Are you convinced by many of the television commercials that your health and life would be perfect by the right supplements? So are many other people. That’s why it’s a billion dollar business. The truth is, is that in many cases the supplements you take are actually flushed down the toilet when you eliminate. Most of the excess water soluble supplements leave your body in your urine and some supplements don’t even digest in your system, leaving them in your defecation. I had an older friend that used to work in construction who told stories that made me a believer. Many years ago some towns sent their waste to a field, rather than a waste treatment plant. He was part of the crew to put up a building on that field, years after it was no longer used. He said there was evidence of undigested vitamins everywhere…plus plenty of volunteer tomatoes.
Studies show contradictory evidence.
No matter what you study, there’s always going to be at least one study that finds the opposite of what other studies do. In the case of supplements, some showed people who used them were healthier. However, when broken down by other habits, like eating healthier, not smoking and exercising regularly, people who took supplements also had other beneficial lifestyle habits that accounted for the difference. When a group with healthy habits, some who used supplements and some who didn’t, was studied, supplements showed no benefit.
A diet of whole foods is far better.
Man has always tried to improve on nature with a pill. One study at Purdue University was trying to remove the anthocyanin—the pigment that makes blueberries blue–to use for cancer treatment, since it’s been shown effective. While it may happen in the future, it was found that it was only effective when combined with the other nutrients in blueberries where they worked in synergy. That’s also the problem with supplements. When nutrients are from whole foods, all the nutrients work together with some making absorption of others easier.
Some special categories of people may require high quality supplements.
As your body ages, absorption of nutrients diminishes. Seniors often eat less than they did when they were younger, plus no longer get all the nutrition from the food they eat. They also have a more difficult time with chewing and digesting certain foods. For seniors, there are reasons to take supplements. People with health issues that block absorption or limit food intake also may require supplements. There are liquid supplements on the market in these cases. However, a physician should determine what’s best for them.
- While the sun is one of the best sources of vitamin D, with food being the second, there’s a high amount of people with a vitamin D shortage in the US. Again, check with your health care professional.
- You can have too much of a good thing with some vitamins. While water soluble vitamins are evacuated from your body through waste, fat based ones, A,D,E,K, accumulate and cause health issues.
- You can boost your nutritional intake by adding extra herbs and spices into your cooking. They’re relatively inexpensive compared o supplements—especially if you grow your own.
- Even though you can ingest too much fat soluble vitamins for your body when you take supplements, by getting your nutrition from your food, it’s nearly impossible.