Not all Vitamins are Made Equal – The Differences Between Synthetic and Natural Vitamins
However, whether or not your vitamins are hurting you is another story.
What you may not be aware of is all vitamins are not created equal, and most are actually synthetic.
Vitamins and Supplements
Whether we get them from our daily diet, from sunshine, or from store bought capsules or liquids, vitamins are vital to our health and to the proper functioning of our bodies.
Vitamin deficiencies lead to a wide range of problems spanning from anorexia to obesity, organ malfunction, confusion, depression and fatigue.
However it is important to be aware, for the most part even Natural Vitamin tablets will have fillers that you may well have an adverse reaction to. Also You will not be getting the full benefit of the vitamin quantity within the tablet or capsule.
Synthetic Vitamins are Chemically Derived your Body recognizes it as a toxic substance therefore eliminating it.
Even Natural Vitamin supplementation shouldn’t be taken in place of a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle. It Just Won’t Work
When Vitamin Supplementation may be Necessary
There may be times through sickness or other areas of ill health where supplementation may be necessary.
It is vitally important that you seek Professional advice as to what your body may be lacking.
Whilst transforming into Healthy Diet and Lifestyle Habits or as maybe a top up to your already healthy diet and lifestyle.
However rather than tablets – Supplements such as Vital Greens and Magnesium Powders, Liquid forms of Vitamins are far more effective. Always ensure that they are derived from the direct plant or mineral source.
How Can I tell if it is a Synthetic Vitamin or Mineral?
This can be vary difficult unfortunately, vitamins can be labelled as natural if they contain as little as 10% of the natural form of the vitamin. This means that your “natural” vitamin could contain 90% of synthetically produced chemicals! B-Vitamins and Vitamin C are also usually synthetically produced. For further knowledge in regards to this: The Organic Consumers Association has published an ingredient chart to help consumers identify natural vs. synthetic vitamins. Many vitamin producers want you to believe that you are getting a “natural product” because it seems more wholesome to take “natural” vitamins.
Look for the words “100 percent natural” on the product’s label: Some product labels may contain the words “natural,” but manufacturers can claim “natural” on their nutritional products if at least 10 percent of the product comes from natural food sources. The Organic Consumers Organization recommends looking for products that contain “100 percent plant-based” or “100 percent animal-based” on the product’s label.
- Identify whole foods in the ingredient list instead of the particular nutrient: Look for foods on the list of ingredients that contain a certain vitamin, such as “acerola cherry powder,” which contains vitamin C. If you can’t identify “vitamin C” as a plant base in the ingredient list, then you can guarantee that the vitamin is synthetic.
- Look for salt forms on the product label: This means synthetic as this is added to supplements for increasing the stability of the vitamin or mineral. Some of the salt forms to look for include acetate, bitartrate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nitrate and succinate.
- Learn how to read the product’s label by looking for keywords that indicate the supplement is synthetic: These are words that end in “ide” or “ate” indicate that the product contains salt forms, which are synthetics. Examples of this are: if you see chloride, hydrochloride, acetate or nitrate on the list of ingredients, the manufacturer used synthetics for the product.
Additionally, the letters “dl” that appear before the name of an ingredient indicates the supplement is synthetic. As an example, look for “fish oils” when buying a vitamin A supplement. If the product’s label states “palmitate,” it is a synthetic vitamin A supplement
Important Word of Wisdom for you is that – Remember if it is sold in bulk quantity and cheap, then it will NOT be derived from the Natural Source.
Always remembering that vitamins will never replace a Healthy, Well Balanced Diet
As a rule of thumb this includes: one to two serves (the size of the palm of your hand) of red meat per week: two to three serves of organic chicken same portion size per week and three to four serves of fish per week. Vegetables, yes Vegetables and Fruit. These are packed full of vitamins and minerals that your body just loves, using them for growth and repair. Good oils such as olive oil, coconut oil and Flaxseed oil. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and seeds. Optimal Health is found within the Foods you EAT. Plus also in the pleasure of eating Real Food straight from the Farmer to You.
If you don’t happen to like fish then include some vegetarian meals to break up the routine. Each day you need to include five to six serves of vegetables/salad vegetables and two to three serves of fruit preferably red apples, berries, mangoes, bananas, pears and melons. Citrus fruits make wonderful additions to salads and cooking.
Why! NOT ALL Vitamins are Equal
The vitamins that you see on the supermarket shelves and in bulk quantity in the chemists are all made from synthetic ingredients.
Synthetic vitamins are manufactured from man-made materials, therefore allowing them to be sold at a much lower cost. Many of the ingredients that are used in this manufacturing act as binding agents and are harmful to us. The body doesn’t recognize synthetic vitamins as nutrition and therefore quickly goes about getting rid of them, seeing them as being harmful and toxic.
Studies show that vitamins that are manufactured by the use of natural ingredients derived from plant matter is the best way to take vitamins. As they are efficiently absorbed by the body, therefore bringing the nutritional benefits that are required.
As I have said there is no better source of vitamins than from food itself. In times of great stress, ill health, playing sport etc, it may be necessary to supplement your diet with vitamins. When you combine vitamins derived from natural sources with that of a well balanced diet, this is the best combination for optimal health and performance. To get the best knowledge of what you need it is best to talk to a health professional that has your best interests at heart and not their profit margin.
I have found in my years of practice either liquid or powder forms of nutritional supplementation works best. There are two reasons behind this there are no fillers used as there are with many tablet forms and they are more efficiently absorbed by the body.
So What is the Science behind “Synthetic” Vitamins
According to scientific theory, if products look similar under a microscope, then they can be marketed the same. Regardless of what the actual product is made from. Many companies see this as a great opportunity to save money. Not thinking for one minute about the consumer and the effects of this product and what harmful effects it will have on them.
As the nutrients that are found in fruits and vegetables are chemicals in their purest and simplest form. It is easy to manufacture similar substances that are then reproduced in a laboratory. However the manufacturing of these vitamins doesn’t possess the health benefits of the naturally derived vitamins. As mentioned to the point of even causing harm.
Toxic Ingredients to Avoid In Supplements
- Magnesium stearate (or stearic acid)
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) disguised as “natural flavors”
- Carnauba wax is used in car wax and shoe polish
- Titanium dioxide is a carcinogen
Common Synthetic Vitamins to Avoid:
Look for clues on your vitamin’s label that offer insight into the origin of the vitamin.
- Vitamin A: Retinyl Palmitate
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin
- Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B12: Cyanocobalamin – is made from activated sewage sludge
- PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
- Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
- Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
- Biotin: d-Biotin
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid – is manufactured from acid
- Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol – is manufactured from irradiated oil
- Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate
NOTE: The “dl” form of any vitamin is synthetic.
How Synthetic Vitamins Affect Your Body
The most affected organ is your liver, the damage here is irreversible as it attempt to filter the harmful ingredients. Synthetic agents such as ground-up shells and metal will quickly bring about damage and destroy your liver. Women taking synthetic Vitamin A whilst pregnant can find that their child may well suffer from birth defects. There have been found trace amounts of lead in each vitamin A pill. This cannot be properly digested in your body and therefore over time will create dangerous and toxic build up.
Some of the specific chemical filters commonly found in ALL kinds of synthetic vitamin supplements:
- Carnauba wax: This is the wax found in car wax and shoe polish
- Titanium Dioxide: This is a suspected carcinogen, a substance that causes cancer
The effects of synthetic vitamins may not appear “deadly” in the short term. However they have no valuable benefit to our body, not to mention may well be “harmful”. With testing that had been done on Natural and Synthetic forms of say for example – Vitamin E in women, a group of researchers found that the women using the synthetic vitamin needed three times more to achieve even any slight benefits as those who took the Natural Form.
There also has been similar tests done with Vitamin E with Cancer patients and the natural form proved superior, with minimal amount and had great benefits.
Natural Vitamins are also known as whole-food vitamins. These are extracted from fruits and vegetables where they are naturally found.
How to Get your Essential Vitamins & Minerals from the Foods you EAT:
- Vitamin C – grapefruit, potatoes, lemons, capsicum, oranges, kiwi fruit and dark leafy greens such as spinach
- Vitamin A – Carrots (when cooked), sweet potato, dark leafy greens, pumpkin, dark green lettuces, spinach and rockmelon
- Folic Acid (B12) -lentils; dried beans and peas; dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower or turnip greens, okra, and asparagus; and citrus fruit
- B Vitamins (biotin B7) – fortified cereals and wholegrains – quinoa, mushrooms, pearl barley, buckwheat brown rice (other important nutrients found in wholegrains are: selenium, potassium and magnesium) Learn to love your dark green vegetables and leaves such as beet leaves, kale, spinach as the majority of your vitamins and nutrients are found in these.
- Calcium – Yes once again believe it or not your dark green vegetables, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, kale, chickpeas, roasted fresh soy beans, bok choy, figs, oranges, sardines, almonds, canned salmon, white beans and tofu.
- Magnesium – Yes you believe it once again dark leafy greens, fish, avocado, bananas, wholegrains, beans and lentils:
- Potassium – beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D is unique among vitamins; you can synthesize it in your skin as well as absorb it from foods or supplements. To complicate things further, vitamin D also comes in two forms: D2 and D3. Your skin synthesizes vitamin D3, also called cholecalciferol; you can also take D3 in supplement form. The safest and most effective way to get Vitamin D3 is from the sun, yes I know, but we are not talking about being out in it for hours on end, the recommended dose is 15 the 30 minutes per day. A few foods naturally supply vitamin D. Beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and also cod liver oil.
There’s No Getting Past Eating Fresh Food
As you will see really it isn’t hard to get all of your necessary vitamins by eating a well balanced diet with the majority of it being a Great variety of vegetables with some fruits.
To Enjoy the benefits of living a life of Optimal Health and Vitality it pays to invest in the foods you are eating. Always to Remember “Fresh is Best” and “Organic whenever Possible”
Eliminate Fast and Processed Foods these are the leading cause of Malnutrition. If you are looking for support and Professional to get on track then look no further than a consult at Julie’s Naturopathic Health Care Services.
Empowering You to Optimal Health Julie Doherty N.D