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Natural (Whole Food) versus Synthetic Supplements

While many consumers know there is a difference between synthetic and natural vitamins, many do not know what the difference is.  This article will help you understand why you should be using natural, whole food vitamins instead of synthetic vitamins.

The named source of the vitamin is our best clue as to whether or not it is natural or synthetic.  The chart below will allow you to compare the synthetic versus food-based forms of some common vitamins.  Did you know that synthetic vitamins are legally considered to be equal in nutritional value to food-based vitamins?  Synthetic vitamins are far cheaper and dominate our foods. 

Did you also know that a high number of milligrams or micrograms is also an indication of a synthetic source? Vitamin B & C are not stored in the body, so we must constantly replenish them.  In nature, the B vitamins are always found together, one is not isolated from the rest.  Potency of a vitamin refers to the strength, ability or capacity to bring about a particular result.  Synthetic “high potency” vitamins require large amounts of isolated vitamin fractions to achieve a specific result.  The truth is that a minute amount of a vitamin in it’s whole food form is more effective nutrutionally than is a large amount of a synthetic vitamin.

 The natural complexes of vitamins are important because they contain enzymes, co-enzymes, antioxidants, trace elements and activators that help the vitamin do it’s job in the body.  Synthetic vitamins are missing parts of the vitamin complex that the body needs.  Your body then has to use it’s own reserves of the other parts of the vitamin complex.  This in turn results in a vitamin deficiency. 

If you give a ten year old a kickball and tell them to have fun, they naturally know what to do with the ball and can immediately begin to play.  If you give the same child a bicycle in a box, they will have to spend time assembling the tools, reading the instructions and assembling the bicycle before having fun.  Such is the case in our body when take an isolated, synthetic supplement like Ascorbic Acid.  When taking just ascorbic acid, the body must now search for the other parts of the vitamin complex in the body’s reserves, to make the vitamin C work optimally.  When these reserves are used, the Ascorbic Acid will have created an injurious C deficiency.  With whole food supplements this doesn’t happen.

A similar thing happens when the Tocopherols are separated from the whole E complex by the use of chemicals or they are synthesized from chemicals.  They are then labeled “Vitamin E as

D-Alpha Tocopherol or D-Alpha Succinate.  For this product to work, it must use your body’s reserves of the other parts of the vitamin complex.  In other words, taking vitamins with Vitamin E as D-Alpha-Tocopherol drains your body’s reserves and actually creates an E deficiency with all of the harm that accompanies that.  Once again, with whole food complexes, this doesn’t happen.   

 Many studies have shown that synthetic, fractionated, crystalline-pure vitamins creates chemical imbalances and toxic overdoses in the body.  Synthetic vitamins can cause a person’s body to continue to deteriorate.  For example, in one study where pregnant women were given synthetic Vitamin A, the study was halted because birth defects increased 400% (New England Journal of Medicine, 1995).

In another study, men who took 500 mg of synthetic Vitamin C daily over 18 months showed signs of thickening of the arteries (Reuters Health, March, 2000).

A third example male smokers were given synthetic beta carotene and synthetic Vitamin E, the study was stopped when rates of lung cancer, heart attacks and death increased (New England Journal of Medicine, 1994).

At HCNC, we believe that given the proper nutrition, your body has the amazing capability of keeping itself healthy.  We also believe that nutrition should be individualized to meet each patient’s needs.  For these reasons and many more, we proudly recommend Standard Process whole food supplements.