How exactly are supplements made?
Very vague question, I know, but it's something I've wondered for a while now. I keep hearing about how our mineral-depleted soils result in vegetation which is severely handicapped nutritionally, which is ultimately passed down the food chain and resulting generally in food that is nowhere as nutrient-dense as before. This is one basis of why supplements are recommended, but where exactly are the nutrients within supplements extracted (or produced) from?
I wondered too, then decided I might not want to know! Manufactured by chemistry labs I guess?
I used to work as a supplement buyer for about a decade, so I can answer in part
It depends on the supplement. Many synthetic (not to be confused with "isolated") vitamins are made from coal tar. Nice.
As far as natural-source isolates, Vit. C, for example, is made from corn sugar (or sometimes sago palm starch) and they keep removing molecules until they're left with ascorbic acid. Most Vit. E (alpha tocopherol) is made from fractions of soy. Calcium carbonate is from chalk/limestone. Calcium citrate is carbonate bound with citric acid. B-12 is a fermentation byproduct. Some forms of selenium are also a byproduct of yeast fermentation.
D3 is made from lanolin (through a process of irradiation- don't let that word scare you!) or from fish liver oil. Some Vit. A is from fish liver oil also.
Some supplements like "whole food" vitamins and minerals (Garden of Life, New Chapter, Mega Food) are made by feeding a small amount of isolated vitamins and food compounds to live Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (nutritional yeast) and fermenting them into an organic structure.
Thanks Jane, that's really cool & interesting info!
Wait, they microwave sheep?
Originally Posted by hazyjane
Originally Posted by DianeThePurple
Remember- UV rays are a form of "irradiation". They process the lanolin with UV (so does our skin;-) The bad kind of radiation is done with gamma rays.