The FDA is enforcing a provisional rule on synthetics in dietary supplements which says, among other things, that synthetic botanicals will no longer be considered New Dietary Ingredients and must never be sold as supplements, only as drugs.
The FDA’s intention to regulate synthetics in dietary supplements has upset some dietary supplement manufacturers. One industry group goes so far as to say…. ”If FDA fully enforces this guidance as drafted, we will likely lose between 22,240 and 41,700 nutritional supplements from the market… ..” [ FDA Breaks Promise on Proposed New Supplement Rules ]
Why you may wonder would we lose so many supplements from the market? Because it’s cost prohibitive to produce dietary supplements with synthetic ingredients that must be tested and approved like drugs, and secondly it’s more expensive to produce dietary supplements that use real food based natural vitamins as opposed to synthetic vitamins. Many supplement companies are likely to close up shop rather than use better quality natural ingredients.
It’s no secret..if you want to make a lower-priced dietary supplement grind up a few rocks and oyster shells and claim that you get your iron and calcium from “natural” sources.
Then, instead of including plant-sourced vitamins, use synthetic vitamins created from coal tar and other petroleum derivatives. Never mind that only a very low percentage of synthetic vitamins and minerals are absorbed by the human body.
Natural Vitamins appear to be absorbed better and retained longer. Yet 95% of dietary supplements on the market contain synthetic vitamins.
There is growing evidence that synthetic vitamins may be unsafe, especially when you take large doses.
A study using synthetic Beta Carotene and Vitamin E was halted. In the study 29,000 male smokers were given synthetic beta carotene and synthetic Vitamin E. The study was stopped when rates of lung cancer, heart attacks and death increased. – New England Journal of Medicine, 1994.
Birth defects increased for women on synthetic supplements. 22,000 pregnant women were given synthetic Vitamin A. The study was halted because birth defects increased 400%. - New England Journal of Medicine, 1995.
As far as I’m concerned, makers of those “cheap” dietary supplements that contain synthetics can continue to squeel wee wee wee all the way home. After they’re gone maybe consumers can have more confidence that the dietary supplements they buy actually work and more importantly will not harm them.
Luckily there are some dietary supplements out there that have no synthetics in them and include plant-sourced, food-based vitamins and minerals. I switched to real a long time ago.