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Whole Food Products vs.
Vitamins and Supplements

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For a detailed research paper on why whole food products
are superior to supplements, click NOT Another Supplement! or
the STOP Supplementing Symptoms button for a PDF summary flyer:

Taking vitamin and mineral supplements is generally considered to be a “healthy” addition to our diet. However, in past centuries, people were able to stay healthy without supplements because they generally ate a healthier diet than we do today and their traditional wisdom told them to eat superfoods naturally rich in essential vitamins and minerals required for health. They were, therefore, less prone to the degenerative diseases of today (for example, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer) without taking natural or "holistic" supplements. In the past, foods were grown on small farms in mineral-rich soils. Today, foods are grown in mineral-deficient soils on “factory farms” where the main goal is to produce high quantity rather than high quality food. In addition to this, with the advent of our fast paced lifestyle, fast-food diet and highly processed foods prevalent today, we no longer get the basic nutrition needed to stay well. Modern technology has improved so much that we can now isolate the vitamins and minerals our modern day diet is missing that are required for health. But is this sufficient to promote optimum health and is this an improvement on what our ancestors ate?

Taking supplements is like sitting in the audience of a concert and trying to direct how to make the orchestra sound better. One could test (doctor) the trumpet players and decide they were not good enough and hire more talented musicians. One could conclude (chiropractor or other healthcare provider) the woodwind section needs help and bring in a better first clarinet player. Or one could guess (patient) the percussion section was not even needed for this piece of music and disband them altogether. But all of these choices are being made outside of the orchestra based on external criteria which may or may not be valid. It would be much better to get the conductor to decide how to make the orchestra play and sound better. The conductor is an integral part of the orchestra, they would know all the strengths and weaknesses of each player, they would know how to nurture each musician to extract their maximum talents and abilities. Instead of asking a doctor, chiropractor, other healthcare professional and even yourself what the body needs, why not provide all the super nutrition the body needs and let the brain (conductor) decide how much it needs and where to direct the super nutrition to where it is needed the most? Rather than direct an external fix from outside the body, why not activate the natural ability of the body to heal itself? We just need to provide the fuel (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, Omega oils), tools (antioxidants and super nutrition for the brain) and then energize, awaken and balance the glands in the brain (conductor) to do the healing.

More Than Just an Extract or Concentrate
Side Effects of Supplements
Supplement Discontinued, Symptoms Return
Fallacy of MDR, RDA and Short-Term Studies
Side Effects of Glucosamine
Why Taking Digestive Enzymes is Not Entirely Holistic
World-Class Products That Work

More Than Just an Extract or Concentrate

When we extract a vitamin or mineral from a food (or create it synthetically), how do we know that we have extracted all the components in the food (e.g., enzymes, amino acids, trace minerals) that are needed to promote health and that Nature intended us to eat? What chemicals might that food contain that we need for health but have not yet discovered? Scientists are now discovering a wealth of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables that promote health and are different from the vitamins and minerals previously discovered. Research shows that 90% of a fruit's or vegetable's antioxidant power is in the peel or just below the skin. Does your supplement contain the peel, skin and pulp? More importantly, is it safe to take these isolated supplements in a pill rather than as part of the food they naturally occur in? Or could there be side effects from taking them in a way that is not natural to our body?

Side Effects of Supplements

Consider this recent research:

  • Early infant multivitamin supplementation is associated with increased risk for food allergy and asthma. (PEDIATRICS, Vol. 114, No. 1, July, 2004, pp. 27-32)
  • There is now strong evidence that antioxidant supplements—vitamins A, C and E and beta carotene—are not effective in protecting against gastrointestinal cancer. On the contrary, there may be a small increase in mortality from these tumors among people taking antioxidants compared with a placebo. (Goran Bjelakovic, professor, internal medicine, University of Nis, Serbia and Montenegro; Eric Jacobs, Ph.D., senior epidemiologist, American Cancer Society, New York City; Oct. 2, 2004, The Lancet)
  • Patients in the Vitamin E group (daily doses of 400 IU) had no significant difference in cancer incidence, cancer deaths, and major cardiovascular events but higher rates of heart failure and hospitalizations for heart failure. (Effects of Long-term Vitamin E Supplementation on Cardiovascular Events and Cancer, March 16, 2005, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2005;293:1338-1347)

Based on our combined 90+ years of holistic experience, we have come to the conclusion that nutrition from whole food products is far superior, safer and more holistic than isolated supplements. To support this conclusion let us look at some old research.

Supplement Discontinued, Symptoms Return

Back in the 18th century, European travelers were crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. They discovered if they drank fresh lime juice they did not get scurvy (a Vitamin C deficiency resulting in weakness and joint pain, internal hemorrhages causing black-and-blue marks to appear on the skin, gums hemorrhaging and becoming weak and spongy, teeth root break down where teeth loosen and eating becomes difficult and painful). It was not until the 20th century that scientists finally isolated the beneficial component in citrus fruits as Vitamin C. What is not commonly known is by taking isolated Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid one only gets rid of the symptoms of scurvy. When the ascorbic acid is discontinued the symptoms and disease returns. However, if one takes Vitamin C made from an extract of whole green peppers not only do the symptoms disappear but the scurvy is gone when discontinued. Vitamin C in the form of a whole food product contains rutin, bioflavonoids, Vitamin E, selenium and zinc that Nature dictated is needed for Vitamin C to work optimally in our body. All these complementary nutrients are present in whole food sources of Vitamin C (e.g., green peppers, oranges, rose hips, acerola cherries). By eating only an isolated supplement with just ascorbic acid or by juicing an orange and throwing away the pulp and peel, one is missing all the above necessary nutrients. I have proven this to myself by taking a megadose 2,000 mg Vitamin C tablet and a whole food Vitamin C made from rose hips and acerola cherries (vitamin C=250 mg) to my chiropractor when I had a cold or flu. Through nutritional testing the chiropractor determined the 2,000 mg supplement would help me recovery from the cold or flu but the 250 mg whole food tablet would do just as well or better.

Consider these facts: more expensive Vitamin C supplements are buffered to prevent nausea for those with a sensitive stomach (can’t tolerate ascorbic acid). Nature included the buffer ingredients needed in the pulp and skin of whole food sources of Vitamin C (i.e. the white pulpy part of the orange). So, who is smarter—the scientist that discovered we need to put back the buffer ingredients in Vitamin C supplements or Nature? New research has shown that 90% of the antioxidant power of whole foods is contained in the pulp and peel. So, why do most super nutrient, antioxidant juices on the market today contain only the juice?

If you give an eleven year old a kick ball and tell them to go have fun, they naturally know what to do with the ball and can immediately begin to play. If you give the same child a bicycle in a box, they will have to spend time assembling the tools, reading the instructions and assembling the bicycle before having fun. Such is the case in our body when we take an isolated supplement. When taking just ascorbic acid, the body must now search for other sources (and sometimes robs the body) of rutin, bioflavonoids, Vitamin E, selenium and zinc to make the vitamin C work optimally. When eating oranges, rose hips or acerola cherries, the body absorbs all the whole food nutrients at once and begins the holistic healing process immediately. Whole food nutrients are more efficient and totally holistic, while isolated supplements may be naturally derived but not completely holistic in function.

WolfberriesSome people would counter this by arguing that we need supplements because we are so deficient that foods cannot supply the amounts we need. We would answer by suggesting that people consume superfoods, that is, foods that are naturally extremely high in certain nutrients and thus promote the body’s natural way to heal. Traditional cultures knew this instinctively and would feed superfoods to those with a higher need for nutrients such as those with illnesses, children, elderly, pregnant women and parents-to-be. The superfoods would vary depending on what was available in their area but included cod liver oil, raw cream, spring-time butter from pasture-fed cows, fish eggs, chicken eggs, algae (BioSuperfood-Algae-Spirulina), Chinese Goji berries (Wolfberries), bee pollen, kelp, etc.

Fallacy of Minimum Daily Requirement (MDR), Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and Short-Term Studies

Most supplement studies are done using isolated (sometimes synthetic) sources of a single nutrient, for instance calcium. They vary the dosages of the nutrient and then determine the benefits based on these dosages to determine the Minimum Daily Requirement (MDR), Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and therapeutic dosages needed to produce results. The fallacy is that these results are only valid if one is using the same exact isolated nutrient source (sometimes synthetic) in the study. If one uses another source of calcium (e.g., bone meal, oyster shells, coral calcium) or perhaps a calcium supplement that contains Vitamin D and magnesium (complementary nutrients Nature dictated are needed to make calcium work in the body), the results might be totally different. New research shows that the absorption and utilization rate of isolated supplements is only 20-25% (the rest goes down the toilet but you still pay for it). Many supplements are tested in short-term studies (e.g., 6 months–1 year) and show great promise. So, everyone jumps on the bandwagon and must have this new great product. But what are the real results and long term effects?

When comparing the MDR, RDA or prescribed therapeutic dosages of supplements to whole foods, one must look at real results in terms of absorption and utilization in the body, not allopathic dosages. It's like comparing the benefits of apples to oranges. For example, if one takes a 1000 mg isolated calcium supplement and multiplies by the absorption rate of 25%, one utilizes only 250 mg of the supplemental calcium. However, whole food products have a 90-95% absorption rate because they contain all the complementary vitamins (i.e., Vitamin D), minerals (i.e., magnesium), amino acids, enzymes, etc. Nature dictated are needed to make calcium work. So, from a whole food product 95% X 350 mg, one will absorb 333 mg of the calcium from the whole food product. Since 333 mg absorption is better than 250 mg from the isolated supplement, a whole food product containing "only" 350 mg calcium is better than an isolated calcium supplement advertising 1000 mg.

Side Effects of Glucosamine

Taking some supplements is like putting your finger in the dike to stop the water leak (remember the little Dutch boy fable?). Yes, the symptoms go away but have you holistically healed the body? By taking isolated supplements what other imbalances have developed? Did you know?

  • Glucosamine may impair insulin secretion through competitive inhibition of glucokinase in pancreatic beta cells and/or alteration of peripheral glucose uptake. Patients with diabetes should be cautious since glucosamine may affect insulin sensitivity or glucose tolerance.
    (Source: Physicians Desk Reference for Non-Prescription Drugs & Supplements, 2005)
    Glucoasmine may also aggravate glucose intolerance as suggested by U.S. and Japanese research. (Source: Lidtke - Maker of glucosamine-free ArthroStat)
  • Glucosamine (derivative of glucose, a sugar molecule) made within your cells typically is hidden from the areas where yeast and fungi grow. Orally ingested glucosamine passes through your digestive tract and into your bloodstream where yeast live then feed on the glucosamine (sugar derivative). Thus, glucosamine provides yeast with a source of energy as well as an important building block for overgrowth and a flare-up of Candida symptoms.

Why Taking Digestive Enzymes is Not Entirely Holistic

We tell people BioPreparation/BioSuperfood will improve digestion because it contains over 4,000 live enzymes. When people look at the ingredients list and do not see the digestive enzymes of amylase, lactase, protease, lipase, bromelain, papain, etc. they wonder how can BioSuperfood help with digestion? People are so conditioned by the marketing of the supplement companies to expect to see these enzyme buzzwords, otherwise, the product cannot work for digestion . Let's look at the practice of supplementing the body with digestive enzymes.

The body is supposed to get enzymes from at least three sources: raw animal meat, live plant foods and by manufacturing its own, such as digestive enzymes in the pancreas. When we do not eat enough uncooked foods (heat kills enzymes) our source of live enzymes is diminished. As we get older our enzyme production decreases. If we eat too much processed foods, then our bodies do not have enough raw materials (for example, co-factors, co-enzymes, minerals, amino acids, etc.) to manufacture its own enzymes. For whatever reason, our body is not manufacturing enough digestive enzymes, so it sends a signal to the brain, "I need more digestive enzymes." So, the body starts to look for more raw materials and increases its signal to the pancreas to produce more enzymes. Maybe you are smart enough to recognize this from your symptoms or a doctor diagnoses a lack of enzymes so you start taking a digestive enzyme supplement with amylase, lactase, protease, lipase, bromelain, papain, etc. Soon, the symptoms of enzyme deficiency disappear and the body sends a signal to the brain, "my enzyme deficiency has been resolved." What have you done to make the body naturally heal itself by manufacturing more enzymes? Have you given it more raw materials? Have you increased the strength of the signal from the brain to the pancreas? The answer is obviously, no, so one must continue supplementing this digestive enzyme deficiency for life, frequently increasing the dosage as the body ages. A malfunctioning or over stressed pancreas can result from eating too much processed foods with excessive carbohydrates and sugar. Will taking digestive enzyme supplements fix a lazy malfunctioning pancreas? No. In essence, by supplementing the digestive enzyme deficiency one has left a lazy pancreas and made the body dependent on the supplement for the rest of its life.

This is what we call just supplementing the symptoms! Now let's look at what happens when a superfood, such as BioSuperfood, is introduced into the equation. The brain is sending out the signal, "I need more digestive enzymes." So, the body starts to look for more raw materials and increases its signal to the pancreas to produce more enzymes. BioSuperfood is introduced with all ten essential amino acids plus 12 more, all known essential minerals and trace elements and over 4,000 live enzymes (co-enzymes and co-factors), etc. as raw materials for the production of more digestive enzymes. BioSuperfood then energizes and wakes up the three master glands in the brain (pineal, pituitary and hypothalamus) to amplify the brain's signal to the pancreas to manufacture more enzymes. After a short while, the pancreas is now manufacturing sufficient digestive enzymes and the symptoms disappear. As the body's wellness is maintained with BioSuperfood the initial dosage used to alleviate the symptoms can generally be decreased as the body heals itself. So, which of the above examples is true holistic wellness? Taking a supplement of digestive enzymes, leaving a lazy pancreas and having to increase the supplement with age? Or, using BioSuperfood to provide the raw materials so the pancreas can now manufacture enough enzymes on its own, literally waking up the brain to address the enzyme deficiency and activating the body's own natural ability to heal so that the dosage of BioSuperfood can be decreased? This is the paradigm shift between just supplementing the symptoms and activating true holistic wellness (what BioAge calls a quantum leap in wellness). Do keep in mind, the above examples are very simplified and many other nutrients and processes take place for enzyme production than mentioned above.

Here are some final thoughts from two prestigious sources:

  • To reduce cancer risk, the best advice presently is to consume antioxidants through food sources, rather than supplements. (“Common Questions About Diet and Cancer,” American Cancer Society)
  • “…there are insufficient data to justify an alteration in public health policy from one that emphasizes food and diet to one that emphasizes nutrient supplements. (“Essential Nutrients: Food or Supplements?” Journal of the American Medical Association, 2005;294:351-358)

Word-Class Holistic Products That Work

At Optimum Choices, we do not sell vitamins, isolated supplements, herbs or extracted products. We only sell whole food products (superfoods) that promote 100% holistic wellness. Check out the details on the following whole food products:

We encourage you to do your own research and determine what is right for your body. You deserve more than just the elimination of symptoms. You deserve total optimum wellness.

1Scientific references:

  • Balkan B, Dunning BE: Glucosamine inhibits glucokinase in vitro and produces a glucose-specific impairment of in vivo insulin secretion in rats. Diabetes; 43(10):1173-1779. 1994.
  • Monauni T, Zenti MG, Cretti A, et al: Effects of glucosamine infusion on insulin secretion and insulin action in humans. Diabetes, 49(6): 926-935. 2000.

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For a detailed research paper on why whole food products
are superior to supplements, click NOT Another Supplement! or
the STOP Supplementing Symptoms button for a PDF summary flyer:



If you still have questions, here are some more resources.

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free answers to quick questions.
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