Don’t Turn Your Back on Nature

As the health revolution continues and people start to wake up to what is going on with the “traditional” MEDI-sin companies are truely turning their attention to the supplement market.

This is a huge market with great profits and less regulation than it otherwise should have..

BUT are they worth it….

Supplements VS. Whole-food, (Nature WINS!!)

“It is now clear that there are thousands of phyto-chemicals nutrients in an apple, each of which, in turn, may affect thousands of reactions and improve metabolic systems.

This enormous number and concentration of vitamin C–like chemicals in apples poses a serious challenge to the notion that a single Phyto-chemical—vitamin C or anything else—is responsible for the major health-giving properties of apples. Even if we measure the amount of vitamin C two apples contain, we can’t assume that one apple has twice the health value of a second just because it has twice the amount of vitamin C; the amount of vitamin C in a given apple may not tell us very much about that apple’s antioxidant power.

This dilemma is not unique to vitamin C–like antioxidants, or any other fruit or vegetable for that matter. The same is true for any nutrient isolated from any whole food. Many chemically similar groups of health giving chemicals present in food and circulating in the body are composed of dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands, of analogs that have the same kind of activities but very different potencies and potentially enhance or even activate each other for proper use within our bodies.

The problem here is not that we can’t provide an accurate answer to how much of a nutrient there is in a given food, or even that we can’t figure out how much we need for optimal functioning (though this is still currently beyond our grasp). The problem is that we are asking the wrong questions—questions based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the wholistic nature of nutrition. We’re asking, “How much vitamin C are we getting?” when we should be asking,

“What foods should we be eating to support our bodies’ ability to maintain health?”

The reductionist mind cannot see the apple as promoting health and leave it at that. If apples are good for us, it can’t be the whole apple. There must be some tiny part of the apple, some chemical inside the apple, that is responsible for its beneficial effects. And our job is to extract that thing from the apple and figure out exactly how much of it people need on a daily basis.

Under this reductionist mindset, healthy eating becomes a crapshoot of nutrient micromanagement—a list of individual nutrients that must be consumed in specific, regimented quantities. But in nature, you don’t find beta-carotene on its own. You can’t cut a slice of beta-carotene out of a carrot. Studies also show that when Beta-carotene is isolated it can cause detrimental effects as apposed to when it is taken in the form of a carrot.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop the supplement industry from trying.” (p. 152)


In studying the apple, Professor Liu and his research team began by choosing to focus on vitamin C and its antioxidant effect.

They found that 100 grams of fresh apples (about four ounces, or half a cup) had an antioxidant, vitamin C–like activity equivalent to 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C (about three times the amount of a typical vitamin C supplement). When they chemically analyzed that 100 grams of whole apple, however, they found only 5.7 milligrams of vitamin C, far below the 1,500 milligrams that the level of antioxidant activity associated with vitamin C indicated.

The vitamin C–like activity from 100 grams of whole apple was an astounding 263 times as potent as the same amount of the isolated chemical! Said another way, the specific chemical we refer to as vitamin C accounts for much less than 1 percent of the vitamin C–like activity in the apple—a minuscule amount.

The other 99-plus percent of this activity is due to other vitamin C–like chemicals in the apple, the possible ability of vitamin C to be much more effective in context of the whole apple than it is when consumed in an isolated form, or both.

Campbell, TC. Jacobson, H.Whole (Links to an external site.). Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. Benbella Books, Dallas, TX. 2013.