No: nutrition science reveals that nature and our bodies are far more complex than we thought.
The vitamin and supplements industry relies on a reductionist view of nutrition, meaning they claim that it suffices to reduce food to macro and micronutrients, then chemically separate the beneficial ingredients from food or chemically synthesize the individual nutrients, often resulting in a processed supplement or powder form, that they can then sell to you as a panacea.
However the research overwhelmingly demonstrates that these isolated and processed compounds provide no long term benefit in the prevention of common modern diseases, and in some cases may contribute to it. Instead, the thousands of phytonutrients in whole plant foods combine in ways that are often surprising and synergistic, i.e. the combinations are much more than just the sum of their parts.
Please view the following pages for excellent summaries of current science:
- Food Synergy discuses the importance of combining whole plant foods and their thousands of phytonutrients, and the lack of benefits of supplements.
- Industry Response to Plants Not Pills gives a brief history of beta carotene and ineffective vitamin A supplements, and the larger lesson of whole foods over isolated supplements being suppressed by commercial pressures.
- Reductionism and the Deficiency Mentality gives an overview of reductionist thinking’s history and hold on scientific research, and the food industry. The change from adequate nutrition to optimal nutrition, calls for new thinking, and returning to whole plant foods.
- Even fiber doesn’t provide its health benefits by itself; it’s all the healthy nutrients that come with it that make the difference for your body.