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Have you ever taken vitamin or mineral supplements? If so, you may be surprised to learn that these can hinder, not help. Even if you buy products from a health food store, you may be jeopardizing your health. In this interview, Dr. Troy Crane, DC discusses with Dr. Michael Karlfeldt, ND, PhD why these products can do more harm than good, and actually accelerate or contribute to chronic health conditions, and also why nutrients from whole food sources are so important.

Dr. Michael Karlfeldt, ND, PhD: With me today I have Dr. Troy Crane, DC, he’s a specialist in whole food nutrition. He’s a representative for a company called Standard Process. So Troy, there are all these people who go to the store, and buy Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, all these different vitamins. What’s the difference between that versus a whole food vitamin?

Dr. Troy Crane, DC: Whole food supplements, just like it says, from whole foods. And that’s actually how we are supposed to get our vitamins. Most vitamin supplements sold in retail outlets are made from synthetic chemicals such as coal tar, which are petroleum derivatives. I don’t recommend those because they can actually do more harm than good.

Dr. K: So you mean that when go to a health food store and you buy a vitamin, and you think you’re healthy when you are taking the vitamin, you are actually eating coal tar?

Dr. C:  Yes, in many cases. That’s why I recommend whole food supplements. The human race has survived ever since Adam and Eve were put on the earth … or those who believe in the Evolutionary Theory, since we crawled out of the swamp. That’s how we’ve survived, eating whole foods all through those millennia. And that’s how we’re supposed to get our vitamins, is eating good, whole food sources. And those aren’t always easy to get or to grow ourselves, so for that reason we have concentrated whole food supplements.

Dr. K: So let’s say for instance, Vitamin C. If I go and buy Vitamin C at the health food store, does that still benefit me?

Dr. C: Well, yes and no. In most cases, not very likely. I’d have to read the label to see what’s in it. Most Vitamin C sold through a health food store, when you read the label it will say, “Vitamin C as ascorbic acid“.

Ascorbic acid is only one of 7 parts of the true whole Vitamin C complex. When you take a whole food like Cataplex C, that’s the Vitamin C that I take, just took it this morning; it has all 7 parts of the Vitamin C vitamin, not just one part.

A good way to think of ascorbic acid: it’s just the “egg shell” around the egg. When you eat eggs in the morning, you don’t crack the egg and eat the shell, and throw the rest of the egg away. You eat the egg with the yolk and all the component parts.

Another good analogy is like a car. When we drive home today from the studio, if we go out in the parking lot, and just the transmission was sitting there, or just a steering wheel, if the rest of the car was stripped apart, how well will we drive home? Not very well. Because we need all of the car parts working synergistically , together. Vitamins work the same way. We need all of the component parts of the vitamin, synergistically working together.

Dr. K: So if I just continue with the Vitamin C, and I know it’s the same with the other vitamins – Vitamin B, etc. – they all have their parts, and all need to be combined. So if we eat just the ascorbic acid component of the Vitamin C, does that rob other nutrients from us to be able to complete that whole complex, while we are eating the Vitamin C?

Dr. C: Yes, that’s an excellent point. If you are loading up on synthetic Vitamin Cascorbic acid – your body has to take other nutrients from your body, to combine with that ascorbic acid to make a complete vitamin. And there’s documented research studies that when people are taking synthetic vitamins, that it actually accelerates stroke, heart disease, cancer and even death.

Dr. K: So in essence, to take these synthetic chemicals or synthetic vitamins, to do it long-term, it can be detrimental to your health.

Dr. C: Yes, it can rob your body of the nutrient stores. It’s kind of like your body has a bank account of nutrients. The better your nutrition is, the better your bank account.

If you take synthetic vitamins, you’re going to be depleting your bank account of nutrients that your body has to then remove stores of, from itself, to absorb or process those synthetic nutrients.

Photo by Alexdandr Podvalny on Unsplash.