Black Foot Raw

Nutrition Lab

‘Natural’ Supplements and Synthetic Supplements


There is a significant problem with the way we view vitamins and minerals. The difficulty and error pertains to science considering and examining nutrients isolated from their food sources. Scientific study and findings are then published and marketed for profits. As a result, the last eight decades has mass produced laboratory created nutrient counterfeits that are sold to the processed food industry (human and animal feed) to fortify every conceivable food and to the general public in pill, capsule, tablet, liquid, and powder form for private use and as a “health insurance” strategy.


Society has been misled to believe that isolates function independently in the same way as they would in their natural whole form. Even pet parents who have taken their pet’s health seriously and are providing homemade raw meals are over-supplementing, adding bottled nutrients as a hypothetical insurance policy to “cover all the bases” and thereby removing any fear and concern that their pets may be missing essential nutrients.


In fact, check this out:


“Some (studies) even claim that synthetic vitamins suppress our immune systems, that our bodies react to synthetic supplements as foreign invaders and launch an immune response against them.” (Myers, 2012)


That could yet be another possible explanation for food ‘allergies’.


“Man cannot duplicate what nature creates, even when the chemical analysis is identical…The vitamins are produced synthetically from petroleum in chemical plants, while the minerals come from mining companies. Synthetic minerals derived from rocks such as limestone, coral, oyster shell, sand, and chalk. Yum. Although these materials have mineral profiles, our bodies do not absorb them properly. ” (Myers, 2012) 


It has been clearly demonstrated that the bioavailability of food-source minerals is greater than that of isolated inorganic mineral salts and chelates. Mineral absorption is low to begin with such as iron absorption being potentially as low as 5%. Taking supplemental minerals can have a useable absorption percentage of 0% to 1%. Even more, food sources of minerals are almost never toxic and may actually have protective factors that prevent mineral toxicities. Because absorption of actual utilizable (organic) minerals is much different, supplemental forms that are chemically bound to another substance function differently hence causing the potential for toxicity.


The following list shows a few popular industrial inorganic mineral chemicals sold as supplements:


Ø Calcium carbonate (limestone, chalk)

Ø Calcium citrate (calcium carbonate processed with lactic and citric acid)

Ø Calcium gluconate (calcium carbonate processed with gluconic acid)

Ø Calcium lactate (calcium carbonate processed with lactic acid)

Ø Chromium picolinate (picolinic acid)

Ø Magnesium carbonate (magnesite rock)

Ø Magnesium citrate (acids)

Ø Magnesium chloride (ammonium chloride)

Ø Magnesium glycinate (glycine)

Ø Magnesium oxide (burnt magnesium carbonate)

Ø Magnesium carbonate

Ø Magnesium gluconate (magnesium carbonate with gluconic acid)

Ø Magnesium sulfate (chemical reaction between magnesium oxide and sulfuric acid)

Ø Potassium chloride (chlorine)

Ø Potassium citrate (citric acid)

Ø Potassium gluconate (gluconic acid)

Ø Zinc gluconate (gluconic acid)

Ø Zinc picolinate (picolinic acid)

Ø Zinc sulfate (sulfuric acid)


“When we take out from foods some certain salt, we are likely to alter the chemicals in those foods… that certain chemical salt is extracted, may even become a poison. Potash by itself is a poison, whether it comes from a food or from the drugstore. This is also the case with phosphorus. You thereby overtax your system, and your functions must work harder, in order to throw off those inorganic salts or poisons introduced…The chemical elements that build our body must be in biochemical, life-producing form. They must come to us as food, magnetically, electrically alive, grown from the dust of the earth.” (The Chemistry of Man, Bernard Jensen)


This applies equally to our animals. In simple terms, even as we supplement ourselves or our pets with nutrients, well-meaning as it is, we may actually be poisoning ourselves. The following compares absorption and bioavailability of natural food source mineral compared to inorganic mineral supplements:


Calcium Up to 8.79 times better absorbed into the blood; 7 times as effective in raising serum ionic calcium levels.

Chromium Up to 25 times more bioavailable.

Copper 85% more absorbed; also contains substances that reduce potential toxicity.

Iron Safer, non-constipating, 77% more absorbed.

Magnesium Up to 2.2 times better absorbed and retained.

Manganese Better absorbed and retained; not as likely to contribute to toxicity as mined forms.

Molybdenum Up 6.28 times better absorbed into the blood; 16.49 times better retained.

Phosphorus Less likely to cause diarrhea or electrolyte disorders.

Selenium 17.6 times the antioxidant effect; 123.01 times more effective in preventing non-enzymatic protein glycation; 2.26 times better retained.

Zinc Up to 6.46 times better absorbed, better and safer form

Source: Kimberly Lloyd PhD, Certified Raw Dog Food Nutritionist


If vitamin supplements do not work as well as vitamins in whole foods, then artificial supplements are even worse. Artificial supplements are synthetic copies of what is found in nature. They make poor substitutes and are often toxic.


They are also often what are used to supplement kibbles in the manufacturing plant. These vitamins are not molecularly and nutritionally equal to the natural source vitamins found in raw food sources.



The nutritional analysis information listed on every bag of kibble is based on laboratory test results. While the artificial supplements listed may represent the appropriate nutrients, bioavailability (digestion and absorption) may be poor. To my knowledge, there has never been any comprehensive bioavailability test done on any brand of kibble (as of writing), so no one really knows how much nutrients our pets are absorbing from the kibbles they are eating.


However, clinical trials of pharmaceutical-like vitamin and mineral products have found that many do not work as intended or even have adverse effects. In fact, because of their isolated form, imbalances are creating the increased likelihood for deficiencies and toxicities. We know this to be true because studies on supplemental nutrients have been underway for decades. Sadly, of the thousands of studies performed, most of the objectively unbiased studies are still concluding that synthetic nutrient supplements have no positive effect on the body.


According to multiple articles found on The National Center for Biotechnology Information’s website, multivitamin supplementation use has led to an increased risk for cancer. The importance of fulfilling your dog’s  or cat’s nutrient needs via naturally occurring food-nutrients cannot be stressed enough. Always try to use species-appropriate food ingredients to provide your pet based on this simple logic. Dogs are not meant to absorb minerals by swallowing limestones and crunching mollusc shells. They ingest minerals by eating their preys that have consumed the minerals in some means (directly or indirectly).


Vitamins in bottles have been manufactured like drugs. Why give drugs to healthy pets?