Synthetic versus Natural
Modern technologies have given us some amazing comforts, gadgets, and advances, but the modern approach to vitamins and minerals has continually failed to capture the true abilities of these nutrients. Studies are done focusing on one isolated ingredient and then synthetic versions of it are produced and packaged in convenient tablets to help us replace what has been lost in our current agricultural processes that strip the soil, seeds, and plants of nutrition.
On the surface, this sounds like a great idea. We know we aren’t getting enough of many minerals or vitamins and we have read the amazing studies that show how important they are to health. Unfortunately, the isolation and synthesizing of these valuable nutrients isn’t how nature works.
Plants pull in vitamins and minerals together from the soil. They aren’t isolated in the fruits, vegetables, spices, seeds, nuts, greens, and herbs we eat, but are combined with hundreds of other phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, and other beneficial compounds. Plants also don’t make synthetic forms. They simply take what exists in the soil, deposited there by beneficial microbes, and combine them with organic compounds.
For over ten thousand years, this is how the body gained access to the vitamins and minerals it needed. We have been built to accept nutrition as a package of minerals surrounded by organics. Isolating just one mineral or vitamin does not provide the body with what it is missing. Our systems are not designed to take advantage of one nutrient alone. Synthetics aren’t something the body recognizes either. It has to make a series of choices when confronted with a synthetic compound: break it down and reconfigure it into something usable, use it as is with any strange side effects that come with it, or treat it like an unknown poison. None of these are great options.
Synthetic vitamins and minerals are dead, not combined with the organics our bodies can recognize. They are rarely identical to the nutrient they intend to replace. These can have drastic side effects: they can act as neurotoxins, mineralize joints and tissues, get stored with fat to remove them from our systems, or just get discarded as a waste of time, nutrition, and money.
The best source of vitamins and minerals is through organic food grown in richly mineralized soil where the beneficial microbes are free to do their work, not drowning in pesticides and chemicals. Raw organic food is even better, where heat hasn’t been allowed to damage the more sensitive vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. This is where nature intended us to find what our bodies need.
If you feel you must take a supplement, look for ones that use whole plant food as ingredients. Buy raw protein powders, bio-fermented greens, fulvic acid complexes, and sprouted grains that come straight from the original source of energy, plants. The fulvic acid works as a nutrient transporter, maximizing the movement of vitamins and minerals from the food you eat into the body and then, since it is something recognizable by our systems, into cells where the nutrition is needed.
Look for wheatgrass, brown rice, celery, parsley, barley grass, citrus, rose hips, or other plant names as ingredients rather than just an isolated chemical. Anything that uses the prefix “dl” is a synthetic version and should be avoided whenever possible. If a supplement just says it is natural, don’t count on it. A product only needs to contain 10% of the natural ingredient to be able to make this claim, leaving up to 90% synthetic ingredients stuffed in with this “natural” supplement. If it says 100% plant-based or 100% natural, then you can rely on it. Also avoid any supplements that have ingredients ending in –ide or –ate; these are synthetics too.
Feed yourselves with real supplements: the organic plant foods that nature has prepared for you. Use fresh herbs and ground spices. Eat a variety of healthy foods and your body will get what it needs and recognize what you are giving it.
Learn more about Charlie Pulsipher
About Charlie Pulsipher
Charlie Pulsipher is a health and fitness enthusiast, writer, author, and neighborhood do-gooder. He shifted his education from Biochemistry to English Literature in an attempt to avoid math, but never stopped loving the natural world of the miniscule. He has published several fantasy and science fiction novels and helped others publish more down to earth books about natural foods. He can’t stop writing. He is probably happily tapping away on some keyboard even now.