Vitamins are essential for our health and wellbeing, but how are they made? Vitamins can be derived from plant or animal products, or produced synthetically in a laboratory.
Vitamin A, for example, can be obtained from fish liver oil and vitamin C from citrus fruits or rose hips. Capsules containing vitamin supplements can be derived from plant sources, such as algae, or from animal sources, such as gelatin. Animal gelatin is derived from tallow, animal bones, bone marrow, or tissue debris, and may include diseased tissue. Synthetically produced vitamins use inorganic materials to produce structurally identical vitamins.
The compounds in these materials are scientifically reorganized to perfectly mimic and duplicate the structure of vitamins found in foods. Vitamins are produced by living beings, while minerals are found in the soil. For example, carrots produce beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A; minerals, such as iron and copper, can be found in soil and rocks. Vitamins are much more delicate than minerals and can break down with heat or age; they are organic while minerals are inorganic, making their chemical form simpler than that of vitamins. The powder is then injected into capsules or molds for their precise weight.
This requires very precise machinery, such as Bosch's Encapsylon 1505, to achieve this on a large scale. Large-scale vitamin production began during the 1930s and was widely distributed after World War II. Research over the past decade suggests that vitamin D, in addition to building strong bones, may play an important role in preventing and treating a number of serious long-term health problems, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, some types of cancer and multiple sclerosis. The elderly, vegetarians, vegans and people who have had weight-loss surgery are at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. When a vitamin is marked as “natural”, it only has to include 10% of the natural ingredients derived from real plants. When you buy a bottle of multivitamins, it's obvious that there is no loose powder or liquid in the package.
This is important because some of the enzymes in the human body only work properly with a vitamin in the right way. Most multivitamins are made from synthetic vitamins, which are cheaper and easier to use than those in natural foods. Vitamin K is also given to newborns who don't have enough natural amounts to prevent clotting problems. Ultraviolet light converts ergosterol to viosterol and is then converted to ergocalciferol (vitamin D).While they may be better than giving up vitamins altogether, it's not reasonable to expect the same level of quality and care to be devoted to the production of inexpensive vitamins that you would expect from a more expensive vitamin. Achieving the recommended daily values for each vitamin (or at least getting very close) is possible with a well-balanced diet and a few small, powerful and nutritious snacks.
Dairy products, eggs, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, nuts and red meat are valuable sources of many essential vitamins and minerals needed for early childhood development. Like those found in low-priced stores, inexpensive vitamins are usually synthetic vitamins made with the lowest ingredients. Examples include vitamin D from fish liver oils, vitamin E from vegetable oils and natural beta-carotene. Fortifying foods with vitamin B-3 has led to more than twice the recommended intake, especially in children who consume processed fortified foods. Unveiling the secrets behind how vitamins are made is essential for understanding their importance for our health and wellbeing. Synthetic production of vitamins using inorganic materials allows us to obtain structurally identical vitamins that perfectly mimic those found in natural foods.
Large-scale production began during the 1930s and has been widely distributed since World War II. Research suggests that certain vitamins may play an important role in preventing and treating long-term health problems such as osteoporosis or heart disease. When buying multivitamins it's important to understand that most of them are made from synthetic vitamins which are cheaper and easier to use than those found in natural foods. Achieving recommended daily values for each vitamin is possible with a well-balanced diet supplemented with nutritious snacks rich in essential vitamins and minerals.