Dr. Richard Nahas Looks at Natural Versus Supplemental Vitamins


According to Dr. Richard Nahas, a lot of people don’t get enough nutrients from their daily diet. That’s why supplemental multivitamins have been on the rise. However, they have also fueled a debate over their benefits compared to those you obtain from natural nutrients. Let’s dive deeper.

The Differences

1. Natural Nutrients and Supplemental Vitamins – As the name suggests, natural nutrients are obtained from whole foods that are part of your daily diet. That includes everything from meat and eggs to beans, nuts, fruits and veggies. On the other hand, supplemental vitamins are synthetic and made via an industrial process.

Most of the supplements available on the market are made artificially and come in the form of pills, tablets, capsules or liquids. Check the label to figure out if the vitamins are natural or synthetic. Natural vitamin supplements would be labelled as 100 percent plant or animal based.   

2. Synthetic supplemental vitamins can’t be excreted right away – When you consume excess natural vitamins, your body is capable of excreting them away. On the other hand, artificial vitamins in supplements are stored in the liver and can become toxic in high amounts. Your body doesn’t have the capability of using just the right amount of artificial vitamins and excreting the rest of it out.

Unfortunately, synthetic vitamins contain high concentrations of chemicals that mimic natural vitamins. That’s why you’ll see the term “virtually identical”. They can’t market it as “identical to natural vitamins” since that would be scientifically wrong and put the manufacturers in legal trouble. When those synthetic chemicals keep accumulating in the body, they can have grave long-term consequences.

3. Synthetic vitamins don’t have trace minerals – Natural vitamins come with various minerals, lipids, protein and enzymes that help your body digest and use them properly. On the other hand, synthetic vitamins from supplements are isolated forms of those natural vitamins that lack those minerals, lipids and other such components. They lack all other nutrients. So, if you’re taking supplemental vitamins, you also need to take supplemental minerals like iron, folic acid, magnesium and more for proper digestion and to avoid nutrient deficiency.

4. Supplemental vitamins eventually turn toxic – Natural vitamins like vitamins K, D, A and E require fatty acids so that they can be absorbed by your body properly. Fatty acids are already present in natural food sources and when you obtain your vitamins from natural food sources your body doesn’t have any problem metabolizing them.

If there are more vitamins than your body needs, it’s simply excreted out. On the other hand, synthetic vitamins in supplements are isolated, have a high concentration of chemicals and don’t contain any fatty lipids. When there are excess synthetic vitamins in your body they can’t be processed and excreted out and keep accumulating in the liver to eventually make you sick or develop a serious condition. 


Dr. Richard Nahas suggests that you take precautions before consuming multivitamins and other types of supplemental vitamins. The FDA doesn’t review dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they are marketed. It’s best to consult your doctor before buying a random jar of multivitamins.

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