Important: I’ve updated my priors about these products. This article is now the most complete summary of how whole food vitamins work.
The multivitamin has come under attack the last 5 years. A variety of longitudinal studies have creeped up casting serious doubts on their effectiveness, with several suggesting that they might actually deteriorate your health instead of improve it.
For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association studied a cohort of 84,000 male physicians over 6 years to study the effect vitamin supplementation had in preventing various types of cardiovascular disease. As it turned out, the vitamins didn’t do anything. Nada.
Multivitamins are good for preventing conditions that arise from severe deficiency, but their helpfulness seems to taper off pretty quickly when the body is in a high calorie, insulin-rich physiological state that most people with a western diet find themselves in. This isn’t meant to demonize them, but to help people understand that taking one doesn’t help the body exert the metabolic control needed to prevent diseases of convenience.
The Problems With Multivitamins
I’ve written before about the problems with traditional multivitamins.
- Low Absorption. Many of the nutrients in a multivitamin are not in a form that’s biologically available to your body.
- Synthetic isolates might not be good for you. It’s possible that many of the benefits of different nutrients are observed when digested with a complex of nutrients found in food that work together to exert certain regulatory controls over the cell. Without this complimentary nutrient complex isolated nutrients cease to have any nutritional value.
Neither of the latter two points is absolutely true, but the kernels of wisdom contained within extend far enough that it ought to cause many people to re-think their assumptions about the traditional vitamin.
Whole Food Alternatives
For this reason whole-food multivitamins are becoming more popular as an alternative to traditional brands like Centrum.
What is a whole food multivitamin?
- It’s a vitamin! Ie, it’s not a powder, a juice, or something you add to your food. As such its effect on your body will likely share some of the same drawbacks as other vitamins.
- It’s made from food broths. Traditional vitamins are often made from various synthetic materials. A whole food vitamin is typically made from boiling different foods in water and then extracting the nutrients out of the broth and putting in the pill.
To show you their production makes them different, here’s a picture of the Pure Synergy whole food vitamin compared to a traditional synthetic brand:
As you can see the synergy vitamin has a deep green color from the foods used to make them.
Whole food vitamins will frequently dissolve when put in water because they’re not manufactured with the array of plastics and adhesives that go into regular vitamins. If you have questions identifying whole food vitamins vs. synthetic ones, please read my guide on the topic.
These types of vitamins have become more popular in the last five years, but there’s still very little reliable information on their efficacy.
Pros and Cons
As best I can tell, here are the biggest benefits and drawbacks of these types of vitamins.
- Likely to be absorbed better by the body.
- Can be taken on an empty stomach. Lots of people can’t take vitamins on an empty stomach because it upsets their digestion. These problems are typically not as severe with whole food vitamins.
- Less weird additives used to make the pill. Lots of traditional vitamins have a variety of strange additives used to package them. For example here’s the label of a vitamin I saw at a neighborhood drug store:
Lots of weird stuff.
- There is no valid research demonstrating their superiority. None! This doesn’t mean they’re not better per se, but I can not find a single paper that compares the validity of a whole food vitamin to a synthetic one. So at this point their benefits are based purely on theory.
- More expensive. A whole food vitamin will typically run you about $30 or so for a month’s supply which is a good bit more expensive than other brands.
- Less dense. To get a full serving you’ll often have to take 3 to 6 pills,which can be a little inconvenient at times.
So the benefits of these supplements are still a bit speculative. I don’t take a multivitamin currently but when I did in the past I did choose a whole foods vitamin for the reasons I wrote about above.
So with that being said, here are the four best brands I’ve found, both through research and my own personal experience.
The Synergy Company Organic Multi-vitamin
The Synergy company has been around for a long time and generally has a very good reputation. Pure Synergy is a highly respected greens powder, and their multi-vitamins contain 20 different food based nutrients. A 30 day supply costs $24.95
New Chapter Only One Multivitamin
Like the Synergy Company, new chapter has been around for a long time, and they’ve always had a specialty exclusively with different types of multi-vitamins. I’m a tad skeptical about the their more targeted products, but their basic multipurpose multivitamin is high quality. It has 24 different nutrients and probiotics as well. A 30 day supply costs $25.45.
Mega Food One Daily Multivitamin
Megafood has been in the whole food vitamin business for a long time. They source the food for their vitamins locally and culture them in a probiotic broth to extract nutrients. Their vitamins contain 25 different nutrients plus digestive enzymes. They also have the benefit of only requiring one tablet per serving. A 90 day supply costs $32.33.
Nature’s Plus Whole Food Vitamins
Nature’s Plus is a fairly popular store bought brand that distinguishes itself by including a slightly wider variety of nutrients than other brands and by having a reputation for being unusually easy to digest. The vitamins contain 25 different nutrients, including essential fatty acids and digestive enzymes. A 2 month supply costs $40.85.
Which One Is Best?
With the limitations of multivitamins in mind, I think I’d go with Mega Food over the other competitors. I say this because it has the most experience making this type of product and they pay the most attention to the handling of the ingredients used in their vitamins. The food for their vitamins is locally sourced, organic, and is not heat treated.
A Handy Comparison Table
Here’s a useful table comparing these four different brands in more detail. I hope this is helpful!
[table id=2 /]
Research and References
Muntwyler, Jorg, et. al. “Vitamin Supplement Use in a Low-Risk Population of US Male Physicians and Subsequent Cardiovascular Mortality”
Phillips, Christopher, et. al. “Multivitamin Supplements, Ageing, and Loss of Vision: Seeing Through the Shadows”
Gaziano, JM, et. al. “Multivitamins in the prevention of cancer in men: the Physicians’ Health Study II randomized controlled trial.”
Sesso, HD, et. al. “Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in MenThe Physicians’ Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial”
87 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About Whole Food Vitamins”
[…] If you’re curious about where to go further with multivitamins then I’d recommend reading my guides which talk about the differences between whole foods and synthetic vitamins and which brands are the best. […]
Whenever i read these articles i get so frustrated. Megafood, The synergy company, new chapter, garden of life dont make whole food vitamins. They feed or ferment regular isolated or synthetic vitamins with yeast and then pretend they are whole food. I really wish people would stop pretending they are whole food. Natures plus mixes those synthetic vitamins with food and then calls it whole food, what a joke. A true whole food supplement does not involve isolated, synthetic or usp vitamins at any time during the process.
That doesn’t seem to be true what you say about Synergy: http://www.thesynergycompany.com/v/ov_about.html
With regards to what, exactly?
The synergy company most certainly feeds synthetic vitamins to yeast, in order to make their multivitamins and other vitamins with exception of the vitamin c. Call them and ask them: Do you use usp vitamins in the manufacture of your supplements? They ferment usp vitamins with yeast and few foods and then pretend they are whole food
Step 1: Growing the Nutrients
Out of an abundance of certified organic vegetables, fruits, sprouts, grasses, and much more, we create an intensely nutritious broth ideally suited for growing each one of our unique vitamins and minerals. Once the “soup” is just right, we add by hand our “secret,” certified organic ingredient: an amazing, ancient micro-plant capable of bio-transforming all of the nutrients into one of the most dynamic, nourishing foods ever created.
The secret ingredient is live nutritional yeast.
Do you know of any supplement that does not involve isolated, synthetic or usp vitamins at any time during the process? Does one exist? Thanks.
I can tell you three of them, I do not work for or take money from any of them.
Complete Foods Nutrition
Thanks – appreciate the info! I currently take a multi by “Innate Response” … any thoughts on them?
Innate response is the same company as megafood.
Josh … I was going to order the WholeFood complex by “Nutriplex Formulas” but I noticed the following –
Whole Food Complex Contains:
Alfalfa, bovine bone meal, carrot root, brown rice bran, nutritional yeast, sunflower seed, oat bran, astragalus, carob, acerola berry, adrenal gland, bovine liver, potato flour, arrowroot, bet root, date fruit, kelp, bovine kidney, bovine spleen, vanilla bean, stevia.
“Nutritional Yeast.” You spoke against that earlier. Were you aware that nutritional yeast was in Nutriplex Formulas?
Thanks for enlightening me on all of this, Josh. I appreciate it. Too bad I’ve wasted tons of money on “whole food” supplements that aren’t any better than Centrum. I’ll certainly look in to the brands you recommended.
if you need more info or help finding the, completefoodsnutrition.com, pranin.com, nutriplexformulas.com
my email is email@example.com if you need more in detailed info.
I have worked in this industry for 12 years behind the scenes. I can tell you where all the bodies are buried.
Nutritional yeast is not bad. What is bad is when companies, for example, take vitamin d, made from irradiated lanolin, then bind it to a protein and feed it to the yeast and call it whole, raw food. Nutritional yeast by itself (unfortified) is actually a very beneficial food.
Just sent you an e-mail … thanks, Josh!
Josh have you looked at Garden of Life’s new Kind organics vitamins? They are souced from food
I am not going to get into this too much,
Take the kind organics b12 for example.
It says methycobalamin from nutritional yeast.
Methylcobalamin does not occur in nature and nutritional yeast does not have b12. They put this in all of their products.
Innate Choice claims to have an all organic multiple with no yeast or synthetics added.
Realise this is some time after your original post, but I am going through a frustrating process now of trying to find a real wholefood multivitamin without isolates or synthetics or yeasts shoved in a “wholefood base” of a couple of miligrams… Whenever I find one that looks promising, it turns out to be just a cleverly worded way of avoiding owning up to the USP origins of the product.
I have just come across the Garden range of Source of Life products, that actually do seem to be a natural wholefood product, and use Organetics vitamins and minerals in them, which I understand are totally wholefood. Do you know about this range, and as far as you know, are they genuine?
It’s not what it seems and orgenetics is not what it seems. Only whole food companies left are NutriPlex formulas, complete foods nutrition, phytovitamins and some North American herb and spice products.
(There may be some little company out there I have not seen so I don’t want to say no other companies out there but those are all I can find). In June or July I am launching a a line of true whole food kids vitamins. Since I could not find any whole food vitamins for kids.
Please keep us informed about your new line, and where we can get it from.
Would also be interested to know why orgenetics is not what it seems, if you are willing to discuss.
what’s your input on Natures Way Alive! Once Daily Womens Ultra Potency, it was under wholefood section in vitaminshoppe.com a friend of mine says she loves this brand since its plant based & i don’t want any animal products in my multivitamins. Thanks in advance for any reply
Research: FDA.gov In the research bar put: “Lead in Women & Children Vitamins” or just “Lead in Vitamins”. You will come up with pages and pages of Vitamins with lead in them. See if you find just one of the products your manufacturing company has on this list. If they have one, then the rest of their products would have lead in them too. It means they don’t have the equipment to take ALL the toxins out! That’s why they are priced so Cheap! Good Luck!
You start your kids line
The website is rooted-nutrition.com but the products are not ready yet, should be ready later in the year.
Are you familiar with Raw Green Organics or Naturelo supplements? I’m trying to wade through all of the “whole food vitamin” marketing that so many companies are using, and found these two highly recommended on a (hopefully) non-affiliated website and blog.
do you used naturelo product ? i am also thinking to go for it
Naturelo isn’t a whole food multi as it just has whole foods as a base, however their formulas look to be well thought out, using high quality ingredients that are better absorbed. I currently use a Xymogen multiple but was looking for a change as xymogen’s product uses HPMC capsules which I want to avoid.
I’m going to try Naturelo’s Once Daily Men’s Multiple and see how it is.
Hi Josh, are the Phytovitamins made by https://www.naturesbrands.com/phytovitamins-organic-vitamins/. Thanks, Lisa
yes they are
I totally agree with this. The brewer’s yeast + synthetic vitamins trick is just that – a dirty trick. There’s a company called Ora Organic who are doing proper whole food vitamins, with no synthetics: https://blog.healthkismet.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-whole-food-vitamins
You linked to the post listed here, did you mean to list the link to Ora Organic?
Can you please suggest me pure natural multivitamin brand ?
You are mistaken that feeding USP nutrients to yeast is the same as mixing them into a mixture. There are multiple studies including one from Childrens Hospital of Boston where they fed USP nutrients to Sac c. and observed its ability to bio-transform the inorganic compund and change the structure. The Boston study was done on Ferrous Sulfate (an inorganic form of Iron that is constipating at best and toxic at worst.) The yeast used over 350 proteins from its own cell structure to change the Ferrous sulfate into heme, the building blocks of healthy blood. The conclusion of the study notes that this fermented form of iron is potentially more bioavailable than iron from broccoli. If the company truly FERMENTS the USP nutrient using the Sac c. then the product is vastly superior to a USP nutrient or even just the foods
I am going to take your points one by one.
1.You are mistaken that feeding USP nutrients to yeast is the same as mixing them into a mixture.
I am actually well aware of how the process works. I am not going to list the the entire process in detail on a comment section. I would be happy to email anyone the in depth link as to how yeast fed vitamins are made if you like, including certain patents that are public. Sometimes I explain things in easier to understand terms, rather than complex ones so everyone can follow along, but am happy to email back and forth on the in depth, more scientific papers on it. However since you think I do not understand the process here is a basic version, according to the grow the company.
Complete hydration of active dry yeast is achieved by mixing one part of the dry yeast with four parts of water at 95-105ºF. Grow Nutrients® are natural products derived from a pure culture of Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown in enriched molasses under carefully controlled condition. Grow Nutrients® are manufactured by feeding a controlled amount of mineral salt (vitamin) embedded into an appropriate glycoprotein matrix to the yeast during the budding and growth process. This controlled metabolization process results in a mineral/vitamin yeast product in its most natural environment. During the budding and growth process, the mineral salt/vitamin is added to the budding yeast at an exact concentration, then after a predetermined time the yeast is harvested. The mineral/vitamin yeast is then thoroughly washed number of times with purified water. Then the product, upon enzyme treatment, is cold pasteurized, spray-dried and packed.
Here is a link to the grow company references on yeast fed vitamin studies and papers:
I have also been to the grow factory several times and seen the process from start to finish. I also been to several other suppliers in the US that do this type of growing as an investigation for a company looking to start using one these suppliers. So I have quite a bit of experience with this.
2. There are multiple studies including one from Children’s Hospital of Boston where they fed USP nutrients to Sac c. and observed its ability to bio-transform the inorganic compound and change the structure.
If you are going to quote studies you should link to them or provide people with a way to see them. However, lets look at the Boston Children’s Hospital study you are referring to. Now it was behind a paywall so I had to pay for it, but I think it was worth it. I do not know how to a pdf file here, however If someone would like a copy, since I downloaded it I would be happy to provide it so you do not have to pay the fee. Here is a link to the pubmed abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10228348. Never rely on abstract though, read the whole study, many times the abstract says something very different than what the abstract says.
3. The Boston study was done on Ferrous Sulfate (an inorganic form of Iron that is constipating at best and toxic at worst.) The yeast used over 350 proteins from its own cell structure to change the Ferrous sulfate into heme, the building blocks of healthy blood. The conclusion of the study notes that this fermented form of iron is potentially more bio-available than iron from broccoli.
That claim in the article you talk about, is based on reference 35 in the document. If we go to reference 35, http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=PMC398066&blobtype=pdf, it is an experiment to test a theory to see if Heme is the carrier, it is not proof that heme is the carrier. In the end of their experiment, they still were unsure as to what the iron carrier was, or exactly how it worked.
So that study you are referring to does not prove that yeast change iron into heme iron. It is the authors misunderstanding of the reference. For the sake of argument let’s say that yeast does change the form of a nutrient, how do we know what form the yeast changed it into is actually better absorbed and utilized? If they are better absorbed does it lead to any meaningful change in clinical outcomes? Once again any independent studies on live humans to back this up?
4.If the company truly FERMENTS the USP nutrient using the Sac c. then the product is vastly superior to a USP nutrient or even just the foods
An extraordinary claim like should have some easy to find studies supporting it, that are done on live people, not test tubes or rats. In addition these studies would be done by independent organizations not affiliated with companies selling the products or done by people who are paid by these companies.
If I am going to make a claim that big I would damn sure put some references.
I have looked for years and not found one non-company funded one. I would love to see some.
5. None of this however goes to the heart of what this about. Deceptive advertising trying to make people thing that their vitamins are made from food when they are not, looks at these quotes from the synergy company website:
Many women because of mtfhr mutations are wanting multivitamins with folate in them. The synergy company lists on the label that it is folate not folic acid.
But on this page https://www.thesynergycompany.com/purenatal#product_tabs_description_tabbe, it says “Contains organic, whole-food iron that is easy on your digestive system and 800 mcg of whole-food folic acid.” So which is it?
Call them and ask them to say whether they fed the yeast folic acid or folate. Next ask then for a lab test showing that the product is actually folate not folic acid. Products should be properly labeled with the actual form the nutrient is in in the final product. So consumers can decide if it is right for them. Especially when it comes to prenatal products.
I will say the synergy company does make some great fruit and vegetable powders. It is just their vitamins that are not what they seem.
I have a very hard time with all this information because of this. I am over 50 and have taken almost every vitamin ever made. The one vitamin that I always come back to is the New Chapter every woman’s 40 plus and I can honestly say that when I do not take these vitamins I can tell that I am not taking them. Additionally since these vitamins contain probiotics my digestive system works, I have more energy and my skin looks totally different after taking consistently. My energy level goes up as well. In addition I do not have the typical stomach ache that I get from almost every other vitamin on the market. So wouldn’t it make sense to use the vitamin that works instead of critique the ones that don’t have this and that and so on and so forth? Everyone of us is different and why shoot down something that works for someone? If you can tell me about a different vitamin that has similar properties with probiotics that works better and makes me feel is good then share that information with me please. Until I experience something that works as well or better I am sticking to what works for me… Thanks, Raechel
I use Shaklee Vitamins and they have been around since 1956 but we are celebrating the “100 years” this year, 1915 to 2015 of Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee inventing the “Multi-Vitamins” called “Vitalized Minerals”! They have over 90 Peer Review Journal Studies which are the Top of the Line Journal Studies you can put your studies in. If you aren’t in these studies, you don’t really have the proof it’s been done right. Then there is NASA who asked Shaklee to customized a rehydration beverage for the Shuttle astronauts called “Astro Ade”, which is still used today. Yes Shaklee developed it and still supplies NASA with it too. Then lets talk about the famous Jacques Cousteau and Cousteau Society who also selected Shaklee to provide environmentally friendly cleaning products for use aboard their research vessels, the Calypso and Alcyone. They didn’t go to any other Supplement Company for a reason, they didn’t have the science behind them that was proven! Year 2000, Shaklee becomes the first company in the world to obtain Climate Neutral certification and totally offset its carbon emissions, resulting in a net-zero impact on the environment.
Shaklee is 60 years old and is a “Whole Food Supplement Company” only. The results we have seen with a lot of people and my self have been great. My cholesterol I dropped by 77 points with their products along with eating a lot more organic veggies & fruit. Yes, I also walked 30 minutes a day but the products did most of the work. Now, if you don’t believe all this, Check out the one and only study ever done on Multi-Vitamins: Landmarkstudy.com This is done with 1. People who don’t take vitamins, 2. People who take all the other vitamins out there and 3. People who take Shaklee Vitamins.
Now this study is in the Peer Review Journal and it was done in 2007 by UC Berkeley School of Public Health in California. This is a public study so anyone can see it, just google: Landmarkstudy.com
Yes, I am a distributor of them but only because I used their products for 3 years before becoming one and with being a Master Gardener and growing my own organic vegetables for 25 years, I realized that my health improvements meant so much to me and my family that maybe I could help others too. I’m meant to be here where I am and I’m also a researcher and since all the research that I came up with kept leading me to this company with honesty, trustworthy and integrity, I couldn’t help not fall in love with the man: Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee! He was an Einstein in Nutrition & Health! Do your own research and you’ll see what I mean!
Good Health is your Greatest Asset and without it, you have nothing!
One more thing, “Nothing is 100% Organic” any more! Not when you can trace radiation in the air when Japan had their leak to MA air within 3 weeks. Yes, there were traces of radiation in the air and then it rains and it comes down on all of us along with polluting all the ground. So, when you say Organic, please look that up too and do your research, you will find, nothing is really 100% organic, so be careful what you really mean. The best we can get, maybe 90% to 95% Organic but really nothing closer to that. Pilots and if you fly at all, you are taking in radiation all the time, traces of it but it all adds up! Pilots are checked for it all the time to make sure they don’t take in too much! Something else I learned and researched too! Google it, you’ll see what I mean.
“eating a lot more organic veggies & fruit. Yes, I also walked 30 minutes a day but the products did most of the work. — being a Master Gardener and growing my own organic vegetables for 25 years”
Taking care of yourself as you stated above is way more effective than any vitamin supplement you will ever take. Too me all MLM company reps sound just like your spill. There is no way a vitamin works better than healthy eating and a healthy life style.
Milo, you would have to eat 17 bananas a day to get enough Vitamin B6 into your system for it to do what it is suppose to do. You ask: “Why”? Because everything has toxins in it and nothing is 100% organic. So even the 5% to 10% of pesticides and herbicides you are still eating every day is also changing our food to where it does not have as much nutrients in it any more! What if you ate according to the Food Pyramid? Nutrients are depleted in a variety of ways! Shipping & Storage 35% Lost, Pasteurization 50% Lost, Canning 83% Lost, Freezing 50% Lost, Cooking 32 – 60% Lost. Fruits and veggies picked before ripe have fewer nutrients. Different batches of the same food can have vastly different nutrient content – its hard to know what you are getting. Stress, Pollution, Caffeine, Aspirin, “The Pill”, Medications, Chlorine (drinking water & pool), Smoking, Sugar & White Flour deplete nutrients. Sugar depletes 11 vitamins and minerals in order to be metabolized! a.) Sugar decreases effectiveness of white blood cells to destroy viruses, bacteria etc. (65% less effective after 12 tsp – Dr. Emanual Cheraskin). The average American consumes over 156 lbs/year of sugar!! (A 25% increase since 1984). (2) An average American consumes 576 12oz. servings of soft drinks a year, which contain 10 tsp of sugar each! (1) Sugar (Sucrose) is added to many foods you might not suspect (often the #1 or #2 ingredient) – Such as: Cereal, Spaghetti Sauce, Ketchup, Yogurt, Fruit Juice, Bread, Antacids, and Children’s Vitamins (Read the Labels!) * Flinstones Vitamins now uses Aspartame (NutraSweet) instead of Sugar! (1) National Soft Drink Association: Beverage World (2) 1999 Center for Science in the Public Interest Resources: A Common Sense Approach to Sound Nutrition and Wellness – Whole Health This all explains why you can’t get all the nutrients and minerals that you body needs every day! Organic Fruits and Vegetables still have pesticides and herbicides in them along with other toxins from the jet stream to rain, snow, hail, to the ground – soil, then to all the plants in the whole wide world! We Are Global Now in everything we do! We can’t get away from that so, does your manufacturer have million dollar equipment to take the toxins out of their products? All fish has mercury and lead in it. All oils has toxins in them. Does the companies you are with actually have these Big Expensive Equipment to clean up all their products to “No Lead, No Mercury, No Pesticides, No Herbicides etc. and the list goes on! Shaklee does and I’ve seen them along with many of our other distributors. Is you vitamin on the FDA.gov list of “Lead in Vitamins”? Check this out first, Shaklee is not on that list at All! I’ve done my research thoroughly and also make sure that all the studies that these companies have are “Peer Reviewed Journal Studies” on their own ingredients each and their products! Shaklee does 350 contaminant tests on “Each” Ingredient and over 100,000 tests for quality, absorption etc. Here’s a video in what we do: http://shaklee.tv/the-shaklee-difference and http://shaklee.tv/bruce-daggy-phd-shaklee-chief-science This should explain in full about our science and how we do it. So Peer Reviewed Journal Studies are important, we have over 90 of these studies on our own ingredients and products even on our Non-Toxic Cleaners! Have a Happy Healthy Toxic Free Day!
Anyone try Touchstone Supplements, or Garden of Life new Kind Organics line
I was going to try the Kind organics but it has yeast in it and I’m sensitive to it
[…] good multivitamin is probably a decent place to start. I recommend a previous article of mine on some of the best brands of vitamins. I’d also recommend you read my interview with a supplement industry insider that offers […]
[…] I have written about this issue before. […]
Delete New Chapter: they are now & since 2012 owned by P&G!
Hi, I have been using New Chapter and do think its better than many on the market. What does anybody
think of Standard Process. I just ordered some for my 2 year old. Not sure if brand would be more of a whole
food vitamin than New Chapter.
I see Josh that you are the web designer for your parents company NutriPlex. I hope this doesn’t affect your judgement of health benefits of other companies. Thanks for piquing my interest in the companies you recommended and reading up on them as well for info.
Hello, the web designer for NutriPlex Formulas is Josh Shayne. The person commenting above is industry consultant, Josh Boughton. Two different people.
[…] written about whole-food vitamins here, here, and here. They are all sort of true, but anyone who manufactured vitamins who read […]
What about Health Force Vitamineral Greens or E3Live?
Check out It Works! It’s Vital Core Nutrition is a whole-food multivitamin that meets your core nutrition needs with essential vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. It is naturally derived from over 30 pesticide-free, plant-based ingredients, including broccoli, carrot, oranges, blueberry, strawberry, kale, and more. These premium natural sources provide increased amounts of Vitamins A, D, B6, B12, C, and E.
They have a delicious Greens as well with 38 superfoods.
Check to see if they do 350 contaminant tests on each ingredient? If they don’t, then they are missing things. You should always use only Vitamin B Complex! There are 8 parts to Vitamin B and if one is missing or out of sync with nature then it won’t work as well. The only way you can get Vitamin B naturally is from Nature and it is whole Vitamin B all in sync. When Vitamin B6 or B12 show up, it tells me that it is synthetic and has been pulled apart from Real Nature’s Food!.
Cathy, every B complex I can find have B6 and B12 in it. Which brands don’t? Thanks
[…] the article and reconsider your choice of […]
What are the different vitamin companies that was researched? Where does Shaklee, Nutralife, Puratans Pride rank in your research?
Wondering if you’ve heard of or done any research on the Standard Process line and the Food Research line?
I was wondering the same thing about Standard Process, they say they have been around since 1929 but I can’t seem to be able to find any research about their “Whole food supplements”
Wondering about Food Research too. Have taken 3 products I like so far.
Food research multivitamin for example is made by megafood.
Many of the food research products are made by megafood. Same thing, while a few formulas are actually made from foods.
From what I understand there are NO such thing as wholefood B-complex supplements. How would you fit 400mcg of folate in an pill? Good luck with fitting 650 grams of broccoli (eaquals 400 mcg of folate) in a pill lol. Innate response ,I guess, grows their folate (uncertain of form, but it s not folic acid) on a broccoli sprout and for the other B:s they use s cerevisiae (yeast). I hope this is a fairly good way of making vitamins, but it would feel better if we there were some hardcore research out there proving that the body truly recognize this as wholefood.
You’re basically right. I wrote this article a while ago and lots of whole food vitamin companies are mixing regular USP vitamins with yeast and calling it whole foods.
Indeed. Inspired by this article and the various comments, I have been writing to many manufacturers of “Wholefood” supplements with questions about their processes, and however clever their marketing and ingredient listing is, they ALL seem to use synthetic isolates (or pointedly refuse to answer that question).
There have been a few suggestions of genuine companies, but they tend to have much lower doses of many nutrients than we need, and it would be prohibitively expensive to take enough to get the required doses of some nutrients, and it would entail the risk of overdosing on others.
Have you come across any other genuinely wholefood brands that are readily available?
Forgot to mention, the 2 I have found that LOOK so far as if they might be genuinely free from isolates and synthetics are myKind Organics, and the Source of Life Garden range, though I might be taken in by the advertising. MyKind seemed to confirm they are genuine in their email to me (though not raw and not very high potency), Source of Life have not yet replied, though Josh (above) suggests they are not what they appear to be)….. Any thoughts on these?
here is a link to an article that explains orgenetics, source of life garden, and kind organics (and many others who buy form orgenetics). I did not write this article but it really explains it.
So it looks like Garden of LIfe are not being truthful, and deliberately misleading people, unless they know something we don’t. Has the article been put to them for their response? It looks from this article as if it is not possible for anyone to create a credible genuine wholefood multivitamin. Maybe I should just go for the cultured type after all. At least they end up as something resembling food, so should at least be much better than the uncultured synthetic ones…..???
Update – Orgenetics just responded to me – “Our Orgen(R) brand ingredients are 100% USDA Certified Organic. The 100% rating is itself something that can answer most of our questions, as the 100% USDA Organic rating does not allow the use of any synthetic ingredients, any isolate additions, or yeast fermentation.”
synthetic vitamins, isolated vitamins, enzymes and yeast fed vitamins are exempt from organic regulations, so putting organic on vitamins does not mean anything.
Some new information from some of my approaches to various supplement manufacturers (some of them are getting fed up of me). Whole Earth and Sea from Natural Factors looks very impressive, but they were unwilling to answer my question about whether their products contained any isolates or synthetic ingredients. They became defensive and eventually stopped replying to me. I don’t know whether this reflects inept customer service staff or something more sinister in their product.
Mercola was even more strange. They started giving me very positive assurances that there were no synthetic ingredients used in the manufacture, nor any isolates or yeasts, but when I asked them whether all of their nutrients came purely from wholefoods, they said no. I needed to ask again which ones did not, and they told me that they used selenium YEAST(!) as well as other synthetic forms of selenium, and an amino acid that was “sourced from India”, though everything else (apart from the D3 from lanolin) as food sourced.
From their answers, Orgenetics seemed to be the clearest. I thought their initial reply might have been ambiguous, so I replied, “am I right in understanding that there are no synthetics or isolates not only in the final product, but used during the manufacturing process either?” and they responded with “You are correct in that there are no synthetics or isolates, and no culturing either. It is as pure and clean as it gets.”
Will let you know if there are any other interesting developments. Your thoughts would be welcome too.
Did you read my article here?
It’s an updated view on the opinions on this article. It covers a lot of the details you talked about, and I think it indirectly answers your question.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more.
Johnathan, first of all thanks fot such great info; very helpful.
I’m curious though (as well as another commenter previously), why was HealthForce not included? What is your thoughts on them specifically, as well as Sun Warrior?
Also your thoughts on Garden Of Life?
Thanks much, best regards.
Hi Jayson, to answer your questions:
1). Healthforce doesn’t make a wholefood multivitamin
2). Sun Warrior is a good company and their products are fine.
3). Garden of Life and SunWarrior are pretty similar in my opinion….they are both good retail brands. Garden of Life is my personal favorite between the two.
Keep in mind though all Whole Food Vitamins are either regular vitamins fermented with yeast or plant extracts that are fortified with typical USP vitamins.
I was wondering about “Standard Process” Whole food supplements, they say they have been around since 1929 but I can’t seem to be able to find any research about their Whole food supplements. I know very little about supplements other then I have taken multi vitamins most of my life. My interest in Supplements now comes from my wife being diagnosed with MS. The SP supplements are being recommended by my chiropractor who is also my neighbor. Any information you may have would be greatly appreciated.
please email me directly at email@example.com, and i would be happy to help you.
Hi Josh – thanks for sharing your knowledge. Any thoughts on Naturelo whole food vitamins? They seem to be a favorite of Paleoedge.com but I can’t find any info on how they are made.
Those are not whole food vitamins, they are synthetic and isolated vitamins, mixed with some food.
This has been a fantastic & very informative thread (article AND comments!, wow!) I’m so glad “former insider” Josh showed up to add his thoughts/experience.
Since I’ve noticed several people asking about “STANDARD PROCESS,” I’ll add a true-story if Jonathan “Kismet” agrees; AND I would love to know Josh’s opinion re SP for “old time’s sake”…
First off, I had no idea Standard Process has been around since 1929, amazing. I was not exposed to them until circa 1981 & I took about 30 a day of an assortment of their pills faithfully for the next six years, under the care of an older chiropractor (in FLA) who “prescribed” them. I drove to his office every Friday (payday) to get my next batch, which only cost a total of about $15 in those days for (7 days x 30 pills) 210 Standard Process pills. Back then you could only get them through doctors/chiros, but I did notice in much later “internet”-years that anyone can buy them now without going through a chiropractor.
I was not in good health which is why I went to the chiro/nutritionist as some “mystery illness” was killing me even though I was only in my late 20s. The chiro said, “It should only take 6-18 months to get you in tip top shape” (via the SP pills). He was a great guy, was on the local forefront in those days of battling the AMA to get chiros recognized as legitimate doctors. He also wrote/published his own hardcopy newsletter in which he was vehemently against all druggery (RXs, antibiotics, etc., with which I totally agreed). He did take my CBCs regularly (complete blood count tests, white/red cells, etc.) & my white/red cells were always out of whack. He also took a “heart test” via some machine he had at his home which he plugged me into & declared, “You’ll Live” (lol). Maybe he kept that machine at his home because it was something the AMA would not have approved of back then. I also always had very low blood pressure 90/60. The doc would take my BP & then sock me in the arm & holler, “ARE YOU EVEN ALIVE?” 😀 He was a hoot!
Fast Forward through years 1-2-3-4-5-6 & I just kept getting worse & worse & worse. I kept a page of symptoms over the years & nothing got better but new things kept appearing to add to the list. Finally after six years or so of taking Standard Process pills (& they were all HARD pills, not capsules, not softgels), the beloved older chiro literally gave up. He declared, “You have some kind of infection that just won’t clear up!” Since he was moving to another city anyway about that same time (1987), we parted ways (I heard he died in the latter 1990s. So sad!).
By that Fall (1987) I learned re water fasting (after praying my head off all that Summer re WHAT IS THE ANSWER? since I was no fan of AMA doctors & did not want their drugs). I learned re water fasting via “Natural Hygiene” literature (eating raw fruits veggies nuts seeds, no druggery, no vitamins either, NOTHING “PROCESSED” > whether food or vitamins was the “standard protocol,” plus rest, sleep, fresh air, exercise, etc.) & began planning to go to a fasting place which I did in 1988 & did a 21-day water fast & a few much shorter fasts (5-7-10 days) at home over the next few years.
I also attended a few Natural Hygiene seminars during that time & at one, one of the guests, T.C. Fry (now deceased), a Natural Hygienist himself at the time + teacher/educator/publisher, was speaking & also doing consultations, so I consulted with him & asked him about Standard Process pills. He stared me in the eye and simply replied, “The answer is IN THE NAME.” OMG, I burst out laughing, he was so right, Standard PROCESS, ie, they were PROCESSED & anything PROCESSED is NO GOOD for you/us (per Natural Hygiene philosophy).
Bottom Line: Standard Process did me no good whatsoever 1981-1987. Others’ “Mileage May Vary,” especially if they now have “whole food supplements” vs. whatever they were in the 1980s(?) A lot of the SP pills I was taking were made from ANIMAL organs, I do remember that much. I can’t remember if they also had a clear glaze over them(?)
As an aside, whether RXs or vitamins: ENTERIC COATED pills are especially bad. Another Natural Hygienist gentleman & his wife had both gone to medical school & both got MD degrees but not so they could practice as MDs but only for the education to use in their Natural Hygiene practice. The husband tells the story that while in medical school/internship/residency or whatever, they did intestinal surgeries & he says they constantly had to SCOOP OUT with their surgical-scooper-spoon tons of ENTERIC-COATED pills that were STUCK in the wall/lining of people’s intestines because Enteric-Coated pills do NOT get “digested” in the stomach so they pass on through to the intestines & get STUCK in the intestinal wall, & not just 1 or 2, but ALL of them that the person had taken. No wonder people have so many GUT problems. The good news is, extended water-only-fasting will allow your body to “go to work” getting rid of all that stuff & much more & even grow you a brand new intestinal lining. 😉
I have read many articles about pros and cons of vitamins and mineral or multivitamin supplements. What actually works is these supplements are not meant to cure any disease but to take precaution against it. Where are any thing taken in excess is going to have some or other effects.
Dr.Mercola has a good Multi Vitamin also.
I use vitamins from the Global Healing Center and I recently found out that they use USP grade vitamins in their supplements. It is my understanding that United States Pharmacopoeia regulates the purity and potency of all vitamins and that the USP stamp gives you the ingredients you looking for. I don’t get what the con is. Shouldn’t all vitamins and supplements we take be USP approved? What is wrong with fortifying whole food vitamins with USP approved vitamins?
1. Yes, Global healing center does use USP vitamins.
2. In the supplement industry the USP symbol is sent around as an official seal of quality and purity, however it is really just marketing. Take this test of a a nature made b complex. the most famous “usp verified” vitamin: https://labdoor.com/review/nature-made-super-b-energy-complex/report
It contains an average of 20%- 24% less of most of the b-vitamins than what they claim on the label. USP verified has not meaning in the supplement industry. Do not use as it measure of whether to buy a product or not.
3. There is nothing wrong with selling vitamins that combine food with usp vitamins nothing all. What is wrong is advertising to people that the product is a whole food, when you add synthetic or isolated chemicals to a food it is no longer a whole food. When you advertise like this the intent is to have the consumer believe the product they are buying is made from whole foods. So it is the concept, it is the advertising, which is deceiving and misleading.
Hi! What do you think about vitamins from the Global Health Center? In an earlier response to me, they said they use USP grade vitamins in their supplements. What exactly is wrong with USP vitamins? Shouldn’t all vitamins strive to be USP approved? Just need some understanding.
Thanks in advance
So there were a couple questions in your comment so I will take them one at a time.
1. USP simply is the United States Pharmacopeia. It does not really mean much in the supplement industry, more so in the pharmaceutical industry. It basically mean regular vitamins that meet a that organizations criteria.
2.Saying a company uses USP vitamins is meaningless, nearly all vitamins are USP, it is just to make them sound fancy.
3.There is nothing inherently wrong with properly manufactured, tested and formulated USP vitamins.
4. The issue that this blog is stating is that if you are going to use regular USP vitamins than you should not be labeling them as whole food for food based because USP vitamins are not. That is false advertising and intent to deceive.
5. So if you think good quality USP vitamins are best for you than that is what you should use.
6. In terms of what do I think about global health trax, I think that some of their supplements are ok and some others people should stay far away from. I do think you can a better version of most of the products they make from various other companies that are very similar in price.
I was reading the info on Amazon’s Whole Foods brand of vitamins and they describe filtering the fermented yeast & whole food soup and then PASTEURIZING it. I was wondering if that is standard practice for so called Whole Food supplements, and wouldn’t pasteurization kill the vitamins in the process?
That’s how most fake whole food supplements are made
Yes that is standard process for almost all fake who food vitamin companies who use yeast fed way.