Category Archives: Supplements

When the Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts…

Why Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Still Beat Dietary Supplements, by Julie Chen, MD

natural-vs-synthetic-700x402Much of the marketing that is used to sell dietary supplements comes from the logic that if something has a favorable effect on your health, then it’s base components must be the reason behind it all. Say for eample, scientists and doctors notice that green and yellow vegetables help decrease your risk of cancer. And it just so happens that these same green and yellow vegetables also have high levels of beta-carotene. Does this mean that beta-carotene is the magic ingredient responsible for lowering your risk of cancer?

Not necessarily.

Going back to our green and yellow veggie example. Yes, it’s true that there has been a noticeable inverse relationship between the consumption of vegetables high in beta-carotene and cancer. But studies focused on just beta-carotene supplements have been conflicted, with some concluding that the supplements had either no effect or a negative effect. So then what is it about these mysterious fruits and vegetables?

Whole Foods vs. Supplements

When you take a supplement, you’re basically taking a purified form of an element, such as iron, vitamin D, or calcium. When you eat an apple or an onion, however, you’re also ingesting thousands of phytochemicals (antioxidants are a form of phytochemical). Phytochemicals are bioactive non-nutrient plant compounds. It’s estimated that more than 5,000 have been identified, but a large percentage still remain unknown to us. More and more evidence is surfacing in support of their effect on reducing cancer.

In a 1992, an epidemiological review of around 200 studies that examined the link between fruit and vegetable intake and cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, oral cavity, stomach, bladder, pancreas, and ovary was conducted. Block et al found that out of 156 dietary studies, 128 showed that the consumption of fruit and vegetables had a significant protective effect. In addition, the risk of cancer for most cancer sites were twice as high in individuals with low intake of fruit and vegetables compared with those with high intake.

Manufacturing An Apple

Now you might be asking, why don’t the pharmaceutical companies just manufacture a pill that contains these phytochemicals? They would if it were that simple. First off, phytochemicals come in all sizes, shapes, polarity, and solubility, which may in return affect the bioavailability and distribution to all the different cells, organs, and tissues in your body. It would be near impossible to mimic this sort of interaction and complexity in a pill, even if we did have a full understanding of what these thousands of phytochemicals are and how they interact with one another and your body. An apple might seem simple to you, but its chemistry and make-up are far more complex than you can imagine.

To further support fresh fruits and vegetables as a preventative treatment for cancer, a study of 9,959 men and women (age 15-99 years) in Finland showed an inverse relationship between the intake of flavonoids and the incidence of all combined sites of cancer. And in 2003, a article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proposed that “the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities, and that the benefit of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is attributed to the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in whole foods.” We might not know exactly how it works, but we know it works.

No Need To Worry About Dosing

When you take a supplement or multivitamin, dosing becomes very important. Even if something is good for you in small doses, a large dose may suddenly become toxic. But when you get your nutrients from food, it’s unlikely any negative side effects will occur. At the moment, the naturally low levels of phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables have a beneficial effect on humans, but what happens at higher doses? There is no set recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for phytochemicals at this point, and as such, It’s unclear whether the effects of phytochemicals at high levels is effective or even safe.

Whole Foods: The Best Kind Of Multivitamin

Another way to look at fruits and vegetables is by considering them as Mother Nature’s multivitamin, perfectly packaged and delicious. Instead of reaching for different bottles containing various nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins, find a way to lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle full of fresh produce and a varied combination of fruits and vegetables. Sign up for a CSA box, go to a local farmer’s market and talk to the people growing your food, and be adventurous. Never had a rutabaga before? It’s never too late to try one.

If you have a history of cancer in your family or are going through treatment for cancer, it’s absolutely imperative you get your nutrients and antioxidants from whole foods. It’s also important to note that should you decide to use dietary supplements as a back-up, please clear it with your oncologist beforehand. Previous research has found that high levels of vitamin C can have pro-oxidant properties!

Supplements can be a great gap-filler for those who find it impossible to eat a balanced diet or have certain medical conditions, but the best option for both cancer patients and healthy individuals is a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables.

 Full article with references… 

Let’s not confuse Juice Plus+ with the supplements described in this article. Those supplements have a “Supplement Facts” label; Juice Plus+ products have “Nutrition Facts” labels because they are classified as ‘food’ – all our products are ‘whole-food based’. Juice Plus+ does ‘supplement’ our diet, but it does so by bridging the gap between the fruits and vegetables that we do eat and what we should eat for optimum health.

We also use the Tower Garden to grow our own produce on our back patio. Like Juice Plus+, Tower Garden is clinically proven to be the best way to get those fruits and veggies that we all need to eat more of.

Gum Disease and Nutrient-Dense Food Supplements: Results of an In-Office Study

A guest post by Alvin Danenberg, D.D.S. in Well Being Journal, because your smile is important!


Today, there is a 47 percent prevalence rate of periodontitis among adults in the United States. Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease, where not only are the gums infected but the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth is infected and breaking down. For those who are over 65 years old, the prevalence rate jumps to 70 percent.

I have been a periodontist (a dentist who specializes in gum disease) for forty years. For the first thirty-five years, I treated advanced gum diseases the way most periodontists do: by performing traditional gum surgery, which was somewhat successful but relatively uncomfortable for patients. Several years ago, I learned a better way for my patients. In 2010, I became licensed in a laser procedure called LANAP® (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) that kills harmful bacteria, helps grow new bone, and creates overall better results without the use of a scalpel or sutures. Most important, patients don’t experience the pain or swelling that has been part of traditional gum surgery.

In 2013, I started to become educated about the importance of ancestral nutrition and nutrient-dense foods, and how they affect dental and overall health. I attended a five-day nutrition course for health professionals, held at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and, several months later, a four-day Food As Medicine conference. This education was life changing for me and has been life changing for many of my patients. I personally became reenergized, and I reengineered my periodontal practice.

With all this new information pertaining to lifestyle, I also wanted to know what science had to say about nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods specifically for gum disease. I researched PubMed, which is the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s database of published medical research from around the world. I found one study regarding gum disease and Paleolithic nutrition  and several recent studies involving nutrition and gum disease. However, I could find no studies on how specific nutrient-dense foods affected the progress of gum disease. So, in March of 2014, I decided to create a study using my own patients who wished to be a part of my research. I enlisted the help of Ramiel Nagel, researcher and author of Cure Tooth Decay, who designed the study with me. Now my research is completed, and the results are in.

Selection of Patients 
The specific criteria for patient selection were:

• The patient could not have been on any antibiotic during the last three months.

• The patient had not undergone active gum treatment (including deep cleaning or a general cleaning by the hygienist) in the last three months.

• Infected gum pockets (the spaces between the gum and tooth) bled when a periodontal probe (a gum-pocket measuring instrument) was gently inserted into the gum space.

• The gum pockets had a depth of at least 4 mm (1-3 mm without any bleeding while being measured with a periodontal probe is considered healthy).

• No more than four individual teeth per patient who met the criteria were selected for the study.

• Participants were instructed not to change any habits, lifestyle activities, dietary regimens, or medications during the course of the thirty-day study.

We selected thirteen patients who met the criteria above for the study. They agreed to take a variety of nutrient-dense real food supplements for thirty days to find out if these supplements would be effective in reducing some of their manifestations of gum disease. I examined and measured 41 teeth within this group of thirteen patients.

I gave these patients three different nutrient-dense food supplements in capsule form, containing various micronutrients, which they took almost every day. The micronutrients are identified in websites referenced below.  A synergistic effect exists from taking this combination of supplements.

Full article … 

In the first clinical study of Juice Plus+ from a dental perspective, researchers at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom (full article) recently completed the clinical phase of their analysis of the impact of Juice Plus+ on measures of gum health in 60 adults. The results were impressive…

Synthetic vs Natural Supplements: what you need to know

This is a guest post by Lee Holmes, Holistic Health Coach and author of best-selling books Supercharged FoodEat Yourself Beautiful and Supercharged for Kids. natural-vs-synthetic

research study conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that only 5.5% of Australian adults had an adequate daily intake of fruit and vegetables. This is a problem especially for young adults as only 3.4% of persons aged 25-34 years were meeting the government’s dietary guidelines.

These figures are worrying when we know that people who do not follow a balanced diet, including eating sufficient fruit and vegetables, are at greater risk of developing long-term health conditions including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

We all know what’s good for us: more exercise, less stress and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and plenty of water.  Our bodies thrive when given proper nutrition, especially one that focuses on vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins and minerals play a vital role in the human body and are required for virtually every bodily function that occurs. The problem, however, is that most vitamin supplements are made from synthetic isolates created in a laboratory and often contain additives, fillers and artificial colors.

That’s why it’s important for us to know the difference between natural supplements made from whole foods and synthetic supplements.

Synthetic vitamins are manufactured to mimic the way natural vitamins act in our bodies whereas natural vitamins are derived directly from plant material containing the vitamin source, offering the full nutritional benefit of natural whole foods.

As humans we need to include a range of macro and micro nutrients in our diet and the most natural way to achieve this is by consuming whole foods with their vitamins and minerals intact.  Vitamins and minerals act as cofactors in our bodies, they’re like a missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle that is essential for our enzymes to work. Enzymes coordinate the thousands of chemical reactions that happen in our cells every day, and having the right type and amount of vitamins and minerals help to make the process of in our cells to function optimally.

Vitamin C is vital for functioning of your immune system, growth and repair of tissues and healthy bones.  It is not uncommon to use it as a quick immune boosting injection leading into winter, but as a Holistic Nutritionist I recommend that my clients consume Vitamin C daily through fruit intake or supplementation as it is a very good detoxifying agent in the body.

Many of the vitamin C capsules available in market nowadays are made from synthetic ascorbic acid which is created in a lab but one the best ways to increase your vitamin C quota naturally is to look for a whole food vitamin created from fruits that are super high in Vitamin C such as camu and acerola cherry.

Vitamin D is another vitamin which acts as the keeper of calcium levels in our blood and our bones.   Calcium helps the nervous system to function properly, and to ensure healthy strong bones.  Vitamin D enters the nucleus of a cell, binding and switching our cells on to produce proteins that increase calcium in our blood, and we achieve this via our Vitamin D rich natural whole foods sources.  If you’re not getting enough Vitamin D through whole foods sources, your body will source it from your bones.


When sourcing the most natural vitamins as supplements it’s imperative to choose 100% vegan supplements, from natural vegetable extracts and containing no animal products, gluten or lactose.  Unlike synthetic vitamins, natural vitamins not only offer health benefits but also the full nutritional benefit from consuming natural whole foods.

As the awareness around the importance of eating real whole foods is rising in Australia and other parts of the world, it’s important to not only focus on the food we eat but also everything else we ingest: water, personal care products and supplements.

Together with a healthy diet, pure, filtered water, chemical-free beauty products and natural supplements made from real foods are the key to reach optimal health, naturally.

Great article, but … even the most natural, plant-sourced supplements cannot compete with whole-food based nutraceuticals like Juice Plus+.

They have “supplement facts” labels, Juice Plus+ has a “nutrition facts” label, because it is food. None of them – to my knowledge – have any research, whereas Juice Plus+ has been clinically studied with research published in more than 30 reputable journals!

Food Antioxidants and Cancer

Antioxidant intake from foods (not supplements) is associated with lower cancer risk. This is an excellent, informative video:



I am so glad that Juice Plus+ has a Nutrition label, not a Supplement label, because it is whole food based. As you can see above (Garden Blend capsules), Juice Plus+ is non-GMO and gluten-free, with nothing artificial or synthetic. It is also NSF certified and Kosher. You can see the rest of our product labels here.

Many of the 30+ published studies of Juice Plus+ have shown significant increases in antioxidant levels in the blood – coming from the fruits, vegetables and berries that are used to make Juice Plus+.

Be encouraged … take heart … encourage others!

Ever feel stuck or discouraged concerning your health, your weight, your shape … your life?

I want to encourage you that what you put in your body today counts.

You can create healthy habits that will continue for a lifetime, and although you may face challenges at times, your body and those you encourage by your success will thank you for it.

Yes, you WILL encourage others!

10 Things to Know About Vitamin D

vitamin DA recent study has found that insufficient levels of vitamin D in older adults doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. But it’s not just older folks, like me, who aren’t getting enough of the sunshine vitamin. Most kids don’t get enough either.

What is vitamin D? Why is it important? Why aren’t people getting enough? And what are its best food sources?

But first …

Vit­a­min D is not a vitamin

We’ve been taught that Vit­a­min D is the “bone vit­a­min”, but it is really more of a sun hor­mone. The word “vit­a­min” means “some­thing my body needs that I can’t make, so I must get it from the food”. D hor­mone is instead, a chem­i­cal that we make on our skin from sun expo­sure. It is a hor­mone like thy­roid, estro­gen or testos­terone. Using the proper word “hor­mone” reminds us that it affects mul­ti­ple parts of the body and that it is not “extra”. It is essen­tial to every cell in the body and it is not in the food. It is sup­ple­mented in milk but as a cup of milk has only 100 IU of vit­a­min D you would have to drink100 cups of milk a day to keep from being D deficient.

What else you need to know

1. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in food but can also be manufactured by our body after exposure to sunshine’s UV rays. fat soluble means it needs a to be consumed together with a small amount of oil/butter/lard etc… to be effectively absorbed by your body.

2. Vitamin D’s job is to help the body absorb and regulate calcium and phosphorous levels in the body.

3. Without vitamin D, our bones don’t get enough calcium and bones become thin and brittle, or don’t develop properly if you’re still a growing child.

4. In the past most people got enough vitamin D just by being outdoors, but the industrial revolution and lifestyle changes it brought about have led to drastic reduction in this source for most people. Today, many people apply sunscreen for outings, thus reducing the vitamin D manufacturing capability of the body.

5. According to the National Institute of Health, anyone over the age of 1 needs 600 IU (International Units* ) of vitamin D. Seniors over the age of 70 need 800 IU.

Note:* 1 microgram of vitamin D = 40 IU.

6. In the past, vitamin D deficiencies led to skeletal diseases such as rickets. The US and other countries began fortifying milk with vitamin D as a public health measure, and pretty much eradicated these types of diseases.

7. Today virtually all milk sold in the US is fortified with 100 IU (International Units) of vitamin D per cup. Other products are also fortified with vitamin D. Examples include yogurts and breakfast cereals. Some sugary children’s cereals have jumped on the vitamin D fortification bandwagon, but they usually provide just 10% of the daily requirement while pumping your kids up with too much sugar.

8. The best food source of vitamin D is a teaspoon of cod liver oil (1,360 IU), but most people dread just the sound of that, not to mention the taste. Herring, sardines, salmon, and tuna are also good sources but usually do not supply enough of the vitamin.

9. Some nutrition experts therefore recommend vitamin D supplements, even if you are eating healthfully.

10. There are several forms of vitamin D:  D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5, but the most relevant to nutrition are D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). When used in supplement pills, D2 is derived from yeast or fungus, while D3 is from animal sources.

4 Reasons to Take Juice Plus+


Having ‘eaten’ Juice Plus+ for 21 years, we recognize its value as a convenient, inexpensive way to get more whole foods into our diet. But it’s so much more than that. The implications of that reality are exciting, and it presents so many reasons to take Juice Plus+. Here are some of our favorite reasons we’ve heard people explain why they take Juice Plus+.

1. To live a healthier life.

Most of us don’t eat the amount of fruits and vegetables we should. Luckily, Juice Plus+ can help bridge that nutrition gap. Research and medical professionals have found Juice Plus+ positively impacts:

  • Dental health
  • Cardiovascular wellness
  • Skin health
  • Immune system function
  • Inflammation

And we’ve noticed Juice Plus+ also often leads to other smart lifestyle decisions, such as eating healthier and exercising.

Hear Jan Roberto, M.D., discuss how Juice Plus+ can lead to longer, healthier lives in this video.

2. To set a good example.

Those with children know that when it comes to encouraging healthy habits, actions speak louder than words. What better way to demonstrate your commitment to a healthy lifestyle than by taking Juice Plus+?

From our Children’s Health Study, we’ve learned that most families who take Juice Plus+:

  • Eat healthier
  • Visit the doctor less
  • Miss fewer days of school and work
  • Take fewer over-the-counter and/or prescription drugs
  • Are more aware of their health and wellness

In this video, CHS participants share how Juice Plus+ has impacted their families.

3. To enhance performance.

When you train hard, your body needs micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables to protect against damages of oxidative stress. Our research has found Juice Plus+ helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body. So it’s no wonder professional athletes like Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors take it!

In the following powerful video, learn how Juice Plus+ helps young triathlete Winter Vinecki—and what that means for Team Winter, her prostate cancer awareness non-profit organization.

4. To inspire healthy living.

Helping improve the health and lives of family, friends and even strangers is an honorable and fulfilling mission, and it’s easy with Juice Plus+.

Watch the video below to hear our team discuss the Juice Plus+ corporate mission of inspiring healthy living around the world.

My family will continue to eat Juice Plus+ forever, because we know what it has done for us. My 68th birthday is coming up in a few days and I am in that tiny population my age that takes no medication of any kind, and can live life to the full! I also love that we are privileged to help people feel good, look good, make money and have fun!

Choosing Food-Based vs. Synthetic Supplements

Today’s post comes from Kristin Savory, a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s hormone and thyroid imbalances. After years of working with various supplements, she switched to food-based supplements in her practice with excellent results. 

Are your supplements synthetic?

If you’re into health then you’ve probably been known to cruise the supplement section of your local health food store from time to time. Maybe you’re even taking supplements recommended from your health care practitioner.

Over and over, we’ve been told that we need to take supplements because our diets are lacking vital nutrients.

But what’s really going on in those supplement bottles?

We don’t hear much discussion about synthetic supplements. Even as a health care professional, I assumed the nutrients in the high-end brand of supplements I was taking—and selling to patients—were extracted from a natural source. The Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) I was taking must have been from oranges or some other food, so that it was in a form my body could easily absorb.

Boy, was I wrong.

Whole Food vs. Synthetic Supplements

There’s a big difference between nutrients from whole foods and the nutrient ingredients used in the vast majority of supplements. After all, supplements are a billion- dollar industry aimed at maximizing profit. With modern day marketing, many popular supplement recommendations, from the necessity of a daily multi to high-dose vitamin D, are being sold to us.

Take a carrot for instance.

Carrots are loaded with nutrients. Bigwigs like beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), as well as lesser-known players like folicin and mannose. In fact, scientists have isolated about 200 nutrients and phytonutrients in the humble carrot.

These 200 nutrients work together in mysterious ways. The little guys help get the big guys and vice versa, There are enzymes, coenzymes, co-vitamins , minerals, and other factors that help the nutrients work together synergistically.

Scientists don’t know how all this works, and they probably never will. It’s the magic and mystery of nature.

Take a look at the standard multi-vitamin label. We’re content when we see 20 ingredients listed in high percentages. Now think about that carrot again. There’s over 200 known nutrients in that carrot. Foods are complex in their nutrients because nutrients need each other to be properly absorbed and integrated into our bodies.

In our culture, we’re used to the idea that “more is better.” If beta-carotene is good for the eyes, then a whole bunch of beta-carotene must be really good for the eyes.

This type of thinking is not how Mother Nature works when it comes to nutrition. 

Foods are balanced. Foods are loaded with lots of nutrients but never in megadose quantities. You’d be hard-pressed to find a food with 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid, let alone the 5,000 mg–10,000mg doses often sold at stores or from health care professionals.

Whole-food whiz Judith DeCava, CNC, LNC writes in her book The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants:

Natural food concentrates will show a much lower potency in milligrams or micrograms. This is frequently interpreted to mean they are less effective, not as powerful. Unfortunately, the `more is better’ philosophy is far from nutritional truth.

And this:

Vitamins are part of food complexes and must be associated with their natural synergists (co-workers) to be properly utilized and be a potent nutritional factor. In other words, a minute amount of a vitamin that is left intact in its whole food form is tremendously more functional, powerful, and effective nutritionally than a large amount of a chemically pure, vitamin fraction.

In the case of nutrition, “more” definitely isn’t better.

So where are supplement manufacturers getting the nutrients to make their pills?

Most of what’s being sold to us (even the supps with the healthy folks and rainbows on the label) are chemicals, repackaged in creative ways.

Most supplements contain mega-dose vitamin isolates without their little guy partners, also known as vitamin fractions. Others are simply chemical compounds made in factories, also known as pure, crystalline vitamins.

Both are synthetic and both are a detrimental to long-term health because they’re man-made, not nature-made.

Mother Nature knows best. Nutrients need each other to work effectively in our bodies. The big guys need the little guys just as much as the little guys need the big guys.

When we take supplements in high doses or in isolation from their natural counterparts, there will be consequences. Initially, our bodies might do well with these synthetics because of our extreme deficiencies. But over the course of time, synthetic vitamins can create even deeper deficiencies.

Quality Over Quantity

DeCava notes that synthetic Thiamine (B1: a common chemical ingredient of most standard multivitamins) “will initially allay fatigue but will eventually cause fatigue by the build-up of pyruvic acid. This leads to the vicious cycle of thinking more and more Thiamine is needed, resulting in more and more fatigue along with other accumulated complaints.”

But perhaps this story of a medical doctor held captive during the Korean War [1950-1953] is the most telling example.

After a period of time with a poor diet, his fellow prisoners of war began to show signs of beriberi, a disease that results from a severe thiamine deficiency.

After contacting the Red Cross, they sent him some vitamin B1 in the synthetic form, Thiamine HCL. What happened to his patients with the pure-crystalline fraction? They continued to decline.

In fact, the plague worsened until that same doctor listened to a couple of guards who told him that rice polish (known today as rice bran) could be used to alleviate the symptoms. The doc started feeding his patients the rice polish one teaspoon at a time. Within a short period, his patients’ improved and the beriberi plague ceased.

Bottom line is that nature’s nutrients are packaged to perfection. A simple teaspoon of rice polish outperformed a high-dosage, synthetic compound.

How to determine if your supplements are synthetic or food-based *

Does this mean we have to throw out our supplements altogether? Not so fast.

First we need to know the difference between whole-food concentrates and synthetic supplements. It’s all in the label.

Read the ingredients. The ingredients tell it all. If a nutrient is listed as a food like liver, a glandular, an herb, fish oil, pea vine, or alfalfa, you’re good to go. If there are chemical names like niacin, thiamine, or tocopherols, you’ve got a synthetic on your hand.

In nature, B vitamins come from the likes of nutritional yeast and liver, not niacin or thiamin. Vitamin C comes from green leafy vegetables, citrus, and buckwheat juice, not ascorbic acid. You’ll find vitamin E in wheat germ oil and pea vine, not in tocopherols.

Look at the DV percentage. The percentage of Daily Value is based on chemically pure vitamin fractions. If the nutrient on the label is listed at 100% or more, you’ve likely got a synthetic product on your hands. Remember, nature is low dose but highly potent.

Beware of singular vitamins. Mother Nature works in tandem. Her nutrients are never found alone. If you’re taking a supplement all by itself, such as vitamin E or D, it’s guaranteed to be synthetic.

Don’t buy the hype. The supplement industry is an industry just like anything else. Major supplement manufacturers often sponsor studies and/or donate money to research programs at universities likely having some influence on both the study design and the results and conclusions reached.

The simple truth is that profit margins are much higher when manufacturers replicate standardized compounds rather than go through the careful, labor-intensive, more expensive process of compounding whole foods.

When it comes to supplements, it’s safer to stick with intuition and follow Hippocrates’ advice: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

* What was the very first whole food based nutritional product (introduced 21 years ago?). What is the top selling whole food based nutritional product (in a capsule) in the world? What is the most thoroughly researched and proven whole food based nutritional product in history?If you look closely at the picture (top and bottom) those capsules surely are …


How To Avoid Becoming A Supplement Junkie

Have you been in a health food store recently? Standing in line you can see people with shopping carts filled to the brim with no less than 30 boxes of different herbs, vitamins, and supplements of all kinds. B-complexes, glucosamine, licorice, vitamin E, vitamin C, ginko, garlic, and St. John’s Wort, just to name a few. While this is certainly an extreme example, it’s not as rare as you might think.

We have the power to determine how healthy our cells are by the choices we make with our bodies. Our bodies are equipped with an incredible ability to go towards health when they are supplied with the right building materials. If your cells are like houses, the quality of the cell is dependent on the building materials which are found in our food.

For some, taking vitamins has become just another way to manage symptoms, rather than treating the root cause of a problem. Here’s how to avoid it:

1. Eat real food.

If it was grown on a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, avoid it. If it has a label stay away. Colorful plant foods — dark greens, blues, reds, oranges and yellows — are all indicators of powerful plant compounds called phytonutrients that turn on anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxifying genes.

2. Go local and organic when possible.

Since you’re now eating real food (see #1), you’re going to be having a lot more fruits and vegetables. Organic foods are free of chemical pesticides. While some pesticide may not create symptomatic effects in most people, they can build up and get stored in fat cells of the body.

3. Create the perfect plate.

Fifty percent should be low-starch veggies like broccoli, asparagus, salad fixings, 25% lean protein (chicken, fish, beans, nuts or seeds), and 25% gluten-free whole grain like brown rice or quinoa, or starchy veggies like sweet potato.

4. Cut back on sugar.

Eating sugar and high carbohydrate processed foods spike insulin, which throws a monkey wrench in hormone production in the body. Insulin production is an important process for storing nutrients and processing glucose in the bloodstream, but our bodies simply can’t handle the insulin requirements we throw at them.

5. Get moving.

Weight loss aside, exercise is important for brain and nerve function. Movement of the body feeds the brain. If you have your nervous system working properly, then the tissues of your body will just work better.

6. Start strong.

As part of your morning ritual, add a green smoothie (this can be any combination of several greens, avocado, coconut oil, and a little fruit). This is designed to deliver great nutrient-dense antioxidants and phytonutrients from vegetables with the fruit added to sweeten and lessen any bitterness from veggies like chard, kale and spinach.

7. Ditch the wheat.

Wheat has taken over our food supply. Our modern wheat has literally become a poison which makes you fat, inflamed and addicted. Two slices of whole wheat bread raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugar. Give it up for a month and watch your health transform.

8. Fill in the gaps.

Look, we’re all super busy. Sometimes it gets hard to meet all of your nutritional and movement needs in our day to day lives. Work gets in the way, kids get in the way, sleep gets in the way. I get it. That’s where supplements should fill in the gaps. I recommend omega-3s, vitamin D, and probiotics as supplements most people can use. *

Read the full article…

* Excellent advice; of course, we also recommend Juice Plus+! Here are more articles on Supplements (and why many are simply not a good idea).

The Difference Between Natural Vitamins vs. Synthetic Vitamins

There is a lot of confusion out there about ‘vitamins’.  Let’s try to clear it up.

Vitamins are little organic molecules we need, but we can’t make, or have a hard time making, them ourselves. We rely on our food to keep us stocked with these essential nutrients, but our food is getting less and less nutritious. Pesticides limit the action of beneficial microbes in soil that help plants draw in nutrients. Fertilizers focus on certain key chemicals and don’t take into account the trace minerals, organic components, or beneficial microbes. Genetically modified foods have made their way into our food supply, and we don’t know how they will affect us long term.

natural_vs_synthetic_vitamins_imageOn top of these problems, we refine and process our food so it lasts longer, tastes better, and is more addictive. We strip and destroy vital nutrients as we do so. Much of the food we find in grocery stores barely resembles what humanity has been eating for thousands of years. There’s no wonder we have so many auto-immune disorders, food allergies, and growing epidemics with obesity. Our bodies don’t know what we’re ingesting; they aren’t finding the nutrients they need; and they are begging for us to eat more, so we do.

We all know we need a steady supply of vitamins and minerals so our bodies can function properly. Scientists, doctors, and food companies agree, so they create cheap vitamins in labs, recommend multivitamins, and fortify our foods and beverages. The problem is they all use synthetic vitamins.

Almost all multivitamins are from synthetics. The same goes for fortified foods. There’s a good reason for this. Synthetic vitamins are cheaper to make and usually more stable. This means they can last on shelves for months or years, be added to foods in high doses, and create dense tablets that won’t be too big to take along with some fillers and binders. These vitamins are allowed to call themselves “natural” even when they are synthetic because they are considered virtually identical to the ones found in food.

The way these compounds are made is not remotely similar to the metabolic processes that plants and animals use. The finished product is also usually a compound not found in nature in any such form. These synthetic vitamins, according to a multitude of studies, are not as bioavailable, absorbable, or usable. These “virtually identical” vitamins are not what we find in natural foods. They are not recognizable to the body, are hard on the kidneys, and can be treated as toxins.

natural_vitamin_a_beta_carotene_picNatural Vitamin A – Vitamin A shows up in food as beta-carotene. The body must convert it into vitamin A to be useful. This sounds less effective, but vitamin A can be toxic in large doses. Beta-carotene allows the body to convert what it needs and discard what it does not.

Synthetic Vitamin A – Synthetic vitamin A is retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate. This synthetic is made from combining fish or palm oil with beta-ionone. Beta-ionone is created using citrus, acetone, and calcium oxide.

Natural Vitamin B1 – Thiamin, or vitamin B1, is a water soluble vitamin created by plants and bound to phosphate. Digestion releases the thiamin using specialized enzymes.

Synthetic Vitamin B1 – Thiamine mononitrate, or thiamine hydrochloride, is made from coal tar, ammonia, acetone, and hydrochloric acid. It is crystalline in structure, unlike plant-based vitamins. Many synthetic vitamins are crystalline. Crystals in our blood stream cause damage and mineral accumulation where it isn’t needed, like joints.

Natural Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin is easily absorbed, stays in the blood stream for long periods of time, and is readily used by the body in important enzymes.

Synthetic Vitamin B2 – Synthetic riboflavin is made with acetic acid and nitrogen, or using genetically modified bacteria and fermentation. It has been shown to be less absorbable, quickly removed from the blood stream like a toxin, and expelled in urine.

Natural Vitamin B3 – Niacinamide, or nicotinamide, is what we find in food and commonly call niacin. Niacin can have side effects, but these are minimal when coming from plant foods.

natural_vitamin_b5_pantothenate_imageSynthetic Vitamin B3 – Nicotinic acid is created using coal tar, ammonia, acids, 3-cyanopyridine, and formaldehyde. It is less absorbable and has risks of side effects.

Natural Vitamin B5 – Pantothenate is the natural version of this essential B vitamin.

Synthetic Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid involves isobutyraldehyde and formaldehyde to form a calcium or sodium salt. The alcohol derivative, penthenol, is sometimes used as it is more stable.

Natural Vitamin B6 – Like B1, pyridoxine is bound with phosphate in plants to make pyridoxal-phosphate. This is the biologically active form. Any other form of B6 must be converted into this phosphate combination.

Synthetic Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine hydrochloride comes from petroleum ester, hydrochloric acid, and formaldehyde. It isn’t readily absorbed or converted and has been shown to actually inhibit the action of natural B6 in the body. It also has side effects not normally found with natural food sources of this vitamin.

Natural Vitamin B7 – Biotin is involved in cell growth, fat production, and metabolism.

Synthetic Vitamin B7 – Synthetic B7 is produced using fumaric acid.

Natural Vitamin B9 – This B vitamin exists in food as folate and is very important in the creation and repair of DNA, thus the importance during pregnancy.

Synthetic Vitamin B9 – Folic acid doesn’t exist in food, is crystalline, and is not easily absorbed despite the large amounts that are added to vitamins and supplements. It comes from petroleum derivatives, acids, and acetylene.

Natural Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin B12 is only created by micro-organisms like the bacteria that grow in soil and our intestines, as well as some micro-algae and perhaps seaweed.

Synthetic Vitamin B12 – Cobalt and cyanide are fermented to make cyanocobalamin. That’s correct. Cyanide.

natural_choline_found_in_plants_imageNatural Choline – Choline is often grouped with B vitamins. It is combined with phosphate in nature and is important in cell membranes and keeping fat in check.

Synthetic Choline – Choline chloride or choline bitartrate are made using ethylene, ammonia, and hydrochloric acid or tartaric acid.

Natural Vitamin C – This vitamin is readily available in citrus, red bell peppers, berries, and many more fruits and vegetables. In nature it is combined with flavonoids and phytonutrients that help in absorption.

Synthetic Vitamin C – Ascorbic acid is an isolated vitamin from genetically modified corn sugar that is hydrogenated and processed with acetone.

Natural Vitamin D – Mushrooms, yeast, and lichen produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Humans do too. A daily dose of about 20 minutes of sunlight provides all we need.

Synthetic Vitamin D – To mimic the natural production we find in our skin, scientists irradiate animal fat to stimulate vitamin D synthesis.

Natural Vitamin E – Vitamin E actually refers to eight different fat soluble compounds and it acts as an antioxidant that protects fats from oxidation. The most biologically active form is found in grains, seeds, and the oils from these.

Synthetic Vitamin E – The synthetic dl-alpha tocopherol is created using refined oils, trimethylhydroquinone, and isophytol. It is not as easily absorbed, doesn’t stay as long in tissues, and is quickly dispelled like a toxin or unknown chemical.

natural_vitamin_k_in_dark_leafy_greens_picNatural Vitamin K – This vitamin is important to proper blood clotting and some metabolic pathways. It is found in dark, leafy greens.

Synthetic Vitamin K – Synthetic vitamin K, menadione, comes from coal tar derivatives, genetically modified and hydrogenated soybean oil, and uses hydrochloric acid and nickel. It is considered highly toxic and damages the immune system.

Vitamins should come from food sources as much as possible. If you want a multivitamin, reach for ones that use whole food sources like holy basil, guava, and other herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Synthetic vitamins are isolated or simulated nutrients that do not take into account all the countless phytonutrients that come along with them. Nature is not a select few things. We are only beginning to understand how many of the lesser known compounds in plants react with one another as we eat them, but we do know humanity has been eating whole foods for a very long time. We have evolved to recognize the whole, not individual chemicals that have been created to approximate an essential vitamin.

Avoid supplements that use words ending in -ide, acid, or that use the “dl” before the name.

Minerals are the same. They are not considered organic materials as they come initially from the earth, but plants incorporate them into their systems and combine them with organic compounds. This is how our bodies know them and incorporate them as well. Minerals are combined with proteins to form enzymes or to aid in the movement of oxygen. Get minerals from plant sources as much as possible too. Your body is begging you for the vitamins and minerals it knows.

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Of course, Juice Plus+ is full of the ‘natural vitamins’ the are found in the original fruits, vegetables and berries – 26 of them!