The scientific efforts that go into developing a Nutrilite™ product are quite diverse. But the goal is always the same: to develop a product that is based on the best of nature (plant-based concentrates) and the best of science (synthetic, or man-made, ingredients).
But what does that really mean?
“That fact sometimes prompts questions from Amway Business Owners and others who visit the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health and it should,” said Bob Tully, supervisor of Guest Services and Tours at the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health in California.
The better consumers and business owners understand what goes into Nutrilite™ supplements, the more confident they can be about using and selling them.
-Bob Tully, Supervisor of Guest Services and Tours at the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health
Our experts answer your questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the use of synthetics in Nutrilite™ dietary supplements from our experts.
- Audra Davies, Amway vice president of health, beauty and home product development
- Amit Chandra, manager of Chromatography Sciences for Analytical Sciences
- Keith Randolph, technology strategist at the Nutrilite Health Institute
- Bob Tully, supervisor of Guest Services and Tours at the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health
- David Groh, leader of Open Innovation for Amway
Q: Are Nutrilite™ supplements organic?
No. “We are focused on delivering the very best nature has to offer into our products,” said Audra Davies. “We do it through organic and sustainable farming practices to make sure we have the best materials coming with these plants.
We deliver the ‘Best of Nature’ – great quality plant ingredients. We combine it with naturally occurring minerals and vitamins where possible. But where science is telling us a higher level of certain nutrients would be beneficial we will use synthetic sources to compliment what’s occurring naturally.
– Audra Davies, Amway vice president of health, beauty and home product development
Added Bob Tully, “Nutrilite™ supplements combine the ‘Best of Nature’ and the ‘Best of Science’ to produce a safe, effective line of vitamins and dietary supplements.”
Q: I thought Nutrilite™ supplements were all-natural. Why aren’t they?
“We use natural and naturally-sourced ingredients when possible to deliver the ‘Best of Nature’,” explained Keith Randolph. “This includes adding no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives to our products. However, we also formulate to provide the ‘Best of Science’, which includes delivering nutrients at levels demonstrated by science to offer health benefits.”
“Science tells us for certain nutrients, specifically many of the vitamins, we need higher levels than what can be found in plant sources alone,” said Audra Davies. “We will combine synthetic sources and vitamins. A great example is Vitamin C. We start out with naturally occurring Vitamin C but we compliment that with synthetic ascorbic acid to deliver a level that’s associated with what’s scientists around the world have found to be beneficial.”
Q: Why does Amway use synthetics in some of its Nutrilite™ supplements?
“We will always use or find natural or plant-based alternatives over synthetic sources when feasible to produce the safest and most effective line of vitamins and dietary supplements,” David Groh explained.
“However, on occasion some Nutrilite™ supplements may contain ingredients from both natural and synthetic sources. At times we may use a synthetic source in addition to our plant-based sources to:
- help achieve higher potencies to meet the RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake)
- meet potency levels that are effective while maintaining acceptable tablet size, so they are easier to swallow
- and maintain potency for the shelf life of the products
“Without the way we use synthetics, we would have to make too many compromises on quality: potency, tablet size, ease of swallowing or palatability.”
Q: Aren’t there natural ingredients you could use instead?
“Our scientists are working constantly to include more and more plant concentrates in the supplements we make,” said Bob Tully. “But where the science stands today, to achieve the highest quality, highest potency, best ease in swallowing and other benefits, we use combinations of plant concentrates and synthetic ingredients.”
Anyone who purchases a Nutrilite™ product can be confident that every ingredient has been rigorously tested and documented to meet our exacting standards for integrity, quality and efficacy.
– Bob Tully, supervisor of Guest Services and Tours at the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health
Q: What are synthetics? Where do they come from?
“Synthetics,” Amit Chandra clarified, “are simply man-made copies of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. By themselves, they are limited, for they contain only a specific isolated vitamin (ascorbic acid, for example).
“When we find it necessary to use a synthetic vitamin, it is combined with other exclusive Nutrilite™ plant concentrates. In these cases we formulate a product combining both synthetic and natural plant-based concentrates and vitamins that also delivers important phytonutrients the heart of the Nutrilite™ brand.
The source of the synthetic differs depending on the ingredient, but every synthetic ingredient used in Nutrilite™ products is sourced with the same care and attention from Research & Development and Quality Control as the plant-based ingredients.
– Amit Chandra, manager of Chromatography Sciences for Analytical Sciences
Q: Are natural ingredients more bioavailable than synthetics?
“Bioavailable refers to the amount of an ingredient that is available to the body to absorb,” Amit Chandra continued. “In Nutrilite™ supplements, the nutrients are just as available to the body in combination as the plant-based ingredients are alone. The synthetics we use don’t detract from bioavailability or the synergy between the plant concentrates.”
Q: Wouldn’t it be better to get nutrients from natural sources?
“Our scientists maintain that the best way to consume adequate nutrients is through a balanced diet and eating a variety of foods every day,” explained Keith Randolph. “However, studies show many of us don’t get the required nutrients to maintain optimal health through our daily diets. For these people, supplementing with Nutrilite™ products can be a helpful choice.
“We will always use or find natural or plant-based alternatives over synthetic sources when feasible without compromising quality, safety and effectiveness.”
The synthetic ingredients used in Nutrilite™ supplements, just like the natural concentrates, have been extensively evaluated and demonstrated to be safe and effective.
– Keith Randolph, technology strategist at the Nutrilite Health Institute
“Further, the ingredients listed on a Nutrilite™ supplement label are the exact ingredients contained in the supplement.”
Q: What does “nature identical” mean?
“In simple terms, a ‘nature identical’ ingredient is synthetically produced to match what would be naturally produced,” said Amit Chandran, “and therefore is safe and effective in the same way as a natural product.”