A dear friend and I were discussing vitamins (actually supplements) the other day and he told me that his doctor had said, “multivitamins are a waste of money, and just create very expensive urine”
This was a widely circulated comment in the US, but I guess allopathic medicine knows no boundaries either.
I, of course, do not share this view, so decided to research it a bit.
Apparently 75 percent of US adults take vitamins and supplements regularly.
Perhaps you don’t take vitamins at all because you think you’re getting everything you need from your organic greens, nuts and overall “healthy” diet. Surprise! You’re not. Even if you eat super healthy, you can still be nutrient deficient, especially if you eat a restricted diet or a lot of processed food.
Given what the “food industry” has turned into lately, we only get certain nutrients and need to supplement what we’re missing.
If you want to get the most out of a vitamin (supplement) regimen, here are some vitamin myths you can stop believing.
- You Only Need To Take Vitamins When You’re Sick
Even if they don’t take daily vitamins, a lot of people flood their system with vitamins when they feel a cold coming on.
This is not the best way to take vitamins. By taking them regularly, you can prevent illness instead of trying to fight it off once it already sets in.
Vitamin C, zinc, elderberry, and garlic are a few examples of vitamins and supplements that have been researched for their immunity boosting properties. So, a good strategy is to consider vitamins for their ability to help us cover our bases (especially when we’re not getting all the nutrients we need from our diets) rather than acute illness treatment.
- You Don’t Need To Take Vitamins At All
In order for your body and brain to work best, you need the following:
- Vitamin A for its neuronal support qualities
- Vitamin C for its ability to help support neurotransmitters
- Vitamin D for its calcium processing qualities
- Vitamin E to fight free radicals
- Vitamin K for support in getting oxygen and nutrients to your brain
- All forms of Vitamin B for healthy cell growth and production of neurotransmitters
This is just a summary; if you want a more accurate reading of your needs, have blood work done to see if you are deficient in any.
- The Vitamin Industry Is Unregulated
In 2007, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration of the US) established a set of regulations which require manufacturers to evaluate their products through testing purity, strength and composition. The FDA regularly audits manufacturing facilities.
Stick with well known brands and you should have no FDA compliance worries.
- You Can’t Take Vitamins On An Empty Stomach
If you ever got an upset stomach from swallowing a handful of vitamins before breakfast you’re not alone.
The requirement for optimal absorption varies between vitamins. While it’s true that some fat-soluble supplements like fish oil are best taken with a meal, others, like vitamin C, can be taken without food. Certain supplements, like iron, are best absorbed on an empty stomach. Ask your pharmacist.
- All Vitamins Are The Same
Aside from the different categories like multivitamins, nootropics, adaptogens and more, vitamins can be derived from natural or synthetic nutrients. While natural nutrients come from whole food sources, synthetic nutrients are made artificially.
I say, stick with the natural ones, if you can.
- You Don’t Need Vitamins If You Eat A Lot Of Veggies
If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you may think you’re getting all the nutrients you need from your diet. However, it is reported that vegans and vegetarians are often deficient in vitamin B12. This can lead to tiredness, fatigue, weakness, constipation, numbness or tingling hands and feet, balance issues, forgetfulness, confusion, and a sad/grouchy mood.
B12 deficiency need not be obvious, and some of its symptoms are irreversible, for example nerve damage.
So, you vegans and vegetarians, think about this very seriously.
- Everyone Needs The Same Vitamins
Because everyone is different, everyone needs different things to feel their best. While multivitamins can help give you a daily boost, you could be deficient in things like vitamin D or B12, even if you take a multivitamin.
Your body does not synthesize vitamin D, if you aren’t exposed to the sun. What do you do in the winter?
If your doctor has put you on statin drugs, you body no longer produces CoQ10; are you supplementing with this?
At the end of the day, taking supplements is an individual choice, but it’s best to be informed about making it.
That’s it for now; see you all the next time.