# Are vitamins in tablet are more efficient than the vitamins in their natural source? [closed]

In medical shop I have seen that there are loads of vitamins tablets available but I was wondering like does vitamins in tablet are more efficient than the vitamins which are available in their natural source like in fruits ?

## closed as unclear what you're asking by bon, jerepierre, Klaus-Dieter Warzecha, Martin - マーチン♦, Geoff HutchisonJun 9 '15 at 14:20

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• The big question: How do you define more efficient? – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Jun 8 '15 at 17:02
• Well, there are reasons why dietitians tell people to eat fruits not tablets. – Mithoron Jun 8 '15 at 18:25
• This is perhaps slightly tangential, but it should be noted that there is a lot of debate whether vitamin/mineral supplements are actually useful to most people without a specific requirement, and they can even be toxic. Results in support of nutrient supplementation seem to be inconclusive at best for the general population to which it is marketed (those actually rich enough to purchase them), though of course in people with proven deficiencies it can be a life-saver. – Nicolau Saker Neto Jun 8 '15 at 21:02

For some vitamins, such as Vitamin C, which are always found in the form of a unique chemical substance, there is no chemical difference between the vitamin in a tablet--synthetic or otherwise--and the same vitamin as found in a foodstuff. Still, how well you absorb a vitamin might be affected by what else you consume at the time - for example a given amount of Vitamin C might be absorbed more or less efficiently as an ingredient in orange juice than as a pill, even though it is the same substance in both cases. But these differences might not necessarily be significant.

Other vitamins, such as Vitamin A or Vitamin D, are found in multiple closely related chemical forms, any of which the body can use to fulfill its need for the vitamin. In that case, the body may absorb or utilize the vitamin more efficiently when it is in one form relative to another. Fats in the diet can further influence your absorption of a fatty vitamin like Vitamin D.

Minerals, such as iron, are notorious for being made easier or harder to absorb depending on their chemical form and how they are bound to other components of the food. So, for example, iron in greens is known to be slower/more inefficient for the body to extract than iron in liver.

• I'd add that iron in vitamin pills or many breakfast cereals (among other places where it's added) is in little bits of iron metal, not $\ce{Fe2+}$ in any form, and as you note, the ligand can influence iron absorption. – Geoff Hutchison Jun 9 '15 at 2:10

For most vitamins, it's much better to consume them in dissolved form (as they would be in most foods). You can test how much dissolves by putting a vitamin tablet into a cup of warm-to-hot (around body temp) vinegar and seeing how much of the pill dissolves. If it doesn't dissolve, it's exiting your body without any chance to use it.

So, for most vitamins, no.

• This does not answer the question. – user15489 Jun 8 '15 at 21:59
• This is even too far too away to be a comment. But anyways, welcome to the site! You might take a look at the help center to find out what's a good answer in our community. This answer of yours doesn't count as one, unfortunately. – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Jun 8 '15 at 22:16