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Whole Food Vitamins VS Synthetics

Advocate of natural remedies. Get relief for pain and improved energy without drugs.


Are Your Vitamins Safe?

Know the difference between synthetic VS. natural whole food vitamins? Learn about nutritional supplement safety beyond mainstream media and even Dr. Oz!.

You can buy nutritional supplements according to price or based to quality. If you buy the cheapest vitamin on the shelf without real research, chances are you will end up with synthetic (fake) products.

They are not real vitamins, just synthetic substances given vitamin names. Not only will they not improve your health, but they can even make you sick.

Vitamins have become a popular market, new brands appear all the time. Attractive bottles now fill store shelves from all sorts of companies wanting a slice of that marketing pie. For example, did you know that the Pepsi Cola Company recently had to take their 'vitamins' off the market due to false advertizing? Pepsi? Making nutritional products? Sound logical to YOU?

The cheap retail brands are synthetic. They contain impurities, fake ingredients, fillers and additives that could actually make you feel worse. Even some supplements found in 'health food' stores are simply high-priced synthetic products. The cheapest brand might be OK when it comes to products such as toilet paper or kleenex, but you are not ingesting those products.

Only Whole Food Vitamins Contain Real Nutrients

Choosing cheap synthetic vitamins might actually be HARMING your health.

Synthetic vitamins have been proven to cause more harm than good, yet millions of Americans take them everyday. Chances are that if you bought your vitamins off the shelf at the grocery or corner drug store, they are synthetic. Even many of the products on shelves at 'health food stores' are synthetic products. And 90% of synthetic vitamins pass right through you! That's why people joke about Americans having the most expensive urine in the world.

According to Dr. Zoltan P. Rona, M.D., "Although most healthy people will have no obvious side effects from ingesting small amounts of toxins found in cheap vitamins, the long term consequences of continuous, daily intakes are potentially dangerous." Dr. Rona says that allergic reactions include fatigue, memory loss, depression and insomnia.

And yet, according to the Organic Health Association, over 95% of vitamins manufactured contain synthetic ingredients! In contrast, the ingredients in whole food vitamins are concentrated forms of vegetables, fruits, herbs or spices. These are rich sources of vitamins and other known nutrients.

December 2013 Media: Multivitamins

In December of 2013, an article published in Forbes claims "Case Closed: Multivitamins Should Not be Used". Yet the "studies" were all done with cheap synthetic vitamins! No distinction was made between quality whole food supplements and synthetic substances.



Government Attempts to Regulate the Vitamin Industry

Shall we soon need a prescription for vitamin C or a multivitamin?

While the FDA does currently have some regulation standards in place regarding nutritional products, those standards are minimal and fraught with marketing loopholes.

Efforts to allow the FDA more control over the nutritionals industry is being very highly debated. While it is true that most supplements on the market are junk, do we want the pharmaceutical companies to begin manufacturing them?

This move (FDA & Big Pharma control of the nutritional medicine industry) will force conventional medicine practices on people who prefer natural and homeopathic remedies. In the past, the vitamin supplement industry has generally been centered around natural medicine. However now that it has grown significantly into such a huge market, many believe the pharmaceutical industry has interest in vitamins only due to corporate greed.

Controversy in the World of Nutritional Supplements

While it is true that there are many poor excuses for supplements on the market, huge evidence exists that government control (FDA) is not the solution. Many fear that the FDA will create a situation where the only companies who can manufacture supplements will be the pharmaceutical industry.

Has the FDA done a good job of regulating the pharmaceutical industry? Our water and food supply? Vaccinations?

Shall we end up needing a prescription to take vitamin C? And do you suppose that the already wealthy and powerful pharmaceutical industry should get a massive extra dose of wealth and power by taking over all manufacturing of nutritional supplements as well?

Have YOUR Say: Should the FDA get Involved in the Nutritionals Industry? - Vitamins as Pharmaceuticals?

Should the government (FDA) begin regulating vitamin supplements?

Synthetic VS Whole Food Vitamins

About Vitamin Absorption and Co-factors

Whole food ingredients naturally will be easily absorbed by the body. They are made from pure raw materials that contain the hundreds of "cofactors" the body needs to absorb vitamins, while synthetic ingredients do not. They solve these problems while providing vitamins the body can absorb.

Raw whole food vitamins contain the hundreds of "cofactors" (other nutrients the body needs to ABSORB vitamins). When cofactors are missing, as they are in synthetic vitamins, the body may treat the vitamin as a foreign substance and eliminate it or pass it whole. In some nursing homes, the staff actually refers to these as bed pan pellets!

Worst case scenario:

The vitamin may even grab the needed co-factors from its own organs, bones, muscles and other tissue. In other words, your body starts eating itself!!! Over time, this depletes the body, causing disease and degeneration. What a paradox that the very product consumers bought for improving health was actually DESTROYING it!

Research: Synthetic Vitamins Harmful

Harmful chemicals found in synthetic vitamins.

* Several popular brand vitamins including Centrum were found to have very low levels of important nutrients. But the problem is not just about the important missing ingredients. It is the chemicals and additives that shouldn't be there. For example, Centrum's ingredients are all synthetic and include seven different chemicals, solvents or dyes.

*Most "name brands" are processed at high temperatures that destroy nutritional properties. They contain petroleum derived from chemical solvents, such as ethyl cellulose and are coated with methylene chloride, a carcinogenic material.

*In one study where pregnant women were given synthetic Vitamin A, the study was halted because birth defects increased 400% (New England Journal of Medicine, 1995).

*In another, men who took 500 mg of synthetic Vitamin C daily over 18 months showed signs of thickening of the arteries (Reuters Health, March, 2000).

* A third example male smokers were given synthetic beta carotene and synthetic Vitamin E, the study was stopped when rates of lung cancer, heart attacks and death increased (New England Journal of Medicine, 1994).

WHY Synthetic Sells as "Healthy"

How Can This BE?

Low prices sell. The demand for vitamins has grown, so inferior or even damaging products get marketed to consumers who only look at the price tag. Colorful labels often even claim to be 'natural when they are anything BUT natural. The manufacturing process for making vitamins from the pure raw materials of real whole foods is much more expensive that that of synthetic vitamins.

Government controls (FDA) on vitamin manufacturing are flimsy. The FDA allows manufacturers loopholes to fly under the radar with false claims and slick marketing . Price is naturally a HUGE a factor in selecting a product, and consumers will often opt for the lower priced vitamins not knowing that synthetic vitamins are mostly useless and might even be risky.

About the Brain and "Hormonal Imbalance" Food for Thought

What's the Solution?

Select your whole food vitamins with great care because it can be tricky. The next few sections below reveal some keys to look for to eliminate synthetics in favor of raw whole food vitamins.

Quality whole food vitamins will enhance absorption and naturally clean impurities to help detox the body. They will be made only with the highest quality raw materials to replace the nutrients missing from food.

Look for single whole food vitamins or whole food multivitamins. Quality whole food supplements will NOT contain artificial colors, preservatives and other toxic additives. Read the ingredient label. See below for more information about how to understand that ingredient list.



MD & Nutrition Expert: Dr. Mercola - Mercola discusses vitamin supplements.

Are my Vitamins Synthetic? How to Know

Synthetic vitamins contain harmful ingredients.

Look at the names of the Ingredients on the label of the bottle. A vitamin or mineral is synthetic if no plant source is given. If only the chemical and/or popular name appears, it is synthetic. Check the labels before you buy from GNC or the local drugstore. Buy products with the whole food source verbiage on the bottle.

Synthetic supplements also often contain other harmful ingredients, such as additives, preservatives and artificial colors. Beware. The FDA has few requirements for vitamin manufacturers, but does require that ingredients are listed in order of quantity with largest first. Therefore if these ingredients are among the first few listed, they have potential to be especially harmful since they exist in such large amounts compared to other ingredients.

* Additives: glucose, sucrose (sugar), starch, microcrystalline cellulose. These might be included for binding or dissolving ingredients, or for texture and taste.

* Preservatives: sorbates (eg, Polysorbate 80), benzoates (eg, sodium benzoate), nitrites (eg, sodium nitrite), sulphites (eg, sulphur dioxide)

*Artificial colors: like FD&C Blue #2 Lake, or FD&C Red 40



How to Evaluate a Brand to Find Whole Food Vitamins

Avoiding Synthetics Can be Tricky

1) Does the product contain additives or synthetic compounds? Most do. On the ingredient label, search for words that begin with "dl." Any word beginning with the prefix "dl" indicates that the vitamin is synthetic. A few examples: "dl-alpha tocopherol acetate" and "dl-alpha tocopherol" are synthetic forms of vitamin E.

2) In the list of ingredients, look for words that end with syllables like "ate" or "ide". These syllables indicate that synthetic materials were used for increasing potency and stability. Some 'red flag' words to look for that indicate synthetic ingredients include: nitrate, acetate, sodium benzoate, chloride, hydrochloride, sodium ascorbate, silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide.

3) Is it made in USA by a highly reputable company? A few do have the highest quality control manufacturing practices in place, even though it is not legally required. Make quality a higher priority than price.

4) RDA and RDI amounts define the lower limits of daily nutrient intake. To promote optimal nutrition, the RDAs and RDIs requirements are not nearly enough. Do the amounts of nutrients go beyond RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) and RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) guidelines?

4) Does the brand include essential minerals? Many multivitamins have potent vitamin concentrations yet lack the minerals needed to synergize. Certain combinations allow supplements to break down and actually become available to the body. (That's why supplements are often found in Porta-Potties and bed pans - whole).

Reading Your Vitamin Label

It Can Be Tricky!

Below are a few examples of what to look for on the label when buying vitamins.

*Vitamin A should come from fish oils (natural), not from Acetate or Palmitate (synthetic).

*Vitamin C from citrus fruits (natural), not Ascorbic Acid (synthetic).

*Vitamin K from Alfalfa (natural), not Menadione (synthetic).

*ALL forms of Vitamin B from yeast or rice bran (natural), Thiamine, Chloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Cobalamin or canocobalamin(synthetic).

However, the vitamin label itself doesn't tell the entire story. See why below.

Advice from Professionals about Whole Food Vitamins

Synergy and Supplement Quality

Dr. Timothy O'Shea, author of "Conventional Medicine Vs. Holistic: A World of Difference", points out:

"Vitamins are not individual molecular compounds. Vitamins are biological complexes. They are multi-step biochemical interactions whose action is dependent upon a number of variables within the biological terrain. Vitamin activity only takes place when all conditions are met within that environment, and when all co-factors and components of the entire vitamin complex are present and working together. Vitamin activity is even more than the sum of all those parts; it also involves timing.

Vitamins cannot be isolated from their complexes and still perform their specific life functions within the cells. When isolated into artificial commercial forms, like ascorbic acid, these purified synthetics act as drugs in the body. They are no longer vitamins, and to call them such is inaccurate."

About Vitamin C, Dr. O'Shea also points out," The ascorbic acid you buy ... thinking you are buying Vitamin C, is just a chemical copy ... Real vitamin C is part of something living... synthetic, fractionated chemical ascorbic acid never grew in the ground, never saw the light of day... it's a chemical, a cornstarch derivative, a sulfuric acid by-product. In your body it's just another drug.

Synthetic vitamins have toxic effects from mega-doses and actually can increase the white blood cell count. ... Whole food vitamins, by contrast, are not toxic since the vitamin is complex in its integral working form, and requires nothing from the body, and triggers no immune response."

Did YOU Know that Synthetic Vitamins are a Well Kept Secret from Consumers?

Vitamin Labels are Deceiving

Be careful what you read. There's more to the story.

Labels alone do NOT tell the whole story. That's because labels are based on what goes into the product, not necessarily what comes out of it after it's produced.

Most supplements on the market are produced with high heat, so by the time you take them - they're almost worthless! Companies who take that seriously will use cold processing for virtually every single product in order to yield the highest nutrient value. VERY few companies do this.

Many vitamin labels contain the word 'natural' when they are not made from natural raw ingredients at all, but from synthetics or chemicals. In other cases, it was found that many vitamins did not contain anything close to what was claimed on the label.

Vitamins ARE supposedly regulated, however that FDA regulation has been very shoddy. Manufacturers have had plenty of leeway and loopholes to take shortcuts in their manufacturing process.

It's not simple to find quality supplements just by reading a label, since they can be very deceiving. Our bodies desperately need vitamin supplements made from only pure whole food raw ingredients.

The amount of vitamins we need daily could not fit into one tiny pill (such as brands like One-a-Day or Centrum) nor could the quality ingredients we need be manufactured for a price tag like those found at discount stores. Even those supplements sold for higher price tags at nutrition centers like GNC are often nothing more than synthetic chemicals.

A Favorite Brand of Whole Food Vitamins - Raw Whole Food Multi Vitamin Supplement, NO Synthetics

Here's a safe & smart choice for whole food vitamins available at amazon. You can also find Vitamin Code supplements at some health food stores.

Garden of Life goes beyond just vitamins & minerals that contain no synthetics. They also contain no binders or fillers, and are gluten free. These supplements also contain live probiotics & enzymes. They're also vegetarian & dairy free.

And when you open the cap and it even smells like FOOD inside, a definite tangy smell of vegetables. I've tried a lot of vitamin brands and found this sure sign of whole foods to be quite impressive.

Take 2 capsules twice a day, with or without food (remember, they ARE whole food !). You can also open the capsules and pour them into your smoothie or shake if you prefer.

Buying Vitamins Online

Buying vitamins online does not assure quality, yet is a good idea to consider. Here's why...

The cost involved in manufacturing quality supplements would be even higher if sold in traditional retail fashion. This is due to the fact that the price would then include mark-ups for middle-man retailers, advertising and additional shipping fees. Yes, additional shipping = because EVERY product you buy retail has been shipped to that store, meaning a 'shipping fee' was paid to someone. You can bet that the retailer has passed that cost on to the consumer in pricing - it is just not CALLED a shipping fee.

When you buy in local retail stores, that product has likely been shipped all over the country and in most cases also advertised in expensive media. ALL of those costs are then included in the price tag, the consumer is just not told that. SO buying cheap vitamins could mean that you are paying for no more than shipping and advertising, since it would be impossible to manufacture a quality supplement for such low prices. Consider a purchase of quality supplements shipped directly from the manufacturer.

Support for Quality Vitamins from Experts - Furthering reading about supplements and healthy living ...

Nix on Flintstones Vitamins for Kids

Good Alternative to Flintstone for a Healthy Childrens' Vitamin Brand

What Resources Can Be Trusted about Supplements?

While ConsumerLabs is recommended by many (including Dr. Oz) as a reliable source of information about vitamin supplements, this article points out several issues worthy of a second look.



Synthetic Food + Synthetic Vitamins = Dangerous

Consider the meaning of the word supplement.

The purpose of vitamins is to supplement a healthy diet, to extend or ADD TO daily nutritional intake.

Yet SO many people make little effort to consume a healthy diet in the first place by eating mostly junk food (synthetic) and then piling more synthetics on top of it in the form of synthetic vitamins. And then they wonder why they are sick?! Synthetics will have lousy effects on health, in any form. Your body doesn't know what to DO with synthetic ingredients.

Then people who mix synthetic food with synthetic vitamins will often claim that 'they tried taking vitamins but they don't work'. Nope, they sure don't, not that way. Loading up the body on synthetics that way is asking for trouble.

There is NO Magic Pill!

Even high quality supplements do not work overnight. It takes time..

While some people might feel a significant difference in their health in a short time, those who need quality supplements the most might not feel much better for many weeks or even months. I've known people who 'tried' taking quality supplements, however did not change their diet a bit and didn't even take the supplements as directed, then after a week or two quit taking them saying 'they didn't work'. No surprise. So they go back to complaining about their health.

Changes and commitment to new habits can be tough. For those ready to commit to at least taking a quality supplement as directed AND making at least some effort to improve their diet, they DO work. There are no magic pills, yet quality supplements along with a good attitude and commitment can over time feel like magic. Many who suffered for years when conventional medicine failed to improve their condition finally found relief from symptoms, but they worked at it. They were dedicated and took it seriously. No pill can replace that.


Think You Don't Need Vitamins?

Consider this...

After more than 50 years, leading medical journals now recommend all adults take multivitamins. Both the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association have finally concluded that:

* "Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone"

* "Inadequate intake of several vitamins has been linked to chronic diseases,

including coronary heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis."

* "Suboptimal folic acid levels, along with suboptimal levels of vitamins B6 and B12, are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects, and colon and breast cancer; low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteoporosis and bone fracture; and low levels of the antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, E and C) may increase risk for several chronic diseases."

* "It appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements."

Research has clearly demonstrated that the nutrients found in dietary supplements reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve quality of life, and increase longevity. Consider how long it took medical journals to finally come to this conclusion, and the fact that most MDs have had zero training in medical school on this topic.

While MDs have a vested interest in pharmaceutical drugs, the recommendation of nutritional supplements holds no benefit for them. While SOME docs will finally admit the need to supplement our diet, many will still claim either that we don't need them or that the brand doesn't matter at all.

Will you wait for them, or will you be your own best second opinion? You have no choice but to eat food, drink water, and breathe air. Therefore, you will need dietary supplements to help you process and detoxify the pollution entering your body every day.

Why We Need Vitamins - Top 10 Reasons

Taking Vitamins is Critical: Learn WHY

Consider the following facts:

Go to this link for more information about facts below.

Reason #1. The average American is overfed and undernourished. A large body of research has demonstrated that most Americans are not getting what they need from their diet. For example, in one recent U.S. Dept. of Agriculture survey of 20,000 people, not a single person was consuming adequate levels of all the vitamins and minerals. There are literally hundreds of medical studies to suggest it's a virtual certainty that you and every member of your family are deficient in one or more essential nutrients.

Reason #2. Soil depletion. Modern mass-production agriculture depletes nutrients from the soil without replenishing them. The application of synthetic fertilizers stimulates the growth of beautiful-looking plants. However, the nutrient content is missing. So when you bite into that healthy salad or slice of whole-wheat bread, you're getting less nutrition today than from the identical foods grown in the same soil fifty years ago.

Reason #3. Commercial food processing. Most of the food you eat is processed in one way or another. When foods are processed, they are exposed to heat, light, oxygen, or drastic change in temperature or humidity. This exposure causes the destruction of vital but fragile nutrients. Examples of processing include baking, extruding, milling, grinding, boiling, cooking, recombining, spray-drying, etc.

Reason #4: Food storage and transportation. All foods deteriorate as they age. This is a problem for the food industry, because many foods are shipped over great distances. Therefore chemicals are added to preserve foods and give them a longer "shelf life". In spite of chemicals, the nutrient content of foods decline over time, even though they may look the same. Even fresh fruits or vegetables are often sprayed, gassed or fumigated in order to make them look "ripe" and "fresh". So what looks healthy isn't necessarily as healthy as you may think.

Reason #5: Preparation and cooking of foods. Many people eat out or bring something home from the market that is already cooked. Even if you prepare your meals at home, most of your food is probably cooked, not raw. Here's the problem: the more you cook a food, the less its nutrient value.

Reason #6: Home storage of food. Refrigeration does slow down the deterioration of food, but it certainly does not stop it. As every day goes by, whatever is in your refrigerator is losing its nutritional value. Some people will eat something out of the refrigerator that is three weeks old, or something from the pantry that is a year old. By this time, some vital nutrients have been completely lost.

Reason #7. Food irradiation. This process extends shelf life of food, yet there's no label to tell you if a food has been irradiated. Exposing foods to gamma rays, x-rays or other radiation extends their shelf life and this process is used particularly for some meats, chicken, and vegetables. The problem with irradiation is that vital nutrients are destroyed in that process, especially antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins.

Reason #8. Pesticides in foods. Pesticides may be applied to the soil, to the growing plant, or to the food while in storage or shipment. MOSTof our foods contain pesticides. You can NOT see, smell or taste them, so you have no way of knowing if you are consuming these poisons. A little pesticide will kill a bug. A lot of pesticide will kill you. Even organic produce contains some pesticides, just less than regular produce. Pesticides can accumulate in the body and cause serious problems. Your body can deal with the problem only to a certain extent. Valuable vitamins and minerals are used to detoxify and cleanse the body in order to eliminate these poisons.

Reason #9. Genetically modified foods. Millions of acres of genetically modified corn, cotton and potatoes have been planted in the U.S. (Cotton is mentioned here because cottonseed oil is found in many processed foods, and cottonseed meal is fed to cattle.) These foods, which are now in our food supply, have been engineered to produce a naturally occurring pesticide that is supposedly toxic only to insects. There are no long-term human studies to indicate that genetically modified foods are safe. However, rats fed genetically modified potatoes had increased intestinal infections, reduced immunity, and reduced weight of intestine, pancreas, kidneys, liver, lungs and brain. Since you may be unknowingly consuming genetically modified or irradiated foods, you would need dietary supplementation to offset the invisible but potentially negative effects of such foods.

Reason #10. Environmental pollution.Every year we dump nearly six billion pounds of chemicals into our environment. Much of it ends up in our food, air and water. If you breathe air and drink water, you are ingesting chemical pollution, which contributes to degenerative diseases.

Research Supporting this Site

Toxic Ingredients in Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements

1) A landmark research study by the University of California and the American Nutraceutical Association showed that 97.5% of so-called "nutritional" supplements, including vitamins, are labeled with incorrect information and filled with toxic ingredients! (Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association). That means that you have only a 1 in 40 chance of selecting vitamins or nutritional supplements that are both effective and non-toxic. Toxic ingredients in vitamins and "nutritional" supplements are the rule today, rather that the exception.

2) A Harvard study of 22,000 physicians reported no health benefits from synthetic vitamins.

3) A 1994 study in the New England Journal of Medicine on elderly Americans, designed to improve muscle weakness and physical frailty, demonstated no benefits whatsover.

4) In a study, published in the 1945 American Journal of Digestive Diseases, Vitamin E-deficient laboratory animals that were fed synthetic tocopherols died before the control group that did not receive any nutritional supplements at all.

5) Researchers at Dartmouth Medical School ran a four-year study to see if antioxidant nutritional supplements could prevent the recurrence of adenomas of the colon after surgical removal in 864 patients. After four years of giving 25 mg of beta-carotene, 1000 mg of ascorbic acid, and 400 mg of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), all in synthetic forms, there were no positive effects noted and the researchers concluded that: "Current data do not support the use of antioxidant (synthetic) vitamin supplements for purposes of cancer prevention." (July 22, 1994 New England Journal of Medicine).

More References

Organic Consumers Association: The Synthetic Vitamin Milligram Game; Brian Clement; January 2007

Dr. Ben Kim: Synthetic vs. Natural Vitamins

"Earl Mindell's New Vitamin Bible"; Earl Mindell and Hester Mundis; 2011

Organic Consumers Association: Background Info on Synthetic vs. Natural Vitamins (Q&A); 2007


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2009 Carolan Ross

Do You Supplement with Quality Vitamins? - Your comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on June 29, 2014:

@Aunt-Mollie: Yes, absolutely true. My doc advised X supplement and when I asked her where she recommended I buy it, her response? Walmart! Syntheitc city! :-(

Andromachi Polychroniou from Maurothalassa, Serres, Greece on March 20, 2014:

I really loved your eye opener lense. I will try to implement what I learnt here for me and my family.

LeonRusselman on November 26, 2013:

I've been taking a good whole food supplement, as has my wife for 8 years. Neither of us needs any prescription drugs. Our blood chemistry is right where it should be. We're both closing in on 65 yrs old in the new year.

I cannot believe the whole food supps has nothing to do with it.

jmchaconne on October 24, 2013:

Thank you for a very informative lens!

steadytracker lm on September 05, 2013:

I prefer whole food vitamins over the synthetic. We regularly go to the local Chinese herbal shop to get our supplements.

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on March 07, 2013:

@Aunt-Mollie: Yes it IS an eye-opener, one that would only get worse with the FDA involved. It is not calcium itself that is the problem, but 'synthetic' calcium or 'synthetic' anything. There are some doctors trained about nutritional medicine, but they are few. At least some are finally suggesting we take supplements, yet the fact those most are synthetic is not widely known by anyone, including physicians. I recently had a doc suggest I buy vitamins at Target or Walmart, where ALL are synthetic. Some get it, some don't. Unfortunately many may never open their eyes to this issue. Best to think for yourself.

Aunt-Mollie on March 07, 2013:

This is an eye-opener. It's difficult for the average consumer to know what to do. But i thought vitamins were under the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and came with some sort of supervision and approval. I'm always seeing articles to take specific vitamins for specific things, but they don't seem to emphasize natural or synthetic. Several months ago a report was released that synthetic calcium was horrible and detrimental to health and people should stop taking and eat more dairy products. That shocked me because most doctors advise women to take calcium supplements! Maybe you'll want to add some of that information to this article.

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on February 05, 2013:

@weason: Yes, USANA is one of the best. I was once an associate there too and agree their products are first rate.

bevpbon on November 09, 2012:

Great lens! You are preaching everything I have been saying to my friends and family! Thank you :) Check out the introduction to my lens, Nutrilite Double X Review, and you will see my rationale for taking high quality organic multivitamins.

weason on October 19, 2012:

I am an associate of a company called USANA, and their main focus is to give costumers a better quality vitamin. Not only have they succeeded, but they have also won many awards for it. Check out my blog: http://www.squidoo.com/usana-health-pack

and if your interested in learning more about the different products they have, check out my website: www.Better_Living.USANA.com

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on October 06, 2012:

@anonymous: Yes it seems most still choose vitamin brands by price over quality. Ironic that many - women especially - will spend WAY more for X brand of make-up or on various salon treatments. Yet the products they ingest into their bodies are bottom of the barrel.

anonymous on August 31, 2012:

Glad to see an eye-opening lens like this! I find it quite disturbing that even with this little bit of knowledge about synthetic vs. whole food supplements, people still choose cheaper over higher priced natural supps! Seriously, folks, it's best to invest now in your health with a few extra dollars than to pay hundreds or thousands later! Well done job, crosscreations, for taking the time to publish an extensive lens - hopefully, this info will catch on.

behealthycoupon1 on August 08, 2012:

I always pay that little extra (or make sure to find that right coupon) for more quality supplements.

This article was a good read and made me take a double look at the vitamins I am taking and make sure there wasn't a more natural blend out there.

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on July 24, 2012:

@Suzi63: Thx Suzi, for many folks it takes a LONG time to discover these truths, to accept them & then ACT on them. You are WAY ahead of the pack on this, kudos & thx for the visit.

Suzi63 on July 24, 2012:

I stopped taking common brand vitamins years ago when I first discovered the truth. Nowadays Spirulina & chlorella are my main vitamin source, mercury free wild salmon oil for omega 3 & only eat fresh organic foods.

Great lens, one all should take note of :))

mrkensworld on June 18, 2012:

I use only high quality supplements formulated from natural ingredients.. Feeling pretty good! Thanks for the great lens!

Rusty Quill on June 10, 2012:

Very interesting and comprehensive lens - I guess it isn't too surprising if you read much about the problems with the food system there is so much that is touted as healthy but is in fact very far from it. Now I have to go look at the label on my vitamins. :)

anonymous on May 24, 2012:

Hi! I was updating my lens [http://www.squidoo.com/insurance-mart-and-insuranc...] and using the automated discovery tool to find related lenses and your lens showed up in the results. So I came over to review it and I'm glad I stopped by. I particularly appreciate the section entitled "4 Questions to Evaluate Your Vitamins". {P.S. Your glitter-graphic is adorable!]

bpancow lm on April 29, 2012:

Thanks for the article, good to see others showing the differences between synthetic and whole food vitamins.

neuromancer lm on April 14, 2012:

I think that vitamins and all supplements should be more regulated, because when you buy something you only know it should damage your health, but problem is you never know if it is really working and quality.

anonymous on April 09, 2012:

Great information. I want to add that i think the daily value that's set up is a bunch of bull. We should have more than a 100% in our daily value, probably more closer to 800-1000% for most.

fish-oil-expert on April 04, 2012:

Damn. You spent a lot of time on this! Great work. I've known about the dangers of synthetic Vitamin E for many years... there have been multiple studies. And the news media always sensationalizes it and says "Vitamins actually worse for health" but they never cite the distinction between natural and synthetic!

luvgisela on March 10, 2012:

great page! great resources! thanks for all the information, i've been able to learn a lot from this.

anonymous on March 03, 2012:

@aitsavemyfiles: You have a very good point. There's a company that makes 100% natural nutrients from Moringa plant which are bio-available (cell ready).

anonymous on March 03, 2012:

@mannasugar: I could tell you from my personal experience that it has to be Zija, the Moringa company.

Check it out from my blog http://allnaturalremedy.blogspot.com or email me for more information.

anonymous on March 03, 2012:

Very important and informative article which I enjoyed reading very much, thank you!

I consider myself very fortunate to come across a 100% natural Moringa nutrition in Zija, which I have documented my story in my blog http://allnaturalremedy.blogspot.com to share in this internet space. Your comments are always welcome and appreciated!

hsschulte on February 10, 2012:

Important topic. Thank you for the section explaining what to look for on the label. I didn't know. ~Blessed

hsschulte on February 10, 2012:

Important topic. Thank you for the section explaining what to look for on the label. I didn't know. ~Blessed

nickolascran11 on January 23, 2012:

Nice Post and good information.

Keep it going.http://bit.ly/zZ7IdJ

sheezie77 on January 22, 2012:

nice lens! thumbs up

mannasugar on January 17, 2012:

I have the best Vitamins on the Planet...

krakensquid on January 17, 2012:

Wonderful insight and a very well built lens. Thank you for sharing!

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on January 10, 2012:

@chezchazz: Hey thanks SO much, Chazz!

Chazz from New York on January 10, 2012:

Extremely well researched and comprehensive lens. Blessed and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," a tribute to some of the best lenses I've found since donning my wings.

TapIn2U on January 10, 2012:

I go for natural food supplements. Sundae ;-)

sarahrk lm on January 04, 2012:

there is so much controversy these days about vitamins,. I am really confused.

mannasugar on December 22, 2011:

What company has the best supplements?

River_Rose on December 20, 2011:

Yes I do ! Excellent lens ! Please visit my lenses on organic food ! Merry Christmas !

robertdorsey lm on December 15, 2011:

I like what you say about Whole food Vitamins. I have been taking whole food supplements for years and would not be without it.

Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on December 04, 2011:

I try to eat proper food, but I don't succeed every time. Still working on that... By the way, I like your critical approach to the issue. Don't agree with everything written, but most of it stands. Profit should never have advantage on health!

hanna5 on November 13, 2011:


nice article

whiteskyline lm on November 09, 2011:

I definitely need to get some whole food supplements.

anonymous on November 04, 2011:

This is my favorite lens of yours. I spent 6 years in school studying nutritional science and firmly believe most of what people are buying is not only inefficient but hyped.

seomozgi on October 29, 2011:

I donk like pills, i think best, buy fish and eat it. Pills make for money i thinks

seomozgi on October 29, 2011:

I donk like pills, i think best, buy fish and eat it. Pills make for money i thinks

MelissaInTheSky on October 16, 2011:

Very interesting! I had no idea.

sastronegoro on October 02, 2011:

I like supplement and the natural one

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Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on September 21, 2011:

awesome of you to highlight this important issue:)

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on September 01, 2011:

@iRenew: Unfortunately the FDA does not regulate vitamin supplements since they are classified as food rather than drugs. Therefore some manufacturers do get away with obscene marketing practices and sell huge volumes of really lousy products, some even in health food stores. It's well worth learning about, even though I spend an insane amount of time on this page, time well spent.

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on September 01, 2011:

@kingsrookie lm: Bright green urine? oh MY, scary!

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on September 01, 2011:

@warriorwhey: THANKS so much for these kind words. I've studied these issues for many years, glad to hear it is helpful.

anonymous on September 01, 2011:

@anonymous: Louise, I would love to know the name of the company or where I can purchase these whole supplements. Thanks for sharing.

anonymous on August 26, 2011:

Thanx for the illuminating information - Im going to check my vitamin sources now

kingsrookie lm on August 25, 2011:

great lens, i try and find natural vitamins because i used to take every vitamin synthetically i could find. After urine turned bright green i quit .

iRenew on August 05, 2011:

Well, I have always bought cheaper vitamins--I thought they were regulated by the FDA. I'll definitely have to look into this.

TheHealthGuy LM from U.S.A. on August 01, 2011:

Cheap vitamins are nasty. Most synthetic vitamins are fractionated and either useless or potentially harmful. Cyanocobalamin, the cheap form of B12, is chemically processed using cyanide - not to safe in my opinion.

warriorwhey on July 28, 2011:

hank you for give very nice info. Your website is coolI am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Bookmarked this page, will come back for more. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just couldnât find. What a perfect site. Like this website your website is one of my new favs.I like this data presented and it has given me some sort of inspiration to have success for some reason, so keep up the good work

RecipePublishing on July 24, 2011:

Good info, thanks!

herculeafitness1 on July 07, 2011:

Thank you for sharing this important information. I learned quite a bit that I was unaware of.

KANEsUgAr on July 03, 2011:

Very interesting topic, I hate synthetic anything. Especially when it comes to my sons well being.

anonymous on May 24, 2011:

LTLLOU64@aol.com I supplement with a vitamins and minerals made with whole plant concentrates, from a company that has been concerned with our nutrition for over 75 years. Many of their plant concentrates are grow on their own certified organic farms.

No chemicals are used, no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers are used.

They replenish their soil instead of deplete it. You can even visit some of their farms. I

never understood the importance of whole food concentrates until now.

happynutritionist on May 02, 2011:

Very well done on a topic that is important to me, and should be to all of us. Blessed and added to "Diet and Nutrition Squid Angel". Have a great week!

anonymous on April 29, 2011:

Great lens! Theree has been a lot of talk about the possibilities of a DePuy Pinnacle Recall so I personally take Vitamin C and D to help me recover from my DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement surgery.

anonymous on April 27, 2011:

I appreciate what you had to say about vitamins. Could you also elaborate on supplements & herbs, i.e., CoQ10, turmeric, thyroid support, eye support, etc..?

jvsper63 on March 14, 2011:

Thank you for all this information on vitamins. I always though they were regulated by FDA for example. There a lot of information here. Nice work Great lens Joni

marvinwhite2k10 on March 06, 2011:

You have a great lens my friend, keep shining!

Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on February 27, 2011:

Angel blessed today:) Amazing lens!

anonymous on February 27, 2011:

awesome lens~!

Jack on January 29, 2011:

Great information. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

ohcaroline on January 26, 2011:

Thank you for sharing this information. I knew there were good ones and bad ones...but keeping them straight isn't always so easy.

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on January 21, 2011:

Thanks for the great information about vitamins!

anonymous on January 16, 2011:

This one makes me so scary, what to take and what not to take. I wonder how all these artificial supplements escape law. Users and consumers have no choice but to take it at their risk. I will have to check the vitamins ingredients carefully now. Great educational and awareness lens.

AtlantaHealth on December 29, 2010:

The one supplement that I make sure to take daily is Essential Fatty Acids. Since most EFA products include fish oils, which I believe can include mercury and other toxins that the fish are exposed to, you've really piqued my interest/concern. I'll certainly start doing a better job of researching before buying.

C A Chancellor from US/TN on December 07, 2010:

I think my vitamins are good quality (I order them online since I can't find them in stores) but in light of this article, I'm going to check to be sure. Great info -- blessed!

anonymous on December 04, 2010:

You have shared an abundance of wisdom, knowledge and experience here! Excellent! Lensrolled to my Everyday Health Ledger lens, thank you.

bvanloo on November 19, 2010:

Had no idea about the synthetic vitamins, Lucky I'm taking natural vitamins since I started supplementing. Thanks for this great lens!

GabrielaFargasch on November 01, 2010:

Wow! I am blown away by your article........ I had no idea how bad synthetic vitamins were.......... I take ONE a Day Energy before going to work............ Maybe it's time to reconsider............... Thank you so much for writing such an important article..........

Have a great day!

awakeningwellness on October 31, 2010:

Wonderful lens on an important subject!

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on October 19, 2010:

@anonymous: You might learn whether the company is ISO and NSF Certified. The term "ISO 9001" refers to a detailed set of quality management standards. A more rigorous certification is called ISO 17025 and provides a third-party accreditation of the onsite laboratories. See the video added to this page above from Dr. Mercola for more information.

anonymous on October 18, 2010:

@anonymous: You can only by testing the IU through the contents of the bloodstream which Shaklee has done. Go to whatis.Shaklee.LA for more information.

anonymous on October 16, 2010:

Nice tips but if I go on line to buy Vitamin D3 1000 IU softgel capsules or some other vitamin, how do I know the manufacturer's capsules consistently have 1000 IU & that it will be effectively absorbed? Thank you.

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on October 01, 2010:

@anonymous: Credentials? No claims beyond a highly educated person who has researched this topic for over a decade and has witnessed positive results both for myself and others. Research? There already are links to much research here. Did you think I might include the pharmaceutical company funded research? That won't happen here, but is easy to find. Good luck!

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on October 01, 2010:

@Heather426: Thanks Heather. You are an angel!

anonymous on October 01, 2010:

What are your credentials? Where is your research? What Primary articles do you have to prove your claims? Adding references would help give your site the validity it claims.

Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on October 01, 2010:

excellent information about vitamins!

Carolan Ross (author) from St. Louis, MO on September 27, 2010:

@aitsavemyfiles: Good point. Synthetic vitamins are not bioavailable since the synthetic substances used to manufacture them do not break down in the body to enter cells. The entire industry is not well 'certified' which allows manufacturers to make false claims.

Fit_Over_40_Buzz on September 19, 2010:

Very nice lens. Thanks. I gave you a thumbs up, because it's a nice lens.

aitsavemyfiles on August 16, 2010:

Interesting lens but doesn't absorption in the body have more to do with bioavailabitity than synthetic vs organic.

Frankly if organic vitamins are certified anywhere near the way organic foods are, it means nothing.

xploit on August 14, 2010:

thanks for this lens, was a great read for me :)

ardi on August 09, 2010:

Good info, I have just known about synthetic vitamin from this page. Forntunately, up to now, I always consume vitamin and supplement like 0mega-3 with no preservative addictive. Thanks

ardi on August 09, 2010:

Good info, I have just known about synthetic vitamin from this page. Forntunately, up to now, I always consume vitamin and supplement like 0mega-3 with no preservative addictive. Thanks.

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BRAM2002 on August 05, 2010:

Very useful info! Thanks for sharing with us!

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anonymous on July 13, 2010:

good job done. check out my len korean fashion as well. Emjoy and have fun,

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makeitmp3 on June 24, 2010:

We just switched to organic food in our house. It took a while but we are almost completely on an Organic diet. I do take a lot of vitamins and it never occurred to me the risk associated with synthetic vitamins. I am going to have to take a loof and see exactly what I am taking. Thank you

morganr on May 11, 2010:

interesting article