Manufacturers of dietary supplements sometimes use synthetic materials for increasing the vitamin’s potency and stability. Soils, even at organic farms, become depleted of vitamins and minerals after years of cultivation. For instance, vitamin D2 is made by artificially irradiating fungus. Bjelakovic G, Nikolova D, Simonetti RG, Gluud C. Antioxidant supplements for preventing gastrointestinal cancers. The method for vitamin C synthesis using two-step fermentation was developed by China in the 1960s: These nutrients are manufactured in a lab and are different than the same nutrients found in nature. Take a good probiotic or eat fermented foods (which contain trillions of probiotics) daily. Second, the resultant oil is distilled off to become bottled vegetable oil. The nutrients i… And it all begins with taking the right supplements for YOU. It is best to take chelated minerals, which are minerals bound to amino acids, for maximum absorption. These are pulled or isolated from their natural cofactors and are often synthesized like pharmaceuticals. Synthetic Vitamin E: Even national cancer organizations are warning against the use of synthetic vitamins . Thanks for signing up. This might be an improvement, but many believe are still inferior to whole food vitamins. Natural vitamin E – notice the D-alpha tocopherol, Synthetic vitamin E (notice the dl-alpha). People that use vitamin supplements likely start with good intentions. Many supplements, even organic ones, are contaminated with toxic metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic. One of the main drawbacks of natural vitamins is that you need a lot more of them to get the same results you get with synthetics. There is a new standard for natural supplements under development known as the Naturally Occurring Standard (NOS). Meanwhile, the world of “natural” isn’t all hopscotch tournaments and fairy dances. A 2002 study in JAMA concluded that adults would be better off taking a multivitamin supplement each day. Many reputable companies make their supplements using gelatin, but I wanted to give you a little heads up about potential ingredients in this material. The absorption issue is a stance many food-based supplements take as a reason to use their products, but this issue is really blown far out of proportion. I don’t know about you, but ever since I swallowed my first Flintstones’ chewable, I envisioned vitamin supplements coming from a magical fairyland where wizards would squeeze all the nutrients from whole vegetables and fruits. Data indicates that vitamin supplements can actually lead to more cancer (specifically breast and prostate), cardiovascular disease, kidney damage (in those with diabetes), and fractures, while not helping prevent infections and sick days. Find out the what it means to be a quality vitamin C supplement, the best whole food sources of vitamin C, and how to decipher those sneaky ascorbic acid nutrition labels. Hickey S & Saul AW. Man cannot duplicate what nature creates, even when the chemical analysis is identical. Brian Clement, in his book, Supplements Exposed, claims that because of their synthetic nature, the body views synthetic supplements as foreign substances and launches an immune response. Some are derived from natural sources like beets (most of which are now GMO), carrots, or chlorophyll, but most are toxic synthetics derived from petroleum. Synthetic vitamins steal the needed substance from the body or organs, often depleting it of nutrients it needs to function. Am J Clin Nutr 1975;28:1377-1380. jQuery("#references_link").parent().hide(); A second type of product uses a ‘food source’ or ‘whole food source’ base such as yeast or algae, to which synthetic vitamins are added. A USDA government survey of 21,500 people found that not one single person consumed 100% of the U.S. RDA (recommended daily allowance) from the foods they ate. The vitamins are produced synthetically from petroleum in chemical plants, while the minerals come from mining companies. Of the vitamins we do ingest from whole food, absorption can range from 20 to 98%. Synthetic vitamins are not natural. Vitamin D in supplements is found in either the D2 or D3 form. Is it toxic? Wendy is also the creator of the Mitochondria Detox , the only supplement kit on the market that helps you to remove toxic metals that cause fatigue. Most of the food supplements sold on the market today are synthetic and often cheaper to produce than natural vitamins. Hannon-Fletcher MP, et al. Food-based vitamins are not always better absorbed. Synthetic vitamin supplements are isolated man-made chemical compounds, and appear to be in the same class as other synthetic pharmaceuticals. Poison hemlock, hallucinogenic mushrooms, rhubarb leaves and sprouted kidney beans are all natural – and potentially deadly. Try to avoid capsules made of gelatin. We do absorb synthetic vitamins and minerals. Added vitamins and minerals in Special K and Corn Flakes. The food or botanical containing the desired vitamin is harvested and cleaned (let’s say wheat germ). Many synthetic vitamins lack the transporters and co-factors associated with naturally occurring vitamins because they have been “isolated.” The Organic Consumers Association emphasizes that isolated vitamins cannot be used or recognized by the body in the same way as the natural version. This higher intake of vitamin B-3 might lead to increased appetite and impaired glucose tolerance. Synthetic vitamins are difficult for your body to absorb and can even cause health issues. Synthetic vitamins have toxic effects from mega-doses and actually can increase the white blood cell count. Answered by Dr. Daniel Royal: Maybe. Vitamins E and C in the prevention of prostate and total cancer in men: the Physicians’ Health Study II randomized controlled trial. In North America, a majority of the raw materials for synthetic vitamin supplements are from the following companies: I contacted all of these companies and got no response. B-vitamins for those dealing with alcoholism, vitamin D for those who’ve undergone bariatric surgery, Arnet Pharmaceuticals Corporation – Davie, FL, Botanical Laboratories, Incorporated – Ferndale, WA, Contract Pharmacal Corporation – Hauppauge, NY, Leiner Health Products Incorporated – Carson, CA. The word "synthetic" doesn't necessarily mean inferior, however. You can make wiser choices when purchasing vitamins by learning to identify synthetic dietary supplements from natural vitamin products. Allergic reactions can include rashes, runny nose, fatigue, headache, nausea, etc. Vitamins E and C in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men: the Physicians’ Health Study II randomized controlled trial. This will vary by ingredient.”. I’ll add them to the list! Even though the sun is a natural source of vitamin D, deficiency rates are rising because of too much time spent indoors. Change it up. Examples include CoQ10, amino acids, ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), menaquinone (vitamin K2), riboflavin (fermentation of ribose), cyancobalamin (vitamin B12; this is exclusively obtained via fermentation processes, as the naturally occurring source of B12 is bacterial metabolic activity, think animal tissues/meat carrying bacteria), and melatonin. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;2:CD007176. This amazing online summit is dedicated to educating consumers on healthy supplementation and the latest in supplement customization testing. The lesson here: don’t buy cheap synthetic vitamins! Deal with it. However, they are not completely natural because synthetic vitamins have been added to the product. The manufacturing starts with 7-dehydrocholesterol (usually from wool oil), which turns into cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) when exposed to ultraviolet light. As far as biological activity goes, the source of vitamin C is irrelevant. The ‘d’ or ‘dl’ form of any vitamin is synthetic. The question is not whether a vitamin is synthetic or natural but was it made by a reputable manufacturer that uses FDA Good Manufacturing processes and uses a third party for their testing. World J Gastroenterol 2010;16:2378-2387. Example of a “whole food” labeled supplement. Vitamin D3 from fish oil comes from the skin of fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, which naturally contain vitamin D. Lanolin is a waxy substance secreted by glands found in … Natural vitamins come from natural food sources. By the 1960s, China was mass producing the synthetic version of this vitamin, and the vast majority of vitamin C supplements you’ll find in the marketplace are of this cheap, chemically-made form. A full-spectrum extract is made by removing the non-nutritive fiber. Am J Clin Nutr 1988;48:601-604. Other reviews have concluded that beyond treatment of deficiency, vitamin supplements don’t promote health or prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. J Chem Tech Biotechnol 1992;53:313-327. Lodge JK. Search for words listed in the ingredients that begin with “dl.” When a word contains “dl” in the prefix, it is an indication that the vitamin is synthetic. Basic Health Publications. If you want to find a natural vitamin supplement, look for one with a label that indicates “naturally occurring food sources.” If the potency of the vitamin is higher than anything you would find in nature (e.g., 1000% vitamin B-3 per serving), the product likely contains synthetic ingredients. Most of the food supplements sold on the market today are synthetic and often cheaper to produce than natural vitamins. Kirkland Signature. A randomized factorial trial of vitamins C and E and beta carotene in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in women: results from the Women’s Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study. Under current law, a vitamin marketed as natural only has to contain 10 percent natural, plant-derived ingredients – the other ninety percent can be synthetic. This is important because some of the enzymes in the human body only work properly with a vitamin of the correct shape. If you wait until after, you’re usually too full and may not want to take them or end up feeling overly full. Chronic niacin overload may be involved in the increased prevalence of obesity in US children. There are six categories of nutrients used in the manufacturing of vitamin supplements. Humans are not designed to digest rocks and oyster shells. 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