Scientists use the term bioavailability to measure what’s absorbed by the body versus what’s wasted. Unfortunately in ordinary multivitamins, a great deal of the nutrients don’t benefit the body at all — because they’re not bioavailable. The scandal is that you would never know that by reading their labels. The label only shows what’s in the multivitamin; it gives you no idea how much is bioavailable. Many ordinary multivitamins use inexpensive processes and rely on additives. These processes can destroy the nutritional value of the supplements or render them unrecognizable to the body.
A basic problem is getting past the digestive system. Nutrients should be “chelated” or tied to another molecule which acts as an escort until it reaches the bloodstream. Because they are relatively expensive to license, they are rarely seen in most other multivitamins. This is why the half of Americans who take multivitamins aren’t noticeably healthier than the half that doesn’t. Many of them are taking ordinary vitamins that lack the range of nutrients their bodies need or low-price or discount vitamins that are less effective due to their processing methods and the limited bioavailability of their nutrients.
Synthetic vs Natural Folate: It is estimated that the practice of synthetic folic acid fortification has resulted in 15,000 additional cancers per year in the United States alone. However, other health concerns such as spina bifida and cardiovascular events have been significantly reduced because of folic acid fortification. A vast majority of nutritional supplement companies still use 100% folic acid in their supplement line, while a few use a blend of folic acid along with some level of natural folates. Others use methylated folates, such as 5-MTHF, in featured folate products only, while using folic acid in their multivitamins and formulary products. One can find others that claim they only use “whole food” nutrients, when in reality one can simply read their labels and see products that contain some amount of food mash combined with synthetic USP vitamins, often including folic acid. The synthetic form of FOLATE is not the ideal choice for nutritional supplement formulations as found in MOST ALL multivitamins!!!