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Hello Everyone, I will follow suit and contribute as well to the forum and thank you Amanda as I think a forum like this will serve its place and we can all take away from it. I hope this is not too lengthy and any forum members are welcome to pm me with additional questions. What I do for a living is formulate nutritional supplements and analyze their effectiveness through individual testing. I have been doing this for a number of years and have been blessed to work with/train and co-formulate with renowned experts in their respective fields. I've also been blessed and currently still work with professional athletes, actors, physicians, chiropractor, hospitals and corporations with whom we educate and hold seminars regarding Natural vs Synthetic nutritional supplementation, how it works and what people should look for. For me, the following is just as important as making the healthy lifestyle choices like exercise. We can all agree there are hundreds of thousands of nutritional supplements on the market today and everyone seems to have the “solution” to our health problems in regards to supplements. One question I get almost daily: “Is what I am taking good?” While “good” is a relative term I encourage people to first learn to distinguish between natural ingredients and synthetic ones. A retort I often hear is “anything” can be labeled “natural” and I do agree with that statement per the F.D. A., which is why people need to know what to look for. HOW TO IDENTIFY A SYNTHETIC OR CHEMICAL INGREDIENT IN YOUR SUPPLEMENT, PROTEIN SHAKE OR CAPSULE: Anything that ends in the suffix “ATE” is synthetic and or a chemical in nature, but not all are listed in this manner. For example (what we all see often on labels): Vitamin A (Vitamin A Acetate) Vitamin B (Folic acid as Folate) Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) (AKA ascorbate) Vitamin E (D-alpha tocopherol) Calcium (Calcium Carbonate or Dicalcium Phosphate) Iron (Ferrous Sulfate) Etc. Etc. at infinitum. These ingredients once came from a natural source but were manufactured synthetically for cost purposes. WHAT DOES A SYNTHETIC OR CHEMICAL VITAMIN/MINERAL DO TO THE BODY? Ever heard that "expensive vitamins/minerals makes for expensive urine?" It's true and the progenitor of that statement knew the concept below- Let’s consider Vitamin C for a moment, it is famous for being one of the most powerful antioxidants known to man and for that reason we take it when sick. But what if we take Vitamin C as an “Ascorbate” AKA “Ascorbic Acid?” We are only taking in (1) piece of the micro-biological pie. To absorb this chemical we just ingested now OUR BODY has to produce “co-factors/co-enzymes” to turn that chemical back into a natural/whole food. In fact, it needs 5 ingredients before it can be utilized……and where do you think these ingredients come from?? YOUR BODY. Your body now give (4) KEY ingredients to absorb (1). All of this only takes place if the body can process it before you pass it out through urine. Over months of ingesting chemicals your intestines can also inflame. Bottom line, do not waste your money on something that is not going to help you. WHAT SHOULD MY VITAMINS/MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS SAY ON THE LABEL? It should say Vitamin C (as amino acid chelate OR as chelated amino acid), Vitamin A (as chelated amino acid) etc. The body can only utilize vitamins/minerals for nourishment when they have been broken down into an AMINO ACID CHELATE. The ingredients should list themselves as (rosehips, oranges, acerola cherry’s, bell peppers etc) Have you ever heard of an “Ascorbic acid plant?” Of course you have not, it’s NOT natural. Additionally, it MUST have a delivery system for the body. We do not grow Vitamin B, we grow broccoli which as all the enzymes and co-vitamins and minerals necessary for digestion and absorption. Likewise we should never take just (1) vitamin or mineral as mentioned through the vitamin c example above. I hope this information helps. Again, anyone is welcome to PM with questions or comments. Thanks for reading and I hope this information helps.