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Synthetic vs natural supplements – which is best?

When you research and buy supplements, do you pay attention to what form of nutrients are inside them?

When you are researching and buying supplements, you have two initial choices; if your supplement is synthetic or natural. Synthetic nutrients like multivitamins are extremely popular in the US, with over half of the population taking them for their reported health benefits. At the same time the other side of the supplement debate prefers to choose the “whole food”, all-natural option.

There’s plenty of debate online about the benefits and effectiveness of synthetic nutrients. You are here because you care about your health, are interested in supplements, and want to make the best decisions, so let’s see what all the fuss is about.

What are synthetic and natural supplements?

The difference between synthetic and natural supplements:

  • Synthetic supplements – the production process happens mostly in an industrial or laboratory setting and contains nutrients and compounds that are created artificially – also known as isolated nutrients.
  • Natural supplements are also most often created in a lab or industrial setting, yet contain compounds and ingredients found in whole foods such as beans, dairy, fish, fruits and vegetables, grains, and meat.

 

Synthetic-vs-natural-supplements

Why take natural or synthetic supplements?

Many factors have contributed to the reduction in the quality of our nutrition over the last few decades. Our lifestyle and diet changes, the depletion of the soil, and the overuse of pesticides have resulted in our inability to match our ancestors when it comes to getting our nutrients from real food.

By supplementing your diet, you increase your chances of getting the nutritional benefits you would have gotten from a traditional, wholesome diet. Natural and synthetic supplements have become increasingly popular as a way to fill in the gaps where one’s diet is not so strong, and lacking in vital natural vitamins and minerals.

While some say that they may be dangerous due to excess intake and side effects, some supplements have become necessary for certain people in many situations:

  • Those with certain allergies or intolerances – allergies are the result of our immune system’s response to a specific substance. Magnesium and zinc are both effective in improving immunity and preventing allergies
  • People with nutrient deficiencies – such as anemia, an iron deficiency, benefit from taking iron supplements
  • Women of childbearing age – it’s advised that folic acid should be taken as it can prevent birth defects such as spina bifida
  • Breastfeeding and pregnant womenneed more of certain nutrients, such as folate, iodine, iron, protein and vitamins A, B12, D, and K. This is not just for the mother’s benefit, as vitamins B12 and D support the baby’s skeletal and nervous system development
  • Vegetarians and veganswho lack crucial vitamins B12, calcium, vitamin D, iron, and zinc. They are mostly found in animal products such as dairy, eggs, meat, and milk and not in plant foods
  • People on low-calorie diets – by limiting your food intake, you could miss out on many crucial nutrients and vitamins to maintain weight loss and overall health
  • The elderlyneed more calcium for their bones, and more vitamin B12 and D as their levels decrease with age

Natural food and dietary supplements

Most of the supplements you see today, namely amino acids, proteins, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins are created artificially. They come in all forms, shapes, and sizes: capsules, liquids, powders, and tablets. If your supplement is natural it should be labeled as such with the food sources, or declared as 100% animal or plant-based.

Whether natural or synthetic, the goal is the same – to act and work in the same way, or better, than how our body’s own, natural nutrients do. Overall though, synthetic supplements usually contain higher doses of those nutrients found in food – hence the controversy.

Synthetic supplements could be harmful

While those on Team Synthetic Supplements claim that there’s a lack of evidence showing the effectiveness of natural supplements, those on Team Natural Supplements say the same thing in opposition.

Here are 9 reasons why you should choose as natural as you can:

  1. Synthetic compounds are challenging to absorb and are not processed by the body, so they must be removed by the kidneys, liver, and skin.
  2. The toxic load from synthetic vitamins on our liver and kidneys far outweighs any benefit
  3. Natural supplements have higher bioavailability than synthetics, absorbing twice as efficiently
  4. Iron supplementation can be toxic for people who aren’t deficient in iron
  5. Synthetic supplements don’t contain trace minerals or any other nutrients, whereas natural ones contain enzymes, lipids, and proteins that assist with digestion
  6. Pregnant women have to take care with vitamin A, which expresses in the body as beta-carotene – as excessive doses have been linked to birth defects
  7. Synthetic folic acid is more harmful than the natural folate found in foods
  8. High doses of vitamins A and E can increase the risk of cancer and premature death
  9. Some studies have linked the use of multivitamins to an increased risk of cancer

While most of our competitors in the gaming supplement industry use synthetic ingredients, approximately 95% of our ingredients come from natural sources: plants, herbs, adaptogens, etc.

We create natural supplements specifically for Gamers looking to maximize their gaming performance and potential. Carefully formulated, we design our nootropics to ensure you get essential nutrients known for enhancing your mental function.

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