Vitamin supplements are divided into two groups: synthetic and natural. Synthetic vitamins are those vitamins that produced in laboratories from isolated chemicals and mirror their counterparts found in nature. Natural vitamins are derived from food sources, there may be no difference, but synthetic vitamins contain only the isolated vitamin while natural supplements may contain other synergistic nutrients not yet discovered.
Synthetic and natural vitamins perform the same, but two noted exceptions are vitamins D and E, their synthetic forms are different than their natural counterparts. Health care professionals recommend only the natural forms of these two vitamins, where natural vitamin D is identified as Vitamin D-3 and Natural Vitamin E is identified as d-alpha (not dl-alpha) tocopherol.
Synthetic supplements may also contain coal tars, artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, and starch and other harmful additives, be aware that a supplement may be labeled “natural” and still have these harmful additives so we must read labels carefully.
Vitamins found in nature do not exist in free form, they are protein-bonded, nutritional studies have revealed that protein-bonded vitamins, such as found in whole food supplements, are best absorbed, utilized and retained in body tissues better than vitamins that are not protein-bonded. Vitamins and minerals found in food are bonded to proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and bioflavonoids. Chemically derived vitamins are not protein-bonded. Excesses of isolated vitamins can cause the same symptoms as the deficiency of vitamins or minerals, that is the reason why it is really important to have the correct balance of vitamins .