There are a lot of vitamins and supplements on the market today. So many that it can be confusing on which one to take daily or if you really even need them. One half of all American adults use dietary supplements. Costing us $21 billion a year in just vitamins and herbal supplements, if you add in protein shakes and powders the amount spent sky rockets to right above the amount spent on organic foods. Many studies show that most people don’t even take their one a day, daily. They might even take it as little as once a year and claim they take a daily vitamin. I am unsure that everyone taking supplements and vitamins even knows why they are taking them.
Vitamins are essentially nutrients that we ingest in our daily diet. Taking a synthetic vitamin is not going to make up for having a crappy diet. A balanced diet provides adequate levels of nutrients. Most studies show that extra vitamins fail to prolong life or prevent chronic diseases. Most diseases caused by nutrient deficiencies are rare in the United States because we have so many vitamin fortified foods. Studies have shown people who eat a plant based diet have been known to have lower rates of heart disease and cancer, but it is unclear whether ingesting high doses of the same nutrients in pill form results in the same benefits or any benefit at all. Scientist suspect that the benefits of a healthy diet come from eating whole fruits and vegetables not just the individual vitamin found in it. “There may not be a single component of broccoli or green leafy vegetables that is responsible for the health benefits,” Dr. Peter H. Gann, professor and director of research in the department of pathology at the University of Illinois at Chicago said. “Why are we taking a reductionist approach and plucking out one or two chemicals given in isolation?”
Taking higher doses of vitamins your body doesn’t need can be more harmful than good. Some antioxidants can be pro-oxidants as they may cause problems rather than prevent them. You must make sure you are not over dosing on minerals your diet already provides your body.
The FDA has strict rules on what can be called a supplement verses food and they also regulate vitamins. Many times they do not test supplements or vitamins until there is a problem. If it’s labeled correctly they are going to let you sell it. You can go out back in your yard, scoop up some dirt and put it in a container and label it as a supplement. As long as you have all ingredients listed on the label you won’t be liable for any effect, be it positive or negative. It is all in the way that companies label their items. Read your labels. If you see natural flavoring you might be ingesting dirt and bugs. If you see artificial flavoring just put it back on the shelf.
You must do your own research before adding a new brand to your daily routine. One out of every 4 supplements has some sort of problem with them. Products can be labeled unclearly or even contain too much, according to the label, of a mineral. Read labels and know what is in your vitamins and supplements. Try to find companies that use whole food formulas, GMO free and USDA Organic.
You are better off changing to a whole foods diet and adding super foods to your meals instead of using a meal replacement supplement. A balanced diet provides adequate levels of all minerals needed to stay healthy. If you feel you are missing something in your diet have your doctor test for a deficiency or take a whole foods one-a-day vitamin.
Don’t get caught up with the new trends or fads of pricey supplements and vitamins without doing research on the product and/or brand. Read the labels and make sure you are happy with all the ingredients before putting the supplement into your body. If you feel you need supplements or extra vitamins you should get tested by a medical professional or rethink your diet. Make sure you are eating all your daily servings’ of fruits and vegetables. Whole food vitamins are always better then synthetic if you decided to take a one-a-day. Always being aware of what you are putting into your body is the only way to be truly healthy.