Way back 25 years ago.. before I started to take this brand of vitamins, of course I did my homework on the differences between vitamins. Natural vitamins vs synthetic vitamins was one consideration. Just the other day as I was spending some time for online research, I came across an article that states pretty much the same thing that I learned 25 years ago.
Natural vitamins are balanced the way you would find the ingredients in foods. Higher quality ‘food’ is used to make them. The best brands use low heat, low pressure processing to make the vitamins. It is important to have the strong enzymatic action be retained in the finished vitamin product. Natural vitamins are absorbed and utilized by the body to provide the results that are desired when taking them. Reputable brands are backed by independent, proven scientific research.
That is a TALL order, but it IS available ‘out there’. This is why we do our homework!
Synthetic vitamins are man made, test tube products. There are no enzymes. Inorganic substances are used and side effects are common.
Health food store choices are actually a third type of vitamins, and do not fare much better than synthetic according to many folks. Low quality raw materials are used and the formulations are not balanced. Heat extracted ingredients contribute to the finished product that presents with weak enzymes, fillers, and harsh binders. Chemicals are used in processing which is almost always undesirable.
Certain vitamins need special scrutiny. Synthetic vitamin E can actually block natural vitamin E activity in the body. In regard to B vitamins, some synthetic B’s can be adversely affected by the food dyes that are a common ingredient in the synthetic vitamins.
I could relate to an example that was presented in the article. Think about the fact that synthetic vitamins, and even certain natural isolate (health food store varieties) vitamins, extract ingredients from food sources. If you take only one ingredient from a food like an apple, to put into the vitamin, you miss the other nutrients in that food. Sometimes the ingredient extracted doesn’t work without those other parts that, in foods, work synergistically together. Plus you are not benefitting from those other ingredients.
Our bodies need a broad spectrum of nutrients for the best health. The reason we supplement is that we don’t get all of these nutrients from our food. That is a proven fact. And when we do make the commitment and take on the expense of supplementing our diets with vitamins, we should expect to get the best effect that will give us better health.
As in everything, we have choices. Since vitamin quality is still not regulated well as far as what can be available on the store shelves for us to purchase, it falls on individuals to find the best quality.
After all of these years, I do not think it is fair that certain vitamin manufacturers still look for the cheapest way to produce their products. Synthetics and chemical vitamins are less expensive to make and to buy, but in the end, at what cost?
The first ever Long-term Food Supplement Study was recently published. In measuring blood tests of participants that either took one certain natural brand, other store brands, and no supplement at all, it was determined that certain blood levels were actually worse with taking a synthetic store brand than taking no vitamin at all. To me, this is not only a scary thing for the health of these folks, but also not fair that these products can even be available for sale. We certainly don’t want to throw our money away by getting no benefits, and of course do not want to be worse off when we do buy and take a vitamin.
Many highly advertised synthetic vitamins have some serious health considerations attached to people taking them. They may be processed at high temperatures and contain chemicals and other carcinogenic material. Toxins like this that are taken over long periods of time are potentially dangerous. Allergic reactions are also to be considered and would be more immediate. Other reactions include fatigue, memory loss, depression and insomnia.
What is very disappointing is that some of these major brands that have been around for a long time, and that people trust, have some serious issues if one does the homework required to uncover. Not only are they using cheap ingredients and formulas, but there are not optimal amounts of individual vitamins present that are needed by the body. And the chemicals that lead to poor health should not be there at all.
Bottom line: research your brand, TRUST your brand, so that you can build GOOD HEALTH that is proven and measurable.
Article referenced in blog post can be found at: http://www.chiff.com/a/natural-vitamin.htm.