Pill Poppers

Nutrition Wellness
By: Brooke R. and Olga G. May 3, 2017

More than two-thirds of American adults consume dietary supplements each year, and according to a new economic impact report funded by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the dietary supplement industry contributed $121.6 billion to the U.S. economy, with around $27 billion in sales in 2015 alone.

Within this booming industry there is a lot of marketing hype, which is why it is important to buy products recommended by a trusted source, not just a store associate or anonymous reviewer, who is possibly paid to do so. A qualified physician, nutritionist, or a certified specialist are some of the examples of professionals you can trust.

When selecting your supplements, do you research the company beforehand? Are your products being derived from high-quality ingredients? Does the company conduct third-party testing? Have you considered their environmental impact?

Discerning consumers empower themselves through education and recognize that these decisions cause a ripple effect. When we choose to support brands that have high integrity and a positive vision, this not only shapes our communities, but the entire planet that we live on.


  • Dietary supplements contain specific “dietary ingredients” which are intended to add further nutritional value by supplementing the diet.
  • A “dietary ingredient” may be one, or any combination, of the following substances: vitamins, minerals, herbs, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids.
  • Dietary supplements may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders.
  • Some dietary supplements can help ensure that you get an adequate dietary intake of essential nutrients; others may help you reduce your risk of disease.


How to Be a Discerning Supplement Consumer…

Asking the right questions is crucial in helping us make appropriate choices in anything we decide to engage in life. Here are three helpful questions the team at Raw Republic recommend exploring as you navigate this infinite sea of information.


Do we need to supplement?

It is a biological fact that a human body on its own is unable to engineer most of what it needs to survive. Therefore, nutrients must be obtained from foods that we intake. A rich variety of these nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants are essential to human health and well-being. An array of these nutrients are obtained from whole vegetables, fruits, and grains.

However, there is a rising nutritional gap in individuals of modern society.  This division is contributed to variety of factors, amongst which are demilitarization of the soil, poor dietary habits, and the body’s constant fight against free-radicals present in our current environment. Given these shortcomings, supplements have become an integral facet of our dietary requirements.

What is the difference between Synthetic and Natural Vitamins?

Synthetic vitamins are created in laboratories or manufacturing facilities through a chain of chemical manipulations. This process is designed to replicate the molecular structure of an isolated vitamin compound.

Natural vitamins are sourced from concentrated and dehydrated whole-foos, and are regarded as building blocks in prevention of deficiency-based diseases.

The majority of supplements available on the market today are created artificially. These include vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids, among others. To figure out if your supplement is synthetic or natural, always check the label. Natural supplements usually list food sources or are labeled as 100% plant or animal-based. Supplements that list nutrients individually, such as vitamin C, or use chemical names like ascorbic acid, are almost certainly synthetic.


Did You Know? Vitamin C was first discovered in the 1700’s when citrus-based fruits were given to sailors to combat scurvy.


A generally accepted perspective claims that there is no difference between synthetic or natural supplements. Others may stipulate that it is unclear how well synthetic nutrients are absorbed and used in the body. However, in more recent years, evidence supporting the idea that your body will utilize nutrients most optimally when taken in whole-food form has surfaced. In a controlled setting, research indicates that the same individuals taking synthetic supplements were by far more nutrient deficient than the time they would consume the natural alternative. In some cases, due to its manufacturing process, some synthetic vitamins have even proven themselves to be toxic to the body.


Raw Tip:  Use full-spectrum, whole-food vitamins to insure that all naturally occurring nutrient factors are available to your body.


Even though synthetic vitamins offer only a fraction of bioavailability, certain groups of people at risk of nutritional deficiencies may find some of these supplements beneficial. Such groups are often high-risk in deficiency of: vitamin B12, calcium, zinc, iron and vitamin D.


How do I know what nutrients I need?

No matter your background, or current circumstances, we can safely agree that there are many key factors that support our overall wellness. Beyond the reaches of our balanced diet, regular exercise and meditation practice also come into play when we consider self care. However, due to unique external and internal factors present for each individual, a standard approach may not be enough when it comes to identifying our deficiencies.

Micronutrient tests measure the function of 35 nutritional components including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids within our white blood cells. This provides us clarity through practical data.  Scientific evidence shows that analyzing the white blood cells gives us the most accurate analysis of our body’s unique deficiencies.

For your own comprehensive micronutrient test, contact your healthcare provider or order your own test kit online.


Spectracell micronutrient test

Example of Spectracell Labs Micronutrient testing breakdown

In our community: Comprehensive micronutrient testing is locally available at Thrive Wellness Center in Ft. Lauderdale & Boca Raton by Dr. Bakir.

Thoroughly selective supplement recommendations can be made based upon your test evaluation.