Are Vitamins and Supplements Worth it?

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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 Are Vitamins and Supplements Worth it?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.

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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.Are Vitamins and Supplements Worth it?

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.

Namaste <3

JEM

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17 thoughts on “Are Vitamins and Supplements Worth it?

  1. I am very on the fence about supplements. I eat a healthy, balanced diet. I have taken supplements at the recommendation of my doctor, and also tried some others. I just have never felt they did a lot of good. Currently I take a multivitamin ( I just had surgery) and vitamin D ( winter here, and I don’t get out much) but that is it. #PitStop

  2. Jem, that is an interesting post. It sounds right about putting good clean foods first, to get our nutrients. Labeling is scary. I like that you talk about GMO free too. Thanks for bringing your expertise to help us to know these important things you have mentioned.
    The Blogger’s Pit Stop
    Kathleen

  3. The supplement question really depends on why you are taking them. I am under orders from my physician and my eye doctor to take D3, something for my eyes and Omega – 3’s. I also take three supplements for lowering my cholesterol because it was on the higher side and within 3 months, it dropped to 202 which is closer to normal. I also take a B-12 because I am more vegan than vegetarian and I want to make sure I get everything I need.

    • Your doctor probably has you on those vitamins because you are low in them, being tested is the best way to know which minerals your missing. I take b12 for the same reasons.

  4. A confusing but great topic! Some argue that because our soil levels are more depleted of minerals and other vitamins now, that we need to make up for that with some supplementation and because of higher pollution rates, high stress and even electrosmog that we need higher levels of vitamins as well. But, your point of whole foods interacting synergistically is a critical one. I think testing is an important step as well to see our deficiencies. Thanks for posting!

    • You have some great points, the only way to know if you are deficient in a mineral is to be tested, some can cause diseases if you over dose on them. If you can’t be tested a great whole foods based multi vitamin is best, you don’t want a synthetic vitamin or your just putting chemicals into your body.

  5. This is an interesting article. I am a vitamin taker. I take Vitamin D due to a deficiency that I’m not getting from sunlight (skin cancer patient) or food. I’m taking B12 and Magnesium as prescribed from my doe for menopause symptoms. A joint supplement and fish oil daily. Without them, I feel like total crap. I can understand the misconceptions about some. However, if you’re a non-veggie/fruit liker as I am, we need to get the vitamins somehow. I do like your suggestions though. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  6. I agree that we should try to get our vitamins and minerals from eating a whole foods diet, but it is not always possible. Vitamin D3 is critical for most of us. Omega 3 are important. Things like probiotics or enzymes can also help. However, when taking, never buy them from a box store or Amazon, there is too much fraud. Yes, they can be expensive, but getting a pharmaceutical grade supplement is worth it. Also doing testing can be important to know what you might need. Finally, supporting a function might be necessary. I will use me as an example. I have been eating a whole foods, good diet for a few years, yet my adrenals are not working well, so adrenal support is important for me until I can get them working properly, but I only know that by testing. Thanks for sharing at Let’s Get Real.

    • I think the only way to truely know what you body needs is to get tested and that you should always research the supplements and vitamins before you buy them, just so you are aware of what you are getting! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. YES! Thank you for this very relevant and informative post! It is so much better to eat the right things than eat whatever and then try to bandage up our diets with expensive supplements that our bodies might not be able to assimilate anyway and might even be harmful.Better to spend the money on quality, unprocessed foods. I’m a new blogger just starting out over at http://www.widemeadow.com, where my focus is simple ways to eat more wholesome foods and live more naturally in the midst of our busy lifestyles and so much conflicting info on what actually is healthy!
    Bradleigh

  8. Totally agree with you Jem! It is a lucrative market to be in but I don’t really feel any different when I take them. You are correct in saying that they don’t make up for a crappy diet. I’m with you all the way on this one! Thanks for sharing at #OvertheMoon Linkup

  9. Hi Jem! Congratulations! Your post was in my top 2 picks for this week’s Over the Moon Link up. I hope you will join us on Monday with another great post and also get a copy of our Feature Badge. Have a great weekend!

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