FOOD COMPOUNDS - BEYOND VITAMINS
Vitamins are only part of the food from which your body satisfies its nutritional needs. There is so much more to food. Science has come to realize that micronutrition includes many important components beyond just vitamins and minerals. In fact there are thousands of different plant chemicals, known as phytonutrients, that have metabolic activity in humans. These food compounds include classes such as the polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, cumarins, isothyocyanates, terpenes, amines, polysacccharides, organosulfurs, lipids, and organic acids just to name a few. Some serve as antioxidants, some assist the liver in detoxification, others modulate the immune system and hormone metabolism, many maintain cellular and metabolic equilibrium, while others enable the body's cells to have access to more energy and to utilize oxygen more efficiently. To date, 103,000 food compounds have been isolated, and current estimates say the actual number may be in the millions.
The health promoting properties of food compounds have been proven by more than 9,000 studies on whole foods. But what is of major significance is the newly discovered appreciation of how vitamins and minerals behave in the context of their natural environment - the whole food compounds. These food compounds work synergistically with the vitamins and minerals. This synergy is in fact essential for the body to achieve maximum utilization of vitamin and mineral supplements. For example, studies have proven that taking vitamin C with other vital food compounds such as flavonoids increases the utilization of the vitamin C. Other studies have shown that taking calcium attached to food compounds increased the utilization of calcium by almost 90%. Research is continuing to prove that food compounds provide numerous health benefits and are just as or even more important than regular vitamins. In fact, the National Cancer Institute currently has a multimillion dollar project under way to find and understand as many food compounds as possible.
Yet of the over 1400 different vitamin companies almost 95% produce what are known as regular "natural" vitamins. These are formulas created from isolated substances in a laboratory and contain zero food. The combinations do not appear that way anywhere in nature. Natural is a term used to describe the structure of a vitamin. If the structure of a manufactured vitamin matches the structure of a vitamin found in food, then it is considered natural. However, natural does not mean food. They are sold everywhere, on the internet, through infomercials, in supermarkets and big box stores and even gas stations. Although many of these nutritional formulas have there short term place they do not provide the same health benefits nor work as well and in the same way as food compounded vitamins. Even so called "food based" vitamins that are manufactured by about 3% of vitamin companies, although generally superior to regular "natural" vitamins, for the most part do not contain enough food or the proper food ratios that food compounded vitamins contain.
Science is increasingly demonstrating that in order to achieve maximum long term benefit from nutritional supplementation it has become more important to supplement our diet with food compounded formulas. A company called Right Foods (www.right-foods.com) and it's sister company Innate Response (www.innateresponse.com), which offers specifically targeted products, have been pioneers in this concept since 1972 and offer a wide range of professional formulas to suit the needs of most people. These whole food nutrients are only sold through healthcare professionals but can be conveniently purchased by telephone (800-634-6342) when providing the professional code MER 026. By visiting their websites you can also get detailed information on the science behind their products.
When examining these formulas you will notice that their potencies are lower than what you typically would find in your usual "natural" supplement. This is because the nutrients contained in food compounded supplements are many times more absorbable and utilized by the body much more efficiently. Hence, there is no need for mega dosing as is necessary with typical vitamin products.