Vital Greens: a fresh approach to the health supplement industry
As the volume of information around diet trends, health and nutrition has exploded across the internet, the market for supplements has been steadily growing into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Never has the population had access to so much health information. And never have we had more power to self-research, self-diagnose and self-prescribe vitamin, mineral and nutrient pills in a bid to live healthier lives.
But how can we know if we’re taking the right supplements for our needs – and in the right doses? And even if we do find the right ingredients to address our biggest health concerns, how can we be sure our bodies are able to process them properly?
A multi supplement hit in one daily dose
It’s this concern that prompted naturopaths Shane Sullivan and Stephen Sprada to formulate their own daily multi nutritional supplement – Vital Greens. Their aim was to deliver an all-in-one dose of nutrients and enzymes to provide a better foundation for optimal health.
They’d seen a sharp increase in the number of patients with gut, bowel and digestive issues who reported a variety of other health problems. These ranged from skin conditions, menstrual issues and obesity, to lethargy and a lack of concentration. Many were taking anywhere up to 30 supplement pills a day, but seeing little benefit.
Shane and Stephen say many of these pills weren’t being digested effectively, so they decided to create their own solution by providing balanced nutritional support from real food instead of synthetically-made vitamin pills.
Nutritional building blocks for better health
Shane and Stephen identified a need to improve the baseline health of the patients they were treating before they could address their specific conditions. This is why, in 1999, they formulated Vital Greens to incorporate all the raw materials the body needs to function well.
Vital Greens is the product of extensive research into the optimal doses of essential nutrients. It contains 76 different ingredients, including a wide range of antioxidants, probiotics for intestinal health, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 and 9), digestive enzymes, cell pigments, plant sterols and fibres.
To make it easier for the body to absorb, the formulation comes in powder form, which is diluted in water, juice or soy milk.
The 21st century lifestyle factors affecting everyday health
Modern diets often get the blame when it comes to the rise in chronic illnesses, allergies and other health problems. And while bad eating habits and a reliance on convenience foods do play a huge role, Shane believes there are other factors affecting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
“Even when your food intake is good, inefficient digestion can limit your body’s uptake of nutrients. The two common causes of inefficient digestion are not chewing well enough, or eating too fast. Both of these result in larger-than-normal food portions being swallowed, too large to allow the complete action of digestive enzymes.”
Over-cooking and over-processing foods, industrial fertilisers, and even the way some fruits and vegetables are cold stored can have an impact on the nutrients our bodies receive from what we eat.
How to maximise nutrient absorption
So, is there anything else we can do to help boost our daily nutrition intake? Shane says some patients act on advice to take a particular single supplement without fully understanding how the body responds to it. Magnesium, for example, has a relationship with calcium whereby an individual should take it in a daily ratio of 2:1 for optimal absorption.
He suggests focusing on providing the body with a wide range of nutrients before using supplements to target individual health concerns.
He adds: “We brought out Vital Greens initially for our own patients to give them a broad spectrum nutrient source so we could focus on their individual health issue in the knowledge that they were receiving a good source of nutrients that assists their general health needs.”