Natural vs. Synthesized Supplements

What's the Difference

It’s been speculated that, in general, there are two kinds of supplement shoppers.The first are price sensitive and will look towards what gets them the most bang for their buck. The second believes that the most expensive product must be the best and will let that reasoning influence their purchasing decision. In reality neither is knowledgeably choosing a product that best suits their needs. The real question consumers should ask, says David Levy of BioCore Food Science, is whether the source of the supplement is natural or synthetic.

According to Levy, almost all supplement companies use chemical synthetic vitamins as their base in formulating products. He believes that supplementation should stream off of food sources rather than the pharma approach of using chemical USP vitamins.

Says Levy; “The industry of natural supplements has taken advantage of people, who believe that what they are ingesting is indeed natural, when in reality it is manufactured in the same way that Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are.” 

It is his view that we are much more capable of metabolizing vitamins derived from a natural source -our bodies recognize food sources better than isolated vitamins. He analogizes;  “When we as humans used to be a seafaring people, travelling great distances by boat, many people would at times suffer from scurvy. When given chemically synthesized Vitamin C pills, their recovery was delayed and at times not successful. Conversely, when given citrus fruit, recovery was speedy. Our bodies know what to do with an orange much better than a Vitamin C pill.”

Consumers should know that many natural products have contraindications and some might not be beneficial for them. Levy believes this is where the health professional comes into play, and is the reason why the BioCore Food Science products are sold only to them.

Levy says; “The health professionals can recommend a product for you, because they know you. You have spent some time updating them on what medications you are taking or better yet how you are generally feeling.”

Returning to the analogy of the typical supplement shopper: When an influential T.V. personality endorses a certain product or ingredient, (ie. Fish Oil) people flock to their nearest health food store. When they look across the shelves and see hundreds of varieties of fish oil, they are taken aback. As consumers we want to be healthy and yes, we are willing to spend our hard earned money to do so, but what product is going to get us there is a mystery. How do we know what’s the best? The answer? Naturally derived supplements taken with the advice of a health professional.


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Categories: Supplements, Neutraceuticals, & Herbs