Vitamin supplements are beneficial or are they? It all depends on the product that you’re using. The benefits of taking synthetic vitamins are limited. Whole food vitamins are something completely different.
What does it take to buy the best whole food vitamins? Is it possible to differentiate between natural and organic products? The following guide will answer some of the most important questions.
Understand What Natural Is
Many people contain one serious mistake when buying supplements. They look at the label, see the word “natural” and are completely satisfied. The fact that the label claims something is natural, however, doesn’t always indicate a whole food product.
Depending on the country where the product is manufactured, there could be quite lenient regulations in terms of what classifies as natural. In some instances, having only 10 percent natural components will classify the vitamin as natural.
The essential information is provided on the back of the label. It gives you information about the type of vitamin you’re getting. Remember that there are differences in the formulas and the names of synthetic and natural vitamins. Here are the differences when it comes to some of the most popular:
- Vitamin A: the natural form of vitamin A is called beta carotene. Synthetic vitamin A is labeled as either retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate. Manufacturers are obliged to label the vitamin accurately in accordance with its origin.
- Vitamin C: the natural thing is called vitamin C. The synthetic one carries the name ascorbic acid.
- Vitamin E: natural vitamin E is called D-Alpha tocopherol. The synthetic variety is DL-Alpha tocopherol.
- Vitamin D: the names used to label synthetic vitamin D include irradiated ergosteral and calciferol.
- Folic acid: the name of its synthetic form is pteroylglutamic acid.
- Vitamin B12: its synthetic counterpart is called cyanocobalamin.
- Vitamin B1: the synthetic forms of the vitamin can be labeled either as thiamine mononitrate or thiamine hydrochloride.
Look for Other Ingredients
Apart from being completely natural, whole food vitamins are free from fillers and other compounds that can be considered potentially dangerous.
High quality, organic vitamins are free from chemicals and harmful substances like titanium dioxide, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and magnesium stearate (sometimes labeled as stearic acid). Some of these synthetics are well-known carcinogens. Whole food supplements will always be free from such additives.
Some supplements may also feature salts (bitartate, chloride, nitrate, hydrochloride, acetate and gluconate compounds). They are used to boost the stability of the product but salts are simply another filler additive that has nothing to do with the organic composition of vitamins.
Look for Natural Ingredients and Plant Extracts
Very often, whole food vitamins will contain plant extracts that are a well-known source of the respective vitamin.
When buying vitamin C whole food supplements, for example, you may want to look for an ingredient like acerola cherry powder. Most of the whole food vitamins list these natural powders and extracts rather that “vitamin C” in the list of the ingredients.
A general rule of thumb is that if you see the name of a vitamin in the list of ingredients, it’s most probably of synthetic origin.
Require Professional Assistance
It’s always a good idea to look for whole food vitamins in pharmacies or organic stores. An organic store will typically feature supplements that have natural and safe origin. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Ask for assistance from a professional like a pharmacist. Such experts will immediately know whether a supplement contains natural or synthetic vitamins. Pharmacists recognize the chemical names, thus they’ll need a few seconds to make the distinction.
Whole food vitamins can also be bought online. Once again, you’ll have to go through the label to make sure that you’re getting the real thing. Read customer reviews and expert accounts, as well.
The more research you do and the more you find out about the product, the happier you’ll be with the purchase. Don’t rush it and remember – the fact that a product features the word “natural” on its label doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s such.