C you would get from eating an orange. Whole food sources of vitamin C are delivered as part of a food complex containing synergistic cofactors like bioflavonoids, which serve to increase potency of the nutrient in the body. As a result, a small amount of a vitamin in whole food form is many times more effective than a large dose of an isolated vitamin.

Aside from the growing number of studies showing that isolated nutrients are less potent than whole food forms, when the body receives nutrients from food, they are usually delivered in small doses throughout the day. Sustained nutrient release is ideal not only for absorption, but for utilization, as there is a limit to how much of a nutrient the body can use at any given time.

So, does all this mean you should forgo your daily multivitamin and other supplemental nutrients? Absolutely not. Look for a multivitamin that delivers vitamins and minerals the way nature intended…in food form and food potencies. If you’re seeking optimal nutrition, then you might want to try organic whole food probiotic vitamins and minerals, not mega-doses of chemical isolates.

Taryn Forrelli, N.D., is a graduate of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, a premier accredited four-year medical institution that specializes in providing the most advanced understanding of integrative medicine. As a naturopathic physician, Dr. Forrelli offers insight into the marvels of human biological function and the natural healing power of herbs, nutrition and lifestyle improvements.

Click on the following links for more information on the benefits of whole food vitamins & supplements.

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The statements contained on these pages have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information conained here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Suggestions and ideas presented in this document are for information only and should not be interpreted as medical advice, meant for diagnosing illness, or for prescriptive purposes. Readers are encouraged to consult their health care provider before beginning any cleanse, diet, detoxification program, or any supplement regimen. The information in this document is not to be used to replace the services or instructions of a physician or qualified health care practitioner.


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