Natural vs Synthetic: Why We Prescribe Standard Process Nutritional Products

Synthetic vitamins are actually “nutritional drugs”

There is a great difference between a food supplement and a modern vitamin pill. A food supplement is just that—a supplement of real food while modern vitamin pills are mostly a concoction created by a chemist. Most commercial nutritional supplements are created with synthetic or fractionated vitamins. These do not perform the same in your body as the vitamins found in whole, organic foods. Synthetic vitamins are actually “nutritional drugs”.

They have a place in health care, and we do use them in our practice, but they are best used in specific situations and for comparatively short periods of time. It has been my observation that a person’s health will improve initially from taking various synthetic nutritional products, but that over time, the benefit these products produce declines and eventually stops. This is not the case with whole food concentrates, which continue to build and maintain health.


There are different grades of vitamin products. The lowest quality is totally synthetic and often made from chemicals like coal tar. These are very cheap to produce but have no vitamin activity. A higher quality vitamin might be made from food. The particular vitamin the manufacture wants, for example thiamine (vitamin B1), is dissolved out of the food product with a chemical solvent.

This results in a crystalline pure vitamin extract. In the case of vitamin B1 the label will read Thiamin HCL or thiamin hydrochloride. While this type of vitamin comes from a real plant, it lacks the vital nutritional synergists found in a whole food product, which are lost in the separation process. It will be effective only for a time.

The highest quality vitamin and nutritional products are specially processed food concentrates. The water and fiber are removed from the food, at low temperature to preserve the enzymes and other fragile nutrient fractions, but all the natural food substance is preserved intact—as nature created it. Taking these types of “vitamin” pills is like eating the whole food.

To be effective in promoting long term health, vitamins must be taken in their whole food form. Standard Process was the first, and most recognized company in the country for producing whole food nutritional supplements made from organically raised vegetables and animal organ concentrates.

They produced their first product, Catalyn, in 1929. Standard Process nutritional products have all the necessary nutrients that your body needs for optimal function!

Ascorbic Acid is Not Vitamin C

Let's take Vitamin C as an example. Read the label and you will find that most vitamin C products are mainly ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid in itself is not vitamin C, even though the FDA allows it to be labeled as such. It is the chemical part of the vitamin C complex that prevents the active nutrients in the vitamin from being damaged by oxidation. If you compared vitamin C to an egg, ascorbic acid would be only the egg shell, with nothing inside.

Ascorbic acid is made from corn syrup. Acetone and hydrochloric acid are used in the manufacturing process of changing corn syrup in to ascorbic acid! While ascorbic acid is useful in dealing with a number of specific health concerns, such as removing heavy metals from the body, it does not provide the health benefits of whole vitamin C.

For example, you cannot cure scurvy, a deadly disease caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet, with pure ascorbic acid. You have to use whole vitamin C that contains all the active parts of the vitamin.

Nobel Prize laureate, Dr. Albert Szent-Georgi discovered vitamin C in 1937. In all his research, Szent-Georgi found that he could never cure scurvy with the isolated ascorbic acid itself. Noting that he could always cure scurvy with the “impure” vitamin C found in simple foods, he realized other factors had to be at work in order for vitamin activity to take place.

Further research demonstrated that the whole vitamin C complex contained compounds like Bioflavonoids, factors K, J, and P, Rutin, Ascorbinogen and Tyrosinase. So, in other words, if you only take ascorbic acid like what is found in your synthetic vitamin C, it will only provide antioxidant benefits but cannot do what whole vitamin C complex does.

You should also be aware that a number of studies have shown that the long term use of synthetic vitamins can actually harm your body and may even be dangerous.