The Importance Of Supplements

707 Words 3 Pages
Anyone who has ever ventured into a pharmacy or to the health and beauty section of a grocery store will have likely run into a wall of supplements. Okay, not a literal wall, but a section or isle dedicated solely to supplements — an overwhelming amount of supplements. Vitamins, minerals, fatty acids (such as fish oils), amino acids, probiotics, and herbal products fill the shelves with an eager consumer base happily purchasing them in hopes of better health and wellbeing. Ironically though, many of the labels will include information about what the products is suppose to do — provides essential minerals, supports digestive health, helps support immune function — and then on the back, in small print with an asterisk, you will find this statement: …show more content…
This article in Scientific America points out that there are thousands of other compounds in fruits and vegetables that increase the potency and absorption of vitamins. Supplements don’t take this into account and all you are really getting is an isolated vitamin that will most likely be excreted through urine. There is also evidence that vitamins can be dangerous. This New York Times article from 2013 points out that studies have shown an increased risk of mortality from taking vitamins due to the large dose of antioxidants which may interfere with the immune …show more content…
The Case for Supplementing
What if you are just one of those people who refuses to eat vegetables? Maybe you are a vegetarian or a vegan and your body is in need of B vitamins — especially vitamin B12, which is only found in meat and to a lesser degree in dairy. Maybe you don’t get outside much, or live far north of the equator, and could use some vitamin D because you don’t get enough sun exposure? What if you have a medical condition such as anemia or celiac disease and need to supplement?

Any of the reasons above certainly make the case for supplementing. If you are not getting something through your normal diet, have a medical condition, or don’t get enough sun, then you have to get it somehow and supplementing is the next best thing. But do your homework! Buy only from reputable manufacturers. Learn about possible side effects or interaction with other medications. Avoid taking mega doses of vitamins because of the dangers.

Key Takeaways:
• It’s best to get your nutritional needs met through diet and safe sun

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