Are Synthetic Vitamins a Healthy Option?

In today's world, many individuals are searching for ways to get the essential vitamins and nutrients they need without having to depend on a healthy diet. One of the solutions that has been proposed is to add cheap, synthetically made vitamins to certain foods, beverages, and supplements. Many multivitamins and fortified foods contain synthetic vitamins because they are cheaper to manufacture and are more stable in storage, just like processed foods. Most of the supplements available on the market today are made artificially.

These include vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids, among others. Almost all multivitamins come from synthetic products, as do fortified foods. Some manufacturers of commercial vitamin and mineral supplements add synthetic products to increase the potency of the vitamins, but many synthetic products are made from derivatives of coal tar, a known carcinogen found in cigarette smoke. This is just one of the reasons why it's important to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement.

In addition, if you see the letters 'dl' before an ingredient name on a supplement label, it indicates that the supplement is synthetic. For example, if you're looking for a vitamin A supplement, look for fish oils instead of palmitate - which is a synthetic vitamin A supplement. Synthetic supplements require fewer biochemical resources (such as enzymes, energy, and cofactors) to absorb and utilize them.

Benefits of Synthetic Nutrients

Studies have revealed that there are four main health benefits associated with synthetic nutrients (compared to naturally occurring nutrients). These include:
  • Synthetic supplements can help you get more vitamin than you normally get from food.
  • They can help you get more of a specific vitamin from its source.
  • They require fewer biochemical resources to absorb and utilize them.
  • They can help you get more vitamin than you normally get from food.
However, studies on the beneficial health effects of many synthetic nutrients have been inconsistent, weak, or have shown no effect.

Natural vitamin companies often claim that your body won't know how to process vitamins that have been created synthetically.

Are Synthetic Vitamins Safe?

Some product labels may contain the words “natural” but manufacturers can say that their nutritional products are natural if at least 10 percent of the product comes from natural food sources. Of course, your daily meals are your first resource for getting nutrients, such as fiber, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and many micronutrients. Supplements that list individual nutrients or use chemical names such as ascorbic acid are almost certainly synthetic. Synthetic vitamins are isolated or simulated nutrients that do not take into account all the myriad phytonutrients that accompany them.

When consumers hear the word “synthetic” they may think of vitamins packed with chemicals that contain impurities and toxins. However, with a few exceptions such as vitamin E, natural beta-carotene and vitamin B12 - all vitamins used in dietary supplements are synthetic.


Overall, a healthy balanced diet will provide you with excellent sources of nutrients so that dietary supplements can attack the body's specific biochemical pathways to achieve optimal healing and balance in your life. Some nutrients are better obtained naturally or synthesized through fermentation while some are better in their synthetic forms.

If you can identify vitamin C in the ingredient list then you can almost guarantee that the vitamin is synthetic.

Shelley Mahlke
Shelley Mahlke

Infuriatingly humble beer fan. Award-winning travel guru. Lifelong internet geek. Professional social media practitioner. Subtly charming web enthusiast. Proud tvaholic.

Leave Message

Required fields are marked *