Are All Food Supplements Created Equal?

There are thousands of food and dietary supplements you can see in drug stores and pharmacies, but not all of them are the same. They have different formulations, concentrations, and ingredients. Moreover, different makers of a similar product may have utilized varying procedures and processes in producing the food supplement.

Food supplements may be categorized into two major classifications: natural and synthetic. Natural supplements are extracted from natural resources, while synthetic supplements are made using isolated and replicated chemical structures by scientists. Attempting to replicate the structure and organization of a natural supplement, synthetic substances are a product chemically combination of molecules from other sources. These sources are not living foods, but dead chemicals.

Basically, synthetic food supplements provide isolated or fractionated pieces of the original. It is simply not the same. Most artificially produced supplements are chemical substances that cannot be found or are not available in nature; hence the body does not recognize them properly which may lead to the body’s unexpected reactions. The body can differentiate whether what it takes in is real or fake, and it always prefers real. If you take in synthetic food supplements, you are not getting the full benefit nature has intended for you.

According to nutritional research and studies, there is a significant variation in how the two types of supplements are produced, which influences the effects they bring in to the body. Peter Jones, director of the University of Manitoba’s Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, emphasizes that natural supplements come with some “bonus” benefits that are not present from synthetic supplements. Natural supplements, according to Jones, tend to “bring along some other cofactors, minerals, and things that enhance the biologic activity of that supplement” which are not present in synthetic ones.

“You actually improve its effects in the body in a natural form because you have these coexisting constituents that help the supplement, help the vitamin along in its normal activity. And you don’t have that with the synthetic form,” Jones adds.

The only advantage of synthetic supplements over natural ones is their cheaper price. Synthetic compounds, especially those created in test tubes, are very easy to produce in number and at the same time, making the process very cost efficient and bringing down the prices in drug stores or health shops.