Vitamin-Mineral Supplement update 
By Walter Sorochan Emeritus Professor San Diego State University

Uploaded September 24, 2013; Updated November 3, 2021.   Disclaimer  The information provided below is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to either directly or indirectly give medical advice or prescribe treatment. 

    Mineral supplements
    The controversies
    Differences between whole-food & Synthetic vitamins
    Examples whole-food vit complex
    Vitamins marketed today
    Side effects synthetic supplements
    What to do?
    Bad buy
    Synthetic labeling clues
    Labeling for supplements
    Good buys
    Who makes whole-food supplements
    Mirror image supplements
This researcher was shocked to learn that the vitamins he was buying and ingesting for over 40 years were mostly synthetic and probably did more harm than good!

To avoid redundancy and boring you with complicated information about vitamin supplements, this author has taken a short-cut by allowing you to view other author's pertinent viewpoints on vitamin supplements.











Introduction: This article summarizes the dilemma and controversy about vitamin-mineral supplements that now exists amongst the general public and nutrition field. It is a search for the truth! We have been lead to believe that we need to supplement our deficient-inadequate diet with vitamin-mineral supplements. And a large number of persons, about 50% of the USA population, are doing just that. But .... there is a mystery blackout as to the real truth about vitamin-mineral supplements. Schmid: Supplement industry 2002 Supplements may be synthetic or whole food and good or bad. Making things worse is not knowing who to believe and what to eat to stay healthy!

There are three views about vitamin supplements:

1. Traditional mainstream nutritional theory: The long time perception by most persons that all nutrient versions are the same. For example: supplement versions of vitamin C .... that whole food vitamin C and synthetic ascorbic acid are both the same.

2. Whole-food vitamin-complex model: Whole food vitamins are actually groups of chemically-related compounds, extremely important molecules associated with the major vitamins, that cluster in the foods we eat. These are the cofactors, trace minerals, co-enzymes, anti-oxidants and other unknown substances, ALL necessary for the whole food vitamin to work. Whole food vitamins are easily absorbed and used by the human body, including the precious micronutrients that are attached with them.

3. Synthetic vitamins: These vitamins are made from chemicals, not plants, and are assumed to be as effective as whole-food vitamins.

Many nutritional recommendations, like recommended dietary allowances and guidelines, are often made on speculation, expert opinion and guesses instead of good science! Many researchers in the past used inappropriate designs [ not differentiating between whole-food and synthetic supplements ] to study nutrition and health. Hence controversy! Back to top arrowup

Mineral supplements: Mineral supplements are also part of the nutrient supplement controversy.  Manufacturers create inexpensive mineral supplements [synthetic] from crushing rock. Most mineral supplements contain minerals in the form referred to as ‘mineral salts’. Mineral salts are natural food for plants, they are not a natural food for humans. Many synthetic minerals lack the needed amino acids and other co-factor helpers in order to be absorbed and used by the body.  Article by Thiel: Mineral supplements is no longer active/ This review focuses on vitamin supplements, although most of the issues about vitamin supplements also apply to mineral supplements as well.

Which supplement is the best? Why can't you get all your vitamins and minerals from the food you eat and avoid nutritional supplements?  Back to top arrowup

The Controversies:

The vitamin controversy is ignited by our own government FDA, nutritionists and those marketing vitamins.  Vitamin supplements are being marketed with the goal of making money and not improving your health nor providing trustworthy information! Schmid: Supplement industry 2002 The Internet is 99% marketing hype and 1% actual information; so don't expect to find much reliable nutrition information on the internet. 90% or more of the vitamins and supplements now on the market labeled as "natural" or "food based" actually are spiked with synthetic chemicals. The wording on labels add to the controversy.

Adding to the controversy is the scare that vitamin supplements can cause health problems.

Then there is concern about eating refined and processed foods  Article by Bernhard: vitamin truth 2012 is no longer active, and eating nutrient deficient foods grown on massive mineral depleted soils. Foods grown in American soil today have only a fraction of the nutrient value in foods of 50 - 70 years ago. Earth Summit Report of 1992 indicates that the mineral content of the USA farm and range land soil has decreased dramatically by 85% since 1900. Consequently our vegetables are now mineral and vitamin bankrupt. Wiki: soil depletion 1992  Rio Sumit: American soils depleted 1992 Article by Senate Report: Soil depletion is no longer active. A good example is spinach; in 1948, a bowl of spinach contained 150 mg of iron, now that same bowl contains 2 mg. Article by Harrington: soil depletion & food is no longer active.  The point being made is that it is very difficult to eat a healthy food only diet. Without adequate nutrition from food, we become susceptible to disease. Simply stated … a lack of nutrients leads to malnutrition … malnutrition leads to disease. Article by Marler: harvested food quality is no longer active.

Read Berdhard's article for more details:  Article by Bernhard: vitamin truth 2012 is no longer active.  The general response to a poor diet is to take vitamin-mineral supplements.

vitamin_supplements11 Today, in addition to mineral deficient soil and processed foods, we have a new food-health problem. It is synthetic vitamin supplements! The problems we now have with these synthetic vitamins are parallel to the overall problems we have with pharmaceutical drugs and the growth of "modern" medicine. Vitamins manufactured in the laboratory [ synthetic ] may be triggering auto-immune disorders and degenerative diseases. Medical doctors have yet to appreciate the side-effects of synthetic vitamin supplements.

The vitamin supplementation issue becomes more confusing when we read/hear about researches that claim that vitamin supplements may be harmful! It is what researchers neglect to tell us about their research procedures that contributes to the misinformation and confusion. Author-researcher Beverly Cangialosi provides this background in her easy to understand article. She approaches the vitamin supplement issue by taking a look at the way we determine scientific truth. Being aware of the two philosophical approaches in the search for the truth makes it easier for the reader to understand synthetic versus whole food vitamins and interpret research evidence.  Back to top arrowup

The Differences between whole food & synthetic vitamin supplements: Please take a shortcut about vitamin supplements by reading Beverly Cangialosi's most informative article:  Article by Cangialosi: Info supplements is no longer active.

YOU need to ask the right questions to get the truth!  So what should a good vitamin-mineral supplement be?

 Synthetic Vitamins killing Americans
 Natural vs Synthetic Vitamins Part1, Anti-oxidants
 Natural vs Synthetic Vitamins Part 5, Food Minerals vs Mineral Salts
 Natural vs Synthetic Vitamins Part 2, Vitamin A & B
Natural vs Synthetic Vitamins Part 3, Folate vs. Folic Acid
Natural vs Synthetic Vitamins Part 4, Vitamins B12, C, D, E, & K

Assuming that you have read and/or viewed the suggested information, you should now have a little more understanding of the difference between a whole-food vitamin and a synthetic one.  You now may also have more questions than answers!    Back to top arrowup

Examples of Whole-Food-vitamin complex:  Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, unknown substances and enzymes work together as a team. 114Gears The animation on the left illustrates this concept with all the wheels turning. The nutrient complex is the big outer wheel.  The big wheel or complex is made up of different sized gear wheels, each representing a different co-factor substance. The big wheel works as long as the smaller wheels are present in the proper size or ratio. But if one smaller wheel is missing or pulled out as an isolate, then the big wheel complex cannot work! More importantly, neither can the smaller wheels [ synthetic supplements ] by themselves! Examples: The vitamin E complex is now known to embrace the tocopherol group, the xanthine group, the phospholipid group, the lipositol, and the sex hormone precursors.  Vitamin D complex contains D1, D2, D3, D4 and a lot of supporting other vitamins, minerals and unknown substances. This food-complex is also illustrated for Vitamin C below:

Vitamin C as an example of natural vitamin-complex:   Article by Cntr Nat Med: Whole-synthetic vitamins is no longer active.


Mother Nature created vitamin C-rich fruits, berries and plants as sodium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate. As you can see in the illustration above, natural Vitamin C has several components, including ascorbic acid, tyrosinase, Vitamin P, Vitamin K and Vitamin J factors, and also ascorbigen and bioflavinoid complexes. Including all the component substances in a plant vitamin is referred to as a vitamin C-complex or whole food complex. We don't really know all the substances making up a natural vitamin, but the guess is that it could be 50 or more. The illustration above simulates a very small number of essential substances. A vitamin is “a complex assembly of food catalysts, enzymes and unknown substances which must not be altered in structure or proportion of components if it is to retain its function.”

The problem with vitamin-mineral supplements is that many vitamin and mineral supplements are manufactured in the laboratory synthetically with chemicals that do not come from their natural food sources. Article by Thiel: Truth about vitamins is no longer active. These are made in a lab with the hope that these will mimic the way natural vitamins act in our bodies.  Many synthetic vitamins lack the transporter substances and co-factors [ helpers ] associated with naturally-occurring vitamins. Most of these co-factor substances are unknown at this time.  Wiki: other nutrients   Synthetic vitamins are single substances that have been “isolated” [ removed ] from other supporting substances. There are claims made by those marketing synthetic vitamins that isolated vitamins are used and recognized by the body in the same way as natural versions.  The other side of the controversy is the claim that a natural vitamin form comes as a complete package with other vitamins, enzymes, substances and minerals in the essential ratio that helps control the way the body recognizes, metabolizes and uses them to make what the body needs. Cangialosi and Thiel present evidence supporting the whole-food complex that was founded in 1956 by Royal Lee.  Lee: vitamin differences 1956

“The Lee Principle of Nutrition states that a vitamin as it appears in nature is never a single chemical, but rather it is a group of interdependent compounds that form a ‘nutrient complex’ so intricate that only a living cell can create it. And just as no single component of a watch keeps time, no single compound in a vitamin complex accounts for the vitamin's nutritive effect in the body. Only through whole, unprocessed foods can the synergistic effect of a true vitamin be delivered.”

"A very common mistake is assuming that one fraction of a natural complex is the vitamin itself.”  Article by Lee: vitamin differences is no longer active.

As of 1996, over 3,800 different compounds had been identified in foods as having nutritional significance. Duke, James Textbook  However, in a laboratory, twenty nutrients are about all that modern science can reproduce and put into a vitamin product made in a lab. The significance of this information is that we know very little about all the plant substances needed for health. Wiki: other nutrients This is an important reason to use whole food vitamin sources.

Resonance makes whole foods living!

Although Cangialosi's article and Thiel's videos differentiate whole-food vitamins versus synthetic vitamins as supplements, two emerging food concepts may be helpful to this discussion: live food resonance and chlorophyll.

The term live foods is used by many advocates of whole foods and needs a short explanation. The claim is made that whole foods are electrically charged and this makes these foods living! This claim is valid. Everything in nature, living and non-living, has natural specific resonant frequencies: Plants and humans resonate, that is, communicate by weak electromagnetic frequency waves. Plants can communicate with each other and other living things, including human cells.  Creath: sound healing plants  Koziolek: phosynthesis signaling   Quantum weiriness of plants-animals Jarvis: What is Quantum Entanglement

Resonance means that cells vibrate at a specific frequency. When the sender and receiver vibrate at the same level, they communicate as when you tune your radio receiver to the same wave length of a radio transmitter and can hear music. Enzymes in whole food plants have the electromagnetic frequency to interact and connect with human living cells; thus making the enzyme plant a whole living nutrient. In other words, food can be absorbed from the digestive tract into the blood stream and henceforth used by muscles, the brain and other parts of the body. Synthetic supplements do not have a compatible electric resonance with body cells and are considered to be dead. Dead supplements are recognized by the immune cells as an enemy and are attacked and excreted from the body. This resonance capability of whole foods makes them living and usable by the living human body.

For more information about resonance in humans and living things go to:  Resonance on earth

Another ignored nutrient ... Chlorophyll: 

Chlorophyll is found in plants and sea weed or algae. It is the substance that gives plants their greenish color and makes plant food from sunshine. Chlorophyll provides many plant functions that may be similar to those of red blood cells in humans.  Research suggests that the chlorophyll in green vegetables and fruits we eat may contribute to many health benefits; although there is some controversy about this. Such benefits have been overlooked and ignored by nutritionists and medical-health people.

It is the chlorophyll in plants that allows your body to do many magic things. It detoxifies poisonous toxins and rids the intestines of stored toxins. Because it is a natural detoxifier, it also aids in reducing bad breath, removes carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and reduces fecal, urinary, and body odor in geriatric patients. Young: chlorophyll detoxifies human odors 1980 Chlorophyll is known to help fight infection, help heal wounds, and promotes the health of the circulatory, digestive and immune systems. It contains the anti-oxidant and anti-aging enzyme SOD and has excellent anti-inflammatory qualities.

Chlorophyll also has a very similar structure to blood hemoglobin. There is a remarkable similarity between chlorophyll and the red pigment in blood. Research in the 1940s demonstrated that the two pigments react the same during breakdown. According to an article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Jan. 4, 1995), chlorophyll fed to laboratory animals reduces absorption of three dietary carcinogens: heterocyclic amines (found in cooked muscle meats), polycyclic hydrocarbons (found in smoked and barbecued foods), and aflatoxin [ a mold on peanuts ]. The chlorophyll forms complex compounds with the carcinogens while they were still in the digestive tract, limiting their bioavailability.

While the mechanism is unclear, chlorophyll consumption may increase the number of red blood cells and, therefore, increase oxygen utilization by the body.   Back to top arrowup

Vitamins marketed today:  Nearly all the dietary supplements marketed today are made in China  Mercola: vitamin production 2007 Andrews: Supplement sources  Vitamin C is made from GMO corn [ synthesized as ascorbic acid ] while other B vitamins are made from toxic petroleum products. Article about Thiel: Truth about vitamins is no longer active.

You should have become more informed about vitamins and vitamin supplements by reading Cangialosi's article or/and viewing Thiel's videos.  Additional information may be viewed by referring to the articles in the references below.  You are now almost ready to make good decisions about vitamin supplements.  Back to top arrowup  

Side-effects of synthetic vitamin supplements: 

Many research studies have reported that vitamin and mineral supplements are dangerous to your health. Their studies neglected to state whether the supplements were from whole foods or synthetic sources; a huge research design flaw! Researchers assumed that all vitamin-mineral supplements are the same and this is obviously not the case. Synthetic supplements can contribute to many health problems and side-effects.

Synthetic vitamins and minerals are created by manufacturers by chemically isolating a part of a vitamin and then re-creating it in a synthetic process that relies on chemical reactions. The new isolated chemical is not bio-identical and does not have co-factor helpers.

When too much of any particular synthetic [isolated] vitamin is taken, it tends to upset the balance of vitamin metabolism. The body can react in several ways: 1. synthetic nutrients are recognized by the immune system as foreign and toxic to the body; causing a toxic reaction. Or 2. The body can also react by trying to find the missing co-factors by pulling out or leaching the missing vitamins and minerals from other body tissues. This "Robbing Peter to pay Paul" compensation is suspected of also causing many vitamin-supplement side-effects. Synthetic supplements have an opposite effect from whole food vitamins. Here are some side-effect examples generated by synthetic vitamins and minerals: [ incomplete list ]

Dietary vitamin and mineral supplements [ not identified but suspected to be synthetic ] may be associated with increased total mortality risk; this association is strongest with supplemental iron. Mursu: Iowa supplement mortality 2011

Synthetic Vitamin A given to reduce blood pressure in USA patients failed while fish liver oil vitamin A [ whole food ] given patients in Cuba successfully treated high blood pressure.   Article by Cntr Nat Med: Whole-synthetic vitamins is no longer active.

Vitamin Bs [synthetic] can aggravate nervous disorders.

Folic acid [synthetic] causes birth defects.

B6 [synthetic] can cause cholesterol problems.

Ascorbic acid [synthetic] fed to rats did not prevent or heal scurvy. Article by Lee: vitamin differences is no longer active.

Vit C [synthetic ascorbic acid] may contribute to cancer.  AAAS: it C damages 2001

American Heart Association showed a link between consumption of only 500mg of vitamin C per day [synthetic] and a greater propensity toward thickening of the arteries.  Article in Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2000 is no longer active..

Athletes taking 1000mg of vitamin C [synthetic] per day showed reduced endurance capacity from interference with antioxidant enzymes. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jan 2008)  Hea Home Econ: 2010

Vitamin C at gram-level doses [synthetic] can interfere with copper metabolism. Conversely, whole food vitamin C can significantly enhance iron uptake and metabolism, even at food-level amounts.

Doses of 1,000 mg of vitamin C [synthetic ascorbic acid] a day impairs body energy systems and has adverse effects on immune system.  Article by Maffetone Dangers synthetic vitamins is no longer active.

Vitamin C [synthetic] also has important interactions with other vitamins. Excessive intake of vitamin A, for example, is less toxic to the body when whole-food vitamin C is readily available. Vitamin C is involved in the regeneration of vitamin E, and these two vitamins appear to work together in their antioxidant effect. Article by Senate Report: Soil depletion is no longer active.

High dosages of tocopherols [ synthetic vitamin E ] decalcify bones and teeth. Article by Emanuel Revici vit E dangers is no longer active.

Vitamin E complex protects against coronary disease.  Article by Emanuel Revici vit E dangers is no longer active.

Alpha tocopherol [ synthetic vitamin E ] damages arteries, resulting in plaque formation and eventually occlusions, i.e., heart attacks. Article by Emanuel Revici vit E dangers is no longer active.

Taking any synthetic vitamin can cause imbalances in the body and should be avoided.  Hea Home Econ: 2010  Unfortunately, the reporters and researchers of  many studies often failed to mention that synthetic vitamins were used instead of whole food vitamins!

Real danger of synthetic vitamin supplements: These are recognized by the body as bad 'guys' and eliminated from the body or even perhaps stored in fat tissues of the body. Independent research on all of this is sadly lacking. Back to top arrowup

What to do?

The information that follows is not a recommendation to use vitamin-mineral supplements.   Instead, researcher Sorochan is merely illustrating the difference between synthetic vitamins and good 'whole-food' vitamins.

 Bad buy:  Common Synthetic Vitamins to Avoid:  Myers: distinguishing vitamins  Group: Differences between nat-syn vitamins 2013 Read the label! If the label mentions at least one synthetic name below, then you can assume that the label's supplement is synthetic.  Avoid buying it.

VitaminsSynthetic name
Vitamin Aacacetate & Palmate; retinoic acid; beta carotene; retynil acetate
Vitamin B1Thiamine, Thiamine Monomitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride [Thiamine HCL]
VitaminB5Calcium D-Pantothenate
Vitamin B6Pyridoxine, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
Vitamin B12Cobalamin, cyanocobalamin
PABAPara-aminobenzoic acid, Aminobenzoic acid; [not recognized as vitamin]
Folic acidPteroylglutamic Acid
CholineCholine chloride, Choline Bitartrate
Vitamin CAscorbic acid
Vitamin DIrradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol
Vitamin Edl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate

Back to top arrowup

Synthetic labeling clues:  In addition to the above synthetic names, the following label wordings should make you suspect that supplement may be synthetic:

No list of food source on label.
Vit C with acerola cherry powder.
A large amount of vitamin C, having 500 or 1000 mgs, is without supporting co-factors and is probably synthetic.
Salt forms: acetae, bitartrate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nitrate, succinate, magnesium stearate, magnesium oxide.
Use of word “natural.”
Vitamin D-2.
Following ingredients used as fillers, binders and flow agents are toxic.
  • magnesium stearate also known as Stearic Acid) (filler).
  • silicon dioxide (flow agent).
  • di-calcium phosphate (DCP) (binding agent).
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) disguised as “natural flavors.”
Carnauba wax [ is used in car wax and shoe polish ].
Titanium dioxide [ is a carcinogen ].
So called "whole food supplements" are spiked with other synthetic vitamins and minerals.

"Truly natural dietary supplements are made from freeze-dried real food, or otherwise are not heated, and the nutrients they contain are natural doses without added synthetics. "Unfortunately, most fruit and vegetable concentrates used in dietary supplements are dried with very high heat, destroying various nutrients. They don’t supply much nutrient but are used in the supplement to make it appear natural, while all the nutrients listed on the label come from synthetic or other unnatural additions. These so-called “whole food” supplements containing fruit or vegetable concentrates have to be “spiked” with synthetic vitamins and other unnatural nutrients in order to list any appreciable amounts of nutrients." Read the supplement facts label carefully.   Article by Maffetone Dangers synthetic vitamins is no longer active.   Back to top arrowup

Labeling for supplements? Labeling information can be full of mis-information and lack of it hiding the truth! The words on labels for different vitamins are difficult to understand and distinguish between whole food and synthetic ingredients and their sources. So what can we do? The key to identifying a legitimate whole-food supplement is to READ the LABEL.

Label Clues that make you suspect the supplement may be synthetic:   Article about Thiel: Truth about vitamins is no longer active.   Article by Maffetone Dangers synthetic vitamins is no longer active.

  • Label does not list all nutrient content or substances that make up the supplement.
  • GMO based foods mentioned e.g. ascorbic acid is made from GMO corn.
  • Contain super foods that are in very high  nutrient content or dosage.
  • Contains "no yeast” is basically a guarantee that it contains synthetic nutrients.
  • Claim that supplement has USP vitamins or ‘pharmaceutical grade’ nutrients, then the product is not a food source.
  • Claim “100% Food” 
  • 'natural' and 'organic' on a label has no medical or legal definition, ignore it!
  • If word “food” is not adjacent to the name of the substance. It is probably an isolate [normally crystalline in structure] and is synthetic.
  • Avoid supplements that have following on a label: artificial sweeteners Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose or Sorbitol.
  Back to top arrowup All vitamin-mineral supplements are not bad. For example, vitamin C stated as from whole food oranges and having about 70-80 mgs of vitamin C is natural and good while vitamin C stated as ascorbic acid having 300, 500 or 1000 Mgs is synthetic and bad. 

 Good Buy: Table: Natural Food Vitamins   Article about Thiel: Truth about vitamins is no longer active.   Article by Maffetone Dangers synthetic vitamins is no longer active. Vitamins found in natural foods are good and seldom have side-effects.

Vitamin: Generic name: Natural food names:
vitamin A Retinol etacarotene, retinyl esters, mixed carotenoids (food)
Vitamin B-1: Thiamine thamin pyrophosphate, thiamine triphosphate, (food)
Vitamin B-2: Riboflavin Riboflavin
Vitamin B-3: niacin Nicotinamide (adenine dinucleotide); niacinamide (food)
Vitamin B-5 Pantothenic acid Pantothenate
Vitamin B-6 Pyridoxine Pyridoxal-5-phosphate (beta-D); pyridoxine (food)
Vitamin B-7 or H Biotin Biotin
Vitamin B-9 Folic acid, folate folate
Vitamin B-12 Cobalamin methylcobalamin; deoxyadenosylcobalamin; Adenosylcobalamin (food)
Choline choline phosphatidyl choline; Phosphatydlcholine (food)
Vitamin C Ascorbic acid ascorbate; sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, dehydroascorbate, (food)
Vitamin D Ergocalciferol mixed forms, D3 (food)
Vitamin E Tocopherol d-alpha-tocopherol; RRR-alpha-tocopherol (food
Vitamin K Phylloquinone Phylloquinone

Note: This list is not complete.  The chemical vitamin names on the right side are for natural or whole food sources. Their chemical names on the label indicate that these vitamins should be a good buy.   Back to top arrowup

Dosage:  "The Recommended daily Allowances [RDA's and RDI], daily values [DV's] or other "standards" that are generally accepted by most agencies and institutions were originally established through animal testing using synthetic vitamins - supplements that have been determined as indigestible and severely lacking in nutritional value." Clement:Vitamin Myth Exposed 2006   Most nutritionists and medical doctors may not be aware of this procedural flaw.  Most RDA information printed on most labels is based on the assumed nutrient value of synthetic supplements.

A bigger issue with dosage has to do with potency because potency of a vitamin has to do with its effectiveness and assimilation and not its weight. Clement:Vitamin Myth Exposed 2006  Weight and potency, in this case, are two different things. Naturally occurring whole complex vitamins from foods created by nature are more “potent” per milligram than synthetic fractions of those vitamins because it is the whole, real vitamin that the body requires and not a synthetic chemical substitute of a fraction of a vitamin that has been chemically synthesized in a laboratory.   You get more bioavailability [nutrition] from a lower number of milligrams when the vitamin is a whole naturally occurring complex from real food.  More is not necessarily better!    Back to top arrowup

Who makes whole-plant substance supplements? Possible online sources of whole-food vitamin-mineral supplements are listed [ incomplete ] below. These sources claim to be "whole-food content." You need to further validate these sources for yourself: [ research work on whole-plant supplements currently in progress ]

1. Green Vibrance: Vibrant health This company has many inconsistencies and discrepancies in its product Green Vibrant. The appearance of good nutrient disclosure and good whole-food balance covers up real product issues. For example: Are supporting substance helper co-factors included in the many separate foods being added to the Vibrant Health mix? Protein amount [ trace amounts of amino acids ] is alarmingly low, bringing into question its processing and purifying systems; Prebiotics [ probiotics ] claim to provide gut bacterial cultures in powder and vegicaps, but bacterial cultures need to be frozen in order to survive while on the store shelf, and be active in the gut; no independent supporting research to validate its many claims like bioavailability. Vibrant Health neglected to respond to queries about these issues.

2. Blue Bonnet: weak total nutrient disclosure, no amino acid disclosure. Blue Bonnet did not respond to requests for additional information.

3. Beyond Food: weak nutrient disclosure, no amino acids disclosure. Beyond Food did not respond to requests for additional information.

4. MegaFood: incomplete food disclosure, no amino acids, sub-marketer.

5. Emerald Express: is not a whole-food supplement.

Other internet sources claim to list best nutritional supplement sources. These are self-serving and marketing ploys to sell their products.

These whole food supplements are not perfect but have hope. At this time, good independent research is lacking on claims made by the above marketers. There are many more questions than answers. You ingest at your own risk. Back to top arrowup

Recommendations: What should you eat & do?

veges-fruit10  sun D

We need to focus on getting Natural vitamins from whole food vitamins. Eat foods that have them.   Since our soils are mineral depleted and plant vitamins may also be of low quality; you may also need to supplement your food diet.

Avoid synthetic vitamin-mineral supplements for obvious reasons! Based upon the findings of this investigation, researcher-author Sorochan advocates the following options:

1. Obtain your nutrients, vitamins, minerals and amino acids as much as you can from whole foods and sunshine. Avoid processed foods, GMO and sugar foods. Avoid fast foods and eating at restaurants where you have little control and knowledge of the food source and quality used. Most restaurants serve meal portions that are too high in calories. Instead, eat home cooked meals where you can have control of the food sources.

2. Be prepared to supplement your diet, as plants grown on depleted mineral soils may not provide adequate nutrient amounts. The following health practices should be better than synthetic supplements:

  • 1st choice: Try whole-food supplements if you can find and afford one. 
  • 2nd choice: Ingest spirulina or barley green grass. Both should provide balanced ratios of plant-sunshine derived nutrients and their co-factor helpers. Both are also rich in chlorophyll. Spirulina may be tastier to take than barley green grass. Read the labels! All spirulina supplements are not the same and there is controversy about their bioavailability! For example, some spirulina supplements may lack adequate amounts of omega3 and EPA and DHA fatty oils and even a balance of amino acids.
  • 3rd choice: Juicing fresh green vegetables and fruits is a great way to get nutrients and chlorophyll. But be aware that it is difficult to get all the nutrients your body needs from a single juicing.
  • 1st choice: Sunshine for vitamin D. Depending where you live, your age and the color of your skin, exposure of 15 to 30 minutes per day between 11:00 am and 2:00pm, three times a week, should allow your skin to make all the vitamin D your body needs. You cannot overdose on vitamin D from sunshine; although you can burn your skin if you stay in the sun for a longer time.

Both spirulina and barley green grass are created by mother nature as "whole food-complexes." In their natural raw states, these contain all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids in a balanced ratio of co-factors and essential substances [ nutrient-dense ] needed for your body to absorb and use nutrients. Furthermore, both contain chlorophyll that helps body metabolism, fosters the good bacteria in your large intestine, bolsters the immune system and aids in detoxifying toxins. There are no side-effects and both spirulina and barley green grass are safe. Spirulina and/or barley green grass are better as whole-food supplements than commercial vitamin-mineral supplements. But beware of following: The harvesting, processing and packaging of spirulina and barley green grass can destroy many of their natural nutrients and supporting substances. Woodward: How vitamins are made Hopefully this will not be the case in the choice you make.

You need to take charge of your life and manage it! Do not be afraid to try out the recommendations on yourself. Write to your congresspersons and senators for food reforms [ agricultural [DA] subsidies, FDA, NIH, require medical students to take real nutrition courses and provide more independent research grants for nutrient unknowns like chlorophyll. Back to top arrowup


For more than 70 years we have been ingesting synthetic vitamins in our supplements and our fortified foods, believing that our health is being protected and improved. But this has been an obvious deception. We have been mislead by supplement makers and even our own government.

Marketers and makers of synthetic vitamin supplements are not interested in giving you honest information about the products they are selling. Indeed, the information presented herein should alert you to the many research reports that hide the nature of the vitamins that are used in their supposed double-trials research and end up misinforming you and others about the real outcome of their tainted research. This is more reason to do your homework and find the truth about vitamin supplements.

"We should be concerned about taking synthetic vitamins and other unnatural nutrients because published research in the last few years concludes two important things: First, synthetic and other unnatural nutrients, masqueraded as real vitamins, are mostly ineffective in keeping us healthy and preventing disease. Second, these synthetic chemicals may be dangerous to your health — some have been shown to increase the risk of death!" 

Mirror Image supplements: Synthetic supplements are complicated substances that can exist in two forms .... one good and one bad!  Article by Riken: Proline mirrors is no longer active.  Hoffman: mirror images molecular chirality 2010 miror images alanine Synthetic chemicals, including vitamins, can have two forms referred to as mirror images. Mirror-image substances  Article by Svane-Knudsen: mirror image is no longer active. One from is recognized and used by the human body while the other image form is not. For example: the illustration on the right has a chemical structure for the amino acid alanine. The left side or D is the natural protein alanine form while the right side L is the mirror synthetic [isolate ] form. Article by Riken: Proline mirrors 2006 is no longer active. The D form may also be referred to as the right hand while the L form as the left hand. In the case for vitamin E, the synthetic version of Vitamin E is often referred to as the mirror image dl- form. The dl- form is a combination of the d-form [ which, by the way, is the naturally occurring form ] and the l-form. No big deal, right?

Well .... it might not be, except that the body doesn’t actually use the mirror image l-form .... we excrete it! [ this applies only to vitamins and not amino acids or sugars ]. Fat soluble vitamins in their synthetic form are especially dangerous because they can build up in your fatty tissues, cause toxicity that causes side-effects. The reason that the synthetic form is more dangerous is because you can get a higher concentrated serving of the artificial vitamin rather than the lesser amount that you would get from a food-based form. The higher dosage is usually without all the supporting co-factors, thereby causing illness and disorders. Group: Differences between at-syn vitamins 2013 Herein lies the crux of the vitamin controversy!

The best source of vitamins and minerals is from whole food. As we complement our organic whole foods-based diet with supplements, we need to make sure that these vitamins are derived from naturally occurring plant and mineral sources, and that they contain no synthetic chemicals [ as well as fertilizers and pesticides ] whatsoever. It may be prudent to add whole-food or spirulina supplements to bolster our diet. You can save money by ingesting spirulina instead of buying vitamins-mineral synthetic supplements. Spirulina is readily absorbed and used in the body whereas synthetic supplements are not bioavailable. Spirulina has a whole-food complex that includes all the supporting vitamins, minerals, amino acids, anti-oxidants and other unknown substances [nutrient-dense] that are in the proper ratios to be used by the body. Spirulina vitamins, minerals, amino acids

But never overlook the scientific fact that it is your own body that heals itself and not vitamins or drugs. Natural vitamins vitalize and help the healing process! You can read the articles in the footnote section for more information about vitamin supplements.  Back to top arrowup


Adams Mike, "Consumer alert: Most common vitamins, including children's vitamins, found to contain GMOs," Natural News, July 30, 2013.  Adams: GMO vitamins 2013 "More than 90 percent of the fake "vitamin C" in this country is manufactured in New Jersey by Hoffman-LaRoche."

American Association For The Advancement Of Science, "Vitamin C Produces Gene-Damaging Compounds, Test-Tube Study In Science Reports," ScienceDaily. June 15, 2001, Retrieved September 16, 2013.   AAAS: Vit C damages 2001

Andrews Ryan, "All About Where Vitamin Supplements Come From," Precision Nutrition.  Andrews: Supplement sources NOTE: Most synthetic vitamins are made in China. However:

In North America, a majority of the raw materials for synthetic vitamin supplements are from the following companies:
•Arnet Pharmaceuticals Corporation – Davie, FL
•Botanical Laboratories, Incorporated – Ferndale, WA
•Contract Pharmacal Corporation – Hauppauge, NY
•Leiner Health Products Incorporated – Carson, CA
•Perrigo Company – Allegan, MI

Bates C. J AND H. Heseker, "Human bioavailability of vitamins," Nutrition Research Reviews, 1994, 7, 93-127 93.  Bates: bioavailability of vitamins 1994

Bernhard Mark, "The WHOLE Truth About Vitamins," 2012.  Article by Bernhard: vitamin truth 2012 is no longer active.

Brown Lester R., WORLD ON THE EDGE, [TEXT] W • W • NORTON & COMPANY New York, 2011.  Brown: status world food 2011

Cangialosi Beverly, "Synthetic Vitamins vs. Whole Food Vitamins - What You Need To Know," WholeFood-Nutrition, 2009.  Article by Cangialosi: Info supplements is no longer active.

"This report is intended for health conscious individuals who are taking or who would like to take supplements to maintain or improve their health. For those individuals, it is vitally important to have good information if they are to make an informed decision about the quality and efficacy of the products that they buy. Nothing could be more important in that discussion than the nature of synthetic vitamins vs. whole food vitamins. Is there a difference? Do they work the same way in the body?"

Chiral molecule or mirror image: Any molecule containing a carbon with four different attached groups is chiral. A chiral molecule is capable of existing as isomers that are nonsuperimposable mirror images of each other.

The mirror-image isomers of a chiral substance are called enantiomers. The two enantiomers of a mirror-image pair are sometimes distinguished by using the labels D- (from the Latin dexter, "right") and L- (from the Latin laevus, "left"). The enantiomers of a chiral substance possess the same physical properties, such as solubility, melting point, and so forth. Their chemical behavior toward ordinary chemical reagents is also the same. However, they differ in chemical reactivity toward other chiral molecules. It is a striking fact that all the amino acids normally found in proteins are of the L-configuration at the carbon center (except glycine, which is not chiral). Only amino acids with this specific configuration at the chiral carbon center are biologically effective in forming proteins in most organisms. Figure 25.17 shows the two enantiomers of the amino acid alanine.

Clement Brian, "The Vitamin Myth Exposed," Hippocrates Health Institute & OCA, December 31, 2006; 2007 by Healthful Communications, Inc.   Clement:Vitamin Myth Exposed 2006 The Organic Consumers Association is proud to announce a new nationwide campaign called "Nutri-Con: The Truth About Vitamins & Supplements." Answers, "Question: Is it better to get vitamins from foods or supplements, and are natural vitamins better than synthetic vitamins?"   ConsumerLab: best vitamin sources

Cummins Ronnie, "The Truth About Vitamins & Supplements," Organic Consumer's Association,  Article by Cummins: vitamin sup truth is no longer active.

Desai Krisha, "Hidden dangers in vitamins, supplements?" CNN Health, August 2, 2012.  Desai: supplement dangers 2012

Duke, James, Handbook of Chemical Constituents of Grasses, Herbs, and other Economical Plants, CRC Press, Boca Raton , 1992.

Group III Edward F., "The Differences Between Synthetic and Natural Vitamins," Global Healing Center, January 2, 2009, Last Updated on August 22, 2013.  Group: Differences between nat-syn vitamins 2013

Harrington Bob and Kelley, "Mineral Erosion From Our Planet's Soil," ZoeLiving, 2007.  Article by Harrington: soil depletion & food is no longer active.

Health Supplements Nutritional Guide, "The Best Multi Vitamin Products," Nutritional Health Resource.  Article by Nutritional health Supplements is no longer active.

Hoffman Ronald, "Ronald Hoffmann: Winner of 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry," Darmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science, March 24, 2010.  Article by Hoffman: mirror images molecular chirality 2010 is no longer active.

Mirror-image  substances:  Any molecule containing a carbon with four different attached groups is chiral. A chiral molecule is capable of existing as isomers that are nonsuperimposable mirror images of each other.

The mirror-image isomers of a chiral substance are called enantiomers. The two enantiomers of a mirror-image pair are sometimes distinguished by using the labels D- (from the Latin dexter, "right") and L- (from the Latin laevus, "left"). The enantiomers of a chiral substance possess the same physical properties, such as solubility, melting point, and so forth. Their chemical behavior toward ordinary chemical reagents is also the same. However, they differ in chemical reactivity toward other chiral molecules. It is a striking fact that all the amino acids normally found in proteins are of the L-configuration at the carbon center (except glycine, which is not chiral). Only amino acids with this specific configuration at the chiral carbon center are biologically effective in forming proteins in most organisms. Figure 25.17 shows the two enantiomers of the amino acid alanine.

Lee Royal, “What Is a Vitamin?” Applied Trophology, Aug 1956  Lee: vitamins 1956 Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research distributes literature on nutrition and health. The company, still family owned and operated, sells nutritional supplements and is now called Standard Process, Inc. and is located in Palmyra, Wisconsin."

Levy Thomas E., "Expert Says Vit C Better Than Chemo," Chron, August 26, 2013. Article by Levy: Vit C better than chemo is no longer active.

Svane-Knudsen Ditte, "New key to better drugs," ScientificNordic, December 8, 2011.  Article by Svane-Knudsen: mirror image is no longer active.

mirror image hands
"Chiral connections in living organisms are only found in one mirror form. This is like saying that the body is only made up of left-handed molecules that are mirrored – not right-handed molecules. If a drug is to work optimally it must metaphorically speaking be developed as a glove for a left hand; a drug developed for a right hand will not match the molecules" (Illustration: Anton Rasmussen, Aarhus University)

Maffetone Philip, "Serious Dangers of Synthetic & Unnatural Vitamins," 2008.  Article by Maffetone Dangers synthetic vitamins is no longer active.

Marler John B. and Jeanne R. Wallin, "Human Health, the Nutritional Quality of Harvested Food and Sustainable Farming Systems," Nutrition Security Institute [ Bellvue, Wa.,] 2006.  Article by Marler: harvested food quality is no longer active.

Mursu Jaakko, Kim Robien, Lisa J. Harnack, Kyong Park, David R. Jacobs, "Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women - The Iowa Women's Health Study, Arch Intern Med, October 10, 2011; 2011;171(18):1625-1633. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.445.  Mursu: Iowa supplement mortality 2011

Several commonly used vitamin and mineral supplements were associated with a higher mortality risk. Among the vitamins tested and shown to have this positive association are iron supplements, synthetic multivitamins, vitamin B, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, and copper.  [Researchers did not identify vitamin structure].

Murray Christopher, "THE SLOW POISONING OF YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN," Food Kills, August 27, 2013. How science and medicine have betrayed you  Murray: food poisoning children 2013  Dr. Murray was Director of the World Health Organization's Global Program on Evidence for Health Policy, 2000.

Myers Cheryl, "How To Tell If A Vitamin Is Natural Or Synthetic," Food Matters.  Myers: distinguishing vitamins

Mercola, "Most Synthetic Vitamins Are Now Made in China," Organic Consumers organization, June 4, 2007.  Mercola: vitamin production 2007 "You may be surprised to know that China is actually one of the largest exporters of many drugs and vitamins. About 90 percent of all Vitamin C sold in the United States is from China, for example. They also produce 50 percent of the world's aspirin and 35 percent of all Tylenol. Ditto for the majority of Vitamins A, B12 and E."

Orthomolecular News Service, Vitamins, disease, health and medical therapy, 2007-2013.  Orthomolecular Medicine nutrition update

O'Shea Tim, "WHOLE FOOD VITAMINS: Ascorbic Acid is Not Vitamin C."  O'Shea: Whole food vitamins

Riken research, "A helping hand for proline," August 25, 2006.  Article by Riken: Proline mirrors is no longer active. " amino acids can take one of two different mirror-image forms. Now scientists think they may have found a clue to solve one of the biggest puzzles in science: why only the ‘left-handed’ form of amino acid is found in living systems."

Rio earth summit, "soil depletion." Earth Summit Report, 1992.  Rio Sumit: American soils depleted 1992

"In 1992 an Earth Summit Report warned us again, connecting back to the Senate document, indicating that the mineral content of the world’s farm and range soils had decreased dramatically. This was the percentage of mineral depletion from soil during the past 100 years, by continent: North America – 85% South America – 76% Asia – 76% Africa – 74% Europe – 72% Australia – 55% "

Roman Sally, "The Truth About Vitamins in Nutritional Supplements," Health Solutions, August 22, 2012.   Article by Riken: Proline mirrors is no longer active.

Schmid Ron, "Dietary Supplements: What the Industry does NOT want you to know," Organic Consumer's Association, Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2002.  Schmid: Supplement industry 2002

Senate Document 264, Senate Document 264 - Farmland Mineral Depletion, Senate Document 264 - Farmland Mineral Depletion.   Article by Senate Report: Soil depletion is no longer active.

The George Mateljan Foundation, "New Scientific Findings on Whole Foods versus Supplements."  Article by Mateljan Foundation: scientific nutrition info is no longer active.

The Healthy Home Economist, "Beware of Ascorbic Acid – Synthetic Vitamin C," February 5, 2010. [ by Sarah ]  Hea Home Econ: 2010

Thiel R.J., "Natural Vitamins May Be Superior to Synthetic Ones," Medical Hypotheses, 2000; 55(6):461-469.  Thiel: natural vitamins superior 2000

Thiel Robert, "The Truth About Minerals in Nutritional Supplements," Doctor's Research.  Article by Thiel: Mineral supplements is no longer active/

Thiel Robert, "The Truth About Vitamins in Nutritional Supplements," Doctor's Research. Article by Thiel: Truth about vitamins is no longer active.

The Center for Natural medicine, "WHOLE FOOD VERSUS SYNTHETIC VITAMINS."  Article by Cntr Nat Med: Whole-synthetic vitamins is no longer active.

Example: Whole food complex that makes up Vitamin E:  Article by Cntr Nat Med: Whole-synthetic vitamins is no longer active.

It contains four different related tocopherols, plus xanthine, lipositols and the mineral, selenium. If this were a synthetic vitamin, only one portion of the complex, most commonly alpha-tocopherol, is removed from the whole food complex and then synthesized through mass production to be placed in a vitamin container and called “vitamin E”.

Vitamer  Vitamer

"A vitamer of a particular vitamin is any of a number of chemical compounds, generally having a similar molecular structure, each of which shows vitamin-activity in a vitamin-deficient biological system.  For instance, Vitamin A has at least six vitamer chemicals that all qualify as "vitamin A", each with slightly different properties.  In such a system, "vitamin A" is termed the "generic descriptor" of the vitamin, which is defined by its biological properties in a vitamin deficient organism, not by its chemical structure. In the "vitamin A" system, four of the chemicals naturally found in foods are chemically carotenoids (three carotenes and one xanthophyll), found in certain plant foods like carrots. However, the retinol and retinal forms, which occur in animal-based foods, are several times as effective in humans, per microgram, as the carotenoid forms. In some cases these differences are extreme: for example the carotenoid forms of vitamin A cannot be absorbed by cats or ferrets at all, and therefore do not have vitamin A activity in these species. "

Wikipedia, "B vitamins.  Wiki: other nutrients Some substances below were at one time considered vitamins but instead may be co-factors and may be found in B-vitamin complexes:

  • Vitamin B4: adenine, a nucleobase, is synthesized by the human body.[35]
  • Vitamin B8: adenosine monophosphate, is synthesized by the human body.
  • Vitamin B10: para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
  • Vitamin B11: pteryl-hepta-glutamic acid—chick growth factor, which is a form of folic acid. Later found to be one of five folates necessary for humans; also known as vitamin S or factor S.
  • Vitamin B13: orotic acid, now known not to be a vitamin.
  • Vitamin B14: cell proliferant, anti-anemia, rat growth factor, and antitumor pterin phosphate named by Earl R. Norris. Isolated from human urine at 0.33ppm (later in blood), but later abandoned by him as further evidence did not confirm this. He also claimed this was not xanthopterin.
  • Vitamin B15: pangamic acid
  • Vitamin B16: dimethylglycine (DMG)
  • Vitamin B17: nitrilosides, amygdalin or Laetrile. These substances are found in a number of seeds, sprouts, beans, tubers, and grains. While toxic in large quantities, proponents claim that it is effective in cancer treatment and prevention despite a lack of scientific evidence.[36]
  • Vitamin B18:
  • Vitamin B19:
  • Vitamin B20: carnitine
  • Vitamin B21:
  • Vitamin B22: often claimed as an ingredient of Aloe vera extracts but also in many other foods. Claimed by one source to be vitamin B12b-δ.[citation needed]
  • Vitamin Bm: "mouse factor": also used to designate inositol
  • Vitamin Bp: choline[dubious ]. Althougn it is synthesized in vivo de novo,[37] it is an essential nutrient and requires dietary intake.[38] May be added as supplement especially when methionine supply is limited[why?]

Wikipedia, "Dietary supplement."  Wiki: dietary supplement

Wikipedia, "Talk:Fertility (soil),"  Wiki: soil depletion 1992

Wikipedia, "Vitamin."  Wiki: vitamin defined

"Vitamins are classified as either water-soluble or fat-soluble. In humans there are 13 vitamins: 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) and 9 water-soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C). Water-soluble vitamins dissolve easily in water and, in general, are readily excreted from the body, to the degree that urinary output is a strong predictor of vitamin consumption. Because they are not as readily stored, more consistent intake is important.  Many types of water-soluble vitamins are synthesized by bacteria.  ] Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of lipids (fats). Because they are more likely to accumulate in the body, they are more likely to lead to hyper-vitaminosis than are water-soluble vitamins."

Wikipedia, "Vitamin C."  Wiki: Vit C  Wiki: Ascorbic acid

Woodward Angela, "How products are made[vitamins]," Volume 3.  Woodward: How vitamins are made  Back to top arrowup