Natural-source vs. Synthetic:
Do you know the difference?
Vitamins and minerals are complex in nature and vastly different than chemically produced, drug-like substances called supplements. Needed in very small amounts, vitamins are essential for human life and metabolic processes. Although the body can produce and convert some of these, most nutrients need to be given to the body through the consumption of food. In the toxic environment most of us live in today, in and out of the home, the body needs extraordinary support and nutrients to defend and heal its self. All of these nutrients should be consumed from fresh foods and pure whole food supplements like Physician’s Strength (PS) Although considered a single substance, each vitamin is actually a “group of chemically related compounds.” Separating, or fractioning the group into single, incomplete vitamin portions convert it from a physiological, biochemical, active nutrient into a disabled, debilitated chemical of little or no value to living cells.1
Most individuals’ diets are horrific, with a huge lack of varied nutrients, a daily dose of known toxins, and are so far removed from the natural order with overly processed, chemically-laced ‘food.’ Even those that claim they have a good diet and don’t need to supplement with vitamins, minerals and enzymes, need to pay close attention to the next sentences. Stated by Linder in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism says, “Contributing to the existence of vitamin deficiencies in industrialized countries is the tendency to refine whole grains and other whole foods, meaning the germ, bran, and other vitamin-rich portions are removed; there is also an emphasis on muscle meats over organ meats, thus sacrificing nutrients; the methods of food preparation overcook or leach vitamins from foods and “sterilization” of foods by methods such as pasteurization deplete nutritive value considerably; foods are harvested prior to full ripeness and them shipped and stored so that nutritive value is lost for most all “fresh” foods; the adulteration of foods with chemical toxins from additives (preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, stabilizer, etc.) to bleaches (as chlorine chemicals used to extend shelf life in baked goods) and fluoride, a protoplasmic poison, also adversely affect nutritional value. Add to these the modern farming methods incorporating chemical fertilizers, pesticides of all types, crop limitation, overutilization of fields, and it is obvious that the soil itself is not alive or healthy enough to produce nutritious, vitamin-laden foods. Air pollution, water pollution, stressful lifestyles- these too deplete vitamin and mineral stores. All these facts disprove the touted doctrine that all one has to do to obtain all needed nutrients is to eat a varied and balanced diet.”2
Linder makes the point that we need to try and eat the most natural, pure, nutrient-dense foods possible, while also supplementing the diet with vitamins and minerals coming from whole-food sources. All synthetic vitamins are created from chemicals foreign to the body and isolated fractions, causing the human body to “make up for” the other cofactors missing from the supplement or food. Imagine a puzzle; many pieces of the puzzle are involved with making a picture. This same idea can be used when comparing a synthetic vitamin. For instance, vitamin C, or ascorbic acid is the most widely used form of vitamin C in the health industry. Yet ascorbic acid is just one piece of the vitamin C puzzle. There are other pieces of the complex making up vitamin C, for instance, flavonoids, vitamin K complex, polyphenols, catechin, rutin, several enzymes and more all bound to a protein. The same is true of vitamin A, all synthetic forms for instance beta-carotene and retinol again are just one factor. A true whole food source vitamin A, like PolarVite from Physician’s Strength, would contain all of the carotenes, not just beta, all the retinols, retinals, retinoids and other coenzymes and cofactors.
Where it is made
It is disturbing to think of where most supplement companies source their ingredients from. The majority of vitamins and minerals come from petroleum derivatives, hydrogenated sugars and chemicals foreign to the body, all the while labeling them as “natural.” Don’t let the term “natural” fool you, for this does not guarantee that it comes from food, or anything that you would be interested in eating. There are several ways to tell if the vitamin supplement comes from and contains only real food or not. If there are any USP listings of vitamins with milligram or microgram dosage, it is not just 100% food. Secondly, if the product is made only of food ingredients, all of the foods used should be listed on the back of the label. Also, don’t underestimate the power of your senses. If the supplement doesn’t look, smell, or taste anything like the food it is claiming to be from, be wary of the claim and it’s processing. And lastly, if you are not sure, call the company and ask from what and where they source the ingredients, what percentage of the product is made of real foods, and anything else you want to know. They should be open and honest about where the vitamins and minerals come from and what is in each finished product. These synthetic vitamins, as you will learn later, have toxic side effects on various organs and can deplete nutritional reserves sending the body into further dire health.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, whole food source supplements are made from various fruits such as berries, dates, and pomegranates; vegetables and roots such as purple corn, maca, and burdock; grains such as rice bran and germ; nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds; herbs and spices such as oregano, cumin, rosemary, basil and clove; and pure animal products such as royal jelly and fish oil. Another factor determining the power and quality of a product is whether it is cold pressed or in raw state. Whenever we adulterate, pasteurize or heat any type of food above 115 degrees, almost all of the highly important enzymes, phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are destroyed and rendered useless. Ensuring that supplements are made of pure, unadulterated whole foods is essential to delivering patients the most powerful nutrients nature has to offer. Physicians Strength revolves around this philosophy.
The effects of synthetic vitamins
When you ingest a synthetic supplement, take B-5 (pathothenic acid), the body inherently goes through many biological reactions. One is that the body recognizes the foreign material as toxic since it is made from petroleum extracts, which we were never meant to ingest, and tries to quickly eliminate the substance. Another reaction is the body trying to produce on its own, other B vitamins to complete the supplemental B-5 into a whole B complex. The body does this because in natural foods, B vitamins are found synergistically and whole, such as Power-B from PS. When we eat foods containing B vitamins, the body knows intuitively what to do with them. Whenever they are isolated, apart from one another, the body will use its own nutritional reserves to make the fractioned vitamin complete, further depleting your body and sending it into dis-ease. The body can pull calcium from the bones, B-vitamins from the adrenal glands, and so forth, all in the interest of balancing out an isolated, synthetic supplement. One could be doing more harm than good by taking a synthetic supplement, especially at high doses and over an extended period of time. Interesting to note that a deficit can occur of the very nutrient that you are consuming from a synthetic source!
Studies continuously confirm these side effects of synthetic supplements. As mentioned earlier, large doses of a single synthetic B vitamin have been shown to induce deficiencies of other B factors. For instance, injections of B1 (thiamine) resulted in symptoms of pellagra- known as a B3 (niacinamide) deficiency-in patients.3 Synthetic vitamin D, irradiated ergosterol, is known to enhance lead absorption. Other studies have shown it can increase absorption of cadmium, strontium, lead, nickel, all of which can be quite toxic.4 Other studies have noted that excessive intake of fractioned, synthetic vitamin D may cause calcium imbalance (hypercalcemia).5 There are other studies saying that supplemental vitamins “don’t work” and are unnecessary in the diet. Although when you look closely at these studies, you will see why they don’t work: synthetic vitamins are almost always used. This is because many researchers believe that there is no difference between a synthetic and natural form, or they are simply not educated on the disparity.
On the other side of the coin, studies have long-established the positive benefits of consuming whole foods. In one study, silver foxes were fed a synthetic diet so that every component of their diet would be known. The animals were given all of the known B-vitamins – in synthetic form – but they did not grow; their fur deteriorated, and finally they died. Another group of silver foxes on the same diet were given a change after a short time: added to their rations were yeast and liver, both sources of natural whole B complex. These animals grew normally and the quality of their fur improved with their health.6 Another study in 1972 explored the fact that there is an increased requirement for vitamin E during endurance exercise training, by giving athletes wheat germ oil, a whole food source of vitamin E, which can also be obtained from Power-E from (PS) (made from sunflower seeds, pumpkinseeds and African red palm oil). This study found wheat germ oil to have positive physiological effects on exercise, while other studies found isolated alpha-tocopherol generally had no athletic or physiological function improvements.
What you deserve
Only the best whole food supplements can do our body good. Nutritionists, doctors, and healthy individuals cannot deny and will even back up the benefits of eating a balanced diet of whole organic grains, organic fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and antibiotic-free, hormone-free meats and animal products. However, when it comes to taking supplements, health enthusiasts will routinely tell others, and take for themselves, isolated, fractioned, man-made, synthetic sourced vitamins and minerals, simply because they are ignorant to their sources and effects. These supplements have little to no benefit, can cause harm to the body, and all the while are deceiving and swindling the customer.
Our bodies crave and require the complete “puzzle picture” of whole foods, not just one isolated fraction of a vitamin. Supplement companies ought to be straightforward about the sources of their vitamins and minerals, all the while reforming their practices to produce higher quality food supplements. Consumers deserve to be educated on the misnomers of “natural” supplements, to have access to the highest quality products, and to achieve remarkable wellness. Choosing Physician’s Strength is advantageous for yourself and your patients. We fully disclose our ingredients, sources, and practices with integrity, and deliver a quality that matches its value. We are dedicated to supplying you with pure, powerful whole food supplements to help nurture instead of hurt, to protect our planet rather than destroy it, and to respect the supremacy of natural nutrition instead of attempting to recreate an artificial replica.
Our formulations are unique and exotic. They include berries from the most remote parts of Canada, spices from pristine mineral rich land, and herbs from native tribal lands that exhibit exceptional powers. We are known for the potent Oregano oil and the same power and dedication is applied to all of our other 50+ products. Exciting flavors, deep, rich colors and unadulterated potency is what you will experience in every bottle. The uniqueness comes from the constant search for the most unadulterated and rare, yet sustainable, powerful and nourishing herbs, spices, berries and whole food ingredients you can find with minimal processing. You can always ensure the ripest, wildest, chemical free whole food plant sources in the world are used in every Physician’s Strength product. We always give you something special at Physician’s Strength, and you can be confident we care for the health of every individual. Try for yourself our line of whole food supplements, and you will be amazed at how great you’ll feel! Thank you for your support!
- Judith A. DeCava, CNC, LNC, The Real truth about vitamins and antioxidants, pg.5
- Linder, Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism, pp.113-114
- Marion B. Richards, M.A., D.Sc., “Imbalance of Vitamin B Factors,” British Medical Journal, (31 March 1945), pp.4395-4398
- Edward J. Calabrese, Nutrition and Environmental Health, Volume 1 (New York; Wiley Interscience, 1980), pp.345-347
- R.A. Buist, “Vitamin Toxicities, Side Effects and Contraindications,” International Clinical Nutrition Review, Vol.4, No.4, (1984), pp.159-171
- Scandinavian Veterinary, Vol.30, (1940), pp.1121-1143, cited in The Prevention Method for Better Health, ed. J.I. Rodale, (Emmaus: Rodale Books, 1968) p.568
- Thomas Kirk Cureton, The Physiological Effects of Wheat Germ oil on Humans in Exercise, (Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1972), pp.25-29; Ivan M. Sharman, and Michael G. Down, Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol.16, (1976), pp.215-223