Centrum, One-a-day, Mega Men's, Nature Made, Flintstones, etc. All are high potency multi-vitamins that we consume to help bolster our poor nutrition and hopefully improve our health, right?

Well here is the truth about these multi-vitamin supplements. Most of what you find in these "1-a-day" type vitamins are synthetic products or fractional (isolate forms) vitamins. Meaning, that what you are getting has been chemically produced in a laboratory. So, although the B12 that is in your vitamin my chemically look like B12 it is lacking the enzymes, co-factors and antioxidants that are key components to the utilization and absorption of the vitamin itself.

So you can take these vitamins everyday to try to improve your health and supplement your diet but you will most likely fall prey to degenerative types of disease anyway.

There are four problems with synthetic vitamins

  1. Nature intended for you to consume food in WHOLE form because all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes are together in one package. They work synergistically to give your body the nutrition it requires for optimal health.

  2. Your body only absorbs a small percentage of an isolate form of vitamins and minerals and it utilizes even less. You get the best bioavailability in whole food form.

  3. Synthetic vitamins often give you massive quantities of some nutrients (usually the most inexpensive ones) and insufficient quantities of others, not balance.

  4. You can experience side effects of synthetic isolates from the additives and the unnatural state of the synthetic supplement.

What to do, what to do? Of course eating a diet of fresh whole foods is always best, but this may not be a panacea, as our lifestyle does not always allow time to go to the grocery store and cook our food. Not to mention that unless you are buying your produce direct from local farmers markets, the chances that your produce has been "off the vine" for more than a week or two and has most likely lost up to 60% of it's original nutritional value can contribute to the lack of whole food value. So. that being said some form of vitamin supplementation is a good idea. However, we must make a conscious effort to only consume "whole food" based vitamins. In other words, vitamins that are produced utilising high quality, organic fruits and vegetables. These products can be found in a capsule or powdered form and when taken daily will contribute, nutritionally, to a quality lifestyle.

Here are some helpful hints; Stay away from the discount vitamins,yes they are inexpensive but you a basically paying "somthing for nothing" these are usually cheap synthetic vitamins that your body can not absorb.

Buy high quality "whole food based" vitamins such as Greens First, the product that I personally use. But there are others as well, shop at you local Whole Foods or Sprouts to find other alternatives.