“Supplements” are liquid, powder, capsule, granule or pill. People will use supplements in an effort to provide the body with the nutrition they’re not getting from food. Unfortunately, most supplements are not from a food source. For example, carrots are a food source for vitamin A. Most vitamin companies have extracted the active ingredient (Vitamin A) from the food (carrots) and made a synthetic copy of this substance. By law, they can call this “Vitamin A”, because it has the exact same chemical composition as the Vitamin A in the carrot. However, the body will use the food-source Vitamin A completely differently than the chemical-source Vitamin A as it goes through the process of digestion and assimilation.
Another vitamin worth looking at in this manner is Vitamin D. Most softgel capsules of vitamin D come from irradiated lanolin from sheep's wool. This is not a food source, and could act like a drug in your body. Look for the herbs fenugreek, and horsetail, and eat food that has a high vitamin D content such as shitake mushrooms. Vitamin D can be converted from the action of sunlight on the skin, and if you put the shitake mushrooms in the sun, gill side up, they will have more V-D as well!
Susan Richter, RN, Nutritionist, CCH, Advanced Digestive Health Practitioner, sharing more than 30 years of knowledge acquired through clinical hands-on experience and the Food Enzyme Institute, (formerly Loomis Institute).