The vitamins and minerals in supplements are synthetic forms of nutrients. However, the word synthetic doesn't necessarily mean inferior. Even supplements that claim to have natural ingredients contain some synthetic ingredients. Supplements that list nutrients individually, such as vitamin C, or that use chemical names such as ascorbic acid, are almost certainly synthetic.
This research should not be confused with the health-promoting functions of natural versions of these nutrients found in natural foods. Decades of research and thousands of studies demonstrate the effectiveness of these natural dietary nutrients in successfully preventing and treating diseases. The case of vitamins C and E. The synthetic compounds most commonly used in dietary supplements are the vitamins themselves. In fact, nearly all of the vitamins found on store shelves and those used to fortify foods (even “natural foods”) are synthetic.
A common exception is vitamin E, which is found in synthetic or natural supplements. But the so-called natural vitamin E is actually quite unnatural. Beta-carotene is not vitamin A, but a phytonutrient, some of which are converted to vitamin A compounds in the body. For those who are deficient in vitamin A, this can be much more efficient than trying to get enough from the diet.
Therefore, the amount of vitamin C a natural supplement contains can be listed in the supplement information table as “vitamin C” (100 mg) and not include “ascorbic acid” (or any other of the many types of synthetic vitamin C). Let's see how organic vitamins and supplements differ from synthetic ones, so you can make an informed decision about the best option for you. Some synthetic vitamins can be converted to their active forms once in the body, but they require additional nutrients. Other amino acids and vitamin-like compounds, such as trimethylglycine (TMG) and acetyl-L-carnitine, are also synthesized. When taken in excess, water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins C and B, are eliminated from the body through urine.
The ingredient list should include whole foods, rather than just vitamin C or vitamin E separately. Almost all vitamin C in dietary supplements is synthetic and, as such, appears on the label as “ascorbic acid”.”. A new study on vitamin C (Am J. Clin Nutr; January 2000) showed that adults who took the synthetic version had serious side effects.
The additional compounds you receive from vitamins made with organic ingredients will interact with your digestive system more naturally than synthetic compounds. A variety of synthetic vitamin D compounds have been developed, the most common of which are calcitriol, doxercalciferol and calcipotriene. Vitamin D supplements have been linked to numerous benefits related to cancer, bone health and brain function, to name a few.