Rudolph Ballentine, MD, author of Diet & Nutrition, A Holistic Approach, makes a strong argument against multi-vitamins, or even vitamin pills in general, and I found it quite compelling.
Basically, he argues that natural whole foods come in perfect pre-packed forms. Animals, including humans, evolved to consume food as it’s provided to us by nature. Our bodies are designed to break down food into various elements and use or eliminate as needed.
To take that food and mechanically separate all of the parts, put them into pill or powder form and then leave it to the consumer (us!) to reconstruct these elements in balance is ridiculous. (He used the word “absurd.”)
When a vitamin or mineral deficiency is identified, instead of turning to a bottle of pills, it’s recommended and preferred to research what foods are rich in the missing nutrient.
For example, we know that an increase in vitamin C is beneficial to fighting the common cold. Consider adding an orange to breakfast. Or, I previously posted about acne being caused by a zinc deficiency. Adding in sunflower seeds, carrots, and/or carrot juice is recommended over zinc pills. Increase time in the sun to load up on vitamin D.
The concern is that the body balances nutrients, and an imbalance causes other issues. So taking in pills that give vitamins and minerals in bits and pieces to resolve one issue, could very well cause different deficiencies and other issues.
Natural whole foods are easier for the body to absorb, digest and take what it needs while eliminating what it doesn’t. Whole foods provide a host of different vitamins and minerals in each bite, as opposed to singling each out, or trying to manufacture a balance through multi-vitamins. A wide variety of whole foods is recommended to keep the body’s checks and balances efficient.
Ballentine touches on the popular argument that soil is depleted, so there is not enough of vitamins growing into our whole foods. He states that there is more than enough in the whole foods we eat to meet our bodies requirements and encourages eating a wide variety of whole foods. This will ensure that our bodies get all that they need from the food we consume, without relying on manufactured pills which may cause more issues than they help.
This following diagram was shared on social media without credit. (If someone knows who to credit please let me know so I can update this post accordingly.) However, it’s a nice little snap shot of some foods as they relate to vitamins. Note how many foods crossover into multiple categories.