Nutritional Therapy Part II

Natural vs (Real) Natural

Vitamins on the market only have to be 10% natural to make the claim of being natural! Vitamins can even be 100% organic and not be natural at all. To be called organic a molecule need have only one carbon atom. This definition brodens the scope from acceptable food sources of animals and plant tissues to raw materials including coal tar and wood pulp (they are natural and they are carbon-based). Many synthetics are made from coal tar derivatives. For example, vitamin B1 is made from a coal tar derivative and d-alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) is a by-product of materials used by Eastman Kodak company to make film!

These terms also identify a vitamin as synthetic:

  • Acetate
  • Calcium Barbonate
  • Niacinamide
  • Bitartrate
  • Magnesium Oxide
  • Gelatin
  • Chloride
  • Cellulose
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Gluconate
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Calcium silicate
  • Hydrochloride
  • dl-Alpha tocopheryl acetate
  • d-Calcium pantothenate
  • Nitrate,
  • Pyridoxine hydrochloride
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Succinate
  • Zinc oxide
  • Mannitol
  • Mononitrate
  • Dicalcium phosphate
  • Lecithin
  • Chromium chloride
  • Dextrin
  • Thiamine mononitrate
  • Folic acid
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Vitamin A acetate
  • Dextrose
  • Biotin
  • Ergocalciferol
  • Beta carotene
  • Cyanocobalamin
  • Stearic acid Riboflavin

If your vitamin only lists the type of vitamin (e.g., B1-Thiamine) and doesn't give a food source, it is synthetic (or man-made) and therefore the company will only list the vitamin name and not the source.

When you look at an ingredient label on a food or food product and you see vitamin A acetate or vitamin A palmitate, Thiamine mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pyrodoxine HCL (B6), Cyanocobalamin (B12), we assume we are getting vitamins just as if we were eating natural foods. The chart below shows the names and sources of natural and synthetic vitamins.

Note: The primary yeast used in baking and brewers (nutritional yeast), Saccharomyces cerevesiae, is beneficial to humans and can help various infections including Candida albicans (Gruenwald et al editors, PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd ed. Medical Economics Company, Montvale (NJ) 2000).

Type of VitaminNatural SourceSynthetic Source


carrots, peppers, fish oil, alfalfa flour, spinachmethanol, benzene, petroleum esters, acetylene
B-1 (Thiamine)yeast, rice bran, molasses, whole grainscoal tar derivatives, hydrochloric acid, acetonitrole with ammonia
B-2 (Riboflavin)yeast, rice bran, molasses, leafy green vegetablessynthetically produced with 2N acetic acid
B-3 (Niacin)yeast, rice bran, molasses, peanuts, beans, sunflower seedscoal tar derivatives, 3 cyanopyridine ammonia and acid
B-5 (Pantothenic Acid)yeast, rice bran, molasses, royal jelly, peanutscondensing isobutyraldehyde acid with formaldehyde
B-6 (Pyridoxine)yeast, rice bran, molasses, oats, peanuts, potatoespetroleum ester & hydrochloric acid, with formaldehyde
B-12yeast, eggs, molasses, cheese, fish, meatscobalamine reacted with cyanide
Cholinenutritional yeast, rice branetheyle & ammonia with hydrochloric or tartaric acid
Cbuckwheat, acerola cherries, citrus fruit, peppers, broccolihydrogenated sugar processed with acetone
Dfish oil, liver, egg yolksirradiated or solvently-extracted animal fat or cattle brains
Ewheat germ, nuts, rice, sweet potatoes, yams, soybeansdl-alpha tocopherol succinate, trimethylhydroquinone with isophytol
Kcabbage, spinach, broccoli, beetsmenadione, coal tar derivative, produced with p-allelic-nickel


Whole-food supplements never come in high doses. It is only possible to create high dosage vitamins if you isolate one fraction of the vitamin complex as in crystalline or synthesize one fraction as in synthetics. Crystalline means that a natural food has been treated with various chemicals, solvents, heat and distillations to reduce it down to one specific "pure" crystalline "vitamin." In this process all the synergists, which are termed "impurities," are destroyed. There is no longer anything natural in the action of a crystalline "vitamin" -- they should more accurately be termed "drugs." (Dr. Janet Lange, Nutritional Seminars, 2003)

Vitamin E ComplexThe Vitamin E Complex Vitamin C ComplexThe Vitamin C Complex Looking at a diagram of natural vitamin C, the ascorbic acid portion comprises only about 5% of the whole complex. The rest is bioflavanoids, hesperidian, rutin, tyrosinase (copper enzymes), P, K and J factors. In most cases synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid) does not have the same effect as the natural complex. We point out the experience of Szent-Gyorgyl, where he discovered that synthetic vitamin C would not cure scurvy. (Szent-Gyorgyl, Oxidation, pp73-74, Williams & Wilkins Baltimore, 1939)

Similarly, alpha tocopherol only comprises a small percentage of the vitamin E complex.

There are four tocopherols, plus lipositols, xanthine, selenium, F1, E2, F2, E3 factors, all in the complex of natural vitamin E, not just alpha tocopherol. Dr. Royal Lee stated, "Natural forms of vitamin E (as alpha tocopherol) lose up to 99% of their potency when separated from their natural synergists."

Legally, the only portion of the vitamin C complex that is allowed to be called vitamin C is the ascorbic acid portion and the only part of vitamin E that can be called vitamin E is the alpha tocopherol piece.

Ascorbic acid can be derived from corn but not the other parts of the complex of natural vitamin C. Alpha tocopherol can be derived from the by-products of making photo film, but not the other parts of the natural vitamin E complex.

Most Beta-Carotene on the market is an isolated synthetic compound made from acetylene gas.

So when a patient tells me they take 500 or 1000mg of vitamin C, I know it really isn't vitamin C in the natural whole-food sense (not the full spectrum of natrual whole-food vitamin C), but 500 or 1000mg of ascorbic acid, with maybe a pinch of something such as rose hips, so they can call it natural vitamin C with rose hip*. Natural whole-food supplements don't have (nor need to have) such high mg (milligrams). The whole food is fully assimilated by the body and in such concentrated dosages can be very therapeutic. (The quality and concentration of the nutrient in the organic whole-food supplements is what sets Standard Process products apart from other companies, which is why they can only be prescribed by practitioners of the healing arts.)

What is the Difference Between Natural and Synthetic?

The big difference is the natural vitamin is derived from living material and the synthetic is from something that's dead. It simply isn't possible to repair and rebuild a living body with dead chemicals.

Weight Loss and Detoxification

Patients often ask about weight loss products and/or products to detox. They often go hand-in-hand. Most often people who are overweight are also highly likely loaded with toxins.

How do you know?

If you never eat out and only eat organic food, you might be OK, otherwise you are most likely toxic. Our most popular program for weight loss is a 21 day purification program. It was originally designed to be a detox program, but the average weight loss is 5 to 21 pounds in 3 weeks, with many benefits such as: reduction of blood pressure, reduction of cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides

Patients report many chronic health issues disappearing or improving:

  • Headaches
  • Sinusitus
  • Insomnia
  • Carbohydrate and sugar cravings
  • Poor digestion
  • Fatigue
  • Foggy thinking
  • Skin problems

Ask for a copy of the "Toxicity Questionnaire" to determine your need for this 21 day purification program.