Essential Ingredients

Vitamins Are Better Together

2 min read

A much-buzzed-about study showed that beta carotene supplements could not successfully prevent cancer, yet reams of published research has irrevocably found the food form can. What gives? Why would the results vary so drastically between supplement and food-form? It turns out, like us, vitamins can’t work in a vacuum. In fact, vitamins work together.

An example of how this concept works: You may already know that we generally consume enough calcium through our diet. However, that doesn't mean we're actually absorbing it. To fully deliver that calcium into our bones and tissues, we need sufficient amounts of Vitamin D and Vitamin K. Once again, vitamins working together to make it happen.

Another good illustration is Vitamin C. It's famous for its preventive health benefits. So much so, that the US FDA has made what's called a "Qualified Health Claim" (so there are still a few disclaimers) — but only in food form. Here’s why: In supplement form, Vitamin C appears as ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is virtually identical to the Vitamin C found in food, but it's still missing one thing: Vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits also contain polyphenols. When vitamin C pairs with polyphenols, that’s when the actual work gets done — when the antioxidant activity happens, and absorption is as its best. All to say that it's not just a matter of a little tablet labeled “Vitamin C.” That certainly won’t get you the nutritional effects that you’re hoping for.

We think it's time to not just update how we think about vitamins, but also how we take them. Our scientific team pored through (seemingly) endless studies, research and trials to assess what vitamins we need and what vitamins need each other. For instance, you most likely don’t have a boron deficiency, but you may not be properly absorbing the Magnesium, Calcium or Vitamin D you need without it. Our Essential for Women and Essential Prenatal has it, along with a team of other ingredients that work together.