What Does it Mean if a Vitamin is "All-Natural" and Does it Matter?
This is a good question. For some nutrients, being “all-natural” definitely does matter—but for others, the vitamin form doesn’t make a whit of difference.
For example, only purchase supplements that contain natural vitamin E and beta-carotene, preferably with additional tocopherols/tocotrienols and mixed carotenoids.
On the other hand, most supplements contain synthetic vitamin C or ascorbic acid. It is chemically identical to the vitamin C found in nature, less bulky, and much less expensive, and I recommend it without reservation.
On all vitamin C product labels, look for bioflavonoids. These natural compounds occur in nature alongside vitamin C and enhance its absorption and efficacy. They are routinely added to good vitamin C supplements.
But as to the assertions that synthetic C, B-complex, and others are harmful and ineffective, consider that virtually all of the scientific research on these nutrients has been carried out using the synthetic forms.
There is a final aspect of “natural” that I highly endorse, and that is avoidance of artificial flavorings and colorings, chemical preservatives, and excessive excipients (inactive substances that are carriers for active ingredients). The best products contain only natural flavoring agents such as herbal extracts, lemon, and vanilla and no chemical dyes.
Most supplements require binders to hold tablets together or fillers such as cellulose or magnesium stearate for encapsulation. They may also contain silicon dioxide and other “glidants” to facilitate the manufacturing process. These substances are present in minute amounts and are harmless. However, some manufacturers use more additives than they need to—and these unnecessary additives may take the place of vital nutrients.
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For more than 30 years, Dr. Julian Whitaker has helped people regain their health with a combination of therapeutic lifestyle changes, targeted nutritional support, and other cutting-edge natural therapies. He is widely known for treating diabetes, but also routinely treats heart disease and other degenerative diseases. More About Dr. Whitaker
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