Organic Vitamins: What Are the Benefits?
Why To Take Organic Vitamins
A trip to your local grocery store’s produce section will likely give you the choice between produce that is marked as organic and produce that is not.
While many people know that organic crops are grown without exposure to things like pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, and other harmful chemicals, they may be less clear on the implications of an organic label on vitamins and supplements. After all, isn’t vitamin A the same regardless of where it comes from and how it’s produced?
For people looking to support their health by taking a multivitamin or dietary supplement, making the choice to use an organic product is important because there are many health benefits of organic vitamins, some of which may surprise you.
What Are Organic Vitamins?
As organic foods have grown in popularity, many people are also wondering about the ingredients in other products that they consume, such as vitamins and dietary supplements, but what does the word “organic” really mean when it comes to vitamins and supplements?
Organic is more than just a buzzword. Organic vitamins and supplements are those that are derived from organic ingredients, such as organically grown vegetables, fruits, and herbs, and do not contain artificial ingredients, such as artificial food coloring, chemical preservatives, or flavoring.
For vegetables, fruits, and herbs to be considered organic, they must be grown without exposure to pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In addition to not containing ingredients that have been directly exposed to pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMOs, the plants must also be grown in soil that has been free of all prohibited pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals for at least three or more years.
Not just any product can be labelled as organic. The organic label is regulated in the United States by the Organic Foods Production Act and overseen by the National Organic Standards Board, a subset of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In order to be labeled as certified organic, at least 95 percent of the ingredients in a product must be organic.
The organic label is tightly controlled, so unlike other labels like “natural” or “clean,” there are specific criteria that your food or dietary supplement must meet in order to be labeled as organic.
When you buy a product labeled certified organic, you can be confident that you are getting the real deal.
What Is the Difference Between Synthetic Vitamins and Organic Vitamins?
Many vitamins and supplements on the market are made from synthetic ingredients. That means that the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the product are manufactured in a lab to have a similar molecular structure to the nutrient that would naturally be found in nature.
While the substances are chemically similar, studies suggest that synthetic vitamins and minerals may be less readily absorbed by the body than vitamins and minerals found in whole foods.
Thus, while the nutrients may appear to be chemically identical, your body might not be able to absorb and utilize them in the same way. In fact, studies show that naturally derived vitamin E is absorbed by the body twice as efficiently as synthetically produced vitamin E.
Synthetic vitamins or supplements also differ from organic vitamins in the other ingredients that they contain. Synthetic vitamins can include added sugars, artificial flavorings, artificial food coloring, and other compounds like corn maltodextrin, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide, which the body does not ingest naturally on a regular basis.
At best, these synthetic ingredients are ineffective, unnecessary, and unhelpful. At worst, they can cause side effects and reactions in people with sensitivities or allergies to these ingredients.
What Are the Benefits of Organic Vitamins?
There are many different benefits to organic vitamins and supplements that make the small extra cost worth it.
Naturally Higher in Nutrients
One of the most significant benefits of using organic vitamins and supplements is that these products have been repeatedly shown to be significantly higher in nutrients than synthetic products.
A literature review of more than 300 peer-reviewed studies found that organic fruits, vegetables, and plants consistently have substantially higher amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients than plants produced in a non-organic environment.
As a result, you’ll get more bang for your buck when purchasing organic vitamins and supplements without swallowing a mega vitamin that your body can’t regularly absorb in the first place.
More Easily Absorbed by the Body
Speaking of absorption, one of the most significant differences between organic vitamins and supplements and synthetic vitamins is how they are absorbed by the body. That’s because supplements that are derived from organic whole foods can contain all of the vitamins, minerals, co-factors, and enzymes that your body needs in order to properly digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients.
Because your body is better able to absorb and use nutrients that are organically sourced, you won’t need to take as many supplements in order to get your body the nutrients it needs. Why take more than you need when your body can’t use it anyway?
Organic crops, vegetables, and fruits are not only good for your body, they’re also good for the environment. Most synthetic fertilizers are based on fossil fuels, and just producing these fertilizers uses more energy than it takes to cultivate, harvest, and transport crops.
Because organic crops do not use synthetic fertilizers, they can be produced using about half of the energy that it takes to produce crops the conventional way.
Organic crops also do not use any type of synthetic pesticide, which means that pesticides are kept out of the local water supply. Organic farming practices also are friendly to wildlife, including honey bees, and farms that use organic practices are consistently found to have more bird and animal species present than conventional farms. These animals naturally help to keep the insect population down and promote a healthy, sustainable ecosystem.
Choosing organic vitamins and supplements helps to reduce your impact on the environment and promote sustainable growing practices.
Naturally Free of Dangerous Chemicals and Toxins
Organic vitamins and supplements are naturally free of dangerous chemicals and other toxins and they also skip out on cheap filler ingredients that your body doesn’t need or want.
Because organic vitamins are produced from organic crops, you know that the product has not been exposed to toxic chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
Studies show that many pesticides are carcinogenic (cancer causing), while others are tumor promoters, which means they increase the rate at which an existing tumor grows and spreads in the body.
With food allergies and sensitivities on the rise, many people are finding that they react negatively to certain ingredients that would otherwise be considered benign, such as artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, and other chemicals.
While some people may not be sensitive to these ingredients, many people are, so the supplement that is designed to support your health may actually end up making you feel worse.
Organic vitamins and supplements skip the fillers and artificial chemicals so you can be assured that your body is only getting the nutrients it needs and isn’t exposed to anything that might make you feel worse.
Organic vitamins and supplements are derived from organic ingredients, such as organically grown vegetables, fruits, and herbs, and do not contain artificial ingredients, such as artificial food coloring, chemical preservatives, or flavoring.
They are grown without exposure to pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMOs, and they are associated with many health benefits, including being naturally higher in nutrients, more easily absorbed by the body, sustainably produced, and naturally free of chemicals or toxins.
With so many health benefits, making the switch to organic vitamins and dietary supplements is an easy choice that can pay off big for your health.