With the world becoming more health conscious, many people in Canada are resorting to dietary supplements also known as food or nutrient supplements. These are substances intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids etc. that may be missing or consumed in suboptimal quantities in the course of one’s normal diet. While in some countries, dietary supplements are defined as food, in others they are defined as drugs or natural health products.
While pharmaceutical companies are required to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before the entry of drugs into the market, dietary supplements do not need to be pre-approved by the FDA. The FDA defines dietary supplements as a category of food and not drugs.
Studies in Canada have revealed that most commercial food supplements are made up of synthetic elements. This is especially true for vitamin and mineral supplements. Synthetic vitamins or mineral supplements do not perform the same functions in our bodies as natural forms of vitamins found in whole food. Many synthetic supplements deplete the body of the nutrients and heavily tax the kidney. Only 50 percent of a synthetic vitamin can be utilized efficiently by the body. Many sensitive people may actually have adverse reactions to synthetic supplements.
As a result of such negative impact on health, synthetic supplements are losing popularity in Canada including Vancouver and are getting replaced with natural or whole food supplements.
Another alternative to dietary supplements that is fast gaining popularity is naturopathic medicines. Naturopathy is a form of treatment that relies exclusively on natural remedies, such as sunlight, air, water, supplemented with diet and therapies such as massage. The philosophy of Naturopathic Vancouver is being widely adopted. Naturopathic ideology focuses on naturally-occurring substances, minimally-invasive methods, and encouragement of natural healing.
Practitioners of naturopathy are split across two groups: traditional naturopaths and naturopathic physicians. Naturopathic physicians employ the principles of naturopathy within the context of conventional medical practices. Naturopathy is practiced in many countries, primarily the United States and Canada, and is subject to different standards of regulation and levels of acceptance.
Synthetic vs. Natural
Natural food supplements contain the total complex family of micro-nutrients as they are available in nature. These micro-nutrients are required for proper vitamin and mineral absorption and optimum utilization. Synthetic supplements completely lack the existence of micro-nutrients.
Most micro-nutrients are found in families. For example, beta-carotene is part of a family of carotenoids and is never found alone. Carrots and tomatoes have beta-carotene along with a whole family of alpha-carotene, cantozantheen, gamma-carotene, omega-carotene etc. Although beta-carotene is a great antioxidant, it is already established that cantozantheen is an even stronger antioxidant. By isolating beta-carotene from its family of carotenoids in synthetic supplements, an even more beneficial antioxidant is taken away.
While proponents of synthetic supplements claim that natural and synthetic are equally effective, it has been established that the natural form is more biologically active than the synthetic form such as Vitamin E.
Having realized the vices of synthetic supplements, an already naturopathic Vancouver is embracing all natural food supplements.
To sum up the debate between synthetic and natural here is some food for thought: Scientists can chemically reproduce sea water but when fish is put in this synthetic sea water they die.
Our primary goal is to provide safe and effective therapy to restore and optimize your health. Join the Naturopathic Vancouver program with Dr. Lederman and live a healthier and beautiful life.