If you’ve ever shopped for a multivitamin, you may have come across the terms “whole food vitamins” and “food based vitamins”. You could have even heard these two terms used interchangeably, and wondered “What’s the difference?” or “Is there even a difference?”
If you have no idea whether there’s a distinction at all, and you find the entire topic confusing, well then you’re in good company! There has been ample confusion around this subject for many years in the supplement world, and we hope this simple blog will clear that right up!
To keep it straightforward, I like to say one thing – it’s all about the delivery system. And, regardless of whether the supplement is “whole food” or “food based”, a USP vitamin or mineral will be part of the process. From my perspective as a Naturopathic Doctor, that’s a good thing. This assures a standardized form of a nutrient, and guaranteed potency.
“Whole Food” Vitamins
What makes a whole food vitamin or mineral unique is that it is actually delivered in a whole food. What does that mean? As an example, at MegaFood our whole food vitamins and minerals are called FoodState Nutrients. ™ FoodState Nutrients ™ are made with whole foods to provide vitamins and minerals that are easy-to-digest and gentle on the body, even when taken on an empty stomach. Right on the label you will see that Vitamin C is delivered in whole oranges, Folate is delivered in broccoli, Iron is delivered in S. cerevisiae (aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a naturally occurring yeast regarded as whole food across the world) – you get the idea. In addition to the benefits of the actual vitamin or mineral, say Vitamin C , you are also getting the myriad of phytonutrients contained in a whole food, such as all of nutrition that naturally occurs in a whole orange including pulp, rind and peel!
“Food Based” Vitamins
A food based vitamin is a bit different than a whole food vitamin. While it certainly may have a whole food as part of the formula, it does not deliver the vitamin or mineral in a whole food. They are added separately. Again, it’s all about the delivery system. With a food based multivitamin, the vitamins and minerals are delivered directly “as is”, and are included side by side with the chosen foods in the blend. When you look at a food based multivitamin label, it will be very clear, as the foods are listed separately, usually after the complete list of vitamins and minerals listed first.
Knowledge is Power!
Whole Food or Food Based, regardless of what you choose, knowledge is power. I hope this bit of knowledge clarifies what it means for MegaFood’s products to deliver nutrients in whole foods, and that it helps to empower you to make the right choice for your own health and wellness.