Vitamins and minerals are so essential to our wellbeing. In fact, vitamin supplements are often taken by kids, expectant mothers, older women, elderly and those suffering nutritional deficiencies in their diet. But vitamins are best absorbed by the body when consumed in their full-spectrum natural ratio, the ratio in which they come with other complimentary nutrients in nature. Such vitamin and mineral nutrient elements come as complex groups.
Deriving your quota of vitamins and minerals from the natural sources is indeed the best way to do so. But when that doesn't happen, we are prescribed vitamin supplements. We consume the laboratory-made vitamins that are synthetic but are cheaper and highly potent. There are diverse viewpoints on the consumption of synthetic vitamins Vs whole food vitamins. Let us understand them better.
Isolated vitamins or synthetic vitamins are made in the laboratory to mimic the naturally found vitamin in its molecular structure. Synthetic vitamins lack the total family of micro nutrients as they can be found in nature. Instead of taking isolated Vitamin C, it is beneficial to partake of whole food vitamin C where it comes in it own family of complex micro nutrients (bioflavonoid complexes, tyrosinase and others) so essential for optimum absorption.
Similarly instead of isolating beta-carotene as a synthetic vitamin, it is surely more beneficial to take it in natural form in carrots and tomatoes wherein it is found along with cantozantheen - a powerful antioxidant.
This is because there are differing points of view on vitamin supplements and their efficacy. While one body of thought is of the opinion that high potency synthesized vitamins work best, the other believes that vitamins and minerals are micro nutrients so complex that they are interdependent on the complete family of nutrients that they are found with. Consequently the view is that isolated nutrients might be hazardous when consumed in excess.