There is a substantial difference between whole food vitamins and synthetic vitamins. This short article aims at explaining this crucial difference and implications that taking one or the other kind has for our wellbeing.
Whole food supplements are derived from naturally-occurring, full-spectrum food extracts. To understand this better, it’s crucial to define what ‘naturally-occurring’ means. By taking a nutrient rich-plant, removing the excess water and fiber via a chemical-free vacuum process, to later package it for stability, is the most common way of obtaining a ‘naturally-occurring’ vitamin. This way, the entire vitamin complex is captured intact, retaining its nutritional integrity and full spectrum values. Whole food supplements can be defined as highly complex structures that combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, trace elements, antioxidants, and activators that all work together synergistically in your body as co-factors for each other’s efficacy. Natural vitamins contain the essential trace minerals necessary for the synergy with your body to occur.
On the other hand, synthetic vitamins contain no trace minerals and are forced to use your body’s already existing resources and mineral reserves to perform like the whole food, natural supplements. If within the chemical compound of synthetic vitamins, one part is missing, or is fractionated, the entire chain of metabolic processes cannot proceed normally.
Only intake of naturally-occurring vitamins, found in wholesome organic foods can most benefit our body’s performance. Numerous studies and articles have proven that daily consumption of synthetic vitamins ‘from A-Z’ create toxic and adverse reactions in the body. There is an enormous difference between vitamins found in natural foods unaltered chemically, and those manufactured, drug-like substances that are called vitamins which are in no way beneficial.
For a nutritional effect, repair, and maintenance of all biochemical activities in the body, only natural, whole vitamin “complexes” as they exist in whole foods are acceptable and make a positive difference. Unfortunately, most vitamin products fond in healthy food stores and pharmacies, primarily contain synthetic vitamins. Numerous studies conducted, have proven that the intake of isolated vitamin pills and supplements does not function as effectively as complete natural vitamin intake and is not efficiently utilized in the body.
The most popular vitamin supplements contain ultra high doses of synthetic vitamins, and their consumption can be compare to taking any sort of drug. In his book “The Foundations of Nutritional Medicine” Dr. Melvin R. Werbach states, that most supplements are constructed too densely and are insoluble, therefore simply pass through the digestive system without disintegrating at all. They are excreted without any benefit. In addition, Dr. Royal Lee, claims that vitamins isolated or synthesized under laboratory conditions, are toxic and are the main cause of chemical imbalance in our body. Studies demonstrate that our body treats isolated and synthetic nutrients like foreign substances (xenobiotics). Synthetic vitamins do not function like nutrients found in foods. Food sourced nutrients function synergistically as a complex and not in isolation. Therefore, synthetic vitamins are best defined to be fractions of the whole vitamin complex, synthesized in a laboratory, and claimed to be biologically active. A good example of this process is the isolation of ascorbic acid from the vitamin C complex, and later calling it vitamin C. Similarly, isolating the alpha tocopherol from the vitamin E complex and calling it vitamin E. It is roughly estimated that a vitamin complex loses 99% of its potency and effectiveness when separated from its natural synergists.
There is a substantial cost difference between producing whole food vitamins and synthetic vitamins. The production of synthetic vitamins is substantially cheaper than the production and cultivation of natural vitamins. Companies claim that they produce natural products, but they simply fail to deliver this promise. The loophole that all manufacturers use to their benefit, is the fact that the required by law percentage of ‘natural’ substances (in order to be able to label it ‘natural) varies from country to country. Carefully planned marketing strategies and wording labels some supplements ‘natural’ when, in fact, they are far from it.
David Juan, M.D.; The Vitamin doctor
Richard P. Murray, D.C., P.A.; Natural vs. Synthetic, Life vs. Death, Truth vs. The Lie
Dr. Royal Lee; The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research
Judith A. DeCava : The Real Truth About Vitamins
Lorrie Medford, C.N. ; Why Do I Need Whole Food Supplements
Dr. Bruce West ; Health Alert Newsletter
Life Enthusiast Co-op, 2006, Article by Tim O'Shea.
Vinson J.A., "Bioavailability of Vitamin C", 1991.