Health Supplements contain nutrients that are originally in plants and other natural sources from which the selected nutrients are refined or extracted, then packaged and sold for specific purpose On the other hand, food rich in those substances or infused with those substances are sold as Functional or Special Dietary Food. In many cases, there is no clear line separating the two. In general, Supplements have higher ‘dosage’ and are generally priced considerably higher as they are perceived as ‘de facto medicine’. Supplements are favored by manufacturers and marketers for a simple reason: the manufacturing or extraction process can often be patented thus high commercial value for those involved. Food, on the other hand, can hardly be patented and little trade secrets can be kept due to disclosure and labeling requirements across the world.
Higher pricing of Supplements also gives consumers the impression that it has more health value thus it is better to take Supplements than to take food rich in those nutrients.
In this fast paced society, consumers also prefer the ‘silver bullet’ – popping a tablet is definitely more convenient than cooking a meal.
So are Supplements really better than food?
The argument is still ongoing.
We believe that nutrients don’t work alone. Our body, having gone through evolution for millions of years, knows what nutrients it needs, how much it needs and how those nutrients work together to benefit our body. When we take Good Food – whole food rich in nutrients we need, our body knows how to handle all the nutrients which go into our body as a whole. When we take supplements, often a heavy dosage of a particular nutrient, our body may not know how to handle the sudden influx of this nutrient. It does not have other ‘partner nutrients’ coming along and the benefit to our body is unknown.
The Supplement approach is akin to medicine. It is an external intervention that tries to correct an internal imbalance. It is a reactive approach or a proactive mission without a target.
Good Food approach is more natural. We just supply our body with nutrients in their natural form and let our body pick and choose what it needs to get it into its optimal state.