What are Food State and Wholefood Nutrients?

Since conception in 1990, Cytoplan’s philosophy has been that nutrients are best delivered to the body “in the same form as food” hence our range of Food State™ and Wholefood supplements. But we are often asked “what are Food State™ and Wholefood supplements, and what does this mean?”. So in this week’s blog we are going to explain what these terms mean and outline some of the research that has been done on Food State™ and Wholefood products.

Food State nutrients

Food state™ nutrients are combined in a variety of appropriate food bases which would naturally carry significant levels of the nutrient. This ensures they come complete with the phytonutrients and associated food factors that are necessary for optimal absorption, use and retention in the body.

Food state™ vitamin C, for example, is presented in a citrus pulp that also contains the flavonoids naturally present in citrus fruit. Food state™ vitamin E comes complete with all the four tocopherols and tocotrienols that make it a natural food complex. Beta carotene is complexed with carrot concentrate. B vitamins are provided in a base of inactive Lactobacillus bulgaricus or alfalfa.

Inactive Lactobacillus bulgaricus is an appropriate non allergenic carrier base for most nutrients as it is a native inhabitant of the human gastrointestinal tract.

Food State™ nutrients are gentle yet effective as the examples below – Vitamin C and Selenium – demonstrate.

Food State vitamin C

In comparative animal and human trials, Food State™ vitamin C was better absorbed than USP C (ie isolated vitamin C) and provided nearly double the plasma protection. This enhancement is probably due to the improved stability of Food State™ vitamin C in the small bowel. Because of its improved uptake and storage characteristics, Food State™ vitamin C enters the bloodstream slightly later than USP vitamin C but reaches higher levels and stays there longer.

Compared to USP C Food State™ Vitamin C produced a 54.5% greater change in plasma ascorbate and a 74.4% greater change in red blood cell ascorbate.

When citrus extract is combined with vitamin C, the naturally occurring flavonoids in citrus extract confer synergistic antioxidant activity, giving the combination of an antioxidant capacity up to an order of magnitude greater than the equivalent amount of USP vitamin C.

Compared to USP vitamin C, Food State™ vitamin C was almost twice as effective at lowering erythrocyte sorbitol levels in human subjects. The glucose metabolite sorbitol accumulates in tissues as glucose plasma levels increase (ie in diabetes) and is implicated in causing the long-term complications of diabetes such as retinopathy, cataracts, renal damage and atherosclerosis.

In related animal studies Food State™ vitamin C was more effective than USP C at protecting rats from sugar-induced cataracts, reducing both their numbers and severity. In hypercholesterolaemic hamsters, Food State vitamin C was more effective than either USP C or flavonoids on their own at lowering LDL cholesterol levels and inhibiting cholesterol oxidation as a result strongly inhibiting atherosclerosis.

Finally, Food State™ vitamin C was found to be highly effective at preventing AGE formation in human subjects, cutting it by 46.8%. AGEs or Advanced Glycation End-Products are formed when high levels of glucose react with proteins, denaturing them and leading to loss of protein functions. AGE formation is increased in diabetes, and, is another important cause of diabetic complications.

Food State selenium

Food State™ selenium is equally suited to the enhanced delivery of trace metals. Food State™ selenium has better bio-availability than either selenite or selenate. At the same time it is considerably less toxic. Its LD50 in rats is 3 to 5x higher than inorganic selenium.

In animal models, Food State™ selenium is more effective at inhibiting LDL cholesterol oxidation than both inorganic selenite and selenomethionine. This suggests the Food State™ selenium has been effectively incorporated into glutathione peroxidise, an important antioxidant enzyme which protects the body against cholesterol oxidation.

 Cytoplan Wholefood nutrients

Cytoplan Wholefood Nutrients are derived from a number of natural plant sources including vitamin D from lichen, vitamin C from acerola cherry and minerals from Brassica juncea, a member of the broccoli family of vegetables. This Brassica plant is an edible species which has a great capacity to bio-accumulate high levels of minerals to enable good levels to be achieved in small doses of supplementation. These nutrients are thus in the same form as in conventional foods; just in much higher levels.

The other great advantage of natural plant minerals is that they contain thousands of phytonutrients which have complementary and beneficial action in the human body. They contain all the bioactives that our bodies expect to obtain from fresh vegetables including indole-3-carbinol, sulphoraphane and glucosilinates.

Minerals are taken up from the hydroponic growth solution into the root systems of the plants. They are transported into the leaf and become tissue metabolised into the plant leaf tissue. This is the natural process that also occurs during normal plant growth from the soil.

The advantage of using a hydroponic growth medium is that the mineral levels can be controlled, the growing environment can be kept consistent and the nutrition, temperature and light can be kept at optimum for growth, allowing a consistent and mineral rich product to be produced all year round. Once the plants are ready to be harvested “Phytoscan” technology (spectroscopy) is used to assure potency of the product. It shows the location of each mineral to confirm biotransformation.

Summary of benefits:

  • Precision engineered delivery system
  • Fully controlled environment from seed to finished material
  • Pesticide, contaminants and heavy metal FREE
  • Optimised amounts and ratios of minerals

The superior performance of Wholefood minerals has been established in published scientific studies. For example, in a double blind controlled study of 40 patients with mild anaemia the subjects were given either 65 mg Feosol or 18 mg wholefood iron for 60 days. Blood samples were taken at outset and on completion. Wholefood iron provided performance equivalent to 4x higher dosage of Feosol and was much better tolerated.

Our Organic Wholefood range

Our Soil Association certified organic range uses organic fruits, vegetables and botanicals that naturally have high levels of certain nutrients. They come complete with their co-factors and co-nutrients to support their stability and activity. For example, organic guava and Holy basil provide B vitamins, Amla fruit provides vitamin C along with polyphenols.

We were not designed to swallow vitamin pills; we were designed to eat food. However, activity levels continue to fall and dietary intakes decline, the way our food is grown and processed has changed beyond all recognition and our basic diet, no matter how well we eat, no longer always provides us with the amount of nutrients we need for optimum health. Conversely, our demanding lifestyle has increased the demand for nutrients and created imbalances. As a consequence the need for additional micronutrients is probably greater now than at any time in the last century.


With thanks to Dr Paul Clayton. The Food State section of this blog is adapted from an article ‘The Science of Cytoplan Food State written by Dr Paul Clayton, which originally appeared in a Cytoplan catalogue.

If you have any questions regarding the topics that have been raised, or any other health matters please do contact me (Amanda) by phone or email at any time.

amanda@cytoplan.co.uk, 01684 310099

Amanda Williams and the Cytoplan Editorial Team.


  1. Elless M P et al (2000) – Plants as a natural source of concentrated mineral nutrition: selenium phytoenrichment and metabolic transformation. Food Chemistry, 71, 181-188.
  2. Lulic F et al (2002) – A botanical source of iron is a well tolerated and effective oral supplementation therapy in females with mild sideropenic anaemia. ASH Annual Meeting.
  3. Orser C S et al (1998) – Brassica plants to provide enhanced human mineral nutrition: selenium phytoenrichment and metabolic transformation. Journal Medicinal Foods, 1, 253-261.
  4. Pickering I J et al (2000) – Quantitative, chemically-specific imaging of selenium transformation in plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 10717-10722
  5. Somogyi J C (1945) – An investigation of substances which inhibit vitamin C degradation. Z Vitaminforsch 16: 134
  6. Vinson J A (1983) – Comparative Bio-availability of Synthetic and Natural Vitamin C in Guinea pigs. Nutrition Reports International, 27, 875-880
  7. Vinson J A and Bose P (1988) – Comparative Bioavailability to Humans of Ascorbic Acid alone or in a Citrus Extract. American Clinical Journal of Nutrition, 48, 601-604.
  8. Vinson J A (1986) – Human supplementation with different forms of vitamin C. Unpublished. Available on request.
  9. Vinson J A et al (1997) – In Vitro and In Vivo reduction of erythrocyte sorbitol by ascorbic acid. Diabetes, 38, 1036-41
  10. Vinson et al (1986) – The effect of ascorbic acid on galactose induced cataracts. Nutrition Reports International, 33, 665-669
  11. Vinson J A (1998) – A citrus extract plus ascorbic acid decreases lipids, lipids peroxides, lipoprotein oxidative susceptibility and atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolaemic hamsters. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 46, 1453-1459
  12. Vinson J A and Howard T B (1996) – Inhibition of protein glycation and advanced glycation end-products by ascorbic acid and other vitamins and nutrients. Nutritional Biochemistry, 7, 659-663
  13. Vinson J A and Bose P (1981) – Comparison of bio-availability of trace elements in inorganic salts, amino acid chelates and yeast. Proceedings Mineral Elements 615 – 621
  14. Vinson J A and Bose P (1987) – Comparison of the toxicity of inorganic and natural selenium. Selenium in Biology & Medicine. Eds Combs GF, Levander O A et al, 53, 513-515.
  15. Vinson J A et al (1998) – Selenium yeast is an effective in vitro and in vivo antioxidant and hypolipemic agent in normal hamsters, Nutrition Research, 18, 735-742.


Last updated on 10th November 2022 by cytoffice


1 thoughts on “What are Food State and Wholefood Nutrients?

  1. Whilst I agree utterly with the concept, i do wonder how the levels of a particular nutrient are monitored, since in foodit is so variable. With non food supplements the labels will say exactly how much of XX or YY is in every tablet =- how is this done with food state supplements ?

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