Organic vs Synthetic Vitamins: Which is Better?

Organic vs Synthetic Vitamins: Which is Better?

Organic vs Synthetic Vitamins: Which is Better? A 2017 study found that the lack of regulation of commercialized vitamin supplements makes commercially available supplements unsafe.

This has also led to many withdrawals and false claims. Because of this, many people begin to wonder whether multivitamins or other vitamin supplements, can provide any benefit to their overall health.

Synthetic Vitamins vs Organic Vitamins

Organic — or whole food — vitamins are readily available in natural and nutritious foods such as meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. These foods can be turned into a powder for more readily available vitamins, but they are still considered "whole foods."

For example, drying fruit and putting it in capsule form creates organic vitamins, but still comes from whole foods.

Synthetic vitamins are isolated vitamins. These vitamins are compounds, made in a laboratory, that mimic natural vitamins. Some examples of synthetic vitamins include vitamin D bottles of biotin supplements. Synthetic vitamins are often available in most stores and pharmacies.

Absorption and Variety of Vitamins

Evidence shows that the body more easily absorbs some vitamins in their natural form. It is theorized that this is due in part to variations in nutrients and enzymes in the diet.

In addition, several enzymes and nutrients aid in the absorption of other vitamins. For example, one older study affiliated with the Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences determined that organic vitamin E had twice the availability of its synthetic counterpart. This means that the body absorbs organic vitamin E more easily than synthetic vitamin E.

With this in mind, it seems that some synthetic vitamins, such as vitamin E, cannot easily replace organic and natural vitamins. However, according to Rachel Baker, registered dietitian and Manager of Scientific Communication and Content at GNC, some synthetic vitamins may be more easily absorbed than natural vitamins.

Baker also stated that the rate of absorption in the body usually depends on the presence of other nutrients in the body.

Benefits of Synthetic Vitamins

Many studies argue that the benefits of multivitamins are not optimal, but overall the data are inconclusive.

However, when considering specific individuals, multivitamins are considered beneficial for those who are vitamin deficient, vegetarian, or elderly.

For the average individual in good health, multivitamins are not the first choice for nutrition. Ideally, a complete diet can provide the intake. However, it is better to get these nutrients through a multivitamin than without them.

The benefits of synthetic vitamins have been studied in many different ways, often focusing on the effect of vitamins on heart health, cancer prevention, and blood health.

While one study can provide perspective on how synthetic vitamins can help, research is lacking and data are often inconsistent or inconclusive.

Vitamin deficiency

There are many important vitamins and nutrients for you to consume. Vitamin supplements are beneficial for those with vitamin deficiencies, such as iron or vitamin B12 deficiency.

Doctors often recommend vitamin supplements for these people; It is important to consult a health care professional for the recommended safe dosage. Some people who may benefit from additional supplements include:

Vegetarians and Vegans

This plant-based and meat-free diet can contain all the necessary nutrients, those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet are more prone to deficiencies of certain nutrients.

This is because certain nutrients may not be as readily available in plant products as in animal products.

For example, those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet are at risk for deficiencies of vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Studies show that low-dose vitamin supplements help avoid this deficiency, even for those on a fully nutritious vegetarian diet. It is important to take low-dose supplements to prevent vitamin overdose unless your doctor advises otherwise.

Post Menopausal Women

Many postmenopausal women take vitamin supplements to prevent common cancers, cardiovascular or other fatal conditions.

But research by the Division of Public Health Sciences concludes that multivitamins have little or no effect on any of the conditions listed above, or even general mortality, in post-menopausal women.

This does not mean that vitamin supplements are harmful, but that their beneficial effect on mortality is insignificant or inconclusive. The study also provides evidence that there is no fatal risk of taking vitamin supplements as a woman postmenopausal.


Older people are at risk for certain vitamin deficiencies. They are particularly at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to atrophic gastritis. A USDA-affiliated study concluded that the supplement may help prevent atrophic gastritis.

It was also found that a combination of calcium and vitamin D supplements helped prevent osteoporosis in those 50 years of age or older. 11 This means that synthetic supplements for calcium and vitamin D can help prevent bone loss and fractures.


Synthetic vitamins can benefit certain individuals, everyone should aim for a personalized and nutritious diet.

You should never use synthetic vitamins to completely replace organic nutrients. Always consult a health professional about taking vitamins and the correct dosage for them.

If you experience adverse symptoms from supplements in your diet, see a healthcare professional immediately. Organic vs Synthetic Vitamins: Which is Better? It all depends on needs.