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Multivitamin formulations are like snowflakes—no two are exactly alike. In fact, it has become the norm for manufacturers of multivitamins to include any number of value-added ingredients, sometimes a whole kitchen sink’s worth, without little or no justification for their inclusion. Among others, these value-added ingredients include fruit and veggie powders, superfoods (e.g. spirulina, chlorella), herbs, and specialty supplements.
While these “value-added” ingredients make products more marketable, they don’t really add any value to consumers because—
- there is no scientific basis for their inclusion, which is why no two multivitamin formulations have the exact same combinations or amounts of these value-added ingredients
- including them does not really make synthetic vitamins “whole food”
- they are present in amounts that are far too low to be therapeutically beneficial
- there is no evidence that it is safe to combine vitamins and minerals with some of these valued-added ingredients
- inclusion of these value-added ingredients allows manufacturers to mislead consumers into believing a product is better than it really is and distract them from realizing that the vitamins are actually created in a lab using industrial chemicals
- the diversity of value-added ingredients used by different companies makes objective comparisons of the different multivitamin products next to impossible
As if the diversity of ingredients used in multivitamin products are not enough to overwhelm consumers, the marketing jargon used to describe them—“food-based,” “food-sourced”, “raw food,” “raw code,” “whole food,” “food state”—can send even the most savvy consumers running for the woods because there is no consensus on their definitions and brands use them interchangeably in ways that create chaos and confusion. While some brands argue that only nutrients concentrated “from” actual foods should be called “whole food,” others use it to describe synthetic vitamins that are fermented “with” yeast and food powders. There are even a few companies that market synthetic vitamins “in” a base of food powders as “whole food.”
At NutriGold, we believe that fresh, locally-sourced, organic foods picked at the peak of freshness provide the most bioavailable forms of all the essential nutrients that the body needs to support health and minimize risk of chronic illnesses. Unfortunately, this is not an achievable ideal for the vast majority of consumers because the nutrient content of most foods has steadily been on the decline over the past few decades, making supplementation necessary to meet the body’s nutrient needs and minimize deficiency risk.
Our multivitamin products are formulated using “food as medicine” as the guiding principle. We begin by evaluating options for whole food sources of the essential nutrients. In the event such options are not available, we use food-sourced options. In the rare instance when neither whole food sources nor food-sourced options are available or such sources do not provide the biologically active form of the nutrient, as in the case of B12, we use the synthetic form.
Although our initial multivitamin formulations allowed the inclusion of fermented synthetic vitamins, we have since decided to remove them from our multivitamin products based on: (1) the availability of a greater number of whole food nutrient sources; (2) an assessment of the cost-benefit ratio of fermented synthetic nutrients; (3) an uncompromising commitment to the identification and elimination of potentially allergenic ingredients from our supply chain; and (4) the belief that we are ethically and professionally obligated to do everything we can to ensure that our products continue to meet the changing needs of our consumers without compromising the industry-defining quality standards that they have come to expect from the NutriGold brand.