Vitamins are an essential part of our daily lives. They are involved in every single process that goes on within the human body, and without them, we simply could not exist. Vitamins are necessary for proper growth, hormone production, immune system function, and every other aspect involved in human development. Science has been able to duplicate and create synthetic versions of some vitamins for mass production, which has many speculating; are natural or synthetic vitamins the better choice?
Natural vitamins are derived from their raw sources from a very safe and careful extraction process that uses no solvents, extreme heat or pressure. The goal is to preserve as much of the natural material as possible in order to make a vitamin supplement that is as close to nature as possible. Many co-factors are naturally present in the raw materials as well, and these are kept during the extraction process as well, as they are essential to the proper absorption and utilization of the vitamin.
Synthetic vitamins are produced in a laboratory through chemical processes of various sources, with no co-factors being present in the final product. Most synthetic vitamins are structurally identical to their natural counterparts, or they convert to them within the human body. For the most part, synthetic vitamins are cheaper to manufacture.
Obviously, cost is a major concern to many vitamin consumers. With a cheaper manufacturing rate, obviously the final purchase price of the vitamin is going to be less expensive as well, but is it really?
With synthetic versions of vitamins
, it can take up to three times the dosage of its natural counterpart to illicit the same benefit. With synthetic Vitamin E, half of it is excreted because it offers no benefit to the human body. That means you need to double your amount just to get the same benefit of the natural Vitamin E form
Synthetic Vitamin C from ascorbic acid has been shown to produce the same benefits of natural Vitamin C, but only in very high doses. Again, you need much more of the synthetic to get the same response as the natural form.
Scientists have been able to duplicate sea water in a lab that is chemically identical to the real thing. However, when fish are put into this synthetic version, they die. Just because synthetics are identical on a molecular level, that does not mean they will support life in the same way.
Before synthetic versions of vitamins
were available to the public, natural was the only way to go. The human body was designed to eat fruits and vegetables, and other natural sources of vitamins in order to survive. Mother Nature has been providing proper nutrition for humanity for as long as we have been around, and natural versions of vitamins seem to be the better and more effective way to go. However, it would be better to take a synthetic version of a vitamin than nothing at all.