Natural Vs Synthetic Nutrients – Which Is Better?

balance with injection needle with pills and apples, metaphor for healthy living, isolated on white background

Natural Nutrients Vs Synthetic Nutrients

Hello All!!!

Most people don’t get sufficient nutrients from their diet. This makes them consume synthetic nutrients such as multivitamin supplements. Whether synthetic nutrients have the same benefits to offer as natural nutrients do is a debatable topic. Some sources even claim that synthetic nutrients are dangerous. So, this post is basically natural vs synthetic nutrients!

What is meant by synthetic and natural nutrients?

Natural nutrients: Natural nutrients are the ones that are obtained from whole food sources.

Synthetic nutrients: Synthetic nutrients are also called isolated nutrients as they are made artificially by an industrial process.

Natural Vs Synthetic Nutrients

Natural Vs Synthetic Nutrients

A majority of the supplements present in the market today are made by an artificial process. The supplements include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. They are available in the form of a pill, capsule, tablet, powder or liquid and are designed such that they mimic the way natural nutrients act in the human body.

To find out if your supplement is natural or synthetic, kindly check the label. Natural supplements mention the food sources or are labeled as 100 percent plant or animal based. The supplements that list the nutrients individually like ‘vitamin C’ or use the chemical names such as ‘ascorbic acid’, are mostly synthetic.

Difference between natural and synthetic nutrients

Synthetic nutrients are chemically identical to the ones found in food. The synthetic nutrients are produced differently from the way plants and animals produce them. So, in spite of having similar chemical structure, the human body may react in a different manner to synthetic nutrients. Moreover, how well the body absorbs synthetic nutrients is unclear.

It is said that the body absorbs the nutrients best that have their source from whole food.

Health benefits of nutrients in whole food

Consumption of natural whole foods helps in managing and warding off heart disease, cancer, diabetes and premature death.

Fruits and veggies

fruits-and-veggies- ornish diet

Fruits and veggies offer vitamins, minerals, fibre and plant compounds that are responsible for several health benefits. According to observational studies, higher intake of fruits and veggies is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and certain brain disorders.

Oily fish

Heart health gets improved by the high levels of omega 3 in oily fish.

Beans and legumes

beans and sprouts

Beans and legumes have a high soluble fibre content along with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals and this helps in reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Seeds and nuts

Seeds and nuts are known to have high amounts of healthy fats, antioxidants and minerals. They are linked to a reduced risk of premature death, diabetes and heart disease.

Whole grains

Many essential nutrients like fibre, B vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron and selenium are present in whole grains.

Supplement studies have unclear results

It is clear that natural nutrients are beneficial to health but there are mixed evidence with regard to synthetic supplements.

Some studies say that synthetic nutrients are beneficial and others say that they are of no use and even harmful. The final word is that the results of the studies are inconsistent. So, the ‘Natural Vs Synthetic Nutrients’ debate is still on!

Who should take synthetic nutrients?

There is no clear evidence to prove that synthetic nutrients benefit healthy, well-nourished people. However, there are some people who may be benefitted by consuming synthetic supplements and they are:

  • The elderly
  • Vegans and vegetarians
  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • Women of childbearing age
  • People having nutrient deficiencies

Can synthetic nutrients be harmful?

Consuming large amounts of synthetic nutrients can be harmful to health. Generally, the recommended daily dosage is safe for most people but they need to exercise caution.

The final word

Research says that synthetic nutrients cannot replace a healthy and balanced diet. Natural nutrients are the best. However, if you are deficient in a particular nutrient, then taking supplements is beneficial.

Hope you found this post on ‘Natural Vs Synthetic Nutrients‘ useful!

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