The popularity of vitamin supplements continues to rise. However, many people believe synthetic vitamins are worthless at best and harmful at worst. Can synthetic vitamins really be a good substitute for natural vitamins? Professor Dave provides the answers.
Vitamins are essential nutrients that we need to consume in small amounts in order for our cells to function normally and perform metabolic activities. Many plants and animals are able to produce the vitamins they need, but humans, somewhere during evolution, lost that ability. Thus, we have to eat vitamins to survive. A vitamin is like a key that turns on an enzyme. It doesn’t matter who makes the key as long as it works. The vitamin molecule, either natural or man-made, is exactly the same, but humans can use special catalysts and conditions to make efficiently the desired molecule. As a result, it is much easier to manufacture vitamins rather than extracting them from natural sources.