The Case for Real Food Organic Vitamins Over Synthetic Supplements

8 min read

What you'll LEARN:
  • The suprising secret behind "natural" vitamins.
  • Why reading the label won't tell you if a vitamin comes from 100% natural sources.
  • Is food really enough to cover your daily nutritional needs.
  • The best way to get 100% natural vitamins
  • How freeze dried vitamins work.

As more people are waking up to the fact that where our food and ingredients come from matters, the next question on the mind of the health-conscious should be…”where do my supplements come from and how are they made?”

When it comes to the highly unregulated landscape of dietary supplements, assessing quality (and efficacy) isn’t an easy task. And that’s on purpose.

As with any industry, the big players have some hidden secrets that they’d prefer remain undiscovered.

But we’re here to change that.

We believe that it’s time to start asking tough questions like…

     ● “What’s the difference between organic and synthetic vitamins?”

     ● “Do vitamins originate from real whole foods?”

     ● “What does synthetically derived mean and how can I tell on the label?”

…and more.

It’s time to look beyond the buzzwords and dive into the details about how most supplements are made so that you can make a more informed choice about what’s ultimately best for you and your health.

Savvy consumers are consistently elevating their health IQ and demand more from the companies they buy from… as they should.

Being a skeptic, especially as it pertains to health, is just part of what it takes to make informed & educated decisions.

With supplements, you need to look beyond the labels of “Certified Organic” and “Non-GMO” to really discover how they’re made.

How are vitamin supplements really made?

If you think drugs = synthetic and vitamins = natural…

Then you’ve got it dead WRONG!

Vitamins can also be synthetic. And even if they’re “natural,” it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Poison hemlock, hallucinogenic mushrooms, raw kidney beans are all natural – and potentially deadly.

Which begs the question:

How do companies get vitamins to make supplements? Do they just create the vitamin in a lab and put it in a capsule? Or do they somehow extract it out of food?

Based on the answer, you’ll know what’s good and what’s not so good.

There are six categories of manufacturing of vitamin supplements.

So, let’s get started.

1. Natural

Vitamin supplements in this category come from vegetable, animal, or mineral sources.

But before reaching you they undergo a lot of processing and refining. Examples include vitamin D from fish liver oils, vitamin E from vegetable oils, and natural beta-carotene.

According to Ryan Andrews from Precision Nutrition, when a vitamin is labeled as "natural," it only needs to contain 10% natural, plant-derived ingredients, while the remaining 90% can be synthetic.

Doesn’t exactly sound that great, does it?

For example, vitamin E tocopherols is usually extracted from soybean oil using liquid propane.

2. Nature-Identical Synthetic

Vitamins in this category are chemically created in a lab.

But their molecular structures are the same as those found in nature.

Producing these supplements is significantly cheaper, particularly when natural resources are scarce. Most standard vitamin supplements available today fall within this category.

For example most vitamin C supplements are predominantly synthetic and most of it is imported from China. This works because naturally occurring vitamin C is the same molecule as synthetic ascorbic acid.

But — and this is important — ascorbic acid in food is found within the vitamin C complex among other compounds.

3. Purely Synthetic

These vitamins are produced in labs and are different from their natural vitamin molecules.

Synthetic vitamins can contain the same chemical constituents but may have different shapes (optical activity). Some enzymes in the human body only work with the right shape. When synthetic nutrients are consumed, they may not have an appropriate delivery system within the body.

Synthetic vitamins could be made from anything like coal tar or petroleum. Chemists are pretty good at creating vitamins like this.

For example, coal tar is a frequently used base for synthetic vitamin B1. After various treatments, the final synthetic vitamin is obtained, which is then tested for purity before shipping. In contrast, obtaining natural vitamin B1 from a food source involves an entirely different process and generally involves extracting it from the whole food.

4. Cultured from Food

Culturing is the process behind foods like yogurt, kefir, miso, and sauerkraut.

In this category, vitamin supplements are often grown in yeast or algae, which can make nutrients more bioavailable. The yeast or algae are then harvested, ruptured, and transformed into a supplement. However, food cultured vitamins are often combined with synthetic additives to increase potency.

5. Food-Based

These supplements are created by enzymatically reacting synthetic and natural vitamins with vegetable protein extracts.

Unlike food cultured vitamins, they do not involve growing nutrients within whole foods. Food-based supplements are made less frequently due to their low nutrient potency, unstable nutrient levels, and limited shelf life.

6. Bacterial Fermentation

This category involves genetically altering bacteria to produce nutrients.

For example, CoQ10, amino acids, ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), menaquinone (vitamin K2), riboflavin (produced by fermenting ribose), cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), and melatonin are often produced this way.

In fact, vitamin D2 is artificially made by irradiating fungus.

It doesn't occur naturally, and the starting material is ergosterol, derived from fungal cell membranes. Ergosterol is converted into viosterol by ultraviolet light and then transformed into ergocalciferol (vitamin D2).

Essentials nutrition SHAKES

The ultimate all-in-one nutritional solution for vegans and plant-based eaters.


So, Are All Supplements Bad?

Just looking at all the ways vitamin supplements are made, most of them seem pretty bad.

“Natural” doesn’t seem all that natural. Synthetic ones come from coal tar. Food based aren’t potent or shelf stable. Genetically modifying bacteria seems iffy.

So, the only one we’re left with are cultured vitamins. But even they’re not potent enough.

That begs the question:

Are all supplements bad? And where do we get the vitamins from for our products?

No, they’re not all bad.

In fact, in today’s modern food landscape, they’re often essential… but we’ll come to that later.

First, we must answer…

Is Food Enough for Nutrients?

Many people turn to vitamin supplements due to concerns about getting enough nutrients from food.

It’s a good point. The USDA reported a decrease in vegetable nutrient content since 1973. And, the absorption rate of vitamins from whole foods can widely vary, ranging from 20% to 98%.

And what caused this drop?

     ● Our fields are depleted by overuse.
     ● Pesticides limit the action of beneficial microbes in the soil that help plants draw in nutrients.
     ● Fertilizers focus on certain key chemicals and don’t take into account all the trace minerals, organic components, or beneficial microbes that go into good nutrition.

And genetically modified foods have made their way into our food supply when we don’t know how they may affect us in the long term.

On top of these problems, we refine and process our food so it lasts longer, is more convenient, tastes better, and is even made to be more addictive.

We strip out and destroy vital nutrients as we process them.

Much of the food we find in grocery stores outside the produce section barely resembles what humanity has been eating for thousands of years.

It’s an epidemic of hidden hunger that leaves us overfed, yet undernourished.

There’s no wonder we have so many auto-immune disorders, food allergies, and growing epidemics of obesity. Our bodies don’t recognize what we’re ingesting, we consume more toxic chemicals than we do nutrients, and every cell in our body is begging for us to eat more and more in the pursuit of providing the nourishment that we’re not getting from food alone.

Which brings us back to…

Where should you get vitamins from?

Vitamins are not all bad… at least not the ones you get at LyeFuel.


Because, at LyfeFuel, we get our vitamins from real fruits and vegetables.

We’re not just talking about superfoods here. In fact, that’s a clear distinction between us and others.

Most superfoods aren’t standardized for the highly potent levels of vitamins and minerals that you see on a supplement facts label. Sure, they look fantastic on the label, but most companies (99.9% of the supplement industry) combine their superfoods with synthetic vitamins to make it seem like you’re getting more for your money.

And that’s a common problem in the supplement industry. More of something doesn’t always equate to better health outcomes. And that’s because it’s what you absorb, not what you consume that really matters.And that’s why we do things a little differently here at LyfeFuel.

Instead of simply combining superfoods with synthetic vitamins, we use a patented process of extracting nutrients from real whole food fruits and vegetables without any of the problems we listed above.

That’s a major difference that you’ll notice on our label vs. our competitors.

We start with the most nutrient-dense organic fruits and vegetables from our network of farmers located within the USA. And unlike supermarkets, we don’t throw away the fruits and vegetables that don’t look good. They may be ugly, but they’re still packed with more nutrients than any produce you’ll find at your local supermarket.

During the next phase in the process, we macerate the fruits and veggies, rinse them, macerate them again, and blend them. Now, we’re ready to chill the fruits and veggies down to 45-50° F and use a proprietary Thin Film Freeze Drier System that results in a highly potent fine powder consisting of 100% organic whole food nutrients with minimal losses and all the real food synergy still intact.

The benefit of this system is that we can reduce nutrient deterioration, meaning the vitamins & minerals in our products are of the purest, highest quality available on the market.

This freeze drying technique also allows us to preserve micronutrients, while making it shelf stable and safe from microbes.

Nobody else is doing this.

Which means our Essential Shake is the only shake on the market that has actual real whole food vitamin mix and NOT synthetic vitamins like everyone else.

But don’t just take our word for it… ask the manufacturer of your favorite products how their vitamins & minerals are derived. Very few (if any) will be able to say that they are made from 100% organic fruits and vegetables.


With all of the data regarding nutrition and optimal health, the most convincing information tells us to focus on what we eat — not just what we get from pills and powders.

Throughout the entirety of human existence, our bodies have thrived on the nourishment derived from whole, unadulterated foods. However, the landscape of our diets has shifted, and the food we consume today is not as pure as it once was. Despite these changes, our biological makeup, intricately connected to the essential nutrients we require, remains unchanged.

As more of us seek ways to avoid these nutrition shortfalls and put back what’s missing from food, it’s no doubt that dietary supplements will continue to play a larger role in the future of our health. It should also be obvious by now that you should be looking very carefully at the nutrition labels of any and all supplements you buy. Because they might claim to be “all natural” while simply being nature-identical, but at least now you know the difference.

LyfeFuel champions the belief in achieving optimal health through the remarkable power of plants, but we must look past what’s on the label and demand more transparency from the companies we buy from.

While we advocate for obtaining nutrients primarily from whole foods, we understand the challenges of modern lifestyles. Recognizing the increased demand for essential nutrients in contemporary times, we appreciate that supplementing with additional nutritional support can be a prudent choice for many seeking to enhance their well-being.

And that’s exactly what I had in mind while formulating all our products at LyfeFuel. Getting high quality nutrient dense real whole food supplements (boy, that’s a mouthful) into your hands so that you can take back control of your health. To Help You Live Your Fullest Every Day.

Or more simply put…the cleanest, most complete solution to daily nutrition. Guaranteed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Disclaimer: The LYFE Fuel blog is for informational purposes only. The information does not serve as a replacement for professional medical advice or treatment. We kindly ask you not to ignore professional medical advice because of any information you’ve read on If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a physician or appropriate health care expert.