Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamins: What’s the Difference?
It's kind of like trying to choose the right toothbrush; there are a million different options that all do the same thing, right?
Not at all!
Like toothbrushes, vitamin bottles may look the same on the outside, but it's what they do that really makes a difference. If you choose an unhealthy vitamin, you're negating all of the positive qualities you were hoping to obtain from taking it in the first place. However, if you choose the right vitamin, your body will thank you for being kind to it and giving it everything it needs to be strong and healthy.
With this in mind, let's take a look at the differences between natural and synthetic vitamins.
Are There Different Types of Vitamins?
Yes. In fact, there are two different types of vitamins.
Naturally Derived Vitamins
Natural vitamins come from natural and whole-food sources. For example, fruits and vegetables offer an array of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and plant compounds that can be reduced to pill form to help your body in dozens of ways, including:
Reducing blood pressure;
Minimizing oxidative stress;
Reducing the risk of serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and some brain disorders.
Fish oil is another natural vitamin that does great work on the human brain. Omega-3 fatty acids also have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease. Beans and legumes can be reduced into pill form, enabling the body to receive soluble fiber that's filled with a wide range of natural anti-oxidants and the types of vitamins and minerals that can reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Artificially Derived Vitamins
Synthetic vitamins come from artificial sources made in a lab. While they often closely mimic the ingredients found in natural vitamins, it's important to understand that these are chemical derivatives not found in nature. Your body may not react to the chemicals found in artificial vitamins the same way it would if you were giving it natural ingredients.
How Do Absorption Levels Differ?
Natural vitamins — because they're derived from sources you might eat anyway — are absorbed into the body easily. This is because whole-food nutrients aren't derived from a single source of vitamins or minerals; rather, they come from sources that include a wide variety of things your body needs to break them down, such as enzymes.
Some synthetic vitamins may be absorbed just as well into your system, but this isn't always the case. Since they're made in a lab — as opposed to the way plants and animals would naturally make them in real life — they don't always contain the natural add-on ingredients that help bodies process and absorb them easily. The industrial process by which artificial vitamins are created reduces these extra nutrients out of each pill, which can make it hard for the bloodstream and vital organs to absorb the ingredients without these nutrients present.
It's not always easy to tell which vitamins are natural and which are synthetic. It's important to carefully read the labels and do your research on the company you're considering buying vitamins from, especially if you want to ensure your supplements regimen is only filled with high-quality, all-natural ingredients.
Benefits of Naturally Sourced Vitamins
Besides the fact that they're more easily absorbed into the body (which is a major benefit), natural vitamins offer these additional benefits:
Co-Factors: Those things like enzymes and other transporters that are stripped out of laboratory-manufactured vitamins.
Useable Fuel: Unlike synthetic vitamins, your body absorbs natural vitamins more readily because it recognizes them as nutrients.
Trace Minerals: Trace minerals help keep your body healthy. Many synthetic vitamins use your body's reserve of trace minerals, which can lead to dangerous mineral deficiencies.
More for your Buck: Everything found in natural vitamins can be used by the body in some way. Synthetic vitamins, on the other hand, can’t always be used by the body entirely. In those cases, your body might hold onto the excess or simply excrete it if it wasn’t useful.
At Naturelle, we believe every vitamin that goes into your body should be sourced naturally from the earth. We're proud to bring you natural vitamins that are only meant to make your body healthier and happier.