Vitamin preparations and food supplements have been increasingly put in a bad light by the media in recent times. Not only do they seem completely unnecessary, they are even dangerous. No wonder, because most of these allegedly healthy pills are artificially produced and have nothing to do with healthy, natural vitamins. But this little detail is often forgotten. How dangerous are artificial vitamins really? Do we need dietary supplements to meet our vitamin needs?
Vitamins and dietary supplements
Time has become a scarce commodity these days. Many people can no longer reconcile a healthy diet with their stressful daily routine. Therefore, more and more people are taking vitamin and mineral supplements to compensate for their unhealthy lifestyle. But can our body use these powders and pills at all?
Artificial vitamin pills
Conventional dietary supplements consist mostly of synthetically produced vitamins and isolated minerals and trace elements. However, humans have adapted to the digestion of natural food over millions of years and have adjusted their metabolism to natural vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Our body can therefore distinguish between natural and artificial substances, which is even scientifically proven for some substances (example vitamin E, further below in the text). This is why natural remedies have virtually no side effects, whereas artificial vitamin preparations can make you ill. But how does our body know whether it is an artificial or a natural substance?
The uniqueness of natural materials
Many people believe that artificially produced substances have the same chemical structure as natural ones. But that is not entirely true. Sometimes additional elements are attached to the natural structure of a substance or elements are exchanged.
It is also possible that the basic building blocks of natural substances in synthetic substances are linked in a slightly different order. However, even if the natural building blocks are connected in the correct order, these building blocks may have different spatial orientation.
The best way to explain this is to look at one’s own hands. At first glance, the right hand looks like the left hand in most people: first comes the wrist, then the palm, followed by the fingers and finally the fingernails. All components are arranged on the right and left in the same order – only mirror-inverted.
If we make a plaster cast with the left hand, the right hand will never fit properly into it, although it is actually constructed in the same way. And so it is with natural and synthetic materials. Our enzymes and receptors in the body are to a certain extent like a plaster cast, into which only the left hand – in the figurative sense the natural substance – fits perfectly.
The body distinguishes between the artificial and the natural
In the case of synthetic vitamin E, for example, only a tiny part differs from the natural structure. The side arms of the synthetic vitamin point in different directions than those of the natural vitamin. But even such small differences are noticed by the body.
Natural Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements
It is essential to ensure that all food supplements and vitamins are consumed exclusively in their natural form. A vitamin complex consisting of fruit juice powder, for example, contains vitamins, minerals and trace elements in a natural form and ratio. Natural food supplements can therefore be ideally used by the body without any negative side effects.
Chemicals in vitamin preparations
Another negative aspect of conventional vitamin preparations, which are now available not only in pharmacies but also in supermarkets and drugstores, are the harmful additives and chemicals that can hide in the pills or powders. You only have to take a look at the ingredients. But in most cases you don’t even understand what is really hidden behind the chemical names and E-numbers.
The following paragraphs list some of these substances that can unfortunately be found in common vitamin pills and dietary supplements on the market. A detailed list of all E-numbers can be found in the source information.
Dangerous dyes in artificial vitamins
Until a few years ago, many well-known dietary supplements and vitamin preparations contained dangerous synthetic azo dyes. For example, the dye yellow orange S (E 110) or quinoline yellow (E 104). Yellow orange S, for example, can lead to allergic reactions, asthma or behavioural disorders and is also considered carcinogenic in animals.