Ebenezer Wellness, Inc. Newsletter
January, 2009  *  Deciphering Supplement Labels  *  1.09.2
Reading Supplement Labels
Bountiful Meal
Is it food or not?  Here are some helpful hints for deciphering labels.
Synthetic Supplements... 
Use marketing labels such as Mega, High Potency, Newly Discovered, Patented and Exclusive.  They typically list 5-20 "FDA allowed" vitamin names with consistently high percentages of RDA requirements.  Example...25%, 50%, 25%, 333%, 400% etc. 
Other words to beware of are crystalline (processed with chemicals, solvents, heat and distillation) and synthetic (often from industrial byproducts and synthesized in a lab.)  Other give-away words are:
Whole Food Supplements...
These simply list foods from which the supplement is derived.  The percentage RDA will be low in comparison to the synthetic supplements, but the cofactors and synergists that provide the whole package are present, making the supplement more potent in your body.  The foods will likely sound strange, but they are rich sources of nutrients.  Examples...
Pea Vine Juice
Wheat Germ
Brussels Sprouts
Liver, spleen, adrenals
Oat flour
There will occasionally be a synthetic nutrient included for a variety of reasons, but it will not be in large quantites or at the top of the list.
Quick Links

Nutritional Highlight:

21 Day Purification Program
Are you feeling tired, sluggish, overweight and in need of a change of eating habits?  A great way to start the New Year is to join the thousands of people across the country who have experienced renewed energy, weight loss, better sleep and reduction of many "toxicity"symptoms through the Standard Process 21-Day Purification Program. This is not a "fad" diet or a dangerous cleanse.  It is an eating plan and whole food supplements designed to support your body's natural ability to detox and to feed your body for improved funtion.  Contact our office at 214-415-0760 for more information. 

Reported on April 14, 1994 in The New England Journal of Medicine was a study in which 29,000 male smokers were given synthetic beta-carotene and synthetic vitamin E to evaluate the cancer protective effect of these "vitamins".  After 10 years, the men taking the synthetic beta-carotene had an 18% higher rate of lung cancer, more heart attacks, and an 8% higher overall death rate.  Those taking synthetic vitamin E had more strokes.
 [Food sources of these same nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables, consistently demonstrate protection against heart disease, cancer and stroke.]
Reported on November, 2007 in Readers Digest, the article "The Vitamin Hoax, 10 Not to Take" lists Vitamins A, Beta Carotene, C, E, Selenium, Niacin, Folic Acid, Lycopene, Iron and Zinc as more dangerous than helpful.  The article recommends food rather than supplements and states that "no one knows for sure why a food source may be more beneficial, but one theory is that nature provides a perfect balance of compounds that isn't fully replicatable in the lab."
[There is actually a great deal of nutritional research before 1950 that explains this phenomenon.  If you start from a food perspective rather than trying to isolate the ONE KEY component and you start with a belief that the body is intelligent in its' actions then it is intuitive.]
Food is the answer!
The nutrients that we get from our food are the building materials to build and repair our body.  QUALITY MATTERS! 
If you currently take supplements and this is all too confusing, call for a free initial consultation regarding what you are taking and why.  If you are already part of our practice but have never brought in your bag of supplements for evaluation, take advantage of this service. It could save you money and improve your health.
To a healthy 2009,
Nutritional Solutions
The first question we should ask is what is the difference between concentrated, whole food nutrients and synthetic mega-, multi-, anti-oxidant supplements? 
A whole food contains a multitude of vitamins, minerals and enzyme co-factors that work together synergistically to support the health of your body.  Isolating out "THE" one most effective element is a way of standardizing, controlling, obtaining a patent and also a way of manufacturing a product for pennies and selling for a huge profit.
In reality what happens when you take a synthetic vitamin such as ascorbic acid is that you may feel better at first.  If your body has the co-factors needed to utilize the isolate, you will make use of that for a few days or weeks.  However, as the co-factors are used up, you will find you are deficient in the very nutrient you are taking!
When looking at supplement labels, you  want to look for  whole food ingredients Examples are beets, pea vine, liver, wheat germ, buckwheat, kale, barley grass, carrots, etc.  These do not sound glamorous, but they are the living fuel that you need for the job of regenerating yourself on a daily basis.  It is best to look for organically grown foods since they are more nutrient dense and contain no pesticide residues. 
There are very few whole food supplements on the market.  Even among those that are whole food, many are not processed in such a way as to maintain the enzymes and nutrients at their highest levels.  There are several reasons for this. 
First, it is more costly to grow an orange organically, cold process it and press and package it in a way that preserves the enzymes and co-nutrients and yet offers some reasonable shelf life.  Contrast this to the inexpensive process of synthetically manufacturing the isolate of the vitamin and you can see there is an economic motivation.  
Secondly, there is a marketing advantage to synthetics.  It is very confusing to the consumer to see one product that shows 1000 mg Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and then compare that to a whole food supplement that only shows 17mg Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).  We think, "Surely more is better."  Legally, the only portion of the Vitamin C Complex that is allowed to be called Vitamin C is the isolate, ascorbic acid, although it comprises only about 5% of the whole Vitamin C complex.  
Thirdly, you may wonder how the current system of labeling the isolate as the vitamin came to be. The heritage of modern medicine and pharmaceutical research is to isolate each of the parts, determine the role that each part plays and then put it back together in a way that is superior to the original product found in nature.  This is one of the foundational differences between holistic health care and conventional or modern medicine.  

In our practice, we utilize whole food supplements almost entirely.  Working with Standard Process, we are confident that we have a product that has proven its value over time and we can expect consistent therapeutic results from these high quality, nutrient dense products.
All material in this publication is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction.  No action should be taken solely on the basis of this publication; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well being.  The information and opinions provided by this publication are believed to be accurate, tested and sound based on the judgement available to the authors.  But readers who fail to consult with appropriate health professionals assume the risk of any injuries.
Copyright, 2008  Ebenezer Wellness, Inc.