Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Next Wave of Multi-Vitamins

I've seen the writing on the wall for months, and the evidence is now strong enough that I am willing to say that the next wave - the future if you will - of multi-vitamin supplements will consist of products who derive their entire micro-nutrient list from fruit and vegetable sources.

The whole foods and organic people should be very proud. The demand they have created in the food industry has finally started to leak into the supplement side of things.

And if anyone knows how to identify a cash-cow when they see it, its the supplement industry.

Rip on them if you like, but the cold hard facts are, these people know how to make money, and there track record is very impressive.

So in time for the new year, keep your eyes out for multi-vitamins to claim "whole food sources" and to have ingredient lists that include extracts of:

Carrots, broccoli, spinach, cherries, blueberries, mangoes, tomatoes, onions, cranberries and almonds. it just me, or doesn't that sound like a really awesome salad? But hey, who wants to EAT their nutrients when you could simply pop them in a pill?


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Redlefty said...

Reminds me of an Alan Argaon Q&A session I attended this year.

One guy kept peppering him with questions about supplements -- fish oil, vitamins, antioxidants, etc...

Every time, his answer was:

"Mmm, yes, that's an excellent nutrient. And it's best to take it in the form of food."

nic s. said...

I have to admit your blog led me to "think outside of the box" as you will and recently I've stumbled across a dietary approach that is pretty radical
but seems to resonate with me 100% so much that I am kicking myself not to have found this approach or believed its existence sooner. Now I have a new found freedom immune to marketing strategies and lies that want you to believe that it's all your fault, you're a victim, a slave and you neeed to follow their approach exactly to the 't' in order to be successful. The truth is there is no no "one size fits all" so every dietrary belief has its place but cannot claim to be the ultimate. The truth that I have found for myself is: eat fruits and vegetables when I am hungry and if that isn't possible eat whatever is available at that point in time and if I want something extra that's fine. But if I am not hungry, who cares? I don't have to eat.

Izabela said...

I'm not sure how I feel about popping a pill in order to get my nutrients. Besides, I actually enjoy salad and fruit. But this is a topic that I'm sure a lot of food and nutrition program instructors at schools across Canada (like Centennial College in Toronto) will be discussing with their students in the months to come. If the demand is as high as it was with organic food this may be the future of mulit-vitamin supplements.

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Bob Garon II, IKFF said...

The sum of the parts is not equal to the whole. In essence the pill form of the individual nutrients will never provide the same benefit as eating the actual food.

This does make me wonder something though. I have been using Standard Process' "Catalyn" and "Cataplex-B" for a few years. They are organic whole food based supplements. What are your thoughts on these?


Dennis said...

I am not sure how new this 'wave' is because I have been taking 'whole-food' vitamins for over 3 years now.

Bob Garon II, IKFF said...

Exactly Dennis,

Companies such as New Chapter, Standard Process, Udos, etc. have been out for many years producing very high quality whole food based products. This is not a new wave by any means. If you go to Whole Foods(where I primarily shop) and Sprouts, and Trader Joe's you will see a lot of these supplements. They are great to use, but will never replace the actual foods.

Most all other companies produce synthetic nutrient based supplements which attempt to replicate the actual food as well as define food as the sum of its parts. This is utterly untrue. Furthermore taking synthetic supplements such as Centrum, One-A-Day, GNC Brands, and any other store bought brand that is NOT whole food based is like throwing darts at a dart board. Sometimes you will hit and some times you will miss. Your body is the same as it will sometimes absorb the synthetics and sometimes it will not. Most of these type of supplements contain high amounts of binders and fillers that either do not breakdown or barely breakdown in the body's digestive track. Often times the pills get clogged in the intestinal folds, which is unhealthy in itself, or they simply get eliminated without ever having been absorbed. That is a waste of money too.

April said...

I currently use a multi vitamin supplement which I have been buying from Goldshield for a long time now. I must admit that I have no idea if the product is synthetic based or natural, what is the best way to tell?

Bob Garon II, IKFF said...

The one's I saw on the Goldshield website are all synthetic. They are almost identical to Centrum type vitamins. Synthetic looks like this:

Whole Food Based looks like this:

The FDA requires a small amount of synthetic, unfortunately, and you will see that at the top listing of all Whole Food supplements. Then you will always see their "Proprietary Blend". That's where the difference lies.