Hammer Nutrition Blog

Synthetic versus Natural – Is there a difference?

Hammer athlete using Premium Insurance Caps

Author: Steve Born

A question that we’re frequently asked about Premium Insurance Caps is whether or not it contains “natural” ingredients. Of course, all of the “super food” ingredients in the product are natural, but what about the vitamins? Are they naturally derived? Is natural even necessary? Here are the answers to those questions.

“Natural” indicates an ingredient produced in nature, not man-made. “Synthetic” means it is processed or described as “man-made.” That said, the human body employs synthetics by synthesizing what it needs either for health or survival. Take vitamin C for example. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) manufactured commercially is identical to the one animals produce “naturally” (humans cannot manufacture vitamin C in the liver like many animals). It does not matter where the vitamin comes from; the molecule is identical and is handled by the body in the same way. In other words, vitamin C from rose hips and vitamin C from cornstarch are identical in their pure form.

All manufacturers of vitamin and mineral formulations (even those who claim to have “all-natural” ingredients) procure raw materials from the same suppliers; there are very few original ingredient sources. What is important is not a hysterical “all-natural” claim, but how the substance performs once inside the body.

Bottom line: Most synthetically-made vitamins and many other nutrients are either identical to their natural counterparts or are easily converted to the natural form in the human body. The one primary exception is Vitamin E, with the d-alpha tocopherol (naturally-derived) form having better absorption/utilization rates than the synthetic form (dl-alpha tocopherol). Premium Insurance Caps and all Hammer Nutrition supplements containing Vitamin E use the d-alpha tocopherol form.

» Read more about Premium Insurance Caps in the Athlete Education Series.

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