Vitamins, vitamins, vitamins. 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, whether or not your vitamins are hurting you is another story. What people are not aware of is all vitamins are not created equal, and most are actually synthetic.
What is a “Synthetic” Vitamin?
The type of vitamins that are the most beneficial is up for debate. A healthy, organic diet should provide a good amount of nutrients that the body needs, but supplements can help ensure that we are getting a healthy dose of specific vitamins.
The problem is that many vitamin and mineral supplements are manufactured synthetically with chemicals and do not come straight from their natural sources. They are made to mimic the way natural vitamins act in our bodies. Natural vitamins are derived directly from plant material containing the vitamin, not produced in a test tube.
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.
The natural form come in packages with other vitamins, enzymes and minerals that control the way the body recognizes, metabolizes and uses them to make what it needs.
Isolated vitamins can’t always be used by the body, and are either stored until you obtain or create the nutrients required to use them effectively or are excreted. Synthetic vitamins are also devoid of necessary trace minerals and must use the body’s own mineral reserves which may lead to dangerous mineral deficiencies.
Did You Know? More than 95% of all the vitamin supplements sold today fall in to the synthetic category.
What’s the Big Deal About Synthetic Vitamins?
Synthetic versions of vitamins contain chemical compounds that were not meant for human consumption and do not occur in nature. Evolution has dictated that we eat the food we can gather from the earth, not the food we create in a lab.
We might not always get what we’re expecting from synthetics. The synthetic version of Vitamin E is often referred to as the dl- form. The dl- form is a combination of the d-form (which, by the way, is the naturally occurring form) and the l-form. No big deal, right?