For years, nutritional experts like Phyllis Balch, clinical nutritionist and author of the best selling Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 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 cop of coffee, a multivitamin and shortly after that…an upset stomach and nausea. 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 up making you feel sick to your stomach. 

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.

The problem is conventional brands use USP or (United States Pharmacopoeia) vitamins and minerals. 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 reduce a nutrient to its most simple form. USPs are synthesized and delivered as single molecules devoid of 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. 

Does the body use USPs the same as nutrients from food? The answer appears to be no. 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. 

Another common difference between USP nutrients and those obtained from natural sources is the dosage. When the body receives nutrients from food, they are generally delivered in smaller doses throughout day. This is ideal not only for absorption, but for utilization because there is a limit to how much the body can use of a specific nutrient at any given time. 

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. Whole-food probiotic fermented vitamins from New Chapter  utilize the ancient science of fermentation to transform inorganic USP nutrients into the complex organic nutrients found in whole food. 

New Chapter utilizes a unique fermentation process to produce their line of whole-food vitamins. Here’s how it work: first, they create a nutrient-dense soup of certified organic whole food concentrates, water, and organic non-GMO soy. Next, a beneficial form of active “living” yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is added to begin fermenting the soup. Like the old arcade game Pac-Man, the yeast gobbles up all the nutrients in this broth. Finally, New Chapter adds plant enzymes to de-activate the yeast as well as another set of probiotics to further enhance the bioavailability of these nutrients. When the process is complete, the USP nutrients that were initially present in the soup are completely biotransformed into living whole-food complexes and are delivered with millions of synergistic cofactors. Studies conducted at the University of Scranton show these nutrients are more readily absorbed and are significantly more biologically active than their isolated USP counterparts. 

New Chapter offers a variety of multis (seen here at that are formulated for your specific health needs, gender and age. Finally, and maybe best of all, since they are essentially food, you don’t have to worry about feeling sick to your stomach because whole-food fermented nutrients are so easily digested even on an empty stomach.

Mike Ventresca is the owner of Vital Choice Healthstore located at 9243 Sprague Road in North Royalton’s Timber Ridge Plaza. The phone number is 440-885-9505. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.