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Article by Marie Cargill:
ARE YOU GETTING WHAT YOU NEED
IN YOUR VITAMIN PILL?

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You are probably taking your vitamin A, B, C, D, and E but when was the last time you had your vitamin U, vitamin P, and vitamin Q. Chances are you never knew about them or if you did, you didn't know where to get them. Most multi-vitamins on the market don't contain these vital components of food. Yet they must be valuable to the body if scientists are spending time and money researching them.

Vitamins by definition have been understood to be substances essential to the normal growth and functioning of the body. Absence of any one or a number results in some immediate and measurable condition of nutritional deficiency or disease. Vitamins U, P, and Q were considered unimportant to well being and stripped of their vitamin classification and redefined as food compounds. With a renewed thrust into researching and discovering how essential food compounds are, vitamins U, P, and Q have made a comeback.

They now go by different names: vitamin U is glucosinolates and indoles; vitamin Q is isoprenoids; and vitamin P is flavonoids. They are currently some of the most studied food compounds and research has begun to uncover the exciting and important reasons they should be included in a nutritional program.

Vitamin deficiencies produce measurable problems within a short time; food compound deficiencies often go unnoticed because they are more likely to result in diseases that take years to develop. Deficiencies in U, Q, and P have been associated with cancer, heart disease and other disease conditions resulting from an accumulation of carcinogenic pollutants and free-radical damage. When the body continues to be subjected to the cumulative effects of carcinogens and free-radicals, total load happens. The body is overwhelmed and the defense mechanisms fail. The body is at its most vulnerable. Unfortunately we do not know how much is too much total load.

We do know, fortunately, how to prevent and stop much of this accumulation. It's done with food! Eating whole foods and supplementing with a food compound vitamin mix are the two best ways to give your body the weapons necessary to combat the buildup of toxins and reaching total load status. The lack of whole foods and food compounds are standard missing ingredients in modern diets. In terms of human health this lack coupled with typical diet choices made by Americans - refined foods, large sugar and fat intake, overeating of protein from animal sources, undereating of fruits and vegetables - is responsible for approximately 60% of all cancers. You are even more severely impacted if you consume a good deal of processed foods.

Reading the label on a package or can of food reveals some very questionable ingredients. The food often contains carcinogens in the form of dyes, nitrates, sulfates, and sulfites, waxes, and acids, and free-radicals in the form of sugars and additives. Totally missing are whole foods and food compounds. We are providing ourselves with the opportunity to be susceptible to autoimmune problems, chronic diseases, degenerative illnesses, and fast aging.

If we look at other cultures and rates of diseases, we can find some interesting information. The French, for example, have a high-fat diet loaded with sugar and would seem likely to have higher rates of heart disease. But no, they are 2.5 times less likely to have heart disease than Americans. Research credits the whole fresh foods and flavonoid-rich food compounds - broccoli, celery, grapes, apples, and other nutritionally dense whole foods- in their diet to providing a protective wall in the bloodstream. These flavonoids keep blood cells from clumping together and preventing plaque buildup and heart disease.

In Japan the smoking rate is twice that of the United States yet the rate of lung cancer in that country is half the rate of lung cancer in the U.S. The difference is attributed to the diet: daily use of soy products, vegetables, fruits, and seaweeds in abundance. Food compounds protect the healthy living cells of the body. This protection has been proven by more than 9,000 studies on whole foods.

Scientific research has identified one common denominator linking scores of diseases. It is estimated that more than 60 chronic conditions including advanced aging are attributed to this one menace. It is a factor in more than 200 diseases. It is held responsible as the reason why we may not reach our potential life span. This is free radical buildup and toxic overload.

Free radicals are the byproducts of normal body metabolism. They are molecules missing an electron, making them unstable, constantly on the move trying to pair that one single electron with some other chemical. When they find that missing electron, it is usually at the expense of a normal cell. This makes them dangerous. They can mutate normal cells into abnormal ones. Cells and tissues are constantly damaged by free radicals, and it is very important to keep their production controlled. The body does this by having enough numbers of free radical scavengers.

The body's production of free radicals is normal, but there are factors that cause more than the normal amount of them to happen. Poor diet, prolonged nutritional deficiencies, stress, chronic disease, medicinal drugs, pollutants, contaminated water, - just about everything in our environment is a free radical promoter.

Whole foods and food compounds provide the best defense against free radicals and the diseases they promote. A good nutrition program contains food compounds for their advantages as well as vitamins and their benefits. Vitamins U, P, and Q are among the 103,000 food compounds that have been isolated and tagged with their health-promoting benefits. Their beneficial actions are grouped into four distinct categories: antioxidant food compounds, detoxifying food compounds, balancing food compounds, and vitamin-like food compounds.

Almost all food compounds exhibit potent antioxidant -anti- free radical- activity. Although the body produces many different antioxidants to protect itself, it cannot keep up with the number of free radicals that now exist in our lives. With this kind of situation all systems in the body are vulnerable to irreversible damage. This is especially true for cells. If damage continues, it causes decline in health and accelerates aging. Food compounds will step in and act as sponges soaking up the excess free radicals and literally saving cells and tissues. But and a big but at that, food compound activity comes from incorporating a variety of these substances into the diet through whole foods and food compound vitamins.

A body needs to deal with all the chemicals it meets every day. Food compounds are the answer again. They actively support the body's ability to rid itself of harmful pollutants and toxins in food and water. One of the best detoxifying mechanisms is a two-step process in the liver and intestines. Part 1 or phase 1 involves breaking down chemical toxins in the liver through a special set of phase 1 enzymes then disposing of these toxins in a form phase 2 enzymes can readily pick up and remove from the body through the intestines. Several food compounds stimulate the activity of both sets of enzymes: broccoli, spinach, and kale.

All the chemicals a body makes must be kept in balance. Again food compounds play a mighty role in regulating balance or help the body to regain balance. They help maintain cellular and metabolic equilibrium within cell structure and between cells and their environments. They enable cells to have access to more energy and help the body utilize oxygen more efficiently. They increase the body's resistance to adverse situations and support adrenal function counteracting the adverse effects that stress has on the body. Such aspects of balance such as blood pressure, water metabolism, body temperature, cholesterol regulation, and so on respond to the regulating effects of food compounds.

Many food compounds have been identified as possessing the same necessary effects and play the same vital roles as vitamins and minerals. Specific degenerative diseases like heart disease and cancer show a direct correlation to long-term deficiency of food compounds. Since different food compounds exhibit different actions in the body, research into co-dependency presents one big idea: a full range of these compounds are needed. The complete range of the grouped food compounds - i.e. carotenoids, flavonoids, etc. - works cohesively to protect the body from the onset of numerous diseases. They are a foundation for optimum health.

Let's look at one family of food compounds called the carotenoids. We discover a class of nutrients that are made up of fat-soluble pigments- yellow, red, green, and orange- in fruit and vegetables. There are more than 500 carotenoids found in nature; about 50 of these can be converted into a vitamin A-like nutrient. They are related to vitamin A; some play the role of a precursor to formation of A; some stand on their own right to protect the body through antioxidant action; some have direct links to disease prevention. Within the carotenoids are sub classes. Best known among these are the carotenes such as beta-carotene within whose group is lycopene. This nutrient is found in tomatoes and is tied to reduced risk of prostate, lung cancer, and a variety of digestive cancers. The sub class xanthophyolls gives us lutein and zeaxanthin; lutein comes from dark, leafy greens and broccoli and zeaxanthin is in collard greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach and turnip greens. These two are effective in protecting the cells in the eyes from free radical damage. Two other sub classes are the limonoids including limonene and phytosterols including perillyl alcohol, both of interest in the role of anti-tumor agents. This may be a bit complicated but the main idea is the most effective way to use these nutrients is to use a carotenoid compound containing a variety of the whole family. Load your plate with vegetables especially those having the brightest colors; oranges, yellows, and reds, and the deepest, darkest greens and purples.

Along with actual food, the best supplements are also food based, providing whole food concentrates. This gives the vitamin supplement a broader spectrum of nutrients than a regular natural vitamin and definitely much more than a synthetic vitamin. More of the real vitamin has more potential for better results. Food formed and food compound vitamins have a high rate of utilization by the body. They inherently contain vital food factors working as precursors, enhancers, and supporters of the vitamin necessary for nutrient delivery. Food compound vitamins give the body the best it needs through matching each vitamin with selected foods that contain complementary foods and food compounds. Food compound type vitamins end up having the ultimate highest potency.

Let me explain through a look at vitamin E. This vitamin can be bought in a synthetic or natural form. It is generally understood that the natural is superior to the synthetic. If we look deeper, we find that vitamin E is found in foods with seven other complementary food compounds or relatives. These seven food compounds when together show a higher nutrient delivery and are much more effective than natural vitamin E by itself. It makes sense that a supplement containing natural E with its seven relatives has a definite advantage if you want the maximum benefits of the vitamin. The same information is true for all the vitamins. Going back to vitamin A, this vitamin works better with the assisting carotenoids in foods. Vitamin C works better with citrus food and compounds called flavonoids. It turns out that the vitamins made this way may cost more but are more cost-effective by offering high potencies. One does need the megadoses required by natural vitamins. The food compound vitamins contain a much higher proportion of effective nutrients than all synthetic vitamins.

It's important to use your money wisely. So how do you know if your multi- vitamin is the best you can buy? Look at the supplement facts box on the back of the label on the bottle. The supplement facts box was added recently by the government to inform consumers about what actually is in the multi-vitamin. First there is the name - vitamin C for example. To the right of this is the form or type of vitamin C. Usually this is a chemical name showing that it is a lab-created vitamin; it has not been made from food and does not contain food compounds. Even with pictures of oranges or the word "natural" on the label it does not contain food or food compounds. If the label states that the product is called "ascorbic acid" this is still a manufactured product. The structure of the vitamin is the same as found in food but is an isolated nutrient. It works alone. And to get much benefit from the nutrient, you would have to take two, three, or more a day.

The information on a vitamin which has whole food sources and is a food compound vitamin would read Vitamin C and oranges, not the picture but the actual food! Each supplement you buy should have a food supporting each of the vitamins on the label and would state something like "ascorbic acid, oranges compounded" and not "additional nutrients". Also look for the extraction number. It is usually listed as 4x, 5x, etc., meaning that the food has been extracted to be equal to 4 or 5 times that of the raw food. "Broccoli extract 5:1" means that the broccoli has been extracted to be five times more potent than the equal raw amount. You are getting five times the amount of nutrients from the broccoli than if you ate one serving raw . Then if the vitamin contains 50 mg of broccoli 5x, you are getting 250 mg of raw broccoli. Consider vitamins with food compounds as health insurance. You will get the lipids, organic acids, polysaccarides, phenols, organosulfurs, amines, terpenes - all seven classes grouped by their structure and considered beneficial and necessary for health - and all in one bottle. You will get the right absorption, the correct delivery mechanisms, and peak utilization of every nutrient you need. No other type of vitamin supplement can make this claim!

 

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