Differences between natural and synthetic vitamins
Natural vitamins are found in nearly all foodstuffs. They are integrated into the natural structure of the foodstuff which makes them less sensitive to heat, cold and other destabilising factors. This protective structure in which the vitamins are bedded, comprises e.g. in the case of fruit and vegetables, so-called flavonoids.
If components of the food reach the bowels, the organism uses a clever system comprising enzymes and other helping substances to regulate the breakdown of this protective structure and the controlled absorption of the actual vitamins (and other nutrients) required into the bloodstream; here they are either transported to the cells for immediate consumption or a certain amount is deposited in special depots (in particular the fat-soluble vitamins) and stored.
If there is a surplus in the supply of natural vitamins, the organism, once its requirements have been met, issues the order to stop breaking down any further vitamins in the bowel. The bulk of the surplus vitamins are then secreted within their protective structure.
Vitamins gained synthetically do not have the natural accompanying substances in which the natural vitamins are bedded, which is why it is less relevant whether they are made from a natural or a synthetic raw material.
Furthermore, synthetic manufacturing only has a narrow range of possibilities, as e.g. in the case of carotenoids, where the natural spectrum of varieties is estimated to be upwards of 270, although genetic technology production methods can only produce one synthetic type, namely beta-carotene. This reduction of the natural variety will probably have negative effects in the long run when examined in more detail.
The fact is that synthetic vitamins are supplied to the body in a highly digestible form making the natural breakdown process connected with natural vitamins superfluous. This means that the intestines are more or less forced to absorb the vitamins as the natural re-absorption process in the intestines is bypassed.
This means that a surplus amount of vitamins reaches the bloodstream which can quickly lead to a hypervitaminosis (vitamin overdose) especially when one looks at the concentrations used in dog food today. Once these vitamins are in the bloodstream, the body needs to fight off this surplus using its metabolic system (in particular liver and kidneys).
As the metabolism capacities are only set to cope with a certain amount of surplus, the organism can quickly become stressed and surplus deposits can be built up in areas of the body which cannot cope with these.
This also results in permanent irritation of the immune system as the complex hormone and immune-related digestive processes are disturbed. Often overdoses of certain added synthetic vitamins and the associated strain placed on the metabolic system can result in deficiencies of nutrients that are not added to the feed but which are part of this metabolic system.
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