Naturally Occurring Standards (NOS) for food supplements means we should not use any synthetics sources of nutrient values such as synthetic vitamin potencies or the synthetic potencies of herbal actives.
When an ingredient of say, Vitamin C is NOS it means that the Vitamin C nutrient potency contained in the supplement is completely natural, whole, complex and it is therefore naturally potent. For example, Vitamin C from ascorbic acid is not a whole vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is only a part of any whole vitamin C nutrient complex which also should include bioflavonoids, tannins, and maybe ellagic acid along with other "parts" of the whole vitamin C in order to be called a natural or whole nutient. There are also many other parts of the whole vitamin C that are yet to be discovered, but are provided by nature to allow the whole vitamin C to work effectively.
An NOS vitamin C contains all the parts of the whole vitamin C and is therefore more naturally potent. In other words synthetic, isolated parts of vitamins or herbal actives are not natural and are not treated by the body as natural.
If the NOS nutrient or active ingredient in a food supplement is coming from an organic and non-GMO food or herb then this is even better than a non-organic source of food or herb that may have less nutrient values and may contain toxic substances. It is important for our health that the origin of NOS nutrients or actives in food supplements come from organic sources.
The body is intelligent. If you introduce a synthetic part of a nutrient such as a part of vitamin C like synthesized ascorbic acid into your body the body recognizes that you have given it only a part of the whole vitamin C and may try to "make up" for this deficiency by helping to create the whole vitamin C. It will do this by trying to bring bioflavonoids, tannins and other parts of a real, whole vitamin C from other areas of the body in order to help "create" a whole vitamin C that it can utilize as food. This is a natural reaction of our intelligent body because the body does not process synthetic, isolated parts of nutrients as food, but rather as things that need to be made whole as food or otherwise need to be expelled as toxins. This is why introducing synthetic parts of nutrients into the body always creates a burden and additional "work" for the body to do. Normally our body expels most of the synthetics as useless just like any toxic synthetic chemical. The body cannot convert all synthetic "parts" introduced into it as "wholes." Synthetic, isolated nutrients are on the same level as synthetic drugs. They increase the toxicity of the body, side effects and increase the general body burden.
It makes sense that when an NOS whole vitamin C from a real food such as Amla berries or Rosehips, for example, is introduced into the body it can be utilized and digested as a food nutrient and it is naturally utilized better than a synthetic part that is recognized by the body as a non-food. This means that a smaller amount of real, whole vitamin C is better and more effective for utilization by the body than a large or small synthetic amount of an isolated form of a vitamin C part such as synthesized ascorbic acid. When so-called vitamin C as ascorbic acid is being provided as a vitamin C food supplement they call this synthesized ascorbic acid vitamin C. In fact it is not vitamin C because it is not a whole vitamin and is not a food nutrient coming from a food. Synthesized ascorbic acid is only a synthesized chemical compound that somewhat resembles on a micro level the naturally occurring ascorbic acid part of a real, whole vitamin C complex as found in real foods. Synthesized ascorbic acid is not vitamin C.
You can take less potency of a real vitamin or herbal active nutrient and get better results because the body utilizes real food nutrients for health maintenance far better than anything synthetic. Synthetics are un-natural. When it comes to comparing synthetic nutrients or synthetic herbal actives and their potencies to real, whole food nutrients or naturally occurring herbal actives and their potencies less NOS nutrients are always more than even large amounts of synthetic nutrients. Natural and organic is always better for your health than synthetic and inorganic. In this sense, less is more with true NOS supplements.
With Naturally Occuring Standards for Vitamins Less is More
By Dr. Scott Treadway
Naturally Occurring Standards Group, November 19, 2010
Straight to the Source