Make the Change: Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamins

carl kleiner postures

Carl Kleiner’s Postures series – the lifecycle of nature vs industry

IN THIS SERIES, we’ll be covering everything there is to know about vitamins, from tablets and gelatin capsules to whole-foods and synthetically-derived nutrients and what to watch out for on the labels. Although our supplement-popping habits may seem harmless, quality and bioavailability are incredibly important factors to keep in mind as we continue to lessen the toxic load from our daily environment.

The first place to begin is with the form of the supplement you’re consuming:

1. Tablets
Tablets are made from a cocktail of excipients such as binders, fillers, additives and preservatives and are difficult to digest. Imagine that pill cutters were created for the special purpose of cutting tablets down with ease. They require high pressure (20,000 lb /inch) and high heat to compress them into their respective forms.

2. Gelatin capsules
Made from the bones and cartilage of animals. They are two times better absorbed than tablets, but often contain preservatives, coating agents, colorants and preservatives.

3. Vegetable capsules
Derived from botanical sources. They are two times better absorbed than gelatin capsules.

4.  Candy vitamins, such as caramels and gummies 
Often a go-to for children’s supplements, they are filled with sugar, colorants and preservatives.

5. Powders
High-quality powders, especially those that are fermented and/or sprouted can be wonderful additions to daily meals, smoothies and baked goods. Lesser quality varieties may contain ingredients such as soy isolate, added sugars, colorants and artificial flavors.

It is best to consume vegetable capsules when possible, and more importantly, to read the label of the supplement you are purchasing. Wonderful guides include The Chemical Maze app by Bill Statham, EWG’s Food Scores app or the Good Guide app. Stay tuned for the upcoming parts of the series where we’ll cover some common additives to avoid.

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