A lot of people don’t realize that there are differences between the various kinds of vitamins on the market and the pros and cons between them. For Instance, there are two kinds of vitamins made; synthetic made vitamins, and natural forms of vitamins. People who knew the differences, still didn’t know the pros and cons between synthetic made and natural forms. One difference is that there are some synthetic forms of vitamins which are absorbed much less than natural vitamins into your body.
BUT WHAT IS REALLY SCARY IS THAT…
There are scientific studies that show synthetic forms of specific vitamins have possible harmful effects.
Did you know that when you purchase an ordinary multivitamin from your favorite store, it most likely contains some synthetic forms of vitamins? That is unless the label states specifically that it is whole-foods based. That is why it’s important to read the labels.
It makes sense that vitamins derived from whole-food sources are more readily assimilated into the body than vitamins from synthetic sources.
3 Vitamins to watch out for:
The 3 vitamins that are most recommended for you to purchase natural sources and NOT synthetic are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Most multivitamins contain Vitamin A in the form of vitamin A palmitate. This is a synthetic version that has it’s potential negatives. You will find this synthetic Vitamin A added to low fat or skim milks. That is because they need to replace the natural Vitamin A lost when they remove the milk fat. You will also find Vitamin A palmitate in many processed foods such as cereals “fortified” with synthetic vitamin A palmitate.
It is very important to note that Synthetic vitamin A palmitate is toxic in large doses. If you read labels and look out for specific foods it is not hard to stay away from anything containing synthetic Vitamin A as much as possible.
For instance, if you eat a lot of cereal combined with low-fat or fat-free milk and other “fortified” foods, or synthetic vitamin pills, you can possibly be overdosing on this potentially harmful synthetic vitamin A. It is also important to be aware that despite being marketed as “health” foods there’s not really much healthy about some cereals!
Retinol is the natural Vitamin A it comes only from animal sources such as; organ meats, cod liver oil, animal liver, some other animal sources, and in lesser amounts in; butter, eggs, and milk fat. It is important to note that you can overdose Vitamin A when you overeat large quantities of liver or large doses of cod liver oil. Although overdosing on this natural form is safer than the synthetic vitamin A.
Another form of Vitamin A is beta-carotene. However, beta-carotene is NOT vitamin A, it’s actually a precursor to Vitamin A. What this means is that your body needs to convert it to vitamin A.
Beta-carotene is one of the safest forms of Vitamin A, since your body will only convert the amount that it actually needs. You get healthy quantities of beta-carotene in; carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, butternut squash, red peppers, and other colorful fruits and veggies. These are the foods you should overdose on.
Like Vitamins A, E, and K, Vitamin D is another fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin D is one of the most important substances in our body and also one of the most misunderstood.
To say everything we know about Vitamin D would be too long and complicated. I could fill an entire book, instead, I will simplify it for you.
The absolutely BEST source of vitamin D is the most natural source and it costs you NOTHING. That’s right, it’s FREE. In fact your body produces it naturally from adequate sun exposure. Those of you who work nights (I had to for 2 years), MUST make sure you get the sun exposure your body needs.
Vitamin D is actually produced into a hormone in our bodies and regulates hundreds of processes in the body. I believe it is simply one of the most important substances in our bodies.
Vitamin D is extremely helpful to our immune systems. With less sun exposure in the winter, you can see why there are more sicknesses. The cold weather is NOT the cause of colds, flu’s or any sicknesses. Lack of Vitamin D causes your immune system to weaken. That is why I am stressing that EVERYONE needs adequate sun exposure to keep your immune system healthy especially in the winter!
Our bodies get a relatively small amount of Vitamin D from food sources like egg yolks, some mushrooms, organ meats, and fatty fish. In small amounts, cod liver oil is one of the best known dietary sources of natural Vitamin D. If you choose to take the suplement of cod liver oil in the winter, you should know it is recommended to be taken in small amounts because it is possible to overdose on cod liver oil. As I stated previously, the best source of Vitamin D for our bodies is what we produce from moderate regular sun exposure, without sun burning.
As stated previously, vitamin D deficiency usually happens in the winter months. If you think you are deficient, you can have a blood test for Vitamin D deficiency. Your Doctor will say you generally want to be between the range of 50 ng/ml to 80 ng/ml, from what I’ve read. Any lower than that and you risk being deficient. Check with your Doctor to be sure.
There are differences of opinions surrounding benefits and detriments of vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) vs. vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Since Vitamin D3 is naturally produced in your body from the sun, and is the natural source we obtain from animal based foods so I would suggest that this is the preferred Vitamin D.
As I impressed earlier, try to get moderate amounts of sunshine, if you can for most of the year, and focus on the healthy dietary sources of natural vitamin D that I listed above… and also look for supplements in the winter to be based on fish oil sources of vitamin D if you can.
I think you get it that the “natural” source of vitamins are the BEST sources to look for.
Here are the facts about Vitamin E:
1.The best sources of vitamin E are from whole foods such as nuts and seeds You will find smaller amounts of Vitamin E in some greens. Vitamin E from natural foods comes in the form of various different tocopherols and tocotrienols.
2.Remember to take a multi-vitamin that you have checked the label that it is the natural version of Vitamin E and not the synthetic. In supplements, the natural version specifies “d-alpha” and the synthetic versions start with “l-alpha.
3.Due to the potential health dangers of synthetic Vitamin E, the bio-availability of synthetic vitamin E is much lower than natural vitamin E. The facts have shown over and over that natural is always better than something that has been chemically modified.
Specific Ways to Protect Your Health:
- Most Importantly, you should obtain most of your nutrition from a variety of nutrient-rich, organic whole foods. It is harder in today’s marketplace to find all nutrient-rich whole foods. Today with our overly processed food supply, and chemically abused farm soils, our foods typically contain less vitamins and minerals than they did just several decades ago. So we need to supplement our foods with a good whole-foods based multi-vitamin supplement.
- Look for a whole-foods based multi-vitamin, specifically you want to look for natural versions of Vitamin A, D, and E like we discussed, this assures that your body assimilates the vitamins most efficiently, and it also assures that you are not exposed to any of the potential harmful effects of synthetic vitamins
This article is meant to give you some important information on the differences between synthetic and natural Vitamins and how they can be harmful to your health.