What are natural vitamins made from?
There are a plethora of choices when it comes to choosing supplements. One of the biggest decisions is determining whether to purchase synthetic or natural vitamins. Are natural vitamins better than synthetic options?
Why is it important to take vitamins?
Most adults do not consume enough of the nutrients they need in their diet alone. One reason is that they do not eat enough all of the food groups regularly. This alone means that most of the adult population is at risk of mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Eating a well-balanced diet is essential for a person’s general health and well-being. But since most diets do not provide all the necessary nutrients needed, taking supplements is most cases is recommended.
What are natural vitamins?
You’ve probably seen the label “natural” on food and vitamin labels. It has not been clearly defined and it is a bit confusing. What does it actually mean? The term, natural vitamins can mean two things. The vitamin may be made from a component taken directly from the earth, or it is made naturally in the body during the digestive process. It can also be a product such as vitamin B, that starts with natural fermentation and undergoes further processing.
In most cases, all-natural vitamins are classified as such because they are derived directly from a plant source. It’s a bit tricky and very expensive to remove vitamins from their natural sources. Removing the nutrient from its natural source also reduces its potency. For instance, Vitamin A is derived from cod liver oil, but it is not necessarily have a lot of potency.
What are synthetic vitamins?
Each vitamin’s molecular structure is known. To create a synthetic vitamin, the nutrients are replicated exactly in a lab so that the lab has an identical cellular structure and function. Since the vitamin is isolated, it’s easy to control its quality and purity. There is no difference between synthetic and natural vitamins. The only exception to this is Vitamin E. Synthetic E only captures one of its tocopherol molecules. Checking the label will let you know if it is synthetic or natural. The label will have a “d.”
So, what’s the difference between synthetic and natural vitamins?
Other than vitamin E, there is no difference between synthetic and natural vitamins. About 95% of the vitamins on the market are synthetic since it is difficult to put vitamins from their natural state into a supplement. Vitamins that are all-natural do not use artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, excessive excipients, or chemical preservatives. Natural supplements use natural flavorings that do not contain chemical dyes.
Synthetic vitamins often use binders, so their tablets hold together. They also often use fillers like cellulose or magnesium stearate in the encapsulation process. Magnesium stearate is used because it blends the ingredients together and makes them slide through the manufacturing process more easily. Cellulose is in vegetables so if you eat spinach or lettuce, you are consuming cellulose. The FDA considers both cellulose and magnesium stearate to be GRAS or generally regarded as safe for consumption.
Are natural vitamins regulated by the FDA?
Both the WHO and FDA do not distinguish between natural and synthetic vitamins. Actually, vitamins and dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. The FDA only checks for purity, potency, and safety when it comes to supplements. They feel the body cannot tell the difference between a vitamin that comes from a plant and one that comes from a lab. The real question becomes not so much if a vitamin is synthetic or natural, but if they are made by a reputable manufacturer that uses the best most natural processes. A reputable manufacturer will also use a third party for product testing.
How are supplements and vitamins made?
Supplements and vitamins are usually derived from animal or plant products. Labs take a fruit and extract vitamins from it, for example. In producing synthetic supplements, a vitamin is synthesized from an organic compound. One example is how vitamin A is synthesized from the organic compound acetone. There is not a structural difference in vitamins created by the two methods.
The multi-step process of making natural vitamins involves many stages. Vitamins are often taken through a wet granulation stage, for example. This helps vitamins become the proper size. They are weighed and dispensed. A specific amount of “powder” is placed into capsules at this point. They are polished, cleaned, and inspected before being packaged for distribution. Quality control occurs along the production line at many steps to ensure a high-quality end product consumers can trust.
Safety of Supplements
It is important to know that not all supplements sold in stores and online are made from the best ingredients. Many companies choose to use additives and fillers which negatively affect the potency. These extra ingredients render the supplements ineffective and and sometimes unsafe. You can be sure that at Envura Health, we use the highest quality ingredients with no fillers or additives. We specifically select ingredients that ensure you will benefit from maximum absorbency and potency. All of our vitamins are third-party tested to make sure that what we provide is what we claim it to be.
It is incredibly important to purchase supplements and vitamins from trusted sellers who use only high-quality ingredients. Products should be clearly labeled to ensure consumers know exactly what they are getting in a supplement.
Getting Tested for Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Would you know if you had a vitamin deficiency? There are certain people groups more susceptible to developing deficiencies, including:
- Overweight or obese individuals
- People who have serious illnesses
- Older people (specifically people over 40)
- Pregnant or lactating women
The most common identified deficiencies include Vitamin A, some of the B vitamins, and Vitamin D. Others who may be at a higher risk of developing one or more deficiencies include vegans, vegetarians, people who regularly consume alcohol, people with medical conditions, and people who take prescription medications.
You Don’t Have to Be Deficient!
Taking high-quality supplements can help you prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Most people simply don’t eat a wide enough variety of foods. Even if you do, you still probably aren't getting sufficient daily vitamins. Taking vitamins can help improve how you feel, reduce your risks of developing certain serious or chronic diseases, and prevent deficiencies. At Envura Health, you get high-quality supplements that undergo third-party testing to ensure they are safe, toxin-free, and potent. Check out our vitamin boxes by clicking the button below.