There are lots of studies which claim that synthetic vitamins (the one that are in nearly all vitamin pills) are harmful for your health and can lead to an early death and heart problems etc, are these studies scientificly accurate? my question is: Are synthetic vitamins (Vitamin A-Z) harmful or healthy for your body, if so why?


  • 2
    Would you link to one or two such studies?
    – Jan
    May 29, 2018 at 15:58
  • 3
    Agree with @Jan. You're going to need to provide an example of these studies that make these claims.
    – Carey Gregory
    May 30, 2018 at 0:32
  • This question is being closed until the relevant studies can be provided for analysis.
    – JohnP
    Jun 28, 2018 at 17:38

2 Answers 2


In general, for healthy non-pregnant individuals, synthetic vitamins are:

  • Unnecessary, until you have a balanced mixed diet
  • Less efficient than vitamins naturally present in foods, because they do not come with all additional beneficial nutrients found in foods

Source: Office of Dietary Supplements

UPDATE: Some, but not all, studies have found associations between long-term vitamin supplements intake and harmful effects, but the cause-effect relationships have been not clearly established.

According to one 2011 study, vitamin E supplements significantly increase the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men.

Another 2011 study: In older women, several commonly used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements may be associated with increased total mortality risk; this association is strongest with supplemental iron.

A 2013 systematic review: Supplementation with multivitamins does not appear to increase all-cause mortality or cancer or cardiovascular incidence or mortality.

A 2016 review: Taking supplements of vitamin E, A, C, D, and folic acid for prevention of disease or cancer is not always effective, and can even be harmful to the health.

Chemically, the synthetic and natural vitamins are the same. Some synthetic vitamins can come in the form of salts, such as thiamin mononitrate or sodium ascorbate; I have no information about side effects of such vitamin formulations.


Without providing links to any of these claims, it's not really possible to say anything about them. If these "synthetic vitamins" are different than normal vitamins, sure, they could potentially have detrimental effects on your body. But even naturally-occurring vitamins can have detrimental effects in excess.

However, assuming the vitamins are themselves pure, there's no chemical difference between vitamins derived from something in nature versus being synthesized in a lab. Vitamin C from an orange has the same chemical structure as Vitamin C that was chemically synthesized, and there's no way for your body to tell the difference.

That said, it's always good to get plenty of vitamins in your diet, not because of any effect from the vitamins themselves, but just because the food that provides vitamins tends to be healthier for you anyway. A multivitamin or vitamin supplements can ensure that you're getting adequate levels of those vitamins even if there's a deficiency in your diet.

For more information, you can see the FDA's webpage about vitamins.

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