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The All-Natural Guide to Vitamins and Supplements: Whole Food Based vs. Their Synthetic Counterparts

by Andrew Schachter September 30, 2019 9 min read 0 Comments

The All-Natural Guide to Vitamins and Supplements: Whole Food Based vs. Their Synthetic Counterparts

The Dangerous Side Of Synthetic Vitamins & Supplements You Likely Didn't Know Were Fake

Check your food, vitamins, supplements, health care products, skin care products and even your medications.

The title and subtitle may have thrown you off, you might be thinking "synthetic vitamins marketed as the real thing?" Is that even a real thing? Manufacturers couldn't possibly be permitted to get away with that.


How to locate and avoid laboratory created, dangerous synthetic vitamins marketed as the real thing.

You'd be shocked to learn that some of the most popular vitamins utilized today in supplements, food, nutritional products and cosmetics are created in the lab and may pose great health risks.

"97.5% of so called "nutritional" supplements, including vitamins, are labeled with incorrect information and filled with toxic ingredients"

Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association: A landmark research study by the University of California and the American Nutraceutical Association showed that 97.5% of so called "nutritional" supplements, including vitamins, are labeled with incorrect information and filled with toxic ingredients! And 98% of the market's vitamin supplements are synthetic! [10]


Vitamin A:

Vitamin A is important for a huge amount of body functions like normal sight, the entire immune system, and reproductive systems. Vitamin A also supports the heart, lungs, kidneys, and others by helping to make organs work both properly and with synergy. Beta-carotene is the naturally occurring form of the vitamin most commonly found in nature.  It's what's in vegetables, fruits & other whole foods as well as in better whole food based supplements. Beta-carotene is a plant pigment that's reddish-orange in color; it's a powerful carotenoid.

  • Retinyl Palmitate¬†is the synthetic form of Vitamin A and is found in many conventional brand name skin care products and in prescription oral medications.¬†¬†Data from an FDA study indicate that retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.[1]


Vitamin B1 (Thiamine or Thiamin):

Vitamin B1 is found in a large variety of foods including yeast, cereal grains, beans, nuts, and meat. It is most commonly used in conjunction with other B vitamins, and found in many vitamin B complex products. Vitamin B1 also called thiamine, is one of 8 B vitamins that are essential in the body. Like an essential amino, this means the body needs it but can't make it, it has to come from dietary sources. Vitamin B1 supports a healthy nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, stomach, and intestines. It is essential for glucose metabolism and the body needs ample amounts in order to convert carbohydrates into energy.

  • Thiamine mononitrate¬†and¬†Thiamine hydrochloride are the synthetic forms of Vitamin B.¬†Thiamin mononitrate, which is made from coal tar and can cause intense skin reactions.¬†Thiamine hydrochloride can lead to¬†anaphylactic reactions,¬†hypersensitivity,¬†anxiety, pruritus, respiratory distress, nausea, abdominal pain, and shock.¬† Both versions of synthetic B1 are derived form GMO glyphosate contaminated soy and or corn [11].


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 

Vitamin B2 is needed for growth and for the maintenance of overall good health. It helps the body break down macro-nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and fats so the body can then in turn produce energy. B2 is essential for cellular respiration as it allows oxygen to be used by the body. It boosts the immune system, improves digestion, prevents acne, strengthens digestion - all crucial body functions [12]. 

  • Synthetic Riboflavin¬†Synthetic riboflavin is manufactured with acetic acid (the main component of vinegar aside from water) and nitrogen or via a process using genetically modified bacteria and a fermentation process. It has been shown to be less bio-available and quickly removed from the blood stream and expelled in urine like a toxin would be [6].


Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 

Vitamin B5 is one of the most important vitamins for human life. It's required by the body for making blood cells, and it helps you convert the food you eat into energy. Vitamin B5 is actually found in every branch of life and in the form of coenzyme-A which is crucial in numerous biological chemical reactions [13].

  • Calcium D-Pantothenate &¬†Pantothenic acid¬†are the synthetic forms of vitamin B5, it is¬†synthesized from isobutyraldehyde (a flammable¬†gas similar to propane) and formaldehyde (embalming fluid) with the¬†adverse side effects of diarrhea, gastrointestinal issues, heartburn and nausea.


Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): 

Vitamin B6, along with the other B vitamins, helps the body turn food into energy. On its own, vitamin B6 has many other uses that are important to maintaining a healthy body and developing a healthy brain. Vitamin B6 is so important it may have triggered the growth of the first living creatures on Earth [7].

  • Pyridoxine Hydrochlorideis the synthetic form of B6, though it can be noted that there has been few studies looking for side effects of this synthesized vitamin, it will provide far lower bio-availability than its natural sourced cousin.

"Common side effects of Cyanocobalamin include: diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, itching, rash, headache, dizziness, weakness, numbness or tingling, fever, joint pain, or a feeling of swelling all over the body, anaphylaxis, and death"


Vitamin B12: 

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that your body can't make on its own, so you need to get it from your diet or from dietary supplements. It has the largest and most complex chemical structure of all the vitamins required by the body. It is further unique among vitamins in that it contains a metal ion. It is needed by the body for nerve tissue health, brain function, and the production of red blood cells. Cobalamin is another name for vitamin B-12 which is naturally occurring.

  • Cyanocobalamin is the synthetic form of B12. Common side effects of Cyanocobalamin include: diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, itching, rash, headache, dizziness, weakness, numbness or tingling, fever, joint pain, or a feeling of swelling all over the body, anaphylaxis, and death have been reported.¬† Cyanocobalamin can also cause low potassium levels in the blood [8].


PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): 

PABA, or para-aminobenzoic acid, is a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid. PABA is necessary for healthy skin, intestinal health and hair pigmentation. PABA may stimulate the intestinal bacteria enabling them to produce folic acid.

  • Aminobenzoic Acid: The synthetic form of PABA may cause allergic skin reaction and is considered an irritant and can commonly be found in cosmetics and skin care products.

"not all of the folic acid you consume is converted into the active form of vitamin B9 ‚ÄĒ 5-MTHF ‚ÄĒ in your digestive system"


Vitamin B9 / Folate: 

Folate is a B vitamin. It's required by the body for the production of healthy new cells. Everyone needs folic acid. For women who are pregnant or nursing, it is really important. Getting enough folic acid before and during pregnancy can prevent major birth defects of a baby's brain or spine.  Additionally approximately 25% of people have a genetic defect that negatively impacts health, it's called MTHFR gene mutation. The genetic mutation can lead to high levels of homocysteine in the blood and low levels of folate and other crucial vitamins.  For this reason, the methylated natural form of the vitamin should be preferred.

  • Folic Acid / Pteroylglutamic Acid:¬†Folic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9.¬† Folic acid can also be found with the name pteroylmonoglutamic acid.¬†Unlike folate, not all of the folic acid you consume is converted into the active form of vitamin B9 ‚ÄĒ 5-MTHF ‚ÄĒ in your digestive system.¬† This is a result of a common gene mutation mentioned above & the reduced bio-avilibility of folic acid when compared to folate. Instead, it needs to be converted in your liver or other tissues,¬†this process is slow and inefficient in many people.¬†This is a cause for concern, as high levels of unmetabolized folic acid have been associated with several health problems.



Choline is classified as a conditionally essential nutrient in the human body, that means that the body can make some quantities of it, but not adequate amounts for the body's needs.  Therefore, it must be supplemented from dietary sources to reach the need required by the body. The body requires choline in order for it to be able to manufacture phospholipids which the body needs to make cell membranes. It also impacts liver function, healthy brain development, muscle movement, your nervous system and metabolism; all vitally important functions.

  • Choline chloride¬†a synthetic form of choline is made with chloromethane which is a refrigerant.¬†¬†Due to concerns about its toxicity, it is no longer present in consumer products due to FDA regulations.¬† Elsewhere in the world, there are places where it is acceptable for use in animal feed intended for human consumption raising concerns for food safety on non-organic imports (and some unregulated & untested ones).


Biotin, Vitamin B-7 (AKA co-enzyme R, Formally called Vitamin-H): 

In humans, healthy intestinal bacteria produce biotin in excess of the body’s daily requirements creating a generous surplus negating the need for supplementation.  It's not classified as an essential or conditionally essential nutrient. Biotin helps your body convert food into energy. It is especially important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In addition, biotin is important for the health of your hair, skin and nails.  Unfortunately due to the poor american diet, high incidence of alcohol, antibiotic & ant-acid  use, the average person does not produce adequate quantities of biotin due to damaged gut bacteria and supplementation is recommended.

  • D-Biotin is synthetic Biotin. Synthetic B7 is created wholly in a lab from industrial chemicals, solvents &¬†fumaric acid.

"Ascorbic Acid: Is the very unnatural and synthetic form of vitamin C. Essentially, ascorbic acid is made from GMO-derived Glyphosate-contaminated corn syrup mixed with hydrochloric acid"


Vitamin C: 

Vitamin C is the natural form of the vitamin. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters. It is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

  • Ascorbic Acid:¬†Is the very unnatural and synthetic form of vitamin C. Essentially, ascorbic acid is made from¬†GMO-derived Glyphosate-contaminated corn syrup mixed with¬†hydrochloric acid.¬† There is so much info in Ascorbic Acid, it's got an article of its own.¬† Click here to read "Ascorbic Acid: The Big Lie"


Vitamin D: 

Vitamin D is completely different than most other vitamins. In fact, it‚Äôs a steroid hormone produced from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to the sun. For this reason, vitamin D is often referred to as ‚Äúthe sunshine vitamin.‚ÄĚ Only a¬†few foods contain¬†enough of this crucial vitamin, and deficiency is very common and vitamin D deficiency impacts¬†around 41.6% of the U.S. population.¬†Vitamin D has several important functions¬† important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases [14].

  • Irradiated Ergosteral:¬†Ergosterol is a sterol found in cell membranes of fungi and protozoa, when exposed to ultraviolet light, a chemical reaction is caused that produces vitamin D2. Likely safe, in high amounts it¬†may cause eye and skin irritation¬†and may cause respiratory and digestive tract irritation.
  • Calciferol: Another synthetic form of Vitamin D is known to cause nausea, anorexia, constipation,¬†acidosis, anemia, weight loss,¬†bone demineralization & widespread calcification of soft tissues.

"Results of recent studies suggest that natural Vitamin E is more bio-available and is retained in body tissues significantly longer than synthetic Vitamin E"


Vitamin E (d alpha-tocopherol): 

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage, reduces free-radicals and increases cell life. It helps protect the body from environmental toxins.  It's important to vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain and skin

  • dl alpha-tocopheryl: Is the synthetic form of Vitamin E which¬†is produced from petrochemicals? According to a VERIS Research Summary. Results of recent studies suggest that natural Vitamin E is more bio-available¬†and is retained in body tissues significantly longer than synthetic Vitamin E [4].
    • National institute of health has determined it's far less effective then the natural form by at least 50% [5].
    • Special note:¬†The "dl" form of any supplement is synthetic.



Magnesium deficiency can cause a variety of health issues, including negatively affecting cardiovascular health, digestive health, and bone health. Studies have even found that low levels of magnesium can negatively impact cognitive function in women and affect the ability to effectively cope with stress. Magnesium is a co-factor in more than 350 enzymatic functions in the body.

  • Magnesium oxide: The synthetic form of magnesium is poorly utilized by the body, only 5% becomes useful as compared to the natural sources.¬†Common side effects may include¬†diarrhea, upset stomach, rectal leakage and other digestive and gastrointestinal issues.


Vitamin K: 

Vitamin K actually refers to a group of fat-soluble compounds found in foods. The primary sources are green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, generally void from the standard American diet. Vitamin K is crucial in the synthesis of red blood cells as well as cardiac and skeletal health.  It's also a co-factor in countless enzymatic functions int he body. It's also crucial in blood clotting, the name actually comes from the German word "Koagulationsvitamin". Many chronic conditions effecting millions and popular prescription drugs taken by millions interfere with Vitamin K production and use in the body.  It's an important vitamin to always take in the natural form.

  • Menadione: The synthetic form of Vitamin-K is toxic enough that it's now banned for use in pet foods and medications.¬†It was widely used as a dog food preservative and has been reportedly found in poorly regulated low cost dog foods coming from China.


On synthetic vitamins in general, there is evidence to support that as a rule they are only 1/2 as efficient as natural ones. "A synthetic vitamin is like the image in a mirror. It looks like the real thing but doesn't function like the real thing. Half of it will work in the body and the other half won't work as well."(15)

You might think that with the current state of health in our society that manufacturers would see the value of investing in whole food sourced natural ingredients.  Poor government oversight and regulation combined with a lack of education for consumers creates an environment inconsistent with the primary intention of supplements which is to enhance and better health & well-being.



  10. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association


Andrew Schachter
Andrew Schachter

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