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 serving 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 comes in packages with other vitamins, enzymes, and minerals that control the way the body recognizes metabolize 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 into the synthetic category.
How do I know if the vitamins I’m buying are synthetic or natural?
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. Unfortunately, vitamins can be labeled 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.
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
- PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
- Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
- Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
- Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol
- Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate
NOTE: The “dl” form of any vitamin is synthetic.
Other 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
Have you visited our cafe/supplement shop here in Monroe? If not, stop by today!