Let’s face it, the good stuff in life is fermented! From bread to wine, from kimchi to yogurt, fermentation has been humankind’s way of transforming and unlocking food’s potential since before the written word. At New Chapter®, we take this ancient process and apply it to vitamins and minerals to help you really absorb the good stuff. Let’s peek behind the scenes at how it all works!
What is Fermentation?
So, what does fermentation mean exactly? Fermentation is when food is transformed through the action of friendly, living microorganisms. The word “fermentation” is rooted in the Latin word “fervere,” meaning “to boil.” The ancient Romans noticed bubbles forming as vats of grapes transformed into wine.
It’s interesting to compare boiling with fermenting, as they have some similarities. We boil food to process it using heat, and we ferment food to process it using microbes. Cooking helps to unlock food’s nutrition, and fermentation also unlocks food, creating an easily digestible, body-ready version. Fermenting has even been called “cold fire” because of its ability to break down raw food for human digestion and the human palate. The result? A leveled-up, pre-digested version of the food. Normal food becomes superfood once it’s fermented! It’s enriched, unlocked, and according to Harvard Health, fermented food has added nutritional value.
Fermentation is an ancient and universal human practice. It’s been around for thousands of years! Beer, pickles, and preserved meats are among the first fermented foods in the historical record. Some researchers think that the human brain is hard-wired to love fermented tastes. (What makes your mouth water more: a slice of raw cucumber or a salty-sour, juicy-crunchy pickle?) Experts also find that fermentation is used in cultures all around the world. From sauerkraut to kimchi, from kefir to kombucha, from miso to injera, from kvass to salami, from cheese to chocolate, fermented foods are part of human life. And of course, our perennial favorites beer, wine, bread, coffee, and tea are also fermented. Fermentation has a special way of making things better.
Why Ferment Vitamins and Minerals?
Fermentation has remarkable abilities to unlock food and make it easily digestible for the body. Here at New Chapter, we decided to bring that vital transformative power to the world of vitamins and supplements. In 1986, we pioneered multivitamins made with fermented nutrients. The whole-food fermented vitamins, minerals, and even botanicals in our products are unlocked and pre-digested with the power of probiotics–just like easily digestible yogurt or kimchi.
Today, fermentation is a key part of formulating our products for your body to really, truly absorb. Sure, it’s an extra step, but it is so worth it to be able to get the full value out of your supplement. Our fermented multis are ready for the body to absorb and packed with goodness. People love that New Chapter fermented vitamins are so gentle they can even be taken on an empty stomach.
New Chapter’s Fermentation Process
To transform key nutrients and herbs through fermentation, we use a proven method of culturing in a nourishing super-broth that is bursting with happy microorganisms and whole foods. Here’s how it works.
- Initial culturing: Our transformative super-broth begins with a mix of organic master yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and natural plant carbohydrates.
- Nutrient addition: The vitamins and minerals to be fermented are added to the super-broth. We use excellent quality nutrients every step of the way. At this step we also add organic, non-GMO soy and other whole foods.
- Transformation (the magic!): As the super-broth cultures over many hours, the active yeast absorbs the nutrients into its structure, digesting and breaking them down.
- Completion: In the final steps, tenderizing tropical fruit enzymes, lactic acid bacteria, and low heat are applied to the super-broth to slow down fermentation and finish up the process.
- Ready! The whole-food fermented nutrients are ready to be blended in New Chapter formulas.
Fun fact: We also make sure to keep the fermentate, or growth media, along with the fermented nutrients. This ferment media has nutritional benefits of its own from compounds released during fermentation—the “flavor,” if you will. This is part of the good stuff, and we would never throw it away!
Fermented Supplements for Gut Health
The phrase “healthy gut, happy you” highlights the importance of a digestive tract in balance. It’s everything! Your gut is made up of your entire digestive system, from your mouth on down through your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. The digestive tract is about 30 feet long and packed with millions of nerve endings and trillions of busy microbes. The gut is so integral to how we function that it’s sometimes called the “second brain”–and researchers find that the digestive system has direct communication or “crosstalk” with the brain in your head.
All of this means that supporting your gut is key for whole-body health. Fermented supplements can help! New Chapter vitamins and minerals are gentle on the stomach, easily digestible, and can support healthy gut function.* You can take them anytime, with or without food, and get the goodness of every vitamin, mineral, and herb, plus the natural fermentate (beneficial compounds from the fermentation).
How Fermentation Makes Things More Absorbable
Your body needs to be able to absorb nutrition in order to use it. Simple, right?! Formulating our multivitamins and single nutrients with fermented ingredients is part of our absorption promise. For example, our fermented Zinc is 1.6x better absorbed than non-fermented Zinc gluconate. Lab testing shows our fermented Biotin, a B vitamin, is more active than the unfermented form. Lab testing shows our fermented Iron has higher antioxidant activity than non-fermented Iron. The list goes on! We invite you to explore our family of multivitamins, formulated with nutrients your body can recognize and use.
Benefits of Fermented Vitamins
When your body is able to absorb and use fermented vitamins and minerals, then you’re able to reap their health benefits! Here are just a few of the benefits of fermented nutrients:
- Fermented B Vitamins support cellular energy metabolism–helping cells turn food into fuel*
- Fermented Vitamin C supports immune health, adrenal function, and collagen protection*
- Fermented Vitamin D3 supports the immune system and strong bones & teeth*
- Fermented Iron supports blood health, and during pregnancy it supports oxygen transport from mother to baby*
- Fermented Biotin supports natural keratin production for strong hair and nails*
- Fermented Zinc is an immune-support mineral that also benefits healthy skin & tissue*
We formulate all of our multivitamins with fermented ingredients, so you can be sure you’re getting the benefits you expect.
The Bottom Line
Where would humans be without fermentation? Some say that fermentation is the basis of civilization. It’s the magic of unleashing friendly microbes and adding the most precious ingredient of all: time. Fermentation is a process of becoming–making an ingredient more than it was while preserving its essential character. Give your body nourishment it can use. Look for fermented everything… including your vitamins!