Designs for Health, Inc.
is NSF GMP Registered.
Do DFH Products Contain Whole Food Vitamins and Nutrients?
Answering this question is a bit tricky and warrants explanation. To begin one needs to understand there are 3 general types of products often referred to as whole food vitamins and nutrients.
This type is made by taking standard USP (United States Pharmacopeia) vitamins, which are manufactured in laboratories with biochemical processes, and putting them in tablets, or occasionally capsules, with dried foods and herbs (along with fillers and other additives used in production). Taking these vitamins is no different from taking standard USP vitamins with a meal (but a lot more expensive). Examples of companies that employ this whole food philosophy are Standard Process and Innate Response.
This variety of whole food vitamin is made by adding standard USP vitamins to a liquid broth containing yeast. As the yeast grows, the vitamins and minerals are incorporated into the cell structure of the yeast. The yeast is then killed in a drying process, and the residue is pressed into tablets with herbs, binders, and manufacturing additives. The companies New Chapter and Megafood use this type of process to make their products.
Because of the amount of space occupied by the yeast, products made in this manner are very low in potency. Even if absorption is superior, the low potency and high cost makes them very cost-inefficient for anyone wishing to take, say, 500 mg of vitamin C, or an adequacy potent vitamin B complex on a daily basis. Another problem is that many people taking these yeast-based supplements are prone to developing yeast sensitivities. This is particularly true for those with a history of Candida, which is common in our carbohydrate-addicted culture.
The last general category of whole food nutrients include encapsulated, tableted, or powdered dried foods and pressed oils such as fish or borage oil. Again, because of size constraints, these products are usually lower potency (in terms of the amount of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients present). To overcome this challenge most often these types of products are made available as powders or liquids, such as Paleogreens or OmegAvail Marine Liquid, to make more practical higher dosing. Taking these supplements might be compared to eating good organic foods...but in smaller quantities.
The Designs for Health Approach
A discussion regarding whole food vitamins is not complete without an understanding of the Designs for Health approach to supplementation, and supporting rationale.
At Designs for Health, we believe that good health starts with good food. Thus, each of our protocols begins with healthy dietary changes. Supplements are meant to enhance and complement a well-balanced diet, providing nutrients in quantities above and beyond that which we can obtain from food.
Our commitment to deliver efficacious nutritional therapies containing meaningful quantities of therapeutic elements precludes us from offering a line of nutritional products based solely on a whole food vitamin philosophy.
The facts regarding nutrients and therapeutic dosing are clear. It may surprise you to learn that there are thousands of nutrients that are simply not available in therapeutic doses from food. For example, it is not realistic to consume therapeutic amounts of carnitine from food. In fact, recent research found that 14 non-vegetarian individuals, who completed a 7-day weighed food record, averaged an intake of just 64 mg/day of carnitine. This is significant, as many health conditions for which carnitine supplementation is indicated (including congestive heart failure), require 3-10 grams of carnitine daily to achieve a favorable response. While the body can synthesize small amounts of carnitine, it cannot begin to synthesize amounts this high. To obtain whole food carnitine would first require identifying a plentiful source of lamb and beef — the best dietary sources of carnitine — then grinding the muscle tissue, and removing the various fluids. Finally, the byproduct would be encapsulated. We consider this process to be physically impractical and economically unsound. Therefore, when one considers the fact that patients frequently present with multiple conditions requiring a number of nutritional interventions for effective treatment, the impossibility for a whole food philosophy to cover all bases and help every patient is obvious.
We do, however, recognize and appreciate that foods contain many compounds that have not yet been isolated or discovered; perhaps there are compounds in foods that support absorbability and utilization of the nutrients contained within. The best nutrient utilization synergies may actually be achieved by consuming therapeutic supplements with food. For example, it would make sense to suggest that a patient take therapeutic doses of carnitine and CoQ10 while eating a steak salad for lunch.
Whole Food Products...When Practical
A number of Designs for Health products would be considered whole food nutrients under the type 3 definition above, including:
The Best of Nature and Science
Our experience has taught us that it is impossible to produce a complete line of therapeutic nutritional products without including many conventionally produced nutrients. For instance, modern technology has allowed for the synthesis of strong and effective therapeutic agents that had never been available previously, such as the ajoene in our Allicillin, and which is far more potent and effective than fresh garlic or dried garlic in capsules. For Designs for Health to stand by our "Science First" core principle of providing meaningful quantities of therapeutic elements, demands we follow the ingredient philosophy detailed here.