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Busting Myth 9: Vitamins from food are better than supplemented vitamins

How often do you hear the claim that whole foods are better than supplements? It’s been repeated so often that the word ‘natural’ has a positive connotation, and ‘synthetic’ or ‘chemical’ has a negative one.

As is often the case with absolutes, it’s not so simple. For example, supplemental vitamin K has much better bioavailability than its plant-based equivalent, due to the plant’s vitamin K being tightly bound to membranes. Useful non-vitamins can also be more effective in supplemental form. One example is turmeric, which is often coupled with black pepper extract when supplemented. Otherwise, turmeric’s bioavailability is quite low when consumed in food form.

Many supplements have a natural and synthetic form. This allows them to be accessible to many people. For example, if vitamin B12 could not be synthesized, it would be very expensive and an unsuitable supplementation option for many vegans, who need a consistent source of vitamin B12 due to their diet.

The Truth:

Vitamins from food are not necessarily better than vitamins from supplements. This is a very broad statement, proven incorrect by the many examples of supplements fulfilling a vital health role that natural sources could not.

Source: Examine.com – an independent and unbiased source on nutrition and supplements

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