As the weather (finally!) cools off here in Texas, a lot of folks are coming down with the sniffles. I know when that used to happen, everyone would say, "Oh, you gotta take your Vitamin C!"
Now, studies have been done showing that isolated vitamins (such as the weird tasting white tablets at the store) do not have as positive effect on the body as a whole vitamin (like from fruits and veggies). This is partially due to where they extract the vitamins and minerals from--for example, many minerals in modern supplements are derived from rocks and petroleum products. In the case of drug store vitamins, the problem is that the vitamin is isolated as a chemical, and doesn't have the necessary co-factors to be used properly.
Let me give you an example--obviously we'll be working with Vitamin C today! A vitamin, as defined in 1956 by Dr. Royal Lee in Applied Trophology is "a working process consisting of the nutrient, enzymes, co-enzymes, antioxidants and trace mineral activators." That's a fancy way of saying when you look at the back of a bottle and it says "Ascorbic Acid" by itself, that's exactly what it is--and that is NOT vitamin C! Vitamin C is actually a blend of trace mineral co-factors, ascorbinogen, bioflaveniods, tyrosinase and other factors.
All of that fancy talk just to say: what you get at the grocery store is a well planned lie. It is a tiny fraction of what you should be getting. It is like someone baking a delicious pecan pie (bear with me here) out of brown sugar, flour, eggs and so on. They put the pie on the table. They pick up a fork. They scoop up ONE pecan from the top of the pie, put it on your plate, wink and say "There's your pecan pie!"
Would you agree with them? Or would you say, "heck no, that's not pecan pie! Where's the rest of it?" That's what your body says when you flood it with a fake, isolated acid, wink at your cold and say "there's some vitamin C!"
It's not. If you eat a strawberry, there's vitamin C. If you drink some rose hip tea, there's vitamin C. And it's intact, with all of its molecular structure that God designed to work as a whole in your body. No matter how you dice it, plant-based nutrients are superior to synthetic isolates.
Let's look at some historical examples. Most of us are familiar with scurvy, right?
Treatment by fresh food, particularly citrus fruit, was periodically implemented, as it had been since antiquity, but the ultimate cause of scurvy was not known until 1932, and treatment was inconsistent, with many ineffective treatments used into the 20th century. It was a Scottish surgeon in the Royal Navy, James Lind who first proved it could be treated with citrus fruit in experiments he described in his 1753 book, A Treatise of the Scurvy, though his advice was not implemented by the Royal Navy for several decades. (From Wikipedia)
In 1842 the medical journal The Cincinatti Lancet published that potatoes treated scuvy just as well as citrus fruit. In later scientific studies, potatoes are shown to have less than 20mg of ascorbic acid! Do you know what most doctors recommend to prevent a cold? 2,000mg of ascorbic acid! So why do potatoes work when ascorbic acid by itself doesn't? Because ascorbic acid doesn't have the necessary components of Vitamin C to make it effective.
I hope this little toe-dip into the world of vitamins and why plant-based nutrition is superior to a synthetic isolated aspect of a vitamin.
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