Good to Know:
Synthetic Vitamins vs. Whole Food Concentrates

“Most vitamins on the market are synthetic.”
—Dr. Royal Lee, circa 1954, in an article Synthetic Versus Natural Vitamins

That statement is just as true today as it was back in 1954! Article after article on your news feeds will debate the benefits or lack thereof in man-made synthetic chemicals. What is a synthetic vitamin? It is a chemical, made by a pharmaceutical company. However, it is a mirror image of the food version. This would be comparable to putting a lefthanded glove on your right hand. It just doesn’t fit! Also, the synthetic vitamin is not the active ingredient—the functioning mechanism—in the food. The chemical version lacks the other compounds and enzymes that are provided in the natural food versions of the vitamin. Dr. Lee said, “Every vitamin is a biological mechanism, not a chemical.” For more insight, review this short article on What is a Vitamin.

When you look at supplements on the market, you can spot synthetic chemicals a mile away if you know what to look for. For example, an ingredient that begins with “dl” is an indication that the vitamin is synthetic. “Dl-alpha tocopherol acetate” and “dl-alpha tocopherol” are synthetic forms of vitamin E. Another example is ascorbic acid, which is defined as vitamin C but is not the C complex as it is built in nature. I was taught this in the early 1990s, which happens to be when we started to see high amounts of chemicals in manmade supplements (the only way that can happen is with synthetics).

This is not to say that synthetic vitamins have no effect on the body. They do, but oftentimes they can have a toxic affect. As Dr. Lee says: “Do not infer from this that synthetic vitamins have no effect. They do have drug effects—pharmacological actions that may or may not have much in common with the normal nutritional action.” Maybe there are times you want a drug-like affect. But don’t be fooled into thinking you are nourishing the body!

We should get our nutrition from food! This guiding principle can keep you from falling into the latest and greatest nutritional con. You will start to ask: Where is the food? Does my body make this chemical when given the proper food?

Conventional medicine is about lab tests and manipulation of numbers with synthetic over-the-counter drugs at the expense of nourishing the body. Look, nothing is wrong with lab tests and using those as indicators of dysfunction. Heck, even Dr. Lee did that. But let’s not forget to treat the patient, not the numbers.

And feed the patient real food and optimal nutrition with Standard Process concentrates, grown on their organic farms!

Stay true to what is true!

Results refer!

Images from iStock Jajah-sireenut (main), megaflopp (pill in lab)

Dr. Lowell Keppel

Dr. Keppel received a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Logan College of Chiropractic in 1983, following an associate degree in science from Southwestern Michigan Community College. He became certified in Neuro-Emotional Technique in 1999, having studied directly under the program’s founder, Dr. Scott Walker. He has undertaken a variety of further training, including herbology, spinal rehabilitation, and ongoing nutritional education.

Dr. Keppel knows there is always some seminar, book or journal that might deepen his knowledge or contribute one more bit of information that he can directly translate into an effective treatment. He gives sound advice from the perspective of clinical experience and years of practice.

More recently, Dr. Keppel has been teaching seminars for Standard Process West. He has become their in-house chiropractor and is recognized as a mentor for other practitioners throughout the greater Denver area.

For more information, visit his website at, check out his YouTube channel, or contact him directly at

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