Supplements – Natural versus Synthetic:
Vitamin and mineral supplements represent a huge business. There are countless health food stores, pharmacies and even fitness centers selling these products. Powerful marketing encourages people to be safe and supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals. However, there is something we need to ask ourselves before actually purchasing them. Are they safe? Is this necessary? As a naturopath, I never promote synthetic supplements for my clients. How can a tablet or capsule made in a lab be healthier than eating whole foods?
We all know that brown rice and wild rice is better for us than white rice – which has been milled and altered from its original form. This holds true for synthetic vitamins versus whole foods as well. Lab-made vitamins have been robbed of all the naturally occurring nutrients that we require to absorb the vitamin in the first place.
Let me explain:
When we eat an orange, we know that is a great form of Vitamin C. This orange also contains flavonoids, fiber and enzymes. Our cells can recognize this living food easily and happily absorb the precious nutrients, Vitamin C pills, on the other hand, that are made in a lab do NOT contain enzymes, fiber etc., so in order for your body to absorb this substance, it needs to break it down further and therefore must pull from YOUR enzymes, fiber etc., in order to digest it. Too much of this can create numerous problems and imbalances in your body.
Taking isolated or synthetic nutrients is not natural. They aren’t found in nature. Your body cannot recognize these supplements. A perfect example is when your urine turns fluorescent yellow after taking a multi-vitamin. Does this ever happen from whole foods? No – this only happens when your body experiences something foreign.
So What Supplements Should You Take
There are some nutritional supplements that do work, however, and can truly help some people who admittedly do not eat properly all the time. These supplements are in the form of herbal formulas. Single herbs are strong and work well in helping your body detoxify and rebuild itself. There are so many powerful herbs that are available in teas or botanicals that are very efficient as they go directly into the blood stream. Herbs do not have to be broken down. They are extremely powerful because they have never been hybridized. Some good examples of these herbs include Licorice Root, Kelp, Ginseng Root, Hawthorn Berries and Dandelion Leaf to name a few.
In conclusion, I strongly recommend that people meet their daily nutritional needs through a varied diet rather than vitamin and mineral supplementation. It is important to understand that the body is always striving for an alkaline ph (balance). Too much vitamin supplementation causes acidosis. Supplementation of separated constituents can lead to imbalances in your body’s chemistry. Artificial vitamins accumulate in your tissues causing obstructions and toxicity.