You have reached the home of the nutriment range of dietary supplements, an exclusive range that uses barley grass as only additive. No flowing agents. No anti-caking agents. Nothing other than barley grass and the active ingredients.
Normally dietary supplements are made by mixing a number of isolated nutrients (the active ingredients) with an inactive base. This merely provides a few isolated nutrients to correct a possible deficiency in one's diet. By mixing the active ingredients with barley grass however, the dietary supplement is transformed into a wholesome food – a nutriment –which furnishes the body with all the nutrients that are needed on a daily basis. This in turn leads to an increase in energy, vitality and wellbeing.
Isn't that what dietary supplementation is all about?
|Supplement: n Thing added to remedy deficiencies.||Nutriment: n Something that nourishes or promotes growth, provides energy, repairs body tissue and maintains life.|
|The Concise Oxford Dictionary, New Edition||Merriam-Webster Dictionary|
A Need For Supplementation
Supplements are taken in order to provide those nutrients that we no longer obtain from our diets - something that is added to our daily food intake to make up for any deficiency that may exist. We take it for granted that these supplements provide the necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients (the active ingredients, or actives listed on the label), that are missing from our food. What we tend to overlook is that most dietary supplements contain a number of ingredients in addition to those listed as actives, ingredients that are not always indicated on the label. These so called “other ingredients” that are found in dietary supplements include inactive additives such as fillers, anti-caking agents, preservatives and more - often in such quantities that they exceed the amount of the actives themselves.
Take biotin as an example.
Biotin is one of the B vitamins which plays an important role in energy producing cycles in the body. Biotin is required in very small quantities on a daily basis and usually forms part of a vitamin B complex supplement. Sometimes however, there is an added requirement for biotin and then it has to be taken separately.
The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for biotin is 400 microgram - a measure so small that it could be placed on a pin head. Yet a typical biotin supplement will often exceed 300 milligrams in weight – well over 700 times the amount of biotin itself.
Think about that for a moment. If you are taking a supplement for its biotin content, you are not only getting the biotin but also 700 times as much added ingredients, ingredients for which no deficiencies exist.
What exactly are these other ingredients, or additives, that are included with the active component of our supplements, and what role, if any, do they play in our bodies?
The Nature of Additives
It wouldn't make sense to fill a large capsule with a few micrograms of actives such as biotin powder, and so manufacturers add inactive fillers or bulking agents to the active component (biotin), to increase the volume until it reaches a suitable quantity. Often the filler on its own is not enough. The powder may tend to clump together so an inactive anti-caking agent may be added, or a flowing agent to facilitate the powder's flow characteristics. All these various inactive ingredients are invariably synthetic and contain components that are foreign to the body. Even those derived from natural materials such as plant fibre (cellulose) are highly processed and may contain residues of solvents and bleaching agents that can be harmful. The resultant supplement consequently consists of a small amount of active material – the biotin – and a large amount of inactive ingredients consisting mostly of synthetic chemicals and harmful solvent residues.
The Shortcomings of Modern Supplements
Mixing the likes of biotin with inactive ingredients and turning this into a supplement is largely an artificial process which has a number of disadvantages. The first of these is that the additives as a whole provide a less than optimal food source for the absorption and utilization of the active ingredients. Our digestive systems are designed to make use of plants and animals products as a natural food source - living organisms where vitamins and minerals are associated with other nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) that all play an active part in the body. Isolating nutrients in an inactive base simply doesn't make sense.
During digestion of natural foods vitamins and minerals attach to protein complexes in the digestive tract, which enhances their absorption and ensures that they do not end up as isolated entities in the blood stream. Proteins complexes in the blood are not normally excreted by the kidneys, and so the attached vitamins and minerals remain in the body much longer.
With artificial foodstuffs such as supplements, protein complexes cannot be formed from the inactive additives and the attachment of active ingredients such as vitamins and other nutrients thus cannot take place. Vitamins and minerals are consequently absorbed less efficiently, enter the blood stream as isolated, free-floating nutrients and are rapidly excreted by the kidneys, resulting in strongly coloured so called “expensive” urine.
A second disadvantage of supplements is that the exclusive use of inactive ingredients results in the scarcity of nutrients as a whole, a condition not found in foods that occur naturally. The biotin supplement, for example, contains only biotin and inactive additives, whereas a biotin-rich food source such as an egg provides not only the biotin but numerous other nutrients that are essential for the biochemical processes of the body. Taking a supplement that provides biotin in isolated form can be likened to oiling a single cog in a complex piece of machinery – if the other cogs aren't oiled as well, the machine will eventually come to a complete standstill.
The presense of foreign chemicals is also of concern. Foreign particles of any sort mobilize the immune system and thus use up the body's reserves of nutrients. A single supplement may trigger only a slight immune response, but if 20 or more supplements are taken each day the total amount of inactive material consumed may exceed 2 grams – half a level teaspoon – and could contain a substantial amount of foreign chemicals. In this case the immune response would be much greater, and the body's nutrient reserves would be drained more substantially, counteracting the effect of taking supplements in the first place.
Barley Grass as Supplement Additive
Mixing biotin with barley grass as only additive largely eliminates the shortcomings of supplements. The biotin now forms part of a natural food source. A food source, moreover, that has a higher level of biotin than the active ingredient, as is the case with biotin-rich eggs for example.
During digestion of the biotin/barley grass supplement, the breakdown of the barley grass ensures that protein complexes and other breakdown products are available, as they would be with a natural food source. The biotin can thus attach itself to these protein complexes, resulting in enhanced absorption and retention as with any natural food source.
Barley grass also provides a wealth of nutrients that are absorbed during the digestion process, ensuring that all the biochemical pathway in the body receive adequate nutrients for optimal functioning.
The biotin/barley grass supplement contains no chemical additives or foreign components that unnecessarily mobilize the immune system. Taking in excess of 20 capsules per day would provide the benefits of 2g – ½ teaspoon – of pure barley grass powder in addition to the active labelled ingredients, thus restoring the body's reserves over time and enhancing well-being overall.
Medicatrix Naturae - Natural Medicine
In the time of Hippocrates approximately 2500 years ago people ate foods that were rich in nutrients. Supplements were unknown - the industrial revolution with its processing and refining techniques was still a long way off, and foods had not yet been stripped of the the vitamins and minerals that our bodies require to keep the biochemical pathways functioning optimally and so ensuring peak health. The so called metabolic diseases of today, such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer were virtually unheard of – the food you ate was indeed the medicine that kept you healthy.
Animals in the wild eat the same food which they always have, and rarely become ill. Clearly, this is because the grasses and leaves that serve as their food source have remained unchanged since the time of Hippocrates. We humans on the other hand have become prone to a myriad of ailments. The answer lies in the foods that we eat. Genetically, humans and animals have remained virtually the same over the past 2 ½ thousand years, but the environment hasn't. Soil depletion, pesticides, industrial refining processes and pollution have all contributed to the decline in our food quality which in turn has given rise to the large number of metabolic illnesses so prevalent among us. It is only by changing to an organic lifestyle and eating the foods to which we are naturally adapted that we can regain our health. This may not always be possible, but an acute awareness of the foods that we eat and the judicious choice of the dietary supplements taken on a daily basis, will take us a long way there.
Medicatrix nutriments contain all the nutritional benefits of the wholesome foods to which we are naturally adapted, providing the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to keep all the biochemical pathways in the body functioning optimally, thus ensuring optimal health and vitality - very much like foods in the time of Hippocrates.
Medicatrix nutriments have the added advantage that they can supply higher concentrations of active ingredients than normally found in natural food sources. The amount of vitamin B5 from 50 apples, for example, can be supplied in a single capsule. Known deficiency conditions such as arthritis can therefore be specifically targeted with nutriments that contain a higher than normal concentration of vitamin B5 – the active ingredient – mixed with a barley grass base to ensure optimal utilization. It is therefore possible to correct abnormal deficiency conditions more rapidly than when eating normal wholesome food – better even than in Hippocrates day! – making Medicatrix nutriments a natural medicine in the true sense of the word.
We have made every endeavour to create a supplement range as healthy as possible.
* First of all, by using only barley grass, we have eliminated the harmful additives that are normally found in supplements and changed the nutritional format from a highly artificial one to one that is found in wholesome foods.
* We have used capsules made from vegetable material throughout the range, coloured dark green – using chlorophyll – to protect against UV rays from sunlight as much as possible.
* We have used amber glass bottles with metal caps throughout for enhanced UV protection as well as to eliminate the possible harmful effects of plastic contaminants.
* We have provided each bottle with a full-length shrink sleeve seal to further protect against UV radiation and oxidation, thereby keeping the contents fresh and providing tamper proof protection.
* Finally, we have replaced the desiccant sachet and sponge insert with an inert cellophane wad to prevent the possibility of toxins leaching into the supplement.
Sounds good? We think so. It's the type of supplement we would all want to have.
Some images courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net