Are synthetic vitamins bad for you? I didn’t think so, until my homeopath told me to throw them away. “Feed your children real food instead,” she insisted. “They need to start getting their vitamins from their food.”
I’m eternally grateful for her advice. Both of my children had health problems. Getting rid of these bottled chemicals was a big step in the right direction. They were already sick, and, I firmly believe, the “vitamins” they took were making them sicker.
Real Food Vitamins
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There’s now a growing number of voices questioning the conventional “wisdom” that we need laboratory-made vitamins. That’s because of a growing realization that it’s much better to take whole foods vitamin supplements.
When my children were little, they had weak immune systems. They caught every illness going around. These normal childhood illnesses would turn into nasty bacterial infections. So I’d rush them to the doctor, for yet another round of antibiotics.
My children were vaccinated. I “nourished” them on the Standard American Diet. I ate the same types of foods I was feeding them throughout my pregnancies. This was also my diet while I nursed. Or, I should say, tried to nurse. My milk supply was scanty. Eventually, I had to formula feed my second baby.
But our story has a happy ending. Our children are now healthy.
Are Synthetic Vitamins Harmful?
Instead of enjoying this precious and fleeting time with our children, my husband and I spent their preschool years dragging them from one holistic health expert to the next.
We tried herbs. We did homeopathy. We brought them to a chiropractor. We brought them to medical doctors who leaned in a holistic direction. We also spent a fortune. But it was all worth it because our children are now healthy.
Are Synthetic Vitamins Bad?
Along the way, we also made some parenting mistakes. Using synthetic vitamins was probably one of them. But children have an amazing ability to heal. Once I got rid of these chemicals, I noticed my children began to gain weight. My son, in particular, was deathly pale while taking these unhealthy supplements. Once he stopped, his color quickly improved.
I know can’t prove there’s a correlation between tossing the supplements and weight gain. But it did get me thinking.
If you want to read an in-depth expose of the supplements industry, the book Supplements Exposed is shown below.
Are Synthetic Vitamins Bad for You?
Until our homeopath clued me in, I thought we needed synthetic vitamins to stay healthy. Laboratory-made vitamins seem to be everywhere – the supermarket, the drugstore and even at convenience stores. These man-made nutrients are also added to processed food.
Synthesized compounds, though, may help someone suffering from a severe vitamin deficiency. One example would be someone with low Vitamin D levels, who doesn’t get enough sunshine. But should they consumed, on a regular basis, by a person in good health? Just so you know, natural Vitamin D does exist. During the cool months of the year, I’ll be taking a whole food multivitamin that contains Vitamin D.
Please understand that I’m not a doctor. So I urge you to discuss this issue with your own healthcare provider. Just to let you know, though, whole food supplements are an increasingly popular option.
Whole Food Supplements vs Synthetic Supplements
Here’s why a number of holistic health experts steer people away from synthetic vitamins.
Whole foods contain an array of micro nutrients, in just the right amounts we need. Synthetic supplements, on the other hand, contain just certain nutrients. If your body is fed these laboratory-made isolates, it may not work as hard to obtain the trace minerals you need. At least this is what many natural health experts fear.
There’s also the question of whether the huge doses found in these formulas really are good for you. A whole-food vitamin, on the other hand, offers much more balance. Any large doses will be evened out by other compounds, naturally found in the plant.
Are Synthetic Vitamins as Good as Natural?
Our homeopath pointed out that my children were not absorbing their vitamins from food, as they should have been. For instance, I was loading them up with laboratory-made “Vitamin C.” The reason I put that in quotes is because the ascorbic acid found in their supplement isn’t the real thing. Instead it’s an isolate of the whole vitamin, found naturally in a wide range of foods.
One of the biggest modern-day misconceptions is ascorbic acid. Even though many products call it Vitamin C, it’s only a part of this very crucial nutrient. Short-term, this compound can help boost your immunity. Long-term use is much more controversial.
I was also giving my children high doses of synthesized B vitamins. It’s likely their bodies recognized these unnatural compounds as drugs. Instead of helping them to detox, this chemical mix was probably further straining their internal organs. That’s because our bodies are made to consume food, not process laboratory derivatives.
Should You Take Vitamin Pills?
Of course, this is only my uneducated guess as to what was happening. All I had to go on was my personal observation of how my children became much healthier without vitamin isolates. Plus, I had the stern warning from our homeopath. I’m so glad I listened to her, and threw away all of my expensive gluten-free supplements. At that time, I was concerned about harmful fillers. Little did I know that the “vitamins” themselves were possibly doing a lot of damage.
However, there are questionable “inactive ingredients” in some supplements that can add another layer of toxicity. These may include talc, aspartame, MSG, artificial dyes and more.
Non Synthetic Vitamin Brands
My sad experience with chemical vitamins took place more than 15 years ago. I’ve never given my children a synthetic vitamin pill since them.
Whole food vitamins are a different story. There are a couple of brands I feel comfortable recommending. Below you’ll see the brand that we currently have in our house. It’s made by a company that’s been supplying natural vitamins for decades.
MegaFood Women’s One DailyMegaFood Balanced B ComplesMegaFood For Women Over 40
I’m so happy to see that, in recent years, more people are becoming aware of the potential downside of synthetic supplements. In an article published in 2012, a writer for Natural News, a holistic health website, described these laboratory-made products as “toxic vitamin imposters that are NOT ABSORBABLE by the body.”
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should only take dietary supplements under the direction of a medical professional.
I’m not a doctor, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.