Of all the different dietary supplements available on the market today, synthetic vitamins make up the vast majority of those that are actually purchased and used religiously. More than half of Americans take a multivitamin on a daily basis. Are you one of them?
Research suggests that American consumers spend a collective $23 billion on synthetic vitamins every year, but recent studies reveal that the investment may be nothing more than a big pointless waste of money.
In this article, we’re dissecting the claim that these synthetic vitamins contribute positively to your well-being. You’re about to learn everything you need to know about natural vs. synthetic vitamins to make the healthiest choice for you and your family.
The true nature of synthetic vitamins is right in the name: they’re synthetic. While the industry may lead you to believe that synthetic vitamins are composed of the same nutrients found in vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, this inference couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Let’s think about some of the reasons we choose to take a multivitamin. Perhaps you take one daily to improve your overall health, or sustain your current condition. Maybe you do it to boost your immunity and avoid getting sick. You may have made a habit of taking a multivitamin to prevent serious health diseases and complications, or maybe it’s just a habit your mother ingrained in your daily ritual growing up.
Whatever the reason, it is well-meaning and intentional. Nobody chokes down a thick, bitter vitamin because they enjoy it: they’re hoping to gain something.
However, a handful of recent studies reveal that there is nothing to gain from synthetic vitamins. In 2006, the National Institute of Health investigated the effects of synthetic vitamins, conducting randomized clinical trials over an extended period of time. Here are a few of their findings:
But on the bright side, Vitamin D did show some promising cardiovascular benefits, and when paired with calcium, bone marrow density increased.
Another ground-breaking study to shake this multi-billion dollar industry was the JAMA Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis—perhaps you’ve heard of it. Reviewing 68 extensive trials that involved more than 230,000 participants and 385 publications, JAMA discovered a concerning trend in modern research: certain synthetic vitamins are actually causing more harm than good.
In 47 low-bias trials that involved over 180,000 participants, JAMA found that certain antioxidant supplements (vitamin A, vitamin E, and beta carotene) significantly increased mortality in the general population. And it appears that vitamin C and selenium barely made the cut, with a conclusion that mentions a recommendation to study those two supplements further to determine the true impact.
So, while the entire nation was led to believe they would surely benefit from a medicine cabinet crowded with synthetic vitamins, it’s plausible that consumers may have actually been investing in their own increased mortality.
But why? How did this non-conducive trend inflate and spread so far as to convince 30% of our nation’s population to pop a synthetic vitamin every day? Why are synthetic vitamins so widely accepted and heavily promoted? You might even be wondering why your healthcare provider suggested you take a multivitamin with breakfast every day.
Where did this come from?
We wish we had the answer, but we don’t. We could chalk it up to corporate greed, false advertising for a quick 23 billion bucks, or let it land on a general lack of awareness and information required to know better.
It sounded like a good idea, didn’t it? Instead of filling your shopping cart with pricey fruits and vegetables, crafting them into recipes to make them more appealing, and making sure you’re getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients throughout the day, just take this bottle of pills and have one with your toaster waffles in the morning.
Why would anybody want to question that simple logic in the first place?
While conspiracy theorists are sure to have a heyday with this one, we prefer to believe the culprit is a simple lack of awareness and information. So, let’s dive deeper and equip you with the information you need to take your health into your own hands.
The leading argument in the battle of natural vs. synthetic vitamins is that synthetic vitamins are manufactured in a lab, using very different processes than the all-natural ingredients they mimic. They are made from synthetic materials, and if the last century has taught us anything, it’s that synthetic anything is not good for your body—or the planet, for that matter.
The fact of the matter is that your body responds quite differently to a serving of fruits and vegetables than it does a capsule of artificial nutrients. For example, one particular study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine shows that our bodies are able to absorb natural vitamin E twice as efficiently as synthetic vitamin E.
There are several studies that suggest that our bodies are unable to make efficient use of synthetic vitamins, a point that is very well illustrated in the research that shows us synthetic vitamins have a marginal impact on the general population.
So, while a handful of almonds may provide you with a beneficial dose of vitamin E—which your body is able to effectively use for better health—an artificial, encapsulated dose of Vitamin E may pass through your system without even the slightest change to your health.
You might be wondering how all of this information about our biological response proves that synthetic vitamins are harmful. Well, it doesn’t—not directly. What makes the ineffectiveness of synthetic vitamins so harmful is the mindset that comes with them.
Judging by the fact that nearly half of America is currently popping a multivitamin on a daily basis instead of getting the nutrients they truly need, it stands to reason that the blame is on the multi-billion dollar industry that is pitching convenience and freedom to eat whatever you want so long as you take a vitamin.
But how realistic is it to consume a diet with enough fruits and vegetables? You’ve got to make room for wheat and protein and all of the other nutrients that are essential to healthy living. In today’s society, most American’s aren’t getting the vitamins and minerals they need from food alone.
While we will always and forever recommend our customers adopt a healthy diet into their lifestyle, they’ve got to make up for the vitamins their meals are lacking, right? But what’s the best way, when synthetic vitamins are useless and ineffective?
It should please you to know that synthetic vitamins are not your only option. And they’re certainly not the healthiest option—not by a long shot.
The battle of natural vs. synthetic vitamins has already ended, and the natural vitamins won. The NCBI said it best in the abstract to a research report: “It concludes that lessons of history as well as modern science support the view that natural vitamins are nutritionally superior to synthetic ones.”
Unlike their artificial counterparts, non-synthetic vitamins get their nutrients right from the source (be it plant or animal) instead of concocting fake nutrients in a glass beaker. Because non-synthetic vitamins contain nutrients derived from a natural source, your body is much more likely to react to the encapsulated nutrients the same way it would to the original form.
Natural vitamins provide natural nutrients, which is what your body is designed for. Because this option isn’t wrapped up with synthetic chemicals that your body doesn’t know what to do with, your body can absorb them more efficiently and make better use of the nutrients you’re getting.
And perhaps one of the greatest benefits of all is the peace of mind you get from knowing exactly what you’re putting into your body. According to a recent warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the FDA), fraudulent dietary supplements are a growing concern, many of which have been reported to cause a number of health complications including liver injury, kidney failure, and more.
How can you tell the difference between natural and synthetic vitamins? Natural, non-synthetic vitamins will proudly boast their purity all over the bottle, but just to make sure, check the label. If the supplement is truly natural, it should provide a clear list of natural ingredients, usually direct food sources or supplements that are 100% animal or plant-based.
You can spot a synthetic vitamin from its telltale list of individual vitamins (like vitamin C, vitamin A, etc.). Look out for the sign of added chemicals, too, such as ascorbic acid.
Now that you have the information you need to make a healthier decision, it’s time to replace your synthetic vitamin collection with natural vitamins. Browse our selection of 100% natural vitamins and try Samuraw Organic Complete for adults and kids today!