Myth of truth? Are some nutrients better absorbed through whole foods?


So yesterday I purchased a truck load of carbs and proteins at my local fitness store, the people in there seem really knowledgeable. Soylent came up in the conversation.

Two of the employee’s argued that 9/10 calcium supplements do not work sufficient compared to whole foods, and they were concerned about me replacing it with whole foods. So I did some research online and now I’m really conflicted. Because one website calls it out as a myth, the other one as truth.

One of the employee’s even suggested that coconuts can aid in the efficiency of calcium supplementation, how much of this is true?


There are synergies between different nutrients, where having one helps you absorb another. From that perspective, yes, whole foods can add on these synergies. The flip side of this, however, is that some nutrients can block each other, and be less effective, and a whole food is just as likely to do that as synergize. In both cases, it is a property of the balance of nutrients, not the whole food itself.


Not quite in response to the question, but related, I understand that the body cannot use Vitamin D which has been received nutritionally as efficiently as Vitamin D the body synthesizes from sunlight exposure.


There is some truth to the subject in regards to bioavailability of some vitamins/minerals… depending on which it is exactly… there a different versions of each vitamin in my understanding with different chains/atoms/minerals attached to it, that affects how much of it is actually absorbed into the body… this does not mean that the vitamin doesn’t work unless it’s from “whole foods”, simply that you may require more of it depending on what your getting.

Do a quick google of “bioavailability of vitamins” and you will find multiple articles explaining the principle with examples

But there can be more factors affecting absorbtion of nutrition, such a coffee which actually lowers absorbtion of many vitamins and minerals by quite a bit…

Conclusion… it has nothing to do with “whole foods” and everything to do with which vitamin/mineral it is exactly combined with factors such as compromised intestines (coffee or other things) and so on.