One common point of contention in the health industry is taking vitamin supplements. We’ve heard it all from “take handfuls of them a day” to “don’t bother with any of it”. What should we believe? My supplementation practice is based on trial and error. I take what gives me results and a boost in how I feel. Personally, I believe taking certain supplements gives us what we can’t get in our food. I also believe that naturally sourced brands are better for you. However, what works for me may not work for you. This is why educating yourself about supplementation basics will serve you. Here are 3 things you need to know about natural -vs- synthetic vitamin supplements.
Natural -VS- Synthetic Vitamin Supplements #1: Absorption
One of the main benefits of taking naturally-sourced vitamins and nutrients is that our bodies absorb them better. Synthetic forms of vitamins are not identified by the body as helpful. For this reason, they may be rejected and simply passed off as waste.
The vitamins in our food are, of course, absorbed more efficiently than any other form. Foods also contain partner components that help the body utilize each vitamin. If you were to eat an orange, you get vitamin C, but it is also accompanied by a substance called a bioflavonoid. Bioflavonoids help your body to absorb the vitamin C more efficiently. Unfortunately, our food isn’t always the quality or nutritionally dense as it should be. This is why supplementation may be necessary for health.
Natural -VS- Synthetic Vitamin Supplements #2: Potential Side Effects
Some synthetic vitamin supplements have serious side effects when compared to their natural counterparts. Manufactured vitamin A supplements can cause liver problems if you take them too often. But it isn’t the vitamin A itself that causes these problems. Studies have shown that the body can tolerate far higher levels of vitamin A if it consumed in food.
Calcium supplements are another one that should be taken in natural form. Synthetic calcium supplements can cause irregular heartbeat, muscle or bone pain, and dizziness. Naturally-sourced calcium supplements don’t cause these problems. AlgaeCal side effects are non-existent because it is derived from plant algae rather than created in a lab.
Also, keep in mind, some natural supplements can cause side effects in some people. They can also be dangerous in combination with other supplements or medications. This is why you should always consult your physician or pharmacist before taking new things. You can also look up information on reputable websites.
Natural -VS- Synthetic Vitamin Supplements #3: Getting a Balanced Diet
Taking synthetic or natural supplements can actually encourage bad dietary habits if you rely on them too much. People that take lots of supplements think that they are getting all of the vitamins and nutrients that they need and see it as a substitute to healthy eating. Let’s use the example of vitamin C again. Taking a supplement will give you the vitamin C that you need, but not anything else. However, if you eat an orange, it gives you fiber, potassium, and copper. These are all important for a well-balanced diet. Using supplements as an alternative to quality food is never better.
In general, supplements should be considered a way to top off levels of nutrients that you might be lacking in. However, do try to get everything you need from natural food sources where you can. I also recommend researching the companies that make supplements you take. It is also helpful to understand the processes and ingredients as well. You will have to discover what works for you based on your own trial and error experimentation.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your health care provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.