Making Nutrition Work

Get all the latest from Natural Health Techniques delivered directly to your inbox when you join our newsletter here.

Stay in touch:

Sign up for occasional updates/videos/tips/specials and receive the Fast-Start Bonus Report with or 150 Tips and Tricks to optimize your health today!

Notes from “Making Nutrition Work” Seminar

Spokane, WA Feb. 2007 with Dr. Holly Carling

“If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything!”

Have you ever wondered what doctors learn when the go away for continuing education? Here are my notes from one alternative medicine seminar. I often type my notes to make things more understandable and to seat the information into my memory. I hope you can pick up some tid-bits of useful information about nutrition to benefit your health and the health of someone you love. Enjoy!  Denice

Topics Discussed in the Making Nutrition Work Seminar

  • Herrings Law of Cure
  • Healing Crisis
  • Antibiotics and Gut Flora
  • Low Dose Aspirin Therapy Hazards
  • Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
  • Sleeping Pills Pushed onto Teenagers
  • Quality Supplements
  • Why we need Enzymes
  • Vitamin C Supplements
  • Gut Ache After Swallowing Supplements?
  • Cheaper to Stay Healthy
  • Vitamin E Supplements
  • Attitude Influences Health
  • Chew Your Supplements
  • Are You Low in Calcium? An Easy At-Home Test
  • Butter Eaters
  • Omega 3 Oil
  • Best Fish Oil Fish Sources
  • Olestra
  • Good Fats Don’t Make You Gain Weight
  • Dry Skin
  • Trans and Hydrogenated Fats
  • Nutrasweet Sequesters in the Brain!
  • Splenda
  • Harrower’s Chart of Endocrine Gland Interaction
  • Adrenal Health
  • Pituitary Gland Health
  • When Patients Stop Responding–What to Ask
  • Prilosec Shreds Stomach Lining
  • Natural Treatments for GERD
  • Zinc and Calcium Deficiencies
  • Anemia
  • Iron Supplements
  • Hybrid Plant Quality
  • USP Supplements
  • Whole Foods Are Better
  • Are Your Supplements Bioavailable?
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Body Statistics and Fun Facts
  • Why Whole Food Supplements?
  • The 3 Basic Types of Supplements
  • Crystalline Supplements and Coal Tar
  • High Potency Vitamins
  • Is Organic Better?

Making Nutrition Work Seminar Notes:

Our bodies: We breakdown and replace over 24 Billion cells a day. See the reason why we need to supply our bodies with good nutrition to replace those cells? Just 100,000 cells per day that degenerate and are not replaced add up to permanent damage over the years. Every component of every cell in our body is totally replaced within a 9-month cycle (some are replaced many times over).

The body’s innate wisdom is that it always adapts whenever possible. Disease and degeneration of tissues only occurs over time when the body is shorted of the key components it needs to repair itself.

Herrings Law of Cure says, “The body heals from the inside out, from head to toe and in reverse order of when the symptoms first occurred.” What you see as a priority to repair may be different than what your body wants to repair. The body heals the most compromised things first. Pushing it to heal things out of order or out of the prioritized list the body innately has chosen often causes the body to react negatively. Pushing it to fast is also not good. It can throw you into what is called a Healing Crisis. Health occurs in cycles. (See my handout on this under the Basics of Health:

Antibiotics: It takes a full year to restore the damage that antibiotics do to the digestive system.

Aspirin and Low-dose Aspirin therapy may predispose the body to aneurisms. Eating lots of dark leafy greens or taking Standard Process Green Food will keep your blood thinned. Fats interfere with coumadin as well. Cardio-Plus is a great product because it strengthens the heart, builds better oxygenation to it, thins the blood and contains CoQ-10 (and it’s cheaper than CoQ-10!)

Cholesterol lowering drugs (statins) pull CoQ-10 out of tissues causing side effects such as muscle pain and weakness.

Sleeping pills pushed onto teenagers. “National Sleep Awareness Week” is the last week in March. Some call it “National Sleeping Pill Advertising Week.” The Foundation who sponsors this event is run by drug companies that make sleeping pills, by sleep lab operators and mattress makers. Not quite an unbiased source. While the promotion will cite all sorts of statistics about sleep-deprived teens, they are not likely to brag about this: The use of sleeping pills in kids ages 10 to 19 has skyrocketed 85 percent in recent years, with spending up 223 percent. As a nation, we’re spending billions on sleeping pills and drug companies are spending hundreds of millions to get us to use more. Read more on sleep here:

Quality supplements: If we give our body top-quality, highly assimilated whole food based nutritional supplements and foods, these replacement structures make healthier cells. We need great quality raw materials to make up the components of each cell.

Enzymes are the nails and screws of nutrition. Imagine building a house with no nails or screws. That house doesn’t stay up very well under any kind of environmental pressure. Well, our bodies are the same. We need top-quality components to stay physically and optimally fit and to increase our energy and longevity.

Cheap Vitamin C: Chemicals such as ascorbic acid (cheap vitamin C) and dl alpha tocophorols (man-made vitamin E) rob the body of the other missing components of the whole vitamin therefore preventing long-term repair (although you may feel better temporarily). Read about natural sources of Vitamin C here:

Synthetic supplements containing “oxides” are non-usable forms of minerals. The body cannot break these down especially with weak stomach acids. (Those with GERD and blood type A people and people over the age of 40 are prone to low stomach acid.)

Stomach hurts after taking pills/nutritional supplements? Many pills are coated with varnish to keep them from falling apart. The stomach doesn’t know what to do with this or how to digest these poorer quality supplements so you get pain in your stomach.

(Note: I’ve seen some chocolate coated with this as well—always purchase high-quality chocolate—preferably dark chocolate to get those extra antioxidants!)

It’s cheaper to spend the money to stay healthy (even eating 100% organic) than it is to be sick. A 10-year study in 1995 done in New York tracked two groups of people for 10 years who had volunteered for this study. One group ate whatever they wanted with no attention to eating organic or changing their diet. Another group ate only organic nutritional foods. The amount each group spent on medical bills and food was added up to determine that it’s cheaper to stay healthy.  The cost of junk food and pre-packaged foods were cheaper than purchasing fresh, organic foods. You can either invest in health or illness. It’s your choice.

A new study of Vitamin E showed that it did NOT protect the heart from heart disease and that over 200 IU Vitamin E caused heart palpitations and flushing and actually contributed to heart disease. The thing the study didn’t tell you is that they used a synthetic vitamin E. The original studies used Vitamin E from a wheat germ oil source. No wonder gobs of my clients test they need this particular product and not some brand you can purchase from the local drugstore. Other natural sources of Vitamin E:

Our attitude influences whether or not we are healthy. If we think sick thoughts, we create sick cells which then make up less than perfectly functioning tissues, organs, and systems. It’s important to think MORE positive thoughts each day than negative ones to actually tip the scales toward health.

It’s best to chew your nutritional supplements if you can so that you can take advantage of the neuro lingual reflex. This reflex affects the taste buds so that it sends a message to the brain so that the nutrients in the supplement or food goes where it needs to go to repair the body. Products are 80% more effective when chewed. If you can’t possibly do that, then it’s better to take them than not, so swallow them. Capsules don’t need to be chewed, only the tablets.

Are you low in Calcium? Here’s a simple way to find out. Wrap a blood pressure cuff around your calf and pump it up. If you don’t feel pain and have to stop before you get to 200, then your calcium is fine. If it hurts too much and you have to stop before you can pump it up to 200, you are calcium deficient. Calcium comes in all kinds of forms. You’ll need to take the form correct for you body. Incorrect forms cause kidney and gall stones and arthritis. Natural forms of Calcium (Hint: Parsley is pretty much good for everyone.)

Fats should be eaten with your calcium supplements for best results. Cataplex F (an unsaturated fat) brings calcium into the bones.

Butter eaters have better pain tolerance than margarine eaters. It’s best to eat organic butter though because herbicide and pesticides are sequestered in fat. So. . .we milk the cow, skim the fat off the milk then concentrate it to make butter giving us a hefty dose of chemicals! Doesn’t make sense does it? And what about ice cream and non-organic cheeses? Same thing.  (Read why margarine is bad for you:

Tuna Omega 3 Oil by Standard Process labs is made from Yellow Jack and Skip Jack species of Tuna which is lower in mercury than Albacore Tuna. They harvest the smaller fish which are even less contaminated with mercury.

Best fish fat sources include: Mackerel, Sardines, Salmon, Tuna, and Herring.

A quick way to determine if you have enough good GLA Essential Fatty Acids in your oil supplements is to freeze a capsule. If you cut it open and it’s still liquid inside, there is enough good fats. If you cut it open and it’s frozen inside, this is not good.

To digest fats you need B vitamins and good digestive enzymes.

Olestra, that non-calorie fat that causes explosive diarrhea is still in some crackers. The problem with this product is that it does not allow the fat soluble vitamins (A,D, E and K) to be utilized by the system. Side effects of Olestra: (Do people even use this anymore? Gross! 2/24/20)

All fats do not make you gain weight: The essential fats found in the healing oils of freshly pressed almonds, flaxseed, sunflower and sesame seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin, pistachio, and olives all have life-giving properties. They feed every cell, tissue, gland, and organ of the body. In this book, Fats that Heal Fats that Kill, Udo Erasmus dispels many of the myths about fat, including the belief that all fats make you fat. He reveals which oils to avoid and which ones can help normalize your weight.

Polyunsaturated (good) fats help to decrease cellulite.

Dry skin is a sign of low Essential Fatty Acids. Udo’s Choice Blend oil is awesome for this. Your skin should feel like a baby’s bottom.

Trans fats and hydrogenated fats replace the natural fats in the cells with a harder substance (much like plastic) which does not allow the cells to function correctly. These bad fats can be found in coffee creamers, boxed foods and in peanut butter that does not have to be stirred.

The best use of NutraSweet is as an ant killer because it is a neurotoxin. It is made of three parts chlorine and one part sucrose. Strangely enough, 40% of the newest sweetener, Splenda, is never excreted from the body. Scientists don’t actually know where it is going in the system, but Dr. Holly told us of a patient of hers that was having surgery for a brain tumor. The surgeons cut into the pituitary gland to do a biopsy and out oozed this white substance which stumped the doctors so they took a sample of it and turned it into the lab. Apparently this patient had in the past had a habit of drinking over 6 liters of Diet Pepsi each day and the NutraSweet was sequestering in his brain. Gross.

When one gland is imbalanced, other glands have to take up the slack. We discussed Harrower’s chart of glandular balance. You can see the interactions by viewing the chart below. (Getting to the core cause of hormonal imbalance is really the key into getting back into balance and off medications.)

Products for adrenal health include Desiccated Adrenal (for short term gain) and Drenamin or Drenatrophin PMG to repair the adrenal cells over time.

The Pituitary gland is the master endocrine gland. When there is a problem with that gland, lots of hormones are off (I routinely see people with adrenal exhaustion, male or female hormone problems, diabetes and thyroid issues all in one person!) Products for pituitary health include E Manganese, Pituotrophin PMG and Neuroplex.

Making Nutrition Work 1

When a patient stops responding to your treatment, ask them if they have added something in addition to the program you put them on. Most will admit they ran out of a particular product and added something different or a different brand name of a supplement. Before changing the protocol or adding new things, ASK! Many of these “new latest greatest” products take you further away from your goal. Often a cheaper brand is adulterated with other components that compete for some of the building blocks that are making your well.

Prilosec shreds the lining of the stomach and inactivates stomach acids necessary to digest protein eventually causing more harm than healing. Tums takes away the digestive function.

Natural treatments for GERD are WAY better than any medication you can take. (I’ve found to be much more effective in my own practice.) Natural products to use are Multizyme, Zypan, Betaine, Choline and Cholecol. Cholecol is great for those who have had their gallbladders removed.

Note: Eating for your blood type is almost a slam-dunk to healing this issue. If the client takes these pills and the stomach burns, it is an indication that there is tissue damage in the stomach which means that we need to heal this before the stomach can produce proper levels of normal hydrochloric acid. Okra pepsin (made from Okra and Tillandsia and glandulars) does an excellent job of coating and healing the lining and Multizyme helps to digest only the dead tissue inside the digestive tract. Gastrex (4 capsules poured into a bit of warm water) can be used for acute acid reflux symptoms.

How to use Betaine HCl to heal GERD: Increase the number of pills taken one per day (up to several per meal in equal doses up to 45 pills/day) until you feel a warm swishy feeling in the stomach, then cut back and start all over again by taking one pill and increasing it by one pill per day again. Each time you use this pulsing method, the number of pills you will have to take to get to that warm, swishing feeling will be about half. The goal is to get to a normal dose of 2 pills per day for those people who have a history of acid reflux problems.

Acupuncture works better when your body has enough minerals. Min Tran is the cheapest whole-food based mineral, but some people are allergic to this because it contains alfalfa (that answers why most people don’t test strong on this product!) Min Tran can be used for insomnia (taken 2/meal and 6 at bedtime—best to suck on them), or by taking Min Chex (6/night).

Note: Min Chex helps to balance out the electrical activity of the brain. I use it for epilepsy cases in my own practice.

If you are low in zinc and calcium, you are usually low in all your minerals. Without proper minerals in the body, your body had a tendency to recruit heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury to the job that the other major minerals should be doing. These heavy metals take the place of zinc. Cadmium is linked to every step of the cancer process.

Anemia—digestive problems—especially stomach issues seem to be the core cause of many forms of anemia. When there is little or no acid to digest the food, then iron can’t get into the system (Hmm. No wonder I’m seeing so many people these days that are anemic—they are all on stomach acid neutralizing drugs!)

Iron Supplements: Ferrous Fulmerate (the kind of iron pill prescribed by many doctors) is made of coal tar. With good quality iron supplements, the stools should not get black. Ferrofood, Floridix, and blackstrap molasses are all better sources of iron, but you still have to get those stomach acids back (Betaine HCl is used for this.)

Hybrid plants have less nutritional value.

Over the past 25 years, we have seen enormous advances in our understanding of the causes of chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer Disease, arthritis and macular degeneration (to name but a few).

Over the past 50 years, our diets, and particularly those of our children, have deteriorated drastically. Our increased consumption of ‘convenient’, ‘low-cost’, processed foods, fast foods and soft drinks (at the expense of natural whole foods) is largely to blame. Even with ‘rationing’ and the deprivations of war, Europeans were more healthy in the 1940’s than they are today.

In an attempt to compensate for the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet, many of us have turned to daily multi-vitamin, mineral and even herbal supplements. Unfortunately, results that appeared so promising in the early days, have largely been discredited by larger, more recent studies. At present, there is very little good evidence that isolated or fragmented vitamin, mineral or antioxidant supplements can significantly reduce our risk of developing chronic degenerative disease. This is not because the vitamin C, for example, in an orange is “superior” to or of any “better quality” than the vitamin C in a multi-vitamin tablet. But rather because the vitamin C in an orange is accompanied by literally thousands of additional vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients which are essential for vitamin C to act effectively. What we are talking about here is a balanced diet at the molecular level.

Ascorbic Acid is the outer coat of the vitamin c molecule and is synthetically made by combining corn syrup with sulfuric acid.

For example, when you look at the amounts of Vitamin C contained in foods, it is relatively small compared to the amount in vitamin and mineral supplements.  For instance, one orange has between 60-80 mg. of vitamin C.  The body is designed to handle foods and should get most of its vitamins from foods. 100 mg of whole-food based vitamin C is equivalent to 1500 mg in a Vitamin C tablet. The potency of a supplement is not equal to its effectiveness or how functional it is in the human body. Also, whole food based substances are in usable small particles whereas man-made synthetic components may be too large for the body to absorb completely.

Many people consume isolated (USP) United States Pharmacopoeia listed vitamins.  USP vitamins are synthesized, standardized, isolated, and are not always from natural sources, and are not always bio-available. In nature, vitamins and minerals are never isolated; they are always present in food in complex form, meaning synergistically connected to other nutrients and elements.  Synergy means that each element works with and is interconnected with each other.  No nutrient stands alone in whole foods. If you are deficient in one vitamin, the orchestra of nutrients in the body can be hindered in their metabolic function.

We must understand man can never duplicate nature perfectly, especially when all vitamins, minerals, phyto-chemicals and enzymes are not yet known to man. Man does not know what they are, has not discovered them yet, their action in the body, and the effect they have in the body isolated or with its other thousands of synergistic substances. How can a scientist produce what he has not yet discovered? Nutrition should not be guess work. Man at his best will never be able to produce the synergy of nature. Put your trust in nature.

Whole Foods are Better: There are thousands of unknown elements in each food. Ten years ago we knew nothing about phyto-chemicals (phyto=plant, plant chemicals), but they were in whole foods, put there by nature, absorbed from the soil, and are absolutely necessary for normal metabolic activities. Without them we lay the foundation for a weak immune system and disease. Look at the list of phyto-chemicals that are in just one whole carrot.

Does your multiple vitamin and mineral supplement have what is in a carrot? Can you even imagine how many unknown but necessary chemical nutrients there are in all the other fruits and vegetables? We will never know exactly what is necessary to make a vitamin or mineral bio-available. There have been studies that have shown that natural food complexes (concentrated foods) are better absorbed than isolated mineral salts.

There is very little good evidence that isolated or fragmented vitamin, mineral or antioxidant supplements can significantly reduce our risk of developing chronic degenerative disease. This is not because the Vitamin C, for example, in an orange is “superior” to or of any “better quality” than the vitamin C in a multi-vitamin tablet.

The Vitamin C in an orange is accompanied by literally thousands of additional vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients which are essential for vitamin C to act effectively. What we are talking about here is a balanced diet at the molecular level.

There is accumulating evidence that isolated vitamin supplements are ineffective in preventing chronic degenerative diseases. The reason for this is not fully understood. However, it is likely that complex interactions between large numbers of the thousands of micro nutrients present in fruits and vegetables are necessary to neutralize free radicals in different cellular systems. Some systems seem to favor specific antioxidants.

In her book, Biochemistry of Foods and Supplements, Dr. Judith DeCava expresses this perfectly: “To isolate or separate a vitamin, mineral, amino acid or other component and call it a nutrient is just as impractical as isolating a steering wheel, battery or carburetor and calling it an automobile. It won’t work without the other parts.”

She also states that electron microscopy indicates that isolated USP vitamins appear larger and have a crystalline appearance compared to vitamins in a natural food complex which have more of a rounded and smaller appearance. Scientists know that particle size is an important factor determining its absorbability.

Another very important factor which is very seldom if ever explained to us is a term called selective absorption. This simply means that the body must choose what it needs and when it needs a nutrient to keep itself metabolically sound. All the known and unknown nutrients must be present at any given time to be absorbed. Only whole foods can supply these.

Fruits and vegetables and other whole foods are absolutely, unequivocally necessary on a daily basis for all humans, adults and children. It is stated that we should eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Do you? Of course not. I would like to add something to this. Three of these fruits and vegetables should be dense, nutritious choices like parsley, kale, spinach, broccoli, and beets. When we do eat these foods? They are usually cooked. Cooking can be detrimental because of nutrient losses, making the equation even more difficult.

  1. We do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  2. We cannot always get seasonal, fresh produce.
  3. The soil and our foods can be very nutrient deficient.
  4. We do not eat the dense nutritious fruits and vegetables. If we do, we cook them and destroy a large part of the necessary enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
  5. Keep in mind frozen, processed, and canned foods can be deficient, to say nothing of foods that are shipped in from distant places that are losing their nutrient value.
  6. We do not eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are necessary for everybody throughout their lifetime. Synthetic supplements may not be.
  7. The known and unknown synergistic nutrients are in whole foods – fruits and vegetables. They are not in man made supplements.

We know that the foods we are eating on a daily basis are not doing the job. It is a mistake to think that deficient soils and overcooked foods will support a healthy lifestyle and longevity. Plenty of studies have proven these statements otherwise. In some situations supplements are necessary.

Your first priority is to eat wholesome foods. Second, choose concentrated food sources to support your diet. Third, choose your vitamin and mineral supplements according to your needs.

Are your supplements bio-available? Moreover, taking large quantities of specific vitamins and minerals is of questionable benefit to begin with. Supplements should be judged not by how much of a given nutrient they contain, but by how much is actually absorbed by the body. Our bodies only absorb small amounts of nutrients at any single moment, not the huge amounts contained in most synthetic supplements.

Oxidative Stress: There’s a war going on every second of every day between the forces of good “the antioxidants” and the forces of evil – the free radicals. Sadly, for most of us for most of the time, the free radicals are winning. Researchers have a name for this sorry state of affairs: they call it OXIDATIVE STRESS. They have even devised a whole battery of laboratory tests to measure it. Oxidative stress has been found at increased levels in virtually every chronic degenerative disease we have looked for it. We have found it in tumors, in the blood streams of heart and stroke patients, in the brains of victims of Alzheimer and Parkinson disease, in the lungs of asthmatics and in the joints of those crippled by arthritis and rheumatism.

FM (fibromyalgia), previously called fibromyositis, is a poorly understood disorder characterized by generalized fatigue and pain in various muscles, tendons and ligaments. Symptoms may be persistent or recur in episodes lasting a few days at a time. Women age 20-50 are most commonly affected. FM is most likely present when the patient reports tenderness in at least 11 out of 18 characteristically painful sites. Like CFS, a diagnosis of FM is often made by the exclusion of other conditions since no specific clinical or laboratory tests are yet available.

Over the past few years several researchers have demonstrated an association between oxidative stress and both of these conditions. Compared with normal subjects, patients with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and FM had higher blood levels of well-established indicators of oxidative stress such as malondialdehyde and pentosidine whose formation is closely associated with oxidative stress. There was also more oxidative damage to DNA and lipids in their muscles. It follows that increasing antioxidant intake may have a role in the management of CFS and help to reduce muscle symptoms.

Help for Fibromyalgia: Scandinavian researchers have recently described patients with FM who switched to a strict uncooked vegan diet (fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, germinated seeds and sprouts) rich in naturally-occurring antioxidants and other phytochemicals. Compared with a control group of FM patients who continued with their usual (omnivorous) diet, those consuming the vegan diet showed significant improvements in joint pain and stiffness as well as in their quality of sleep and perception of general health. In an earlier study, whole food nutritional supplements resulted in a remarkable reduction in initial symptom severity with continued improvement in patients with FM and CFS.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a cruel fate robbing those affected of both physical and mental faculties often at the end of a long and fruitful life. Sadly, for some, much earlier. In the United States, 40 new cases are diagnosed every hour In Canada, 1 in 50 (age 65-74), 1 in 9 (age 75-84) and 1 in 3 (age 85+) people are affected. The precise cause is largely unknown although recent studies strongly suggest a link to lipid peroxidation, the result of free radical damage to fats.

Several hundred studies have already been published on the role of oxidative stress and Alzheimer Disease. Researchers from Rotterdam and Chicago recently reported that fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins C and E, carotenes and bioflavonoids reduced the risk of Alzheimer Disease by between 40% and 70%. Predictably, isolated vitamin C and E supplements had no apparent effect on the risk of developing Alzheimer Disease.


Humans cannot break the laws of Nature. They can only break themselves against these laws. Consider the human body and the natural laws that determine how the cells are nourished.

Body Statistics and Fun Facts: The body is composed of between 80 and 100 trillion cells. Approximately one billion cells must be replaced every hour – 24 billions cells a day. In a section of skin the size of a quarter, 1/20th of an inch thick, contains: over 3 million cells, 36 inches of blood vessels, 144 inches (4 yards) of nerves, 1,300 nerve cells 100 sweat glands. Each cell contains 300 to 800 “power plants” – mitochondria. Each mitochondrion in liver cells has about 5,000 respiratory units; in heart cells about 20,000 respiratory units.

The body contains over 1,600 types of protein, each made of a different number and combination of about 20 to 22 amino acids. Enzymes are one type of protein. Every biochemical reaction depends upon a chemical response triggered and controlled by a specific enzyme system. Each cell must contain from 50,000 to 1000,000 of these enzyme systems ready to go to work in a millionth of a second.

To carry on the life process, each of the 80 to 100 trillion cells must digest constructive food, excrete wastes, repair itself, and carry on other essential functions. Every cell requires all the known and unknown elements of nutrition.

Nutrients in foods are highly synergistic interactive complexes. Synergy means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, that the relationship, which the parts have to each other, is the most catalytic, most empowering, most unifying, most functional or effective part. Synergy means that 1 + 1 may equal 8, 24, or even 1,600. Synergistic function produces more and better results than any action of any part separated from the whole.

Perhaps ecology can describe the synergism in nature. Ecology is concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environment. Everything is related to everything else. It is in the relationship that functional powers are maximized, that balance is maintained, that health and well-being is enjoyed. If any part of the ecological whole is disrupted or destroyed, it adversely affects all the other parts and the whole. In fact, the whole is changed, altered. Function or effectiveness is in the unity, the interdependence, the teamwork.

For example, a vitamin is an extremely complex organic substance needed in small amounts yet essential for life and metabolic processes (growth, maintenance, repair, energy). Although often considered a single substance, each vitamin is a “group of chemically related compounds.” Separating (fractionating) the group of compounds into single, incomplete portions converts it from a physiological, biochemical, active micronutrient into a disabled, debilitated chemical of little or no value to living cells. The synergy is gone.

The true potency of vitamins is delivered to the cells through the combined effect of the vitamin complex, rather than a single chemical, and is a functioning mechanism. The discovery of hundreds of phytochemicals since 1990 validated this concept. There is still much about food complexes that have yet to be discovered. Whole foods “harbor a whole ratatouille of compounds” that have been segregated or manufactured by humans because, until recently, scientists did not even know they existed and do not know how many more there are.

With natural foods and foods concentrates, the body can chose to assimilate its needs and excrete what it does not need. This is selective absorption. In contrast, fractionated and/or synthetic supplements allow no choice. The body must deal with the chemical in some manner and can suffer consequences of biochemical imbalances and toxic overdose.

A food can be isolated into many of its component parts but the body cannot get along on the parts so isolated. To isolate or separate a vitamin, mineral, amino acid or other component and call it a nutrient is just as impractical as isolating a steering wheel, battery, or carburetor and calling it an automobile. It won’t work without the other parts.

Why Whole Food Supplements are Better:

Isolated, nonfood, or synthetic supplements have a limited effect compared to their natural complex counterparts found in whole foods. They can have drug like – rather than nutritional – effects and can produce symptoms from constipation and headaches to kidney and liver damage. They can and do create biochemical imbalances which are worse than deficiencies.

All vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, co-enzymes, phytochemicals, and any other forms of nourishment found in nature come “packaged” with an abundance of other nutrients in an interrelated, balanced arrangement to ensure their optimal absorption and use (function) in the body. This is the safest, best way –Nature’s way – of providing nutrition.

Chemists, try as they may to duplicate Nature’s way, cannot do so. Compared to fractionated or manufactured supplements, a much smaller quantity of food complexes are required – “high” potency is not needed for the most effective function. Nature is the best chemist.

Whole natural foods and food supplements (if properly processed) are enzymatically alive (Greek, bios). Human-made (synthetic) or separated (dissected) supplements are dead chemicals. Ingestion of lifeless chemicals which the body may treat as toxic, and which can cause deficiencies, imbalances, or other adverse reactions, will not really build health. Human health requires live biochemicals that are readily accepted and used for maintenance, repair, energy, and function. Does the body know the difference? Absolutely. It is a matter of chemistry versus biochemistry.

There are three basic supplement types available on the market today:

1. NATURAL: Natural means vitamins as found in natural foods, untampered with in any way that might change their molecular, biological or biochemical combinations, or their action. This usually means that only the fiber and moisture are removed. All labels of truly NATURAL food concentrates should indicate the exact food source from which the vitamin is obtained.

2. CRYSTALLINE: Means it had a natural food as its original source but was treated with various high-powered chemicals, solvents, heat and distillations to reduce it down to one specific, pure crystalline vitamin or amino acid; and hence is no longer natural. It no longer has its synergistic components, that is , its enzymes, co-enzymes, minerals, mineral activators, and co-vitamin helpers. It has been reduced to a pure crystalline powder with one definite simple chemical structure. In this form it is but one simple phase of the complete VITAMIN COMPLEX.

3. SYNTHETIC: Means that in the laboratory the scientist has reconstructed the exact structure of the CRYSTALLINE molecule by “putting together” or chemically combining the same molecules from other sources. Therefore, chemically, there is no difference between the two. The Crystalline may have a slight advantage in that it is difficult to reduce any natural product to an absolute pure state and any impurities would be “synergists,” hence, giving a little added value to the Crystalline over the Synthetic. On the label for either Synthetic or Crystalline only the chemical name of the single vitamin is usually given. Legally it is not necessary to give the source from which the synthetic chemical is derived.

When man realized his foods had been devitalized (through “modern” processing methods), he decided to replace the lost vitamins. But in his effort to extricate himself from the refined food trap, “scientific confusion” led him to try to replace the nutrients with “chemical man-made vitamins.”

So, here again, he refined down vitamin products into pure crystalline vitamins, robbing them of important food values just as he had refined natural grains and natural sweets into their pure crystalline carbon–white flour and white sugar.

Then, to save money he duplicated these crystalline vitamins synthetically, mostly from coal tar products. Thus natural vitamins as natural foods were robbed of nature’s life and valuable elusive nutrients.

Science proves that while man can isolate from our foods known factors comprising about 99 percent of total weight, we cannot maintain normal nutrition or “life” by consuming the factors thus isolated. Nature still withholds that something that sustains “life.”

High potency” is a much abused term. Test animals on a “high potency enriched diet” do not live as long as those on the same low vitamin diet WITHOUT the enrichment.

The human biochemistry requires bio-available (available to the cells) complexes, NOT huge amounts of crystalline pure or synthetic fractions of vitamin complexes.

Is Organically Grown Food More Nutritious? by Virginia Worthington, ScD

(This article is a summary of a review article entitled “Effect of Agricultural Methods on Nutritional Quality: A Comparison of Organic with Conventional Crops” by Dr. Worthington which appeared in Alternative Therapies, Volume 4, 1998, pages 58-69.)

There are more than 30 studies comparing the nutrient content of organic crops and those produced conventionally with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In these studies, various individual nutrients in individual crops were compared, such as zinc in organic versus conventional carrots, or Vitamin C in organic versus conventional broccoli. In the more than 300 comparisons performed in these studies, organic crops had a higher nutrient content about 40% of the time, and conventional crops had a higher nutrient content only about 15% of the time.

Overall, organic crops had an equal or higher nutrient content about 85% of the time. These results suggest that, on average, organic crops have a higher nutrient content. While the overall outlook is favorable for organic crops, there is too little data for most individual nutrients to say anything at all. But for three individual nutrients – Vitamin C, nitrates and protein quality – there is enough evidence to suggest that organic crops are superior to conventional ones. Compared to crops grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, organically grown crops generally have higher vitamin C content, a lower content of carcinogenic nitrates and better protein quality.

Is Organic Better?

The health effects of pesticides in our food and the environment are slowly becoming clear; immune suppression, hormone disruption, neurological damage and more. Many people agree that you should definitely purchase organic whole grains and cereals. The surface area of these substances allows for a larger amount of herbicide and pesticide exposure.

Food regulations recognize babies’ delicate systems by banning preservatives and artificial colorings from all baby food, organic or not. It makes sense, therefore, to avoid all the other synthetic chemicals in our foods, with their potential links to asthma, skin problems, behavioral changes, fertility issues, laboratory cancers, and so on.

In straightforward nutritional analyses, organic food tends to have more in it, both in terms of dry weight and nutrients (see chart below). This is because organically grown produce must be grown in enriched soil and because modern methods of farming with agrochemicals can speed up the growth of a plant, changing its structure to be more full of water. In other words, although it may still look like a carrot you are actually buying less food.

The average price difference between organic produce an non-organic produce is around 20 per cent. Organic produce was found, on average, to contain 26 per cent more dry matter (less water) — therefore actually making it cheaper to buy organic. This is why non-organic produce tends to shrink more on cooking as its high water content evaporates.

Comparison of Organic vs. Non-Organic Produce

Component Mean % increase in organic produce vs. non-organic produce

• Dry matter +26%
• Potassium +13%
• Calcium +56%
• Magnesium +49%
• Iron +290%
• Copper +34%
• Manganese +28%
• Protein +12%
• Essential amino acids +35%
• Nitrates +69%
• Phosphorous +6%

Great Links and References for Making Nutrition Work: