First of all we need to begin with the fact that not all Vitamins are natural and made out of pure ingredients that are beneficial for our body.

Secondly, should we need to take vitamins or vitamin supplementation. There are times when your body needs extra support and help. Always remembering that vitamins will never replace a healthy, well balanced diet including one to two serves (the size of the palm of your hand) of red meat per week: two to three serves of organic chicken same portion size per week and three to four serves of fish per week. If you don't happen to like fish then include some vegetarian meals to break up the routine. Each day you need to include five to six serves of vegetables/salad vegetables and two to three serves of fruit preferably red apples, berries, mangoes, bananas, pears and melons. Citrus fruits make wonderful additions to salads and cooking.

So what I would like for you to know is that not all vitamins are equal. The vitamins that you see on the supermarket shelves and in bulk quantity in the chemists are all made from synthetic ingredients.

Synthetic vitamins are manufactured from man-made materials, therefore allowing them to be sold at a much lower cost. Many of the ingredients that are used in this manufacturing act as binding agents and are harmful to us. The body doesn't recognize synthetic vitamins as nutrition and therefore quickly goes about getting rid of them, seeing them as being harmful and toxic.

Studies show that vitamins that are manufactured by the use of natural ingredients derived from plant matter is the best way to take vitamins. As they are efficiently absorbed by the body, therefore bringing the nutritional benefits that are required.

As I have said there is no better source of vitamins than from food itself. In times of great stress, ill health, playing sport etc, it may be necessary to supplement your diet with vitamins. When you combine vitamins derived from natural sources with that of a well balanced diet, this is the best combination for optimal health and performance. To get the best knowledge of what you need it is best to talk to a health professional that has your best interests at heart and not their profit margin.

I have found in my years of practice either liquid or powder forms of nutritional supplementation works best. There are two reasons behind this there are no fillers used as there are with many tablet forms and they are more efficiently absorbed by the body.

So what is the Science behind "Synthetic" Vitamins

According to scientific theory, if products look similar under a microscope, then they can be marketed the same. Regardless of what the actual product is made from. Many companies see this as a great opportunity to save money. Not thinking for one minute about the consumer and the effects of this product and what harmful effects it will have on them.

As the nutrients that are found in fruits and vegetables are chemicals in their purest and simplest form. It is easy to manufacture similar substances that are then reproduced in a laboratory. However the manufacturing of these vitamins doesn't possess the health benefits of the naturally derived vitamins. As mentioned to the point of even causing harm.

Here is just as few examples of the common vitamins over the counter that are made from synthetic ingredients:
•B12 is made from activated sewage sludge
•Vitamin C is manufactured from acid
•Vitamin D is manufactured from irradiated oil

How these synthetic vitamins affect our body:

The most affected organ is your liver, the damage here is irreversible as it attempt to filter the harmful ingredients. Synthetic agents such as ground-up shells and metal will quickly bring about damage and destroy your liver. Women taking synthetic Vitamin A whilst pregnant can find that their child may well suffer from birth defects. There have been found trace amounts of lead in each vitamin A pill. This cannot be properly digested in your body and therefore over time will create dangerous and toxic build up.

Some of the specific chemical filters commonly found in ALL kinds of synthetic vitamin supplements:
•Carnauba wax: This is the wax found in car wax and shoe polish
•Titanium Dioxide: This is a suspected carcinogen, a substance that causes cancer

The effects of synthetic vitamins may not appear "deadly" in the short term. However they have no valuable benefit to our body, not to mention may well be "harmful". With testing that had been done on Natural and Synthetic forms of say for example - Vitamin E in women, a group of researchers found that the women using the synthetic vitamin needed three times more to achieve even any slight benefits as those who took the Natural Form.

There also has been similar tests done with Vitamin E with Cancer patients and the natural form proved superior, with minimal amount and had great benefits.

Natural Vitamins are also known as whole-food vitamins. These are extracted from fruits and vegetables where they are naturally found.

Getting your Essential Vitamins from the Foods you EAT:
•Vitamin C - grapefruit, potatoes, lemons, capsicum, oranges, kiwi fruit and dark leafy greens such as spinach
•Vitamin A - Carrots (when cooked), sweet potato, dark leafy greens, pumpkin, dark green lettuces, spinach and rockmelon
•Folic Acid (B12) -lentils; dried beans and peas; dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower or turnip greens, okra, and asparagus; and citrus fruit
•B Vitamins (biotin B7) - fortified cereals and wholegrains - quinoa, mushrooms, pearl barley, buckwheat brown rice (other important nutrients found in wholegrains are: selenium, potassium and magnesium) Learn to love your dark green vegetables and leaves such as beet leaves, kale, spinach as the majority of your vitamins and nutrients are found in these.
•Calcium - Yes once again believe it or not your dark green vegetables, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, kale, chickpeas, roasted fresh soy beans, bok choy, figs, oranges, sardines, almonds, canned salmon, white beans and tofu.
•Magnesium - Yes you believe it once again dark leafy greens, fish, avocado, bananas, wholegrains, beans and lentils:
•Potassium - beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas
•Vitamin D - Vitamin D is unique among vitamins; you can synthesize it in your skin as well as absorb it from foods or supplements. To complicate things further, vitamin D also comes in two forms: D2 and D3. Your skin synthesizes vitamin D3, also called cholecalciferol; you can also take D3 in supplement form. The safest and most effective way to get Vitamin D3 is from the sun, yes I know, but we are not talking about being out in it for hours on end, the recommended dose is 15 the 30 minutes per day. A few foods naturally supply vitamin D. Beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and also cod liver oil.

As you will see really it isn't hard to get all of your necessary vitamins by eating a well balanced diet with the majority of it being a Great variety of vegetables with some fruits.

So how can you tell whether you are buying Synthetic or Naturally derived Vitamins:
•Look for the words "100 percent natural" on the product's label: Some product labels may contain the words "natural," but manufacturers can claim "natural" on their nutritional products if at least 10 percent of the product comes from natural food sources. The Organic Consumers Organization recommends looking for products that contain "100 percent plant-based" or "100 percent animal-based" on the product's label.
•Identify whole foods in the ingredient list instead of the particular nutrient: Look for foods on the list of ingredients that contain a certain vitamin, such as "acerola cherry powder," which contains vitamin C. If you can't identify "vitamin C" as a plant base in the ingredient list, then you can guarantee that the vitamin is synthetic.
•Look for salt forms on the product label: This means synthetic as this is added to supplements for increasing the stability of the vitamin or mineral. Some of the salt forms to look for include acetate, bitartrate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nitrate and succinate.
•Learn how to read the product's label by looking for keywords that indicate the supplement is synthetic: These are words that end in "ide" or "ate" indicate that the product contains salt forms, which are synthetics. Examples of this are: if you see chloride, hydrochloride, acetate or nitrate on the list of ingredients, the manufacturer used synthetics for the product.
Additionally, the letters "dl" that appear before the name of an ingredient indicates the supplement is synthetic. As an example, look for "fish oils" when buying a vitamin A supplement. If the product's label states "palmitate," it is a synthetic vitamin A supplement

Common Synthetic Vitamins to Avoid

•Vitamin A: Acetate and Palmitate
•Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
•Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin
•Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
•Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
•Vitamin B12: Cobalamin
•PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
•Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
•Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
•Biotin: d-Biotin
•Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
•Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol
•Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate

NOTE: The “dl” form of any vitamin is synthetic.

(The above list taken from:

So there is no getting past it, if you want to have Optimal Health for all of your life. The best and only way to get optimal nutritional benefits is to eat whole, fresh foods.

Totally eliminate or limit how often you eat fast food or even take away foods. If you are concerned about your nutritional intake then it is best that you seek Professional help in helping you to get onto the track of eating fresh, healthy foods.

Empowering You to Optimal Health Julie Doherty N.D

Author's Bio: 

Hi I’m Julie,

Your Health & Lifestyle Coach Specialist
(Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine)

I learnt very early in my life that there was much more to health than meets the eye

To achieve “Optimal Health” is about taking control of every aspect of YOU and YOUR LIFE:

That “Optimal Health” is only possible when we understand the unity of our mind, emotions connections to our physical body then our soul that inner voice that knows what is good and not good for us: Not to aim for Perfection but for Connection.

I love to work with people who dedicated who want to succeed in all areas of their life with the understanding that "Health is the very foundation for this to be possible"

So for over 26 years, I have worked with thousands of people in clinical practice prescribing herbal & homoeopathic remedies: implementing dietary changes so as to accommodate the best nutrition and life balance possible:Group and individual Health & Lifestyle Coaching to achieve the Happiest, Healthiest and Most Successful Life Possible.

My Professional Qualifications include Diplomas in Naturopathic, Herbal: Homoeopathic & Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic Massage Therapy: Body Mind Balancing Cognitive Counselling, Life Coaching & Massage: & Natural Beauty:

1.I love to watch movies that are based on true life stories with all the aspects of Life, love, romance, challenges and best of all happy endings.
2.I am born and bred Australian, South Australian with an English, German and Italian background
3.I didn’t commence my formulative studies until I was 28 years of age
4.I am so totally in Love with my husband of now 42 years
5.My family is the most important aspect of my life
6.I am totally passionate and focused on Health and Aging Well.
7.I love Healthy, Fresh food and Dining out
8.I try to go without drinking wine, but I have to admit that when we go out for dinner or have friends over, I do enjoy the odd glass or two of Savion Blanc
9.I love my early morning walks, just seeing the sun come up and the birds singing is just AWESOME
10.I want to live overseas for three months
11.I am obsessed with self-development books and CD’s
12.I love writing, sharing all the great things about life
13.I love hearing my clients life stories and sharing mine
14.I am living proof that by taking charge of your life will allow you to follow your passions, give you the opportunity of to age with great health and vitality.

Julie Doherty N.D
Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society