Wednesday, September 09, 2009

How are vitamins C, D and K in supplements made?

Almost all D’s on the market are nature-identical synthesized forms. D3 and D2 are both naturally occurring in foods, but in supplements the same forms are usually from synthesized sources. So D3 synthesized from sheep lanolin is no more natural than D2 from plants or fungi. In fact, the D3 made in the skin-liver-kidneys from cholesterol and sunlight is also literally synthesized. Either plant sterols or animal sterols (cholesterol in humans, lanolin from sheep) are irradiated with UV-B light to make D2 or D3, respectively. It is a synthetic process, either internally or to produce the supplemental form; in much the same way that vitamin C can be synthesized by most mammals (not humans) from blood glucose in a process that mirrors the commercially synthesized nature-identical form. By the way, Vitamin K is also synthesized as the exact same form found in green foods (K1). Fermented foods like cheese can also contain K2 (MK-4), which is synthesized by microbes like bacteria.


Bobber said...

That's very interesting. I understand that some vit C supplements are corn based while others are wheat based. Does this make any difference.

Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA said...

Corn starch (not corn syrup!) is the usual source for nature-identical synthesized ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Wheat is never used to make this vitamin (or any vitamin), in my experience.

The vitamin C is identical to that which is synthesized from blood sugar by most mammals. The few mammals that cannot make their own vitamin C include humans, guinea pigs and several types of fruit-eating bats.