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10 Reasons to Steer Clear of Synthetic Isolates

Published by Priya Khan on

There is a lot of talk about the comparative advantages and disadvantages of synthetic versus whole-food vitamins, and there are passionate believers and ardent supporters on both sides within the industry. Those on the side of synthetic vitamins argue that there is no evidence that natural vitamins work or that they are better than synthetic vitamins, and question whether it matters that vitamins are synthetic or whole-food as long as they work as intended to minimize deficiency risk and support good health. Staunch supporters of whole-food vitamins, the kind of vitamins that are concentrated from authentic whole foods, respond that there may not be any scientific evidence that whole-food vitamins work or that they are substantially better, but there is certainly sufficient evidence synthetic vitamins don’t work and that they are not safe.

There are plenty of good reasons why consumers should avoid synthetic vitamins. We put together this simple infographic to count our top ten. For more detailed information regarding whole-food vitamins vs. synthetic vitamins, check out our Clean Label section.

Ten Reasons to Steer Clear of Synthetic Vitamin Isolates

Synthetic vitamins are isolated and fractionated, which is not the form in which vitamins occur in nature.
Many of the industrial chemicals and solvents used to synthesize vitamin isolates are not fit for human consumption.
Synthetic vitamins do not have the necessary cofactors for their proper utilization by the body; the body has to reconstruct the vitamins using its own reserve of cofactors, and this can, over time, lead to nutrient depletion.
The rate of absorption of synthetic vitamins is lower because they have to undergo a considerable amount of transformation before the body can use them.
Natural vitamins behave differently than synthetic vitamins (e.g. d-alpha tocopherol is not the same as dl-alpha tocopherol).
The body does not have any built-in mechanisms for making sense of isolated, fractionated vitamins; this reduces their overall bioavailability.
Because the body does not have a mechanism for processing synthetic vitamins, they are sometimes viewed as foreign substances and targeted for removal from the body.
Synthetic vitamins not used by the body must be removed by the liver, skin, and kidneys; this increases the burden on the body.
The toxic load on the body from consumption of synthetic vitamins far outweighs any benefits they may provide.
The addition of fruit and vegetable powders to a synthetic vitamin does not make the vitamin whole-food; it is still in the isolated, fractionated form.

To view the complete article, visit our Clean Label section.