Synthetics vs Natural: Are supplements equal?

Relying on a diet of nutrients is often not enough. The statistics of people in the United States that use synthetic multivitamins grows every day. It currently is over half of the population. But, the debate of how someone reaches their ideal nutrient levels is hotter than ever. In some cases, synthetic vitamins and supplements are even dangerous.

Beginning with Basics

Knowing the difference between natural and synthetic supplements is vital for anyone’s health. The research is something done before taking the first capsule or spot of oil.

  • Natural Supplements – Whole foods, natural supplements, and even the sun are natural ways to absorb natural nutrients.
    • Whole food supplements refer to dehydrated and concentrated foods rather than synthetically made in a factory or lab.
  • Synthetic Supplements – Isolated nutrients created in an industrial process, isolating specific vitamins and nutrients.
    • The majority of available supplements come from synthetic processes.
  • Minerals, amino acids, and vitamins fall into both categories.
  • Supplements come in different forms: tablets, powder, liquid, and capsules, or pill. Each is made to imitate natural nutrients in the human body.
  • Check the labels. Natural supplements contain ingredients that anyone would know, such as food or plant-based. Synthetic is full of elements that are not even pronounceable such as chemical names.
  • Nutrients created in a lab are artificial – the best way to ensure natural supplements through whole foods.

Needed Knowledge

The view on synthetics from many professionals and people is the fact it is as long as it is interchangeable with whole food, then they are safe, regardless of creation.

However, creating nutrients in a lab is far different from when using plant and animal-based techniques.

The science behind how the body absorbs synthetic supplements is not complete. No one knows the overall toll or reaction of a human body when intaking synthetic nutrients.

Synthetic supplements contain a mimicked, single nutrient. Whole food consumption gives the body an array of natural components: minerals, vitamins, co-factors, enzymes, and nutrients.

The introduction of chemicals to the body using synthetics has to gauge how any given person will react to them.

Uncertainty surrounds synthetic nutrients, while natural foods and supplements are scientifically proven and adverse reactions are rare.

Replacing a healthy diet with synthetic supplements is not the best plan of action. Gathering nutrients from natural plant and animal-based foods will guarantee against adverse reactions to unknown chemicals. With that said, for people unable to take in nutrients naturally, synthetic supplements are the only way.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.