More than half of adults take vitamins, minerals, herbs or other nutritional supplements. Some of these products are not particularly useful, according to a survey; but, besides that, do not assume they are safe because they are “all natural”. Unfortunately, in most countries the vitamins are classified as natural if they contain only 10% of the natural form of the vitamin. This means that your natural vitamin A supplement can have 90% of synthetically produced chemicals. If we talk about other vitamins, B and C are usually synthetic, and are made to mimic the way the natural vitamins act in our body. Synthetic vitamins do not originate in nature and contain chemicals that were not intended for human consumption. Following the anthropological way, we are made to eat foods collected from the earth, not which originates in a laboratory.
Can vitamins be harmful for the body?
We all know that most vitamin A supplements found in health food stores and food stores are synthetic. It is important to understand that synthetic vitamins do not behave in the body in the same way those natural vitamins containing foods. Natural vitamins are composed of different substances: enzymes, coenzymes and cofactors that work together (what is called synergy) to perform their functions within the body.
Nature is very wise and we know it very well. The natural vitamins that are extracted directly from the plants contain various other fundamental elements that are necessary for the vitamin to do its job by the book. Those vital elements can never be implanted into these laboratory-generated vitamins. It’s all about finding the perfect synergy with other available minerals and nutrients in the body, which even the best vitamin A supplements can never endow with.
For example, if we look at the development of vitamin C we will see that it consist solely of ascorbic acid, however, that is only one component of the complex of vitamin C, which includes routine, bioflavonoids, K factor, factor J, Q factor, tyrosinase and ascorbigen. When you eat synthetic vitamin C your body is forced to take all other components as well. In case you do not have adequate reserves, the body cannot use ascorbic acid, it is just excreted in the urine. The argument that if synthesized vitamin supplements are harmful or not, must be put in “quarantine” for a while.
How to know if Vitamins are Synthetic or Natural?
The Organic Consumers Association has published a chart of ingredients to help consumers identify natural and synthetic vitamins. Many vitamin producers want do believe buying a “natural product” because it looks healthier if you take “natural” vitamins.
Unfortunately, the vitamins are classified as natural when they contain 10% of the natural form of the vitamin. This means that your natural vitamin can have 90% of chemicals produced synthetically. B and C, vitamins are usually produced synthetically also.
Common Synthetic vitamins one should avoid:
Look for information on the labels of vitamins to view the source.
Vitamin A acetate and palmitate
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine mononitrate, thiamine hydrochloride
Vitamin B2: Riboflavin
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Pyridoxine hydrochloride
Vitamin B12: Cobalamin
Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid
Vitamin D: Ergosterol irradiated calciferol.
Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate, dl-alpha tocopherol
NOTE: the “dl” form of any vitamin is synthetic.
Other Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Supplements
Magnesium stearate (or stearic acid) suppresses immune response
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is disguised as “natural flavor”
Carnauba waxes used cars and shoe polish
Titanium dioxide is a carcinogen
Is there concern for the safety of its use?
Vitamin A is likely safe for most people when used in doses below 10,000 units per day. Some research suggests that higher doses may increase the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture, especially in older people. Adults who consume low-fat dairy products, enriched with vitamin A, and also eat a lot of fruits and vegetables usually, do not need vitamin A supplements or multivitamins containing vitamin A.
Long-term usage of large amounts of vitamin A can cause serious side effects including fatigue, irritability, mental changes, anorexia, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, mild fever, excessive sweating and many other side effects. In women, who are in the past menopause phase, should avoid taking lots of vitamin A supplements as they may increase the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture. There is growing concern that taking high doses of antioxidant supplements such as vitamin A could do more harm than good. Some research shows that taking high doses of vitamin A may increase the chance of death and possibly cause other serious side effects.
Natural vitamin A supplements are safe for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding if taken in amounts recommended less than 10,000 units per day. Even, the supplements are safe for children if taken in recommended amounts. When larger than recommended amounts are taken, side effects can include irritability, sleep, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, headache, visual problems, peeling skin, increased risk of pneumonia and other problems. The maximum amounts of vitamin A that is safe for children are based on their age.