written by Dr. Karen Purcell, M.M., N.D., C.N.
Many people think that all nutritional supplements are “created equal”. Well, that is simply not the case. Many, in fact, most of the supplements in the US are concocted in a laboratory. They are chemicals and synthetics. For example, if the word acid is used in the name of the product, it is synthetic. Like ascorbic acid or folic acid. These are chemicalized synthetic forms of Vitamin C Ascorbate or Folate (part of the B Complex series). So…what’s the difference?
When many vitamins and minerals were discovered in the early 20th century, all of the testing was done on foods. Herbs and essential fatty acids (a different use of the word acid, which adds to the confusion) are foods, and as such contain many of the vitamins and minerals that we hear about. But those pills that you take everyday are probably mostly synthetics.
So what’s the big deal? Well, food-based vitamins and minerals harmonize with the body. Taken in certain dosages and combinations, they can really heal a sick or fatigued person. They absorb beautifully into the body because they come from food and not chemicals.
Due to millions of years of genetics, the body recognizes foods and has a lot of difficulty with chemicals. Twinkies and soda are not foods, they are chemicals. For example: a great Vitamin C complex comes from grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges. A synthetic version comes from hydrogenated sugar processed with acetone. A great Vitamin A carotenoid formula comes from carrots. A chemical version comes from methanol, benzene, and petroleum esters. Synthetic versions of calcium, magnesium and zinc can come from limestone or chalk (calcium); some non-food magnesium synthetics are used to fireproof wood, are a component in glue and an ingredient in cement; some zinc synthetics are used to manufacture rubber and are also ingredients in embalming materials.
Needless to say, my patients nor I ingest anything that is not a food-based nutrient. There are over 70 studies that compare the differences. So, before you go the grocery store or to the drug store and purchase cheap, low quality nutritional supplements that could actually cause you harm, please remember this article.
To your health,
Dr. Karen Purcell
Tags: nutritional supplements, synthetic forms, vitamins and minerals
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