British charity-run start-up Cytoplan is working to plug nutrient gaps with ‘food state’ vitamin and mineral supplements that seek to mimic whole food nutrient levels.
Most of Cytoplan’s supplements are provided in ‘food state’ or ‘wholefood’ form, which use “proprietary” processes to produce, “nutrients that follow the food metabolic pathway into the body”.
Mind the nutrient gap
“There is a nutrition gap, even in developed nations such as the UK,” said Amanda Williams, managing director of Cytoplan, explaining the philosophy that drives the company’s product development.
She said a good example of this is the difference between Cytoplan’s food state vitamin C supplement, which is complexed in organic citrus fruit pulp, and most other vitamin C supplements, which are ‘isolated’ ascorbic acid.
C what I mean?
“Food state vitamin C comprises many other food factors and associated phytonutrients, such as bioflavonoids, flavones and esters. It is a complex structure which is retained by the body for over 48 hours. Conversely, isolated vitamin C is a single molecule which is excreted within two hours of ingestion because it is not recognised by the body as a food substance.”
Further examples of food state supplements are carrot concentrate for beta carotene, wheatgerm and sunflower oil for vitamin E and lactobacillus bulgaricus for B vitamins.
Cytoplan’s mineral supplements are made from patent-protected minerals that have been hydroponically grown into a cruciferous vegetable, brassica, said to have a great capacity to bio-accumulate high levels of optimally soluble minerals.
“These are the only mineral supplements on the market that use this specific and patented plant mineral sourcing process.”
Williams said the whole foods approach was linked to bioavailability.
“In the food state form, the body understands the nutrients as food, thus absorption and utilisation are far more effective than traditional chemical based supplements,” explained Williams.
People not profits
Cytoplan is owned by the AIM Foundation, a charitable foundation concerned with nutrition health projects in the UK.
“All our profits go to nutrition-based charities. This allows us to do what we feel is right rather than being driven by commercial gain,” said Williams.
For the moment Cytoplan is targeting the UK market via a network of around 3,500 health practitioners, although it does receive orders from around the world. In some countries Cytoplan works with firms who are licensed to sell its products.