Title: 'Food State' vitamins and minerals - the concept explained

Key words: vitamins, minerals, absorption, availability, interactions, digestive process, utilisation, toxicity, co-factors, nutrient levels, co-enzymes, protein, amino acid radicals, cells, bioavailability, manufacture, excipients

Date: 17/04/2001


Type: Article

Author: Nick Bennett


Food State vitamins and minerals

In natural foods, the essential ingredients we need to function healthily and efficiently are not found in isolation. Vitamins and minerals are both found complexed within the food matrix with a variety of co-factors, depending on the vitamin or mineral. Differences between this associated state and the "free state" determine the different ways the body deals with materials in the two states. Generally, this co-factor association makes them more "recognisable" to the body (hence increasing their absorption and availability) and conveys a degree of protection to that vitamin or mineral while appearing to prevent chemical interactions from occurring. In the free state, vitamin E and iron put into close proximity negate each other, making them unacceptable for use by the body (generally accepted). This does not happen when these two materials come into close contact in a Food State (applies to both dry and liquid situations). Apparently, the active principle is "satisfied" in its association and is not free for chemical interchange.

The bonds that fracture during the digestive process are the weak inter-amino-acid bonds that are susceptible to specific proteases, leaving the mineral or vitamin in its associated state with co-factors. Recent evidence suggests that our food materials are not so completely broken down as was first thought, [1,6,7], and that co-factors specially associated with minerals are a deciding principle in their absorption, utilisation and toxicity [2,3,8].

Food State materials do not require to be taken with food as all food components are integral [2,3], thus eliminating the need for a random chance meeting of the active with its specific food co-factors.

Food state materials are prepared by very specific conjugation of the active with the food matrix containing it. This is verified by NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra-Red)[4].

Many of the vitamins and minerals in the Food State have had full studies done upon them [4]. These are human and animal studies (it is not our practice to conduct animal studies as results are not always transferable to human activities but these animal studies were demanded by legislation and were before our involvement). The conclusions are abstracted from actual reports [4].

Nutrient levels in blood and liver are good indications of absorption, storage and transportation of nutrients but probably the best evaluation of the complex functioning of a biological system in mammals is by means of a growth profile study. A rat growth study clearly showed a different basic biological action of Food State of Carrier Food Factor (CFF) vitamins and minerals as compared with synthetic (USP) vitamins and inorganic minerals. This study was repeated by an independent investigator and the results were confirmed.

Two groups of weanling rats were depleted of vitamins and minerals for two weeks using vitamin/mineral devoid food. After depletion two similar fortified feeds were used with the two groups. One group received feeds enriched with multiple free state (USP) vitamins and minerals. The other group received the identical feed supplemented with the same quantities of CFF (Carrier Food Factor) vitamins and minerals. After 4 weeks, the USP group showed minimal weight gain whereas the CFF group displayed rapid development and weight gains more that double the control.

This is probably because:

1) The free state co-enzymes precursor vitamins were unable to sustain the normal growth rate of rats since they are not in a form easily transferable into active co-enzymes despite the presence of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins in the feed (of an appropriate nature). Vitamins could not be efficiently turned into functioning active co-enzyme forms.

2) The Food State (CFF) vitamins supported proper growth because they were efficiently utilised as co-enzymes which, in turn is probably due to their truly chelated, chemical state [4]. This difference is probably a result of natural form CFF proteins (exact individual compositions unknown). Protein extracts are used, closely associated with carbohydrates, lipids, etc. from several food substances (vegetables, fruits, seeds and yeast). These are then reacted with USP vitamins, proceeding until the vitamin molecules are no longer in a free state but are conjoined, mainly, to various protein groups through their amino-acid radicals. The resulting vitamin and mineral products are differently treated by the body than USP materials: in absorption through the intestinal wall [3,8], retention, plasma transportation, liver storage and utilisation in the cell [3,4,8], because they are in co-enzyme form.

3. The efficiency of Nutritional products is based on its combined achievement in all individual cells. The inability of the precursor co-enzyme USP vitamins to assure proper growth of the baby rats indicates their inadequate transformation to active co-enzymes after absorption by the intestinal system, whereas the Food State vitamins were in, or rapidly achieved, active co-enzyme forms.

4. Supposedly, free state USP vitamins are only precursors of co-enzymes and inorganic minerals are only precursors of co-factors. Food State vitamins and minerals are already present as co-enzymes and co-factors.

5. Yeast CFF minerals also showed surprisingly different results in activity. Yeast trace minerals not only displayed increased absorption and organ retention but also decreased toxicity and increased biological activity.

The one potential down side to Food State is that the body cannot be "forced" into using high level vitamins and minerals, often no bad thing especially when it comes to the more toxic minerals such as selenium where the pharmacological/therapeutic dose may be so close to the toxic level. It does open up the interesting concept of "appropriate" treatment with various vitamins and minerals. An example is in osteoporosis where an improved general body calcium level does not always lead to improved local bone deposition and may precipitate calcium deposits forming in the kidneys. In this instance, a small amount of targetable Calcium Orotate, carried into the cell organelles (the active deposition areas of bone forming cells) with Food State Calcium may be very effective in pain relief and induction of new bone deposition. There is no danger, at the levels that can be used, of causing renal stones thus illustrating the judicious use of appropriate combined materials with minimum effective dose.

Also, an important factor in general absorption rates and bioavailability, apart from the materials themselves, is the methods of tablet manufacture. Many so-called innocuous excipients, used in the process of tableting can, themselves affect the availability of the actives for absorption. Hence the importance of reducing these excipients to the barest minimum required.

Another factor is the pressure applied in creating a tablet. Too great a pressure generates heat and may deleteriously affect the active presence (eg. vitamin C and many of the B vitamins). It also disturbs the disintegration time of the tablet, consequently producing a poor or negligible absorption. This is more important when dealing with free state inorganic minerals which have critical, mineral specific gut absorption/transmission area. If these are missed the mineral is unable to be absorbed fully due to their precipitation in the alkaline medium of the small intestine. Truly chelated mineral/amino-acid groups are treated more like the amino acid part and have a wider area of absorbability in the post-duodenal gut [3]. Also the practice of very high output production runs with insufficient "rest" periods for the punch heads to release their heat build up allows internal temperatures to build up in the tablet, so creating the same problems. All of the factors can be shown to play their role in absorption and availability.


1. Nutrition and Gastroenterology: Ed. Winnicj, M., John Wiley and sons, pp. 55-75.

2. Human Nutrition and Dietetics 8th Edition (1986), Passmore, R., Eastwood, M.A, Chruchill Livingstone, pp 107-111.

3. Nutrient Availabilty: Chemical and Biological Aspects (1989): Eds, Southgate, D., Johnson, I., Fenwick, G.R., Royal Society of Chemistry, pp 122-127.

4. Full studies of all the trials - available on application.

5. Nutrient Availability: Chemical and Biological Aspects (1989): Eds, Southgate, D., Johnson, I., Fenwick, G.R., Royal Society of Chemistry, pp various.

6. Nutrient Availability: Chemical and Biological Aspects (1989): Eds, Southgate, D., Johnson, I., Fenwick, G.R., Royal Society of Chemistry, pp 7-12.

7. Trace elements in health and disease (1991): Eds. Aitio A., Aro, A., Järvisalo, J., Vainio, H., Royal Society of Chemistry, pp 179 and following.

8. Biotechnology in the Feed Industry (1988): Ed. Lyons, T.P., Alltech Technical Publications, pp 151-161.


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