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Critically IMPORTANT

 Check out how vitamin functions relate to cancers in Cancer and Vitamins

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Reality appears to be shifting away from vitamin supplements due to nil or negative current research results. But, the ARTICLES on this website simply reveal vital links missed by some Scientists, but not by others outside of a media voice.   

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Vitamin Cautions Explained

Research recently has discovered precautions for Folic Acid, Selenium, Vitamins A, B1, B6, C, D, & E. The SELECT study was halted early with slightly higher diabetes in the selenium group and slightly elevated prostate cancer in vitamin E group. See why here. Plus, a number of other nutrients have warnings for dosages outside of a given range, both too low and/or too high, including calcium & iron.


Whole food vitamins and Food Form Vitamins are currently the hottest topics in supplements 

What exactly are whole food vitamins and how do they differ from foodform vitamins?  Are they the same thing? Unfortunately, the image generated by saying whole food is really quite a stretch for the vitamins inside. Foodform or food form like is a little closer, but still not represent by the vitamin forms provided. Here is the real story. Not only are most whole Food and FoodForm Vitamins not from food, they are not even all Natural.** article



Whole food vitamins and Food Form Vitamins are currently the hottest topics in supplements 

Whole food vitamins sound like the vitamins were made in food and then extracted or concentrated out. A few vitamins are made this way. Natural vitamin D comes from fish oil, Natural Vitamin E comes from vegetable or grain oils, vitamin C comes from corn sugars, natural beta carotene comes from D. salina algae, and most of the B vitamins used to come from liver and yeast (now most yeast products are fortified with synthetic B vitamins).  About 70% of synthetic B vitamins are 100% chemical and the other 30% are chemically extracted out of bacteria. Yes, there are many chemical steps involved in the production of all these natural vitamin forms. Plus, all vitamins, except vitamin B12, are also available created 100% in the LAB from synthetic chemicals, usually petroleum distillates.

Now, what about the source for "natural" Whole Food Vitamins? The truth is they mostly use tweaked vitamins from the sources and methods mentioned in the above paragraph. See update below for a few exceptions. The tweaked part is that they next feed the above vitamins to growing live yeast cells which naturlly absorb certain vitamins but need a little push to get all of the other vitamis forms into the yeast cells, especially the fat soluble vitamins which are very limited in growing yeast. Here an assumption is made that the yeast cells somehow change the above mentioned vitamins into a more food like form. This point has never been proved, but is assumed from the results of studies testing the new material. Yes, this process begins with some synthetic and some natural isolated vitamins. The yeast growing process is stopped and then enzymatically processed to disintegrate the yeast cell wall since allergies might manifest in some sensistive people.  article

Update Sept 2014. The MYKIND Organics from Garden of Life and in a few other Brands represent a new technique in natural vitamins. See here.)

UPDATE 11-2016  Both MegaFood and New Chapter have recently changed some of their labels to more accurately reflect what is really in their multiples. Yes, these new labels reflect the truth that there are some synthetics. This has dramatically increased the ratings of these Brands, but they still have a ways to go to measure up to the new vitamin criteria.


Update: Garden of Life's new MyKind Organic Vitamins is in a category by themselves wtih only a few other brands. article

The food form like vitamin category does represent a middle ground between all natural vitamins made by growing plants and the pure synthetic vitamins. FoodForm Vitamins (or Whole Food Vitamins as sometimes mistakenly called) are vitamins that attempt to mimic a similar appearance and makeup to the vitamin structures that nature forms in growing foods, such as Vitamin C made inside a bell pepper or in an orange. The vitamins that nature builds completely in growing plants are the real whole food vitamins. But, there are very few supplements in the marketplace that naturally derive vitamins concentrated out of whole foods. The dosages of vitamins 100% nature built are very low. To build the foodform vitamins, synthetic vitamins and natural isolated vitamins are fed to growing yeast cells or algae or bacteria in an attempt to get the yeast to reconstruct these vitamins into a more food like appearance and food matrix. It is a rather large stretch to call thses new vitamin forms "whole Food" vitamins. The primary Brands of food form like vitamins include Garden of Life, MegaFood, and New Chapter. Garden of Life now has a new line that fits into a slightly different category called the MyKind Organics. article 

         ...Most Food Form Vitamins are NOT from Food...  

Here is one of the best explanations I have found on the web. This is from a past page on Living Foods USA; "Food State Biologics™ are true “re-natured™” vitamin and mineral supplements – all nutrient vectors (CCFs) are molecularly bonded to ensure bio-availability surpassed only by food itself. Absorption is proven greater than with isolates, chelates and liquids..." 

EXPLANATION: Some Synthetic and natural isolated vitamins are fed to growing yeast where the synthetic may get "re-natured" back into a food like complex form inside the yeast cells. At least that is the design and theory. Unfortunately, it is difficult to assay and know if "all nutrient vectors are molecularly bonded" in the finished product. Under a microscope, Scientists see that this food form vitamin developed by yeast is different than a synthetic vitamin, but it is also slightly different than a true nature made in food vitamin. Study results comparing food form to synthetic show a slightly greater absorption rate for most of the foodform vitamins and this might represent the difference seen in blood levels. Seldom are foodform vitamins compared against true from nature made natural vitamins.


The significant aspect in the story from the food form vitamin companies is that some of the nutrients starting out as synthetic are now back into a "natural" looking food combination structure. Is this a factor of importance? Inside the human body, this process occurs for the synthetic form of folic acid converting it in the liver into the natural folate form. The question needing immediate verification is this; Are the other synthetic vitamins added to growing yeast turned into a "natural" form? Or are they just synthetic vitamins surrounded by food elements? And, of course, the food form companies make a rather large assumption that all synthetic vitamins are really different than their natural form. Some are very different and others not so much. The important aspect here is to look at the finished vitamin compounds the body forms from the different vitamin types. At this stage, some vitamin compounds are exactly the same while others are worlds apart, like for vitamin E. 

The simple comparison studies between food form vitamins, real food vitamins, and synthetic vitamins' ability to increase blood levels of the co-enzyme form of vitamins after a similar amount is ingested will prove the most valid tool for evaluating any differences. Co-enzyme forms represent the form closest to the ultimate form the body uses for vitamin actions from enzymes.

...Chief Advantage of Food Form or Whole Food Vitamins...Lower Dosages and slightly Enhanced Absorption... 

Here is the simple explanation of how most food form vitamins are made, regardless of the impression they try to convey of being all from food:

  • Take a regular multiple vitamin capsule (evidently doesn't matter if ingredients are synthetic or natural), open it up and drop the ingredients into a container of water (some nutrients that yeast will not absorb have to first be combined with a protein matrix that the yeast cell will recognize and take in)
  • Add live yeast cells, the kind used to make bread, and some protein often from soy and a sugar source; yeast cells are big sugar addicts.
  • Cover, generate a certain temperature (95 - 105), stir slowly, and wait for the yeast to grow increasing significantly in numbers and quantity as it engulfs the added nutrients while naturally building a few vitamins natural to yeast.
  • Some foodform vitamin companies add probiotic bacteria here to ferment this mixture. Culturing food has historically played a preservative role and imparts digestive value to many food nutrients.**
  • At the proper time, an enzyme process is used to stop the yeast growth and dissolve the yeast cell walls to remove the highly allergic cell wall elements for sensitive or yeast allergic people.
  • Then, the remaining yeast cell material holding the newly formed vitamins and minerals, now combined with other nutrients the yeast formed or engulfed, is dried to remove the water.
  • Next, the dry mass is ground into a powder
  • The powder is poured into what will now take about 4 capsules instead of one
  • And you have "food form like" vitamins and minerals, NOT exactly 100% food made vitamins.
  • Yes, yeast cells do produce some completely natural vitamins during their growing process, BUT not anywhere near the amounts found on labels of foodform vitamins, often less than 10% depending upon label dosages. Click here  for the Grow Companies' explanation of foodform vitamins on their website.

 NOTE: The CEO of MegaFood was interviewed and made the following statement: "we want to produce vitamin C with all the other elements that are delivered around the C. So it’s not just the sugar and alcohol that create ascorbic acid: When we are delivering our C we want it to be as close to natural food as possible." He admits his vitamin C comes from sugar and alcohol, the same ingredient lab process used to make most "synthetic" ascorbic acid in other Brands as well. This Lab process is similar to how most animals produce their own vitamin C from glucose sugar using an enzyme process that humans and a few animals no longer produce, an evolutionary flaw of nature.

Continuing from the MegaFood website describing the FoodState process: "We then move this yummy pulp through a series of tanks where we integrate in more Vitamins for potency. And now, your body not only recognizes the Whole Foods (“Hello Food!”), but it allows our super fresh nutrients to be readily absorbed as food."  Did you notice the "we integrate in more Vitamins for potency" line which means they most likely add isolated natural or synthetic vitamins to the food mixture. This is called "standardization" of vitamin dosages.

EXAMPLE for Vitamin E in Selenium/Vitamin E product. The label lists 50 IU of Vitamin E from 200mg of Food State material: "listing as the source" brown rice. Cooked Long grain brown rice has .1 IU of vitamin E in one cup. To get 50 IU, one would need to extract the vitamin E content out of over 200 cups of brown rice, or 500 cups of cooked brown rice, since rice swells when cooked. Does this fit reality from a logicstics or price point? Of course not! THE VITAMIN E IS NOT from THE BROWN RICE, IT IS JUST mixed in WITH the brown rice. The foodstate material is a combination of brown rice, possibly some left over yeast, and added vtamin E. Yeast is naturally very low in vitamin E.

Yes, this is simplified a bit, but you get the idea of just what foodform vitamins really are and how they are made. The companies that sell these vitamins imply the starting vitamin form is not important, just the finished one. This assumes that regular vitamins, some natural isolated and some synthetic, can become true food like vitamins inside the yeast cells similar to those made by nature. These companies down play the fact (at least New Chapter mentions this once in their literature) that they start out with some USP synthetic vitamins and inorganic minerals which are fed to the growing yeast cells.  And again, a very tiny amount of some B vitamins are naturally made by yeast cells and these would end up in the food form vitamins as well. NOTE: Many of the nutritional yeast powders available in health food stores today are spiked with synthetic vitamins and inorganic minerals in the growing process or are added after the yeast is finished growing.  

Of course there are very precise procedures, temperature controls, and recipes for making food form vitamins to control against yeast mutations, bacterial contamination, and to get the cooperation of the little yeast cells to form the proper vitamin and mineral mixtures. And yes there is some advantage for better assimilation. A few foodform vitamins also use bacteria to culture the foods and further help vitamin absorption. Plus, there could be some advantage from dead bacteria still in the product supplying protein and other nutrients, but very tiny amounts. The extra food ingredients listed on foodform vitamin labels are only present in very minute amounts. At these amounts, influence on the body would not be significant without greater quantities from natural foods as well.

The remaining question that is of concern; what happens once these vitamins get into the body? Is there an advantage over isolated vitamins whether synthetic or naturally isolated? How do they compare to real food made vitamins? One food form vitamin company sometime ago hired a prestigious scientific researcher to construct studies to provide proof for the food form vitamin theories. There are some advantages noted, but also some smoke and mirror tricks to increase their appeal and justify price. The best advantage just might be lower dosages, but watch out for Folate amounts. Even the natural form still might have the potential for adverse effects at these larger amounts, assuming the yeast cells convert the synthetic folic acid into the natural folate form, similar to what happens in limited amounts inside humans.


UPDATE 11-2016  MegaFood with the introduction of Doctor LowDog formulated line has finally corrected labels to more acturately reflect what all their products have always been, but only the Dr LowDog vitamins have new correct labels so far. New Chapter also has recently changed labels to honestly reflect what is really in their multiplesMany articles on this website will need to be re-worked to update these changes.

UPDATE 2-2018  MegaFood changes labels to reflect what this article is about. Synthetics are now listed on their labels. Their vitamins do have some synthetics that are combined with foods. They always have. 

This is a real mystery. It could be due to a technical fluke that many industries use. The label lists what the manufacturer of the finished product adds together, NOT what may have been already added by one of the raw material suppliers. In the case of foodform vitamins, a different company could add the synthetics and isolated natural vitamins to growing yeast cell mixture and the finished product would be supplied to the foodform vitamin companies. So they are only legally required to put on the label that they use foodform vitamin material (yeast)(whole food base, etc.) instead of all the ingredients that went into making this material, such as those vitamins that are isolated natural or synthetic.

Maybe it's like the farmer who sprays chemicals on apples while they are on the tree is not required to list that the apples still contain these chemicals when they reach the marketplace.

EXAMPLE: You will see on some labels an ingredient simply listed as natural flavor. This "ingredient" could be really made up of over a dozen different ingredients that do not have to be listed on the label. The industry and the Government know what this term means but the consumer is kept in the dark. 

The Science of Foodform Vitamins

Here is a link to the FoodFormtm Company's explanation and support theories. reference    The research and charts sound impressive, but remember, there may be biases in research results sponsored by the foodform vitamin companies. For more of this author's thoughts, you can go here. Valid scientific method protocol studies by third parties are still needed to once and for all settle the claims for food form vitamins.

Scientific Proof for Vitamin B1 Food Form Nutrient

This reference scientific abstract is presented to show that yeast cells have the ability to change a synthetic form of thiamine into a more natural form, thiamine diphosphate, a feat that humans also exhibit since Beriberi was eliminated giving synthetic vitamin B1 as thiamine hydrochloride or thiamine mononitrate, the synthetic forms of vitamin B1. This example is given to show pathways for the yeast cells to change an outside source of thiamine, and that the synthetic form is suitable starting material, into the natural useful forms, thiamine pyrophosphate and thiamine diphosphate. It must be that the "thiamine" part of both synthetic and natural B1 is exactly the same, or recognized as such by the body. A question remains as to the percentage of change the yeast achieves for each B vitamin.

**The question of fermentation needs some extra explanation. When sugars, grains, or other foods ferment, new elements are formed such as acetic acid and lactic acid, plus ammonia, carbon dioxide, and ethanol alcohol. Nature uses fermentation to begin the decomposition and breakdown of foods and tissues back into soil nutrients. Man discovered this process and used it with some controls for wine and beer making, and also for preservation of foods without refrigeration. For the most part, these newly formed elements are waste products the body must convert into less harmful forms and eliminate. Fermentation does have some values in that lactic acid creates an acid environment to increase growth of beneficial bacteria and eliminate pathogenic ones. Plus, some elements in foods such as soy are converted to forms that either enhance their actions (isoflavones) or reduce unwanted actions such as by destroying phytates that can bind up minerals. In fermenting dairy products, folic acid is increased while B12 is slightly lowered. While fermentation is of value, the scale from the amount of cultured food in each foodform vitamin capsule or tablet is so small, the overall benefit may be questionable.

UPDATE 8-2014 

Garden of Life has just introduced a new line of Organic Non-GMO multiple vitamins all from food, called the KIND Organics. For more info go here.


Food form vitamins appear to exhibit increased absorption rates, but you could still have for some nutrients in their synthetic form just wrapped in food elements. During digestion, must vitamins are completely separated down to the isolated vitamin and then get re-attached once inside intestinal cells with their unique body wise nutrient carriers.  This would almost completely negate this food form creating process. At least there is still better absorption.

Perhaps the most important issue is over this basic principle. Does the yeast ingestion and fermentation process RE-ARRANGE the molecular structure of synthetic vitamins to more closely resemble or be identical to the vitamin structure that nature builds. This assumption is for those vitamin structures that have observable differences between the natural and synthetic forms.  This fact you would think could be identified with the high powered microscopes and testing procedures of today. Factors this might influence include receptor attachments as docking sites or the ability to interact with other nutrients. These may be harder to discover, but again scientists should be able to determine and measure.

After assimilation, vitamins become part of co-enzymes which can be measured.  A simple in vivo (in body) blood analysis would tell the level of increase for co-enzymes from equal amounts of food form vitamins compared to synthetic, isolated natural, or just food vitamins. Why is this information not more readily available? Some of the charts presented in the support link above do show significant differences in blood levels of food form vitamins compared just to synthetics. This increased absorption may be the real benefit of foodform vitamins with their lower but still adequate potencies for most nutritional concerns. 

A CATCH 22 for FoodForm Vitamin Logic

It is of interest to note that these charts also are showing a catch 22 for the foodform theory.  Synthetic vitamins do raise blood levels, just not as much as an EQUAL amount of some foodform vitamins. Thus one could just take 2 to 3 times more synthetic vitamin to equal out the differences depicted on these charts. Some of the foodform increases are not anywhere near 2 times greater. This represents a vital aspect for comparison.

The literature from the foodform companies often mentions that synthetic isolated vitamins are not true vitamins. But, this would negate their own charts which show synthetic vitamins also INCREASE blood levels, just not as much as an equal amount of foodform vitamin. The literature also stresses milligram size differences are not the true measure of vitamin effectiveness, and that a small amount of foodform nutrient is equal to a much larger amount of synthetic isolated vitamin or mineral. Missing from this discussion is a comparison of foodform vitamins to real nature made vitamins in food as well as to some natural source isolated vitamins. Synthetic vitamins are mostly used for comparison purposes. Plus, some of the charts represent test tube studies which do not always agree with "in body" results. Synthetic vitamins have been found to be excreted out of the body faster than the same amount of natural.

One food form vitamin company has hired a prestigious pharmaceutical researcher to prove the validity of food form vitamins. It will be interesting to see these results. Just what happens to food form vitamins once they get into the body? Will they exhibit superiority or not? If not, what will happen to this research? Do you think the company would be as willing to reveal negative results as much as they would positive ones? Follow up: It has been many years since the hiring announcement. No new scientific revelations yet.

OF INTEREST: Many years ago, a court judgement ruled against foodform vitamin advertising claims when they were compared against synthetic vitamins. It is a very real possibility that this judgement is still governing what the food form vitamin companies can legally say in advertising. There are a lot of third party internet vitamin websites and blogs that fill-in the blanks left open by the FoodForm Vitamin Companies under this judgement.

The most disheartening fact is that the foodform vitamin companies apparently and intentionally structure marketing verbiage to leave their vitamin source information open to "wishful thinking" and not actual facts. But now you know the real story. Many if not most foodform vitamins start out as synthetics and or isolated naturals. Remember, since they do not list forms or sources on labels like all the other vitamins are required to do, the foodform vitamin companies are free to use any and all synthetic vitamins if they so desired. They actually do mention they use some USP "synthetic" vitamins, but it is tucked deep within their website where it is almost impossible to find.

Foodform vitamins have some benefits and unbiased research might discover more in the future. Measuring blood levels of the active vitamin forms in the body for equal ingested amounts of the four types of vitamins could settle all these issues. The four types of vitamins include:  

   1. Food vitamins made by nature in growing foods (true whole food vitamins, vitamin C in broccoli)  

   2. Isolated natural vitamins out of foods. (vitamin E as d'alpha tocopherol from soy oil)

   3.. Synthetic vitamins. (dl'alpha tocopherol made in lab)

   4. Foodform like vitamins (often erroneously called whole food vitamins) 

Unanswered to this day: Why do foodform vitamin companies still feel the need to mis-lead the Public about the true source of their vitamins (yes, some synthetic) if they most likely have a better product anyway?

NOTE: Dr Mercola claims to have a multivitamin plus vital minerals that is all from whole raw foods. This is not quite the reality, but a few of the forms are closer to food forms than most other vitamins. Some definitely are synthetic. See here for details.



Foodform Vitamin Brands with synthetics: 

New Chaptertm, MegaFood tm, and Garden of Lifetm, and YES, even Standard Process Labstm. These major "foodform" or "food grown" or "whole food vitamin" Brands all start out feeding growing yeast cells with some synthetic B vitamins and some isolated natural vitamins. Their marketing stories are not telling the "whole" truth. Not all of the vitamins are made by nature. In fact, they won't reveal which ones start out as natural and which as synthetic. The vitamins they produce are simply a combination of some natural isolated vitamins and some synthetic vitamins combined into complexes in the yeast cells during the growing cycle similar to how nature builds complexes in foods.

SIDEBAR: Because they all usually use yeast as a growing medium and add vitamins to it, there might be yeast left in the final product that could give rise to allergies. Watch for any reactions in the first week. Yeast may or may not be in the finished product depending upon the completeness of the extraction and wash out process. Often enzymes are used to digest the yeast which should also help prevent allergies. 

This reference ref is from the European FDA called EFSA evaluation of a yeast grown folic acid. No conclusions could be reached because the company requesting the ruling did not supply adequate bio-availability or safety studies. Interesting! Standard Process uses a slightly different pathway for some of their vitamins, mainly animal glandulars with added (spiked) synthetics even though they are at very low doses.

For New Chapter's company Q&A.  One question in their presentation about contamination needs some clarification. This factor is even more significant when using greater quantities of "whole" foods, since heavy metals are often found in foods, especially "green" foods. And don't count on "organic" for protection as using natural source fertilizers may actually increase certain possibilities for heavy metal contamination. ref 


Garden of life's MyKind Organics represents a novel method of vitamin extraction from foods. While they claim no synthetics, there is still a concern about the source of the vitamins they use to "standardize" the dosages. Natural plants vary dramatically in nutrient content between different plants grown side by side and between plants form different locations, even within the same grove. So, the finished product from each extraction process could have drastically different mixes between the nutrients they expect to extract. The processors would not know this ratio before hand. It is an after the process is completed fact. Maybe there are ways to lower a nutrient that is in higher amounts than the formula needs. But this is not spelled out in the patent procedures.

This represents a challenge to make consistent dosage formulas without a "standardization" method. This means they have to add a vitamin or two to correct the ratios in the finished product. The question? Where does this vitamin material come from and what is it's form. Remember that the patent spells out that 4-5 nutrients could be extracted at one time from a few different plants. Thus the "from food blend" on label.

The main element of the extraction patent is the use of certain plants to provide acids for the acidification of the vitamins in the other plants so greater amounts of these plant vitamins will precipitate out during extraction over many hours. Steam is used to heat the plant mixture to increase this action during the extraction.  





Analysis of Foodform Support Study

Taken at face value, the charts and graphs for the foodform vitamins look very impressive. Most people are quite convinced after reading them that foodform vitamins are much better than USP synthetic vitamins. As indeed they might be. It is just that the studies have some flaws showing more of an apples to oranges comparison.

Looking at the following chart on growing animals gives an impressive growth advantage to foodform vitamins versus USP vitamins. But a realistic look at just what the animals were consuming tells a slightly different story. 

Foodform vitamins contain a lot of food material with the vitamins. In fact up to 3/4 of a capsule or tablet of food form vitamins is food. The USP vitamin animal group did not get this extra food. This food difference most likely was responsible for generating the animals growth since vitamins are not part of the growth material anyway. It was not a fair test for the vitamin differences. The disturbing part is that the scientists knew this would generate a profound difference. A true test would have included an equal amount of food with the USP vitamins to eliminate the influence the extra food would create.

Measuring the blood levels between the animals in the different groups would have been the real test of foodform vitamin extra influence.

Other foodform research studies unfortunately are designed with many similar flaws. They all favor the foodform vitamins. Have you ever seem foodform vitamins compared against real food vitamins?

Researchers are getting very clever at designing studies to favor a pre-conceived concept. While it is difficult to comprehend how a scientist could compromise scientific principles, it happens far to often. The true test comes when an independent third party not paid by the foodform vitamin company verifies the results. All too often, the degree of benefits are drastically reduced in these independent studies compared to the company sponsored research, an all too obvious indication of favored biases.


Scientific Proof for Vitamin B1 Food Form Nutrient???

This reference scientific abstract is presented to show that yeast cells have the ability to change a synthetic form of thiamine into a more natural form or compound, thiamine diphosphate, a feat that humans also exhibit since Beriberi was eliminated giving synthetic B1. This example is given to show pathways for the yeast cells to change an outside source of thiamine, assumes a synthetic will also work, into the natural useful forms, thiamine pyrophosphate and thiamine diphosphate.

NOTICE:  Did you notice in the above reference that first the yeast cell separates the thiamine to its free isolated form....?  This also happens in humans too. So, what does this imply for the complex food forms of vitamins that the foodform vitamin companies go to such great lengths to create...?   YES! they also break apart into an isolated vitamin form in the human digestive system.


MyKIND Organics from Garden of Life

  ***See Notice near bottom of article, a critically important message***

About every two years, Garden of Lifetm comes out with a new concept supplement: Such as Brown Seaweed, Raw Protein, Living Multiple, Raw Fit, Perfect Food, Raw Code Vitamins, and now the MyKind Organics Multiple Vitamins. Garden of life has over it's history turned out to be quite a successful marketing company and second, a vitamin product company. As a marketing company, their effectiveness is represented by their products rapidly becoming the number one selling Brand in health food stores. But unfortunately, as a product company, they occasionally suffer from low quality issues, like a recent salmonella contamination outbreak. While this is an unfortunate event that could happen to any company, the relatively new FDA regulations for Good Manufacturing Practices, GMP, spelling out Quality Control procedures, should catch contaminated ingredients and products before they are released to the public. QC article

Roll out of the KIND ORGANICS (label changed later to MyKind Organics)

The new product line from Garden of Life is an all Organic Multiple called MyKIND Organics Multiple Vitamins. "The First Whole Food Multivitamin Made from Real, Honest, Nutritious Foods." Their literature expresses that this is the first multivitamin that is all from organic natural food sources, such as Folate from Organic Lemon peels, without any synthetics. Realfood Organics from Country Life and a few others have been available for some time, but they were just mostly from natural foods with a few isolates. 

With this product line, Garden of Life rolls out their Clean Tablet Technology which potentially represents a large positive step. (Not all attempts in the past to clean up questionable ingredients resulted in positive effects. Example: Removing "starches" delayed tablet breakdown with less nutrient absorption.) And the dosages in these multiples also continue a Garden of Life positive trend with most nutrients at nutritionally significant and active amounts and not at the outrageously higher amounts potentially disruptive to body processes like so many other Brands using synthetics and natural isolates. With vitamin consumption, both too little and too much can be detrimental to health. Organic sources plus NON-GMO are welcome additions for the foods included as well. Organic article  GMO article

The MyKIND products are to the vitamin industry what the 747 airplane was to the airline industry. A quantum leap forward, years ahead of it's time, or about time.

The stumbling block in the past to producing all from food vitamins is that nature is rather stingy and doesn't put significant quantities of vitamins together in any one food. Instead, Nature spreads them out so that a variety of foods in extremely large quantities is needed to be able to concentrate out significant amounts to make natural vitamin supplements. Up to now, the vitamins and minerals from all natural food sources exhibited very low dosages and did not sell as well since the public has become accustomed to the higher synthetic and isolated natural vitamin dosages. Unfortunately, the "If a little is good, more must be better" mentality is not true for vitamins and minerals, but has been largely accepted by the consumimg Public from marketing influences.  As part of the MyKIND Organics marketing roll out, The next statement out of Garden of Life is most revealing about their past whole food type vitamin lines, like Living Multiple and The Vitamin Code.

For the Vitamin Code line, see, here is part of the marketing story GOL used: "RAW means these food vitamins are uncooked and unadulterated, delivered with probiotics and enzymes and absolutely no synthetic vitamins! Our audited RAW standard means Vitamin Code ingredients are always kept below 115 degrees F, and we do not use incredibly harsh compression and heat typically used to create vitamin tablets." This description will have significant clarification in a moment.

No Synthetics, fact or fiction?

To generate a greater impact for this new MyKind Organics line, Garden of Life first set out to rather boldly reveal that in the past, their supplement manufacturing process, "rather than starting with real food and working all the way down to a tablet, scientists reverse engineered nature--starting with synthetic vitamins (and isolated naturals) and finding a way to make them more like real food..."  "...By combining a synthesized vitamin with a plant in which it could grow (yeast)........"  Does this mean the Living Multiples and Vitamin Code Multiples start with some synthetic vitamins as well as some isolated natural vitamins? Yes!

"All of today's leading Whole Food vitamin companies-including Garden of Life--use cultured or grown whole food nutrients. Whether it's grown, cultured or complexed, all whole food vitamins begin with an isolated nutrient. Finally, after years of progress, Garden of Life introduces MyKind Organics--a multivitamin from real, nutritious, organic food." These are their own words from their literature. They start with real food, extract out the vitamins, and package them into a tablet. All natural, all organic. Non-GMO. This is a major departure from their past methods and represents a major new step for natural whole food vitamins. Read on for real story!

Notice, the next web ad link has been changed by GOL, but the commentary description was left to illustrate a point. ( see comments) Here is the first GOL web ad for the Kind Organics line. Click on Products and then click on Multi to see labels. The labels you will see are the very first Kind Organics labels that listed some questionable food sources containing very low levels of certain vitamins and a false Vitamin B12 source. Those label errors prompted the writing of this article. The labels were later rather quickly changed to indicate more of the real nature of vitamin sources as mentioned by their new source supplier, Orgenetics, that produces some of the natural vitamins in MyKIND Organics multiples. It took the GOL staff member to explain in comments below this article that the B12 source was not yeast, but a German produced non-engineered bacteria that supplies the vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, a preferred form. The B12 is then cultured into yeast. Yeast does not naturally make vitamin B12.

Here is GOL explanation of the concentration process used to make these multi nutrients from foods and herbs:  

  •  Produce is tree-ripened, hand-picked, and delivered to the extraction facility within 30 minutes.
  • A patented FRESH EXTRACTION process super-concentrates the nutrients in 3 steps.
    • Water extraction - no solvents or alcohol are used. (see patent details below)
    • Concentration
    • Separation and super-concentration (removing the sugars and other macronutrients as well as water)
  • Following the multi-patented Fresh Extraction process, the organic produce is turned into a highly concentrated powder, standardized for vitamin and mineral content, within 24 hours of harvest!

ORGENETICS, Company behind Organic ingredients

Check out this study.  It is used as a reference by the companies under Orgen Family, most likely making these food extracts for Garden of Life and a few other Brands. "Antioxidant and micronutrient potential of common fruits available in the Indian subcontinent

Here is website for Orgenetics. They partnered with Greenchem in India. Greenchem has their own organic farms. One quickly sees that Orgenetics offers groups of related vitamins together rather than separately. Only a few individual vitamins and minerals are extracted separately. Garden of Life's first labels were in error. They quickly changed labels to reflect the "from food blend" aspect of the vitamin groups extracted together. 

On the Orgenetics website, they list the foods making up the blend supplying the vitamin and mineral groups they produce. For vitamin C, they use Alma fruit. This extract also includes bioflavonoids, but GOL unfortunately fails to include this valuable nutrient listed on their MyKIND labels. For B complex, the food blend items at the time included; Holy Basil leaves, Guava fruit, and Lemon peel extract, all organic. Since these foods are all rather low in B vitamin content, this raised a red flag as to the logistics of concentrating such low dose vitamin foods to get the vitamin quantities needed for a bottle of 60 servings. Next are some examples of the amount of food that would be necessary if the vitamins and minerals only were concentrated out of the listed foods (for a 60 serving bottle), before any standardization.

The patent details explain that Guava Fruit (295 kg) is the most predominate item by weight. It supplies B1, B2, Pantothenic acid, and B6. From Holy Basil leaves (2.5 kg dried leaves), B3 or niacin, and from lemon peels (dried 2.5 kg about 13 lbs fresh), folate. 

Folate: For 500 mcg. The 10% from lemon peels needs 5 pounds per bottle. The 90% or 450 mcg. from Sesbania flowers needs 58.3 pounds. (Sesbania is not listed in this patent, but the patent mentions the process would work for any plant material that contains the desired vitamin. (The letter from a staffer at Garden of Life supplied the Sesbania source information.)

Vitamin B6: 60 servings of 13 mg. from Guava, Holy Basil, Lemon blend, (patent says B6 supplied by guava (.11mg/100g), but lemon peel also has some (.172mg/ 100 gm raw. 82% water) needs at least 1007 pounds of guava and lemon peel per bottle. BUT, the leaves of Guava could also be used and data here is difficult to find.  

Selenium: 60 servings of 90 mcg (5400 mcg) needs 1980 pounds of guava fruit (leaves 0). Again, leaves might also be used. guava data

Zinc: 60 servings of 7 mg, no data found yet for guava leaves.

All natural Vitamins and minerals from only FOOD sources Present a Challenge

The large quantities of food needed to supply 100% of the nutrients presents a major issue that needs a further explanation. Are the USDA measurements of nutrients faulty and not applicable to the plants grown in India, or are the ones GreenChem grows higher in nutrients? Does GreenChem have an unlimited supply of plants on their farm so quantities are not a factor? Is the new water extraction method so powerful that much greater quantities of vitamins can be concentrated out of these low density vitamin foods. Perhaps, the most important piece of the puzzle missing is what is the method of standardization. They add extra vitamins and minerals to arrive at a certain percentage level? What is the source of the added vitamins? Are the viamins from the new water extraction method and simply added to a smaller concentrated amount of the same foods used for the extraction? Plausible. This would mean that some of the other nutrients might be quite a bit over the label amounts. This could present problems. Orgenetics could run 3-4 batches and then after analyzing each, use the best ones to combine to arrive at the closest label amounts.

Orgenetics offers a vitamin B complex material that yields, from just 1000 mg (fills about one average size capsule) of plant extracts Guava, Holy Basil, and Lemon, 100% of the RDA for these B complex factors: B1, B2, B3 niacin, B5 pantothenic acid, B6, & B9 folate. That represents quite a feat for extraction just out of food.  No vitamin B12 or biotin. Biotin offered separately. Orgenetics extracts vitamins and minerals out of over a 100 pounds of food and fits them into two very tiny tablets. How do they do it?

New Patented WATER EXTRACTION METHOD gets Natural Vitamins out of Food

The new patented water extraction method is evidently a significant part of the MyKind Organics story. ref This new all water extraction process utilizes a unique application of fruit acids (from Lemon and holy basil for B complex factors) to help break open plant cells and also increase nutrient availability due to processes called acidification and esterification. Only this esterification process does not use added alcohols, but alcohol may naturally be produced in the food material during the 6 hour extraction process and this could participate in the esterification effect since ester vitamin compounds are found in the finished product. These processes increase the vitamin yield without apparently having to add other chemical solvents, except water.

Reading the patent, it does leave open the door to use any and all other traditional methods as well, including chemicals. This new remarkable water extraction method even gets out non-water soluble factors like fat soluble vitamins. Good information on general extraction methods here. Next is the abstract for this new water method patent for vitamin E from annatto. The inventors mention continually that any other materials could be substituted for annatto in this process and other nutrients could also be extracted out.

"A process for the extraction of Vitamin E from annatto plant matter is disclosed Wherein annatto seed matter is subjected, before extraction, to acidifcation using amla fruit matter. After the acidifcation, the mixture of the two plant matters is extracted by water. The acidifcation converts the vitamin E compounds in the plant matter into more water-soluble forms (probably really means water dispersible instead of soluble), thus enhancing the vitamin yield (as acidic compounds). More of the vitamin is obtained in the ester form than in the form of vitamin alcohols. Processing time is reduced." SEE QUESTION: BELOW.

Specific Details of WATER EXTRACTION Method 

Here are the details and amounts to explain this extraction method for vitamin E: An annatto seed mesh of 1089 pounds is mixed with alma fruit at 11 pounds (supplies the acids) and begins a 6 hour processing with many steps passing steam up through a jacket surrounding the Stainless Steel vessel. This heats the water containing the food mixture to 150 degrees. Many separations occur and are used to concentrate the vitamins by some method, perhaps evaporation or lighter elements flowing to top, until it gets down to 110 pounds. 15.8% of this weight is vitamin E, 17.38 pounds. This is quite a lot of vitamin E.

QUESTION: Since annatto is naturally low in vitamin E as tocopherols and high in the E family form tocotrienols, a lot of this vitamin E content may be tocotrienols, but tocotrienols cannot be labeled as vitamin E. ref ref THIS REPRESENTS AN ENGIMA THAT NEEDS TO BE CLARIFIED. This one fact just may be the thorn in the side for Orgenetics credibility. ref  If the vitamin E content includes both tocopherols and tocotrienols, that would be a plus. But it would make the bottle label incorrect.

More from the patent: "Preferably, said liquid medium is water, the solvent adopted in the process of the invention. Adoption of heating, stirring, agitating, cooking and other such operations to increase the yield and reduce the processing time are within the scope of the invention. Use of pressure in the cooking operation is within the scope of the invention." High temperatures and or pressure can be used so GOL will not be talking about vitamins being RAW for the MYKIND line. In fact, this is rather counter to the whole RAW image GOL has built up. Large amounts of steam are used around the vessel to heat the food pulp inside during the process as part of the vitamin extraction method. Steam is another form of water but it does not come into contact with the food material, it just surrounds and heats the vessel. So, the water in the vessel is the only solvent used. But the patent has opened the door to use other solvents if needed.

Here is the patent for the extraction of B vitamin group out of Lemon, Holy Basil, and Guava. From the patent details: Within the scope of the invention, other operations may be carried on the extract product of the invention such as topping-up of constituents, adding of additional nutrients, converting into a food, pharmaceutical or nutraceutical compositions, admixing additives such as for colour, taste, texture, bulk, flavour, odour and others. This last part may be more for use in foods, but the first part "topping-up of constituents" and "adding of additional nutrients" might present questionable areas of concern.  

This brings up another point needing an explanation. Heat destroys a number of vitamins; B1, B2, B5, Folate, and C. Do they all survive the 6 hours of heat at 50 to 65 degree C (150* F) used by this water extraction method? The water extraction method can be varied in time and temperature, etc. for different foods supplying different vitamins. Plus, temperatures reach 170 to 180 degree C during the spray drying process for a very short period of time.


Let's follow this up with a dose of reality, science, and a touch of common sense. One important factor is that nature varies the amount of nutrients from plant to plant. Sometimes this variation is over 10 fold. This would simply only change the yield during the extraction process. So the 2 important issues here are: First, How much extra vitamin content does the water extraction method yield over the amounts from other traditional chemical solvent methods of extraction? How are the logistics of needing such large volumes of chosen foods to supply vitamins justified? What if any separation methods are employed? How clean is the finished product? Does the heat influence the nutrients? Does the acidification and esterification process change vitamin forms? The patent indicates it does. And what is meant by the last part of the process, "standardization" of vitamins and minerals? The patent says they top-off the finished product with vitamins from a previous batch processing. At least this is what the President of the company mentioned. This would simply further increase the quantities of food needed for this extraction process to arrive at the nutrient label amounts.

Second part of the story for this new vitamin form emphasizes that the food material also contains natural vitamin co-factors. These are said to increase absorption and make the vitamins more effective. The vitamin co-factors are never really spelled out or amounts listed. This is a very intangible aspect and may only be determined by blood work comparing what happens inside the body after these food extracted vitamins are compared to the forms of vitamins in other supplements. These are all the possible different vitamin forms: 1.Synthetics 2.Isolated natural 3. Foodform (synthetics or isolated natural grown in yeast) 4. actual real natural vitamins extracted out of food (the MyKind process) 5. non-processed natural food concentrates containing vitamins, and 6. naturally in regular nonconcentrated food. Then there are also the effects from acidification and esterification on vitamin forms. 


What are Vitamin Co-Factors?

Return soon for added excitement on this topic. Check out this article for some details>


Originally, GOL and Orgenetics listed Organic guava as source for selenium. This is another amazingly low source selenium food at just 1 mcg per 165 grams, or one cup of guava. To extract out of guava to get a serving size of 90 mcg of selenium requires 90 cups or 14850 grams or 33 pounds. A bottle of 60 servings would require the selenium to be extracted out of 1980 pounds. So how do they do it? They standardize selenium to a certain level in a given amount of guava that fits in a tablet. Again, where does the selenium come from that is used to standardize?

Presently, Orgenetics has changed to listing Mustard seed extract as their selenium source. Doesn't look like GOL is using this source yet since mustard seed is not listed on any labels, at least not on their websites. Mustard seeds have 8.32 mcg in 4 grams of seeds, a much higher amount than in Guava. To get to 90 mcg serving needs 1.5 pounds of seeds. A 60 serving bottle would require the selenium out of 90 pounds of mustard seeds. But they use an extract. Really doesn't matter. They still need 90 pounds of mustard seeds to start with before they make the extract and then take the selenium out of it.  Just 14 mg of Orgenetics selenium mustard seed extract is standardized to .5% and gives 70 mcg of selenium. This represents an extraction of over 2500 to 1. While not impossible, sure is mind-numbing.

Bottom line Obervation: Since GOL just admitted for the introduction of the MyKind line that in the past they were not completely honest about their previous multiple vitamin sources, they used synthetics, can they be trusted now when they say all the MyKind vitamins are only from food. Remember their first attempt at labels for the then called Kind Organics line contained many false facts. The changed labels for the newly named MyKind products still leaves some issues open. Yeast does not produce Vitamin B12.


CAUTION: As part of the MyKind Line, Garden of LIfe also offers a Calcium product. Please be aware that in this red algae product, plant source calcium takes the form of calcium carbonate.** Plus, as an algae growing in ocean water, it can pick up lead and other heavy metals. Since past algae calcium samples have shown lead contamination, companies should be more dilligent in testing. Make sure Garden of Life tests each batch. A little Lead is probably everywhere.

**This point could use some clarification. Yes, Red Algae builds calcium into a carbonate form when making the outer protective shell. While limestone calcium carbonate is a 100% calcite form of calcium carbonate, in red algae there are 2 other calcium carbonate forms as well. One is aragonite, the other is vaterite. Aragonite is similar to calcite, in fact it can become calcite, and they both are quite stable and have low reactive properties. Vaterite is more reactive and has increased solubility and interaction abilities. Unfortunately, vaterite represents a smaller percentage of algae calcium carbonate. The solubility factor difference between limestone and red algae calcium carbonate is about 10% in favor of algae source, 75% compared to 69%. While algae calcium carbonate is 60% calcium, limestone is 70%. But, again the advantage goes to algae since it has 15% more space for some extra minerals. The downside of this plant algae calcium is that it is still calcium carbonate and will use up stomach acid during digestion acting as an antacid. This may not be wise for anyone with low stomach acid.

A possible unique advantage to algae calcium is due to the association of RankL suppression. RankL rubs bones the wrong way plus is involved in cancer spreading and bone loss due to cancers. It needs to be held in check by OPG. Estrogen usually helps OPG hold RankL in check until menopause. ref This research needs immediate verification and clarification due to importance. Other nutrients also have this influence. Check out this study on the value of magnesium to suppress rankL. ref The fact that Algae calcium is very low in magnesium presents a potential problem as this study points out unless magnesium is added. The MyKind Plant Calcium does not add magnesium, thus it is suspect as a bone supplement without added magnesium since the ratio of calcium to magnesium is a vital factor for what happens to calcium in the body.


***NOTICE:***  Do not consume the Grow bone product containing 680 mg of Strontium unless under the supervision of your Medical Doctor. (the bone formula without 680 mg strontium is OK) This is critically important. While the warning below is for the European drug, Strontium Renelate, OTC supplements of strontium at 680mg could have the same adverse effects as it is strontium displacing calcium in body structures, not just the acid combining agent holding the strontium that is the problem. Well, maybe renelic acid is a little bit of the problem. For explanation> article  Warning copied below:  ref

Protos (Strontium Renelate) should only be used when other medications for the treatment for osteoporosis are considered unsuitable. Protos is contraindicated and must not be used in patients with established, current or past history of: ischaemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, uncontrolled hypertension, venous thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism. It should also not be used in patients who are temporarily or permanently immobilised. Protos should be used with caution in patients with risk factors for cardiovascular events or venous thrombosis: hypertension, diabetes, smoking, hyperlipidaemia. All patients prescribed Protos should be fully informed of the risk of cardiovascular events and venous thrombosis. Patients should be regularly monitored, every 6 months.


Women's Multiple (2 Tabs per Day) Evaluation

GOL needs to specifiy the source for MK7 as usually sources are animal or fermented soy natto. GOL lists natto in the MyKind multiples with the old labels but left it off of this new label. If they still use natto, soy should be listed as an ingredient. Notice that the fat soluble vitamins are not part of the Orgenetics supplied nutrients. They are all from different suppliers, except maybe E. This label only includes vitamin forms for B12, Vitamin K as MK7, and D3. The others must be in a true food form. The vitamin B12 source lists Saccharomycees, a yeast. But yeast does not naturally contain B12, so B12 is added to the yeast not from the yeast.  

SCORE:  11.1  (scale 15 to 5)

THIS IS A VERY GOOD DOSAGE MULTIPLE FORMULA based upon ratios of nutrients to body functions. BUT NEEDS SOME EXTRA SUPPORT or separate products FOR calcium and magnesium, AND DOES NOT SPECIFY IF ANY FAMILY MEMBERS ARE PRESENT IN FOOD BASE FOR beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E (alpha carotene, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, beta, delta, and gamma tocopherols, alpha, beta, delta, and gamma tocotrienols, bioflavonoids, rutin, and hesperitin.) Selenium and Chromium are within acceptable amounts. Organic base might supply some of the family members, but without any listings or amounts, they do not factor into score. Organic base does add. Plus need to know MK7 amount separately since it is given as part of a K complex. Tablet clean fillers add to score.

The dosages listed are higher than any other all natural food source multiple vitamin. The new extraction method must really be significantly more effective than past methods. Verification from outside parties would increase credibility.




Garden of Life Admits Use of Synthetic Vitamins

This is indeed a very rare occasion. A company admits they allowed mis-conceptions and untruths to be tossed around like peanuts at a baseball game about their products without correcting the false impressions.

Here is what they are now saying in their new literature about their past foodform multiple formulas like the VITAMIN CODE** and Living Multiple:

"rather than starting with real food and working all the way down to a tablet, scientists reverse engineered nature--starting with synthetic vitamins and finding a way to make them more like real food..."  "...By combining a synthesized vitamin with a plant in which it could grow (yeast)........"

To set the stage for an explanation of their new (My)Kind Organics Multis, they go on to say..."All of today's leading "whole Food" vitamin companies--including Garden of Life--use (these) cultured or grown whole food nutrients. Whether it's grown, cultured or complexed, all whole food vitamins begin with an isolated nutrient.

The (My)Kind Organic Multiples literature states: "Finally, a whole food Multi that's certified Organic, non-GMO. Verified from Real, Honest, Nutritious foods."  This implys that these new nutrients don't start with synthetic or isolated natural vitamins like those in the past. It starts with real food created vitamins and works backward into a tablet. See this article for more insight. The new water extraction method they use must have much greater efficiency than other methods in the past to extract vitamins. The one word that questions this concept- standardized.


**To prevent loss of data from Garden of Life's website, copied below is what they wrote about the Vitamin Code line:

"Vitamin Code

Garden of Life strives to offer customers cutting edge products based on scientific advances in producing natural food products and dietary supplements. A unique method producing RAW Food—Created Nutrients™ has enabled Garden of Life to produce the VITAMIN CODE® line.

  • Vitamin Code® is a cutting edge line of RAW whole food vitamin supplements, with age- and gender-specific formulas
  • Vitamin Code utilizes a dual probiotic cultivation process that emulates the growing process found in the plant kingdom
  • Nobel Prize-winning science inspired this process to “grow” food vitamins, similar to vegetables in the soil. Each individual nutrient is combined with a specific peptide that allows passage through the cell wall of two separate probiotics
  • These individually cultivated vitamins and minerals are called RAW Food-Created Nutrients™ and typically, they come with their unique Code Factors™ intact, which nourish the body as nature intended
  • RAW means these food vitamins are uncooked, untreated and unadulterated, delivered with probiotics and enzymes and absolutely no synthetic vitamins!
  • Our audited RAW standard means Vitamin Code ingredients are always kept below 115⁰F, and we do not use incredibly harsh compression and heat typically used to create vitamin tablets!
  • In a base of 22 RAW fruits and vegetables Vitamin Code formulas combine the best of nature and science, with no binders, artificial flavors, colors or sugars"