Natural Whole Food Supplements
The definition of natural on a supplement label really only means that it exists somewhere in the world, whether ground or water, or in space. When you read labels, look for the words “Whole Food”. When you read on a label that something contains “Whole Food Vitamins”, it means that the vitamins are just as they are actually found in the whole food, un-tampered with in any way that would change their molecular structure, their biological or biochemical combinations, or their actions.
Vitamins in their natural state always exist as living complexes with specific synergistic co-factors, enzymes, phytonutrients and organic mineral-activators; never as single isolated factors. A vitamin needs all of its synergists to function, so anything that removes them, or isolates them, negates the vitamins ability to benefit you completely. Also, there are literally hundreds of such synergists, most of which have not yet been studied, but are also very important. This is why organic food sources are preferred, since they are more nutrient dense and don’t contain any pesticide residues.
Crystalline means that a natural food has been treated with various chemicals, solvents, heat and distillations to reduce it down to one specific "pure" crystalline vitamin. In this process, all of the synergists, which are termed "impurities," are destroyed. There is no longer anything natural in the action of crystalline "vitamins": They should more accurately be termed 'drugs'.
“Synthetic” means that a chemist or other such qualified professional has tried to re-construct the exact structure of a crystalline molecule by chemically combining molecules from other sources. The 'other' sources are not living foods, but actually made in a laboratory to copy a whole food.
How to read a label
1. Look for the word “SYNTHETIC”
These terms also identify a "vitamin" - acetate, bitarate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nifranate, succinate.
If the label does not give you a source, presume that it is synthetic.
2. Check the dosage
Whole food supplements never come in high doses. It is only possible to create high dose 'vitamins' by isolating one fraction of the vitamin complex (crystalline) or synthesis one fraction (synthetic).
3. Check for fillers
Binders, fillers and agents are extra unnecessary ingredients that simply take up space and in some cases can induce allergic type reactions to the "vitamin"
High dosage doesn't mean high potency
I recommend that you find a natural health professional who can help you to find the best supplements for your specific issues and that will deliver the best health product for your budget and problem. There are many good companies available at your local health food stores. Your natural health professional can also get “pharmaceutical-grade” supplement products from manufacturers that uphold the best quality and ideals for professionals to purchase for their clients.