Supplements, are they Necessary?

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In America supplements are a 30-billion-dollar business, with 77% of Americans consuming them (according to the 2019 CRN consumer survey).  So, this makes me wonder, is all this hype and consumption based on fact or fad.  It can all be quite overwhelming when looking into what supplements to take, how safe are they, how well do they work and are all supplements created equal?  Your brain could quite possibly explode.  I hope to break down the basics for you in this article and help you make an educated personal decision for yourself. 

Why a supplement may be a good idea

If you eat a well-balanced whole food diet, it is absolutely possible to get all the vitamins and minerals that are required to be healthy.  However, the American diet often leaves a lot to be desired.  Sorry, people just because they give you apple slices in your happy meal, doesn’t mean those chicken nuggets are going to prevent heart disease.  Also, the quality of the food we eat has decreased due to over planting; therefore depleting the soil of the nutrients it once held. And the fact our food is shipped from all over the world, forcing them to coat those apples in some funky wax so it looks shiny two weeks later when you buy it at the store and finally, all the pesticides they use to ward off bugs.  We can all thank Monsanto for the spike in rare cancers that are plaguing our earth.  I could go off on Monsanto for hours, but I will save that for another post.

What supplements should I take

So, let’s say you try to eat a well-balanced diet, eat what is in season and buy organic.  You are off to a pretty good start.  However, personally I believe taking a multivitamin is worth a chance.  Think of it as it states, “a supplement” to your diet, not a replacement for a crappy diet.  Also, since we live in a society terrified of skin cancer and we’re all about the sunscreen, a vitamin D supplement I believe is also necessary.  My personal opinion is a multivitamin and vitamin D supplement are a good choice for everyone.  And if you want to go the extra mile a Fish Oil supplement is also beneficial, a great way to get those omega 3’s.

Water soluble vs Fat soluble vitamins

On a quick note, be aware there are fat soluble and water-soluble vitamins.  Fat soluble means the body has a difficult time ridding itself of excess of these specific vitamins.  Examples of those are Vitamin D, E, A and K.  Most multivitamins don’t have excessive amounts of these for that reason, so it should be safe.  As for Vitamin D, there is a wide range of dosing when you go to buy your supplement.  A safe bet would be to buy one that is 1,000mcg to 2,000mcg.  You should not take more than this, unless you have had your blood levels checked by a physician.  Water soluble vitamins are a safer bet, if you take in more than your body needs, you simply pee it out.  

Buy from Companies who follow cGMP practices

So, take this as you will.  If you believe you are able to get your daily requirements from your diet, more power to you.  But if you’re not sure, I think taking a few supplements may benefit you.  There is no need to spend your paycheck on supplements, while trying to choke down 50 capsules a day.  Simply, buy yourself a good quality multivitamin and vitamin D. Also work on eating a balanced diet.  Be sure to buy supplements from companies that follow cGMP practices (Current Good Manufacturing Practices).  This is the gold standard for quality and safety in the food, drug and supplement industry.  And with this you should be good to go. 

A few of our Favorite Clean Supplement Brands

       I use: Marine Fish Oil

       I use: Twice Daily Multivitamin and Vitamin D Synergy

This information is intended to help you find safer supplements.  However, if you are unsure of what supplements you personally should be taking, please consult with a nutritionist or qualified practitioner who can help you navigate choices specific to you.

Here is a link for good reliable information on many supplements from the NIH (National Institute of Health).  http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all/  

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