Let’s Talk Nutrilite™ Supplements: Synthetics

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.”



  • David says:

    I just signed up for Amway again after being out of the business for 25 years. I had always heard and believed great things about the Nutrilite brand. I had a lot more exposure to vitamins and supplements in the last 25 years, but have consistently heard that maltodextrin is not a good thing. I am very surprised to see this is used in almost every supplement I have looked at from Nutrilte. Can you please explain why this compound is still being used so widely for your products?

    • Amway Connections says:

      Hi David, Welcome back to Amway and thanks for your question! Maltodextrin has become controversial over the past few years due to its high glycemic index. However, it is generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Nutrilite products do use a standard, pharmaceutical grade maltodextrin in some supplements to help the powders fuse together to form tablets. We use non-GMO corn maltodextrin but have been moving to other bases, including tapioca, cassava or potato maltodextrin.

      Most Nutrilite tablets are about 1 gram or less in weight. When used, maltodextrin makes up only about 5-20% of any formula. As a result, the amount of maltodextrin per serving of a Nutrilite product is too small to affect blood glucose levels, which some people are concerned with. Again, thank you for your question. We will pass your feedback along to the appropriate teams!

  • anna says:

    Iappreciate all your lovely, earnest and true Answers.

    why Amway use Maltodextrin in Acerora C and Fiber plus?

    Thank you for your cooperations.

    • Amway Connections says:

      Hi Anna, please contact Amway Customer Service for more information on individual ingredients. They are best equipped to answer your questions and will be happy to do so! You can reach them at ​​​​​​​1-800-253-6500 or send an email through our website. Thanks so much for your question!

  • Hannah says:

    I have a concern about Soy. Specifically GMO vs non-GMO. Does amway use Non-GMO soy beans?

    • Amway Connections says:

      Hi Hannah, For our Nutrilite products, we have always been committed to creating supplements with natural ingredients. That is why we are committed to being a non-GMO brand. Our products comply with or exceed all global GMO labeling requirements as well. If you have more questions, please contact customer service. They will be happy to help you. And thanks so much for your interest!

  • Hamee says:

    I was under the impression that all products were organic and kind of confused. It is difficult now to please everyone in business and being from MI I respect Amway and all it does for this great stat. I wish you would offer an all organic natural supplement with less nutrition then synthetic infused vitamins. Maybe The Devos family just got a new idea to work with?

  • FrancisM. says:

    This is a great article indeed! Im an ABO from the Philippines and we still do have a very limited source of information here. Good thing that I came across this post so I can share it to the rest of my team.
    I just want to ask, because I’ve read a lot of articles too saying that synthetic vitamins aren’t being recognized by our body and it can cause kidney and liver problems. How can we answer this question from our clients.
    And yes about the GMOs because a lot of articles available online say that GMOs are harmful. Do we also GMOs in our supplements?

  • Marcia says:

    Hi Neely,

    I appreciate your response above on the certification program and subject of GMOs. This makes sense to me and I can understand the explanation. I am still interested in the use of maltodextrin and sugar substitutes/alcohols in the supplements. Why are they necessary in the supplements–I want to understand their value? Thank you for your help.

  • Alex says:

    As an IBO, what claims can I make when promoting our supplements after I’ve read this article, this is a pretty important issue now. There may be many folks probably mistating that all our vitamins are 100% organic when this is not the case. What do you recommend what we correctly state when we are discussing the benefits of our products, without going into too much detail. thank you

  • Ken says:

    Thank you for the information which helps me better promote the Nutrilite brand. What I have discovered is my clients experience the results of Nutrilite, which is exceptional. No doubt Nutrilite is the absolute best.

  • Brian says:

    I will be honest, I am surprised as well. I was always under the impression that our vitamins were Organic and I promoted them as such. I was also under the impression that synthetic vitamins pass through your system. Has something changed, or was it always this way?

    • Neely says:

      Hello Brian!
      Thank you for your comment. Nutrilite supplements combine the best of nature AND the best of science. While Nutrilite grows plants on our own certified organic farms, our products themselves are not considered organic. Organic certification of our products is not possible due to the complexity of product formulations. Many key ingredients in the products cannot be considered organic. And, when the plants are processed, this changes the compounds used from organic to natural.

  • Marcia says:

    Thank you for this opportunity for more in-depth information on Nutrilite supplements. I appreciate the use of high quality, organic phytonutrients for these supplements. Neely, you defined the difference between GMOs and synthetic, but would you confirm whether any of the ingredients come from GMO sources, i.e. the soy?

    There are supplements from other companies that state they are gluten-free, sugar free, dairy free, and GMO free and I realize there may not be even one organic plant-based ingredient contained in them, but since I am gluten intolerant (maltodextrin) , try to avoid sugar substitutes (highly processed), and GMOs; and have continued to use Nutrilite supplements, I would love to see these ingredients removed. Do you see that happening any time in the future or do see that as an unreasonable expectation and if so, why? Thank you. I have been told that these ingredients are in small quantities, but when you faithfully take several supplements a day, I am concerned about the combined total. More information will be appreciated. Again, thank you.

    • Neely says:

      Hi Marcia,
      We definitely appreciate the interest in the conversation. We pride ourselves on the traceability of each ingredient in our products.

      Our NUTRICERT™ farm certification program ensures that all farms supplying botanical materials to Nutrilite adhere to our own farming philosophy, which is guided by sustainable, organic principles. Certain FDA restrictions keep us from making a complete non-GMO claim depending on the source, but we can identify which of our farms the ingredients come from to help answer your question.

      We are continuing to progress in our Nutricert program to ensure that all of our partner facilities are meeting our gold requirement! Please let me know if we can answer any more of your questions.

      Best wishes on a great day!

  • Sai says:

    Great article. Can you tell me in Double-x, the ratio between plant based vs synthetic ingredients? Thanks

  • sac says:

    Wow this came as a shock to me! I never imagine to read this on my early email: ORGANIC? LET’S TALK NUTRILITE SUPPLEMENTS: SYNTHETICS

    and I always say to my clients Nutrilite es 100% organic – i just can’t believe it!!!

  • Stephen says:

    I am Nutrilite consumer and I was approached once and told that synthetic vitamins are a waste. This person added that a study was done (a study they could not verify) and it showed that synthetic vitamins are amongst the biggest wastes of money as they generally do not get absorbed but rather just pass through our bodies and are one of the leading things found in outhouses. I believe my Nutrilite supplements work. It is tough when I don’t have an answer for others when they talk about such things. My idea is too many people read and say things about subjects they themselves are not truely well educated in. I say the scientists know better than most of the general population so leave it to them. This article was very informative and I will use it for any future questions I may run into.

    • R.L. says:

      You are getting incredible vitamins. Dr. Chet Zelasko has a very comprehensive talk on each of the vitamins and how the body reacts to each in both synthetic and organic. I have a copy of his CD and if you would like more information, you can email him. However, scientists have come to the conclusion that your body processes some vitamins best in their organic form (Like Vitamin D) and some vitamins the body can process well in either form (like Vitamin C). You can find the link to the audio here, although it is $10. You might suggest your IBO buy it and listen to it and let you borrow it: http://www.drchet.com/cd-SMS.html
      One other point of note with Nutrilite vitamins is the exceptionally rigorous testing each batch goes through. Amway and Nutrilite guarantee each batch and test them to the most rigorous of standards to guarantee you are getting exactly what they say you are getting.


  • gm says:

    Thank you for the info, how is this related to the growing interest/controversy over gmo’s in our food supply?

    • Neely says:

      GMOs are genetically modified seeds, versus a synthetic being a compound created in a lab. The GMO seeds are developed to produce higher yields and repel natural enemies, which require elements that are nutritionally non-essential. A synthetic is a concentrated development solely for the purpose of it’s nutritional value. Hope this helps!
      All the best,

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