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Food State Supplements offer enhanced bioavailability

by Dr Paul Clayton

We were not designed to swallow vitamin pills; we were designed to consume food. But as the incidence of multiple micronutrient depletion continues to increase, the need for additional micronutrients is probably greater now than at any time in the last century. But are the USP vitamins and inorganic minerals used in so many supplements really the solution? Recent work shows that they may be considerably sub-optimal delivery systems for the micronutrients we need – and that Food State supplements offer considerable advantages.

Food State supplements present vitamins and minerals in a format as close as possible to the foods where those micronutrients naturally occur. Food State vitamin C, for example, is presented in a citrus extract, which also contains the flavonoids naturally present in citrus fruit. In Food State selenium, on the other hand, the mineral is presented in a variety of bound forms in a yeast substrate.

There are clear reasons for these choices of substrates, and equally clear advantages.

USP Vitamin C, for example, is notoriously unstable, and degrades rapidly during heating – which is why the vitamin C content of foods falls during storage, and especially during cooking. Food State vitamin C, in marked contrast, is stable enough to survive cooking almost untouched, showing only 5% loss over a full pasteurisation cycle (Cytoplan Ltd internal report, available on request). This is because in Food State the vitamin C is stabilised by carrier or chaperone molecules, which protect it
from degradation – the same molecules which help maintain ascorbates in reduced form in the live fruit.

Critically, from the health point of view, Food State vitamin C is better absorbed than USP C. In comparative animal (1) and human trials (2), Food State C provides nearly double the plasma protection (AUC) of USP vitamin C. This enhancement is probably due to the improved stability of Food State C in the small bowel (3), and to the flavonoid- enhanced storage of Food State C in the liver (paper cited in Vinson 91)
Because of these improved uptake and storage characteristics, Food State C enters the bloodstream slightly later than USP vitamin C, but reaches higher levels and stays there longer (1, 2). Food State C also achieves higher levels in erythrocytes (red blood cells) (5), which is thought to confer other benefits (see below).

When citrus extract is combined with vitamin C, the naturally occurring flavonoids in citrus extract confer synergistic antioxidant activity, giving the combination an antioxidant capacity up to an order of magnitude greater than the equivalent amount of USP vitamin C (4). This synergistic action, together with the fact that Food State C achieves higher levels in erythrocytes than USP C (5), helps to explain why Food
State vitamin C is more bio-effective than USP vitamin C.

For example, the glucose metabolite sorbitol accumulates in tissues as glucose plasma levels increase (ie in diabetes), and is implicated in causing the long-term complications of diabetes such as retinopathy, cataracts, renal damage and atherosclerosis. Compared to USP Vitamin C, Food State C is more effective at lowering erythrocyte sorbitol levels in human subjects (5). In diabetic subjects, Food State C reduced erythrocyte sorbitol by 44.5% (5).

In related animal studies, Food State C was more effective than USP C at protecting rats from sugar-induced cataracts (6), reducing both their numbers and severity. In hypercholesterolaemic hamsters, Food State C was more effective than either USP C or flavonoids on their own at lowering LDL cholesterol levels, inhibiting cholesterol oxidation, and as a result strongly inhibiting atherosclerosis (7).

Finally, Food State was found to be highly effective at preventing AGE formation in human subjects, cutting it by 46.8% (8). AGE, or Advanced Gylaction End-products, are formed when high levels of glucose react with proteins, denaturing them and leading to loss of protein functions. AGE formation is increased in diabetes, and, as with increased sorbitol levels, is another important cause of diabetic complications.

Food State is equally suited to the enhanced delivery of trace metals. Delivery of copper (9), manganese (10) and zinc (11, 12) are all improved, but the data for selenium is a particularly good example.

Food State Selenium has better bioavailability than either Selenite or Selenium Chelate (13). At the same time it is considerably less toxic; its LD50 in rats is three to five times higher than that of inorganic selenium. (14).

In animal models, Food State Selenium is more effective at inhibiting LDL cholesterol oxidation than both inorganic Selenite and selenomethionine (15). This shows that Food State Selenium is more bio- effective than inorganic selenium, as the increased antioxidant protection is due to selenium which has been incorporated into glutathione
peroxidase, an important antioxidant enzyme which protects the body against the toxic effects of cholesterol oxidation.

Similarly enhanced human bio-efficacy is demonstrated by Food State Chromium, which is more effective in reducing blood glucose levels than inorganic chromium (16): and Food State Calcium, which is more effective than calcium gluconate at lowering diastolic BP in normotensive subjects (17).

The enhanced bioavailability and bioefficacy of Food State products are related to their presentation. In the foods in which micronutrients are found, those micronutrients are not present as simple USP molecules; rather, they are partitioned, and bound to carrier or chaperone molecules which protect them, and deliver them to the sites where they
will be stored or used. The chaperone molecules have a dual role, because they also shield the tissues from the potentially destructive effects of certain micronutrients such as copper or zinc, until these can be safely delivered to their storage sites. (Rouhi).

The chaperone molecules in yeast are believed to be similar to those in humans; and this helps to explain why Food State micronutrients are better absorbed, better tolerated and more bioeffective than their USP equivalents.

Dr Paul Clayton


1. Vinson JA 83 : Comparative Bioavailability of Synthetic and Natural
Vitamin C in Guinea Pigs: Nutrition Reports International 27:875-880

2. Vinson JA, Bose P 88: Bioavailability of Synthetic Ascorbic Acid and
a Citrus Extract: Am J Clin Nut 48:601-604

3. Somogyi JC 45: An Investigation of Substances which Inhibit Vitamin
C Degradation: Z Vitaminforsch 16:134

4. Vinson JA 97: Synnergism of True Food C ™ and Citrus Extract.
Unpublished report, available from NO on request.

5. Vinson JA, Staretz ME, Bose P, Kassm HM, Basalyga BS 89: In Vitro
and In Vivo Reduction of Erythrocyte Sorbitol by Ascorbic Acid:
Diabetes 38:1036-1041

6. Vinson JA, POssanza CJ, Drack AV 86: The Effect of Ascorbic Acid
on Galactose-Induced Cataracts: Nutrition Reports International 33:665-

7. Vinson JA, Hu S-J, Jung S, Stanski AM 98: A Citrus Extract plus
Ascorbic Avid Decreases Lipds, Lipid Peroxides, Lipoprotein Oxidative
Susceptibility and Atherosclerosis in Hyoercholesterolaeimic Hamsters: J
Agric Food Chem 46:1453-1459

8. Vinson JA, Howard TB 96: Inhibition of Protein Glycation and
Advanced Glycation End-Products by Ascorbic Acid and Other Vitamins
and Nutrients. Nutritional Biochemistry 7:659-663

9. Vinson JA 81: Bioavailability of Copper. Unpublished data,
available on request.

10. Vinson JA 80: Bioavailability of Manganese. Unpublished data,
available on request.

11. Vinson JA 80: Bioavailability of Zinc. Unpublished data, available
on request.

12. Vinson JA 91: Bioavailability of Zinc. Unpublished data, available
on request.

13. Vinson JA, Bose P 81: Comparison of Bioavailability of Trace
Elements in Inorganic Salts, Amino Acid Chelates and Yeast. Proc
Eelements 615-621

14. Vinson JA, Bose P 87: Comparison of the Toxicity of Inorganic and
Natural Selenium. In: Selenium in Biology & Medicine. Eds Combs GF,
Levander OA, Spallholz JE, Oldfield JE. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New

15. Vinson JA, Stella JM, Flanagan TJ 98: Selenium Yeast is an
Effective in vitro and in vivo Antioxidant and Hypolipemic Agent in
Normal Hamsters: Nutrition Research 18:735-742

16. Vinson JA, Hsiao K-H 85: Comparative Effects of various Forms of
Chromium on Serum Glucose: An Assay for Biologically Active
Nutrition Reports International 32:1-7

17. Vinson JA, Mazur T, Bose P 87: Comparison of Different Forms of
Calcium on Blood Pressure of Normotensive Young Males: Nutrition
Reports International 36:497-505

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