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Vitamins In Food VS Vitamin Pills

By: Ron Lagerquist

"It amazes me that I can eat a huge bowl of brightly colored fruit and have crystal-clear pee, but one vitamin pill, and within minutes, well, isn’t that pretty."

Vitamins In Food VS Vitamin PillsFrequently I receive emails asking about vitamin and mineral supplements. The question comes in two forms.  My friend told me about this new product . . . , and then they go on to provide this impressively long unpronounceable name, asking for an opinion.  The second email is a network marketing friend trying to convince me into selling their pill or powder on Freedomyou.  This is the new generation of nutrition that will change human health, or something to that effect. So the question is do we need to be taking pills or powders to supplement an already healthy diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables?

A quick overview. Vitamins are organic nutrients and are essential even though we only need them in small amounts. They serve as chemical buddies to the enzymes involved in the body’s cell production, repair, metabolism, and other vital processes. Other than D, the B biotin, and K, all other vitamins must come from dietary sources.

Water Soluble And Fat Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins come in two groups: water soluble and fat soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins, which are absorbed into the body paralleling the processes used to absorb fat, include A, D, E, and K. Vitamins C and B, on the other hand, are water soluble, and can be used up very quickly and the excess will be eliminated in the urine.

Big Money In Vitamin Pills

Today vitamins have become big business. Fourteen years ago, freshly juiced on health, I was compelled to practically “sell my soul” to a promising network marketing company which will remain nameless. Their stuff was better than everybody else’s stuff, and if you sat still long enough, they could prove it. I was going to get rich and they had colored graphs to prove that too. In all fairness, their stuff was good, but outrageously overpriced. (Please, if you have gone manic about some network marketing company, you will be wasting your postage sending it to Freedomyou). They had a line of all-natural vitamin and mineral pills. The pills were huge, the size of a gorilla’s toe, and they gave you funky breath. But best of all, they had a patented “Fructose Cellular Delivery System.” Heady stuff for a young health buff. It was over $100 for a month’s supply of gorilla toe pills.

A Natural Vitamin Delivery System

One of the problems with vitamin pills is that lots of your dollars get flushed away in the form of an attractive and mighty expensive green-yellow pee. The cells get precious little. I was impressed with the patented fructose cellular delivery system though, until I began to study how the nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables are assimilated into the body. Well, guess what! Sure enough, sugars like fructose in fruit act as a delivery system for a variety of micronutrients including vitamins. And they do a much better job of it than the gorilla toe pills. God already had the patent.


The vitamins that occur in whole foods are integrally related to a large diversity of other naturally occurring molecules that assist absorption and assimilation. When vitamins are isolated and packaged into pills, they are poorly absorbed and can even cause imbalances in body chemistry. There is no such thing as an isolate in nature. It is completely man-made.

You may have heard of the word “cofactor.” Vitamin C derived naturally from plants has cofactors in the form of bioflavonoids. They increase the bioavailability of vitamin C by 30 percent. There are many cofactors, scores yet to be discovered, that are naturally found in food. They work hand in hand, helping the human body absorb essential nutrients. They may not be recognized as essential, but their job of making essential nutrients more digestible is vital to human health.

The Lagerquist Pee Test 

It amazes me that I can eat a huge bowl of brightly colored fruit and have crystal-clear pee, but one vitamin pill, and within minutes, well, isn’t that pretty. The added color means vitamins are being lost. The Lagerquist Pee Test may never be recognized as a good science, but it makes sense to me.

Around 30 percent of us take one or more vitamin or mineral supplements every day. There was an extensive study done on the death rates of 11,000 people, and it was discovered that there was no difference in the mortality rate between those popping their vitamins and those who did not. Yet many dietitians do recommend that adults take a good multivitamin daily.

A Wide Spectrum Of Whole Foods

So here we are again singing the same old song. The best defense against vitamin deficiency is to eat a wide spectrum of whole foods. The Western world has access to a bonanza of the finest fruits, beans, seeds, nuts and vegetables, shipped from all over the globe, grown in remote soils from Israel to South America. We of all people should have no problem ingesting a surplus of every vitamin necessary for vibrant life and health.

I can hear some say, yeah, but I have read that all our soils are depleted and there is almost nothing left in the fruit we eat. I know a lot of supplements are sold with such a message. Here is what you do. When shopping for produce, spend a little more money on good quality fruit and vegetables. Lots of vibrant color, a sweet smell, and great taste are all indicators of quality produce. Healthy plants produce nutrient-rich food. And if organic produce is on sale, buy it up. I will buy organic bananas; after all, they are only 10 cents more. Do this and you will exceed your vitamin RDA. The problem is not the earth’s soil, but the lineups at McDonald’s.

Now I am going to completely contradict myself and recommend one supplement that has impressed me with it's independent research. I still believe the very best bioavailable nutrients are found in whole foods and freshly made juices, but there is some pretty impressive research behind this product, and I even found it improved my energy levels.  Also, I'm not naive enough the think your diet will always be perfect.  Check out why I'm now endorsing Juice Plus

Related Article: List Of The Most Nutritious Foods

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Excellent article, precise and easily understandable. Now I'm making a wise decision: Eat Healthy and Forget Pills. Thanks You
Andrew
Good article. I was looking for an answer to which was cheaper in the long run. I do think pills help but not as much. Vitamin D has really helped in the past, tho the liquid gels not so much, the gel is good for my hair and nails tho!!
Abbi
Although you dont get 100% of what you need from vitamins and can't live off them doctors wouldn't recommend them if they were a waste of time. Especially pregnant woman. Your baby needs soooo many nutrients and to give them all the need you'd have to gain and extra 60lbs in the process. Vitamins help.
Harlee
You clearly are lacking in nutritional education. A bowl of fruit that contains 25 mg of vitamin c, vs an ester c tablet that contains 600mg including bioflavonoids. I understand trying to compare the 2, although you can't. Eating fruit and vegetables are great, but often not even close to enough.
Bt
exactly instead of ie buying vit c pills spend that money on a bag of organic fruit like apples which the body absorbs the way the God of the bible made it vitamine pills are nothing but modern snake oil salesmen like the old wild west snake oil salesmen who went around towns touting what all there snake oil could do we are one of the unhealthiest people in the world yet we ingest the most pill supplements in the world . checkmate !!!
bill
I always thought of vitamins pills as the ultimate pee color changer !
Omran
Omran
Excellent article (although a short one). I second the authors point that a Multivitamin pill is not really the "the all powerful nutrient" source, which would suffice your daily requirement of all vitamins / minerals. Fruits and vegetables are the real deal. I've seen some people buy cheaper fruits & veggies or rather skip them for more meat. That is a wrong decision! Also, I recommend buying organic produce if possible. In my country, organic produce is at least 3 times the price - maybe its stylish to go organic. Sad. Countries like US, UK, France probably have most of the organic produce priced only 20-50% more than the other usual produce. I think people in such countries should make the most use of so cheap organic produce.
Jatin
stop saying "I" so much
yo mamma's name
Raw
Nana
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