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Natural Vs. Synthetic: Not All Vitamins Are The Same

Aug 17, 2007
There are literally thousands of vitamins and supplements available for purchase today. Each type of supplement such as calcium, ginkgo biloba or multivitamins has many brands available made in a variety of different ways.

Some vitamins are derived directly from natural sources such as oranges, oils, plants and vegetables. And for each vitamin available naturally, there is a vitamin pill available too. Although the vitamin supplements claim to be the same, you may not be getting the amount of nutrients that you imagine you are getting. It's not to say that synthetic vitamins are inferior to their natural supplements, but it's important you the differences.

Another important consideration is the fillers used in vitamin supplement pills. Some brands contain extra substances that you really don't need any may actually cause you more harm than good.

Natural vitamin sources

Natural vitamins sources are those that your body gets from fruits, plants, vegetables, animals and other natural sources. This is typically a very easy way for your body to process and absorb the vitamins you are looking for. However, if you do not eat a well balanced diet, your body may be deprived of certain vitamins.

Natural vitamin sources may not be adequate in other instances too. For example, you may have an intestinal problem that prevents you from properly absorbing nutrients. If this is the case you may consider supplementing with a vitamin pill to ensure you get your daily allowance of vitamins.

Synthetic vitamin sources
Although some supplemental are derived from natural sources, not all are. Many vitamins, like vitamin C, can be produced synthetically in a laboratory and have exactly the same structure. However, there are vitamins that are not the same, like vitamin E. Vitamin E has two different forms, one that is absorbed and used by the human body and one that is not.

In the laboratory, chemists typically produce a vitamin E that is half good vitamin D and half not. What this means to you is that often times the vitamin pills you buy at the drugstore only give your body half the amount of vitamin E as indicated on the label.

Vitamin fillers
Vitamin tablets typically contain a variety of fillers and while some of them are just fine for you, you do need to be on the look out for others, or the risk of overdoing them. Soybean oil is a very common filler and very unhealthy filler found most often in gelcaps.

Soybean oil can actually do more harm than the good of the vitamin because it is very high in trans fats (these are the bad fats) and can cause all sorts of heart problems as well as obesity. Another unnecessary filler to be on the lookout for is artificial color. Artificial colors have proven to be carcinogenic and many people are allergic to them too.
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