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Is Your Multi-Vitamin Making You Sick?

For years, nutritional experts have been preaching the importance of the added nutrition a daily multivitamin provides. In fact, after years of nay saying even the American Medical Association now agrees that the average American should take a multivitamin.

So if everyone agrees a multivitamin is so good for us…why do so many feel sick to their stomach when they take them? Doesn’t it seem strange that something as seemingly beneficial as a multivitamin can make you feel worse than if you hadn’t taken it? How about absorption – how well can your body use something that makes you feel sick?

As strange as it sounds, the fact remains: every day many Americans start their day with a cup of coffee, a multivitamin and shortly after that…an upset stomach and nausea. Making matters worse, we know that most multivitamins use nutrients that are not in a form easily utilized by the body. It doesn’t matter if it’s Centrum®, One-A-Day® or just about any other brand, if you’re not careful, your multivitamin could end leaving you with an upset stomach and very little benefit to show for it.

Why does this happen? The answer is simple – a regular multivitamin is not food and once again, it seems we have “short-changed” the wisdom of Mother Nature. Within whole foods, vitamins and minerals are delivered as part of a complex mixture of synergistic plant chemicals, enzymes, cofactors and macronutrients. It is only within the last few decades that the form of nutrients found in most conventional nutritional supplements have been introduced to the body. Basically in terms of our history, these compounds are relatively foreign to the body, and their overall effect is still largely unknown. On the other hand, nutrients from living organisms and whole foods have been nourishing humans throughout our history.

So what are these mystery forms used by the makers of Centrum® and other conventional brands? They’re called isolated USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) vitamins and minerals. According to nutritional experts, these supplements bear little resemblance to the nutrients obtained from whole foods. Instead, the production of USPs follows a pharmaceutical industry inspired approach to nutrition, which is to isolate and reduce a nutrient to its most simple form. USPs are synthesized and delivered as single molecules without any of the synergistic nutrients and cofactors. You can see this on your multivitamin when you see the phrase “Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)”. Vitamin C is NOT simply ascorbic acid…but the United States Pharmacopoeia essentially says it is! Isolating nutrients and delivering them in this unnatural way changes the body’s response to them and according to research reduces the body’s ability to utilize them.

For example, scientists have found it difficult to pinpoint the reason why eating foods rich in vitamin E offer cardiovascular protection, but supplementing with the isolated USP form (called d-alpha tocopherol) does not always show the same consistent protective role.

Probiotics….Giving Life to Supplements
Fortunately, there is a solution for individuals who want the benefits of a multivitamin but prefer the known safety and superior effectiveness of vitamins and minerals from living sources. They are called cultured whole-food nutrients created by New Chapter®. New Chapter vitamins and minerals are individually cultured using proprietary recipes of organic yeast, live probiotics, and whole foods such as organic carrot, organic alfalfa, and organic orange peel. The process is like turning milk into yogurt, or grapes into red wine. In fact, according to research conducted at the University of Scranton, cultured whole food supplements are more readily absorbed and are significantly more biologically active than their isolated USP counterparts. In other words, pound for pound (or in this case milligram for milligram!) Probiotic Nutrients are heads and shoulders above the competition.

The bottom line – I highly recommend New Chapter’s Multivitamins. I have used New Chapter’s multivitamins for years. I feel good knowing that I’m taking a product proven to offer better nutrient utilization than any other regular multivitamin available. And because New Chapter's multis are essentially food…you can take them on an empty stomach without worrying about decreasing the effectiveness or getting an upset stomach.

-Mike Ventresca (co-owner, Vital Choice Health Store)

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