A few years ago, my wife came home from the grocery store with a name-brand vitamin.
She had bought them spur-of-the-moment for our little boy.
I asked, "Are these synthetic?"
She replied, "I really don't know."
So I looked on the back of the box to see the list of ingredients.
The first thing that jumped out at me was…aspartame.
The list of ingredients also included things like Artificial Colors: FD&C Blue #2 Lake, FD&C Red #40 Lake and Calcium Carbonate.
No real food sources were listed.
In other words, this name-brand supplement was a synthetic vitamin.
What's Wrong Synthetic Vitamins?Most vitamins are basically useless and even unhealthy, because they're synthetic (made in a laboratory).
Following are results from several synthetic vitamin studies:
#1. Study Using Synthetic Beta Carotene and Vitamin E Halted - 29,000 male smokers were given synthetic beta carotene and synthetic Vitamin E. The study was stopped when rates of lung cancer, heart attacks and death increased. - New England Journal of Medicine, 1994
#2. Birth Defects Increased For Women On Synthetic Supplements - 22,748 pregnant women were given synthetic Vitamin A. The study was halted because birth defects increased 400%. - New England Journal of Medicine, 1995
#3. Men Get Thickened Arteries On Synthetic Supplements - Men who took 500 mg of synthetic Vitamin C daily over eighteen months showed signs of thickening of the arteries. - Reuters Health, March, 2000
Though you're not going to suddenly die after taking synthetic vitamins, consuming them every day over a period of time is risky.
How To Tell If Your Vitamins Are Synthetic
1) Look at the list of ingredients. A vitamin is synthetic if you see a chemical name, but not a plant source.
2) Synthetic supplements have unhealthy ingredients, including:
- Additives - Glucose and sucrose (sugar) for taste; starch and microcrystalline cellulose for binding ingredients
- Artificial colors - like FD&C Blue #2 Lake, or FD&C Red 40
- Preservatives - sorbates (Polysorbate 80), benzoates (sodium benzoate), nitrites (sodium nitrite), sulphites (sulphur dioxide)
Synthetic vitamins are highly processed. They have the same toxic dyes and chemicals - like those found in paint and plastic.
The SolutionThere's a better class of vitamins called whole-food supplements. These are supplements made from real food.
The ingredients in real-food supplements are made from fruits and vegetables, such as Vitamin C from oranges or Vitamin A from tomatoes.
Real-food supplements do not have artificial colors, preservatives and other toxic additives. They have hundreds of "cofactors" (nutrients) the body needs to absorb vitamins.
Cofactors are missing in synthetic vitamins. This causes the body to treat the vitamin as a foreign substance and eliminate it. (This is where we get the term "expensive urine.")
Worse, your body may grab the needed cofactors from your organs, bones and muscles.
Over time, this causes degeneration and disease.
For example, regularly taking a synthetic calcium supplement depletes the body of magnesium. A lack of magnesium can cause headaches, constipation, asthma, hardening of the arteries and more.
Whole-food supplements solve this problem because they're made from real food.
They show the name of the fruit or vegetable in the list of ingredients, such as "pineapple" or "broccoli."
This is what separates the high-quality vitamins from the grocery store cheapies.
How To Find Whole-Food Supplements
Check the labels before you buy from your local grocery or drugstore.
Read the list of ingredients.
Buy vitamins with the food source listed on the bottle.
Above all, make sure any supplements you take are made from real food. Why risk your health on anything else?
P.S. Did you know most vitamins are now made in China? Ninety percent of all vitamins sold in the U.S. today are made by the Chinese.
And most vitamin manufacturing operations in China are nothing more than old factories using dirty machines. Even the top facilities are in highly polluted areas.
(To improve the air quality, remember the Chinese government forcing factories to shut down, two weeks before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing?)
The U.S. does not require country-of-origin labels for supplements. Do you know the original source of your vitamins? Do you know if your vitamins are safe?
P.P.S. Man-made, synthetic vitamins are a waste of money and may be harmful to your health.
That's why it's important to make sure your vitamins are made from real food. Otherwise, you're better off taking nothing.
A real-food supplement our family takes and recommends is BarleyLife® Xtra.
It combines eighteen fruits and vegetables with the power of young barley grass.
For over thirty years, researchers have found young barley grass to be one of the most nutritious plants on earth.
What To Do Next
I put together this educational guide because I believe nutrition matters.
I invite you to explore my website and see how BarleyLife® Xtra can help you and your family be healthy too.
To learn more about this green superfood, Click Here.