One step into the Vitamin section at your local store and if you are like me you are probably a little overwhelmed with the array of choices. Now, normally I like choices. Do I want a PC or a Mac? Do I want a Kindle, Kindle Fire, IPad, Nook, or any of the other array of notebook devices from which I can read and play. Choices are fantastic, but they have to be informed. When a consumer is faced with a vast array of choices that differentiate themselves on ingredients that the consumer doesn’t understand, all those choices amount to nothing more than “noise”. It is stressful to make such a choice and so often the choice is to then “walk away”. A wise decision regarding pills of unknown effect.
We hear all the time about how our foods are stripped of their nutrients. That the dirt most likely used during the growing processes wasn’t the finest of quality, even if we eat organic because the Organic label only requires so much and it doesn’t necessarily specify nutrient density in the dirt. Besides, who’d want to self-regulate that! But I digress, back to vitamins.
So combine the assumption that we need supplements in our diet with the lack of knowledge about them and we have a unhealthy situation. The Global Healing Center produced a nice article a few years back on the differences between Synthetic and Natural Vitamins and how the body reacts to them. Overall the Synthetic ones can still be useful but may not be fully utilized by the body; and can even cause toxicity. In my uneducated opinion that is probably in rare cases of unhealthy eating combined with repeated use of supplements. In the Natural V Synthetic article, the author also links to a fantastic table of Vitamin Sources that are Synthetic and Natural. Compare the Vitamin Sources on this table with what your current vitamins are. You may be surprised. Actually, if you are skeptical about most health things you probably won’t be surprised at all.
In looking over the Vitamins in my own house I found:
- Nature’s Life C-Complex contains mostly Synthetic Vitamin C, but does contain the natural forms of it in a “Bio-Rose Blend”.
- Nature’s Bounty B-Complex with Vitamin C contains Synthetic Vitamin C, Synthetic B1, a Natural B-Complex, Synthetic B2, Synthetic B6, and Synthetic Pantothenic Acid (whatever that is)
Hmmm, my family is definitively not getting the maximum benefit that they could. I do however often use Brewers Yeast as a seasoning so that helps take care of most of the B-Complex issues.
However, going back to the Choice issue I opened this post with; these two articles have increased my knowledge so I know and understand a little bit better about what to look for in Vitamins. I regularly don’t consume them but I am trying! One thing in particular is that the cold and dark season is approaching quickly. If I get sick in a given year, it is usually during this time and thus this is the season where I try even harder to remember to take my vitamins. Now however I shall keep a look out for VitC from Citrus, Rose Hips, Acerola Berries sources and VitD from Fish Oils.
May Consumer Choice and Knowledge forever increase to the benefit of all!