Are Your Vitamins Or Supplements Synthetic? Does That Matter?

Posted by administrator Thursday, July 17, 2008

Do You Take Synthetic Vitamins? Are They Making You Sicker?

Most vitamin and nutritional supplements that are available today, even in most so-called "health" food stores, are not natural, whole food based supplements. Most of them are actually synthetic, derived in a lab like a chemical, even if they are labeled 'natural'! What exactly does that mean, synthetic, and what is wrong with synthetic?

First, I would like to explain a few terms and how they are commonly used today: crystalline, synthetic and natural vitamins. When a vitamin says it is 'crystalline,' it means that a food was used as its original source, (so the label often says that it's a 'natural' vitamin), but then chemicals like solvents were used to turn it into a pure crystalline vitamin. All the other co-factors that were with that vitamin in the natural substance are eliminated in this process. So a crystalline vitamin is really not a natural vitamin, in our opinion.

When a vitamin is synthetic, it means that it has been concocted in a laboratory by building the exact structure of the crystalline molecule. This vitamin is often made with a toxic substance. So chemically, there is really no difference between a crystalline and a synthetically-derived vitamin. A good example of a synthetic vitamin is that of the B vitamins, which are usually fabricated from petrochemicals. Yes, that's right, synthetic B vitamins are mostly coal tar derivatives! Another example is that of ascorbic acid, that many think is vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is also made in a lab, often from white sugar! Real, natural vitamin C is actually a complex of various factors that includes the ascorbic acid.

"Natural' vitamins in our opinion should be 100 percent whole food based with no synthetics. Watch out because vitamin manufacturers know that people prefer 'natural' vitamins, and they will often tout that on the label, and maybe even use a little bit of a whole food. However, that does not make the vitamin a safe, effective, whole food vitamin.

What Is Wrong With Taking Synthetic Vitamins?

Supplements that are synthetic do not provide all the co-factors or other nutrients necessary for your body to fully utilize that supplement. In fact, since these co-factors are missing, your body will need to take them from somewhere else in order to make the synthetic vitamin work. This can create serious shortages, and may be why other problems often result. Because they do bring some much needed nutrients to your body, synthetic vitamins may cause you to feel better at first, but this will usually not last.

When you take synthetic vitamins, especially if you are taking a high dose formula, this is seen by the body as more like taking a drug than taking a needed nutrient. This is probably why there are studies showing problems with taking high doses of certain vitamins (usually synthetic vitamins) like beta carotene causing cancer.

Whole Food Supplements

Many people, when first switching to whole food supplements, are wondering how they can get any benefit from them when they see how little of the nutrient is contained in one serving, compared to the mega doses they were getting with their synthetic vitamins. However, you need to realize that the amount of the nutrient that you take is far less important than how much of it your body will actually be using. With whole food supplements, you have all the co-factors that nature put in the food to help you utilize that nutrient. As a result, you need far less of the whole food vitamin or mineral, often only a fraction of the synthetic amount, in order to have the same or an even greater effect. In addition capsule, liquid, or the new unique delivery system of "chews" are far better absorbed than tablets, even if they are whole food-based tablets.

So even if you think you got a bargain on your vitamins, your body probably did not. Throw away all your cheap, synthetic vitamins and start taking 100 percent whole food vitamin supplements today!

Copyright 2008 EcoViva LLC This article may be copied only in its entirety and only if all links, including those in the resource box or the about the author section remain intact.

Karen Pijuan is the owner of several health-related websites and has written numerous articles about healthy living, whole food supplements, natural body care and cleaning products, natural weight loss and more. Find out more about what to look for in a truly healthy vitamin, as well as resources for where to find the whole food vitamins she recommends at

A brand new supplement product that is being called the "Nutritional iPod" has not only whole food based ingredients with super antioxidant power but a unique, avant-garde chewable delivery system. These Chews 4 Health are not only free of toxic preservatives, but since they are chews, they start to get digested and broken down in the mouth, so absorption in the stomach is more efficient. Find out more at by checking out the resource section. They also have a great marketing program if you are looking for a new product to promote in your home-based or online business.

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