Let me be clear: I’m not a fan of supplements. After writing about them for the past several years, I have come think they should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
Have you taken your vitamins today? But are they really necessary or a waste of your hard earned money. A healthy, balanced diet may be all you really need!
Science tells us that taking most vitamins is worthless—but a few buck the trend
And which ones are just costly empty promises.
For years, public health experts have practically begged people to stop wasting money on dietary supplements. For one, many of these pills don't work. Study after study has demonstrated that favorites like multivitamins don't actually improve outcomes on a number of health measures, from staving off cognitive decline to preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer. The health benefits of probiotics are wildly exaggerated, and taking antioxidants like beta carotene and vitamin E might even kill you faster.
A balanced diet is best, but these additions could help...
A few years ago if you asked me what supplements I took, I probably would have rolled my eyes. I believed firmly that all vitamins and minerals could be ingested through a whole foods diet and that supplements were unnecessary.
That is until I ended up in the hospital with severe b12 and iron deficiency…
We’ll take a look at supplements the entire family should consider taking as a safety net for those days (or weeks) when your life is thrown off course.
There's one that we should all be taking every day.
But as a scientifically trained journalist, I feel obliged to help others make rational decisions about which, if any, dietary supplements may be worth their hard-earned dollars. I’ll start with the bottom line on the most popular of these, the daily multivitamin/mineral combo: If you are a healthy adult with no known nutritional deficiencies, save your money.
From Gwyneth Paltrow to Alex Jones of Info Wars, it seems like everyone is promising that vitamins— and their creepy alter ego, supplements—can soothe what ails us. Supplements are now a multi-billion-dollar industry that many say will continue to grow. But we’re not getting any healthier. Last year, U.S. life expectancy declined for the first time since 1993. How did we become a vitamin and supplement obsessed society, and why isn’t that keeping us from getting sick?
Price has a few ideas—and a few warnings to keep in mind the next time you’re staring down an aisle of supplements.
If you’re taking vitamin D and calcium supplements to maintain strong bones and prevent fractures, it might be for naught.
No longer the exclusive province of carnival barkers and traveling salesmen, the snake oil of today is made by countless companies and sold at GNC, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, and thousands of other retailers on and off the Web. I’m referring to dietary supplements, products such as echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and other “herbs,” variously marketed to provide relief from colds, enhance stamina, improve memory, relieve aching joints, or deliver other benefits.
But the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate dietary supplements as drugs — they aren’t tested for safety and efficacy before they’re sold. Many aren’t made according to minimal standards of manufacturing (the F.D.A. has even found some of the facilities where supplements are made to be contaminated with rodent feces and urine). And many are mislabeled, accidentally or intentionally. They often aren’t what they say they are.
Some can be harmful or interfere with prescribed medication. Tell your doctor what you take and be sure the information is recorded in your chart.
Many of the best-selling supplements have little or no evidence to back up their claims, and the vast majority of people will not benefit from taking them. So here are the top five dietary supplements that you should not take...
The vitamin and supplements industry, which is immensely profitable, relies on the intuition that if a little bit of something is good for you, a bit more can’t hurt. Right? Wrong. If you don’t have a serious vitamin deficiency, taking supplemental vitamins doesn’t provide any benefit, in almost all cases that have been studied. What’s even more surprising is this: routinely taking mega-doses of vitamins might actually harm you.
The concept that nutritional supplements "could be harmful" to women flies in the face of all reasonable facts from both intervention trials and outcome studies...
Decades of research has failed to find substantial evidence that vitamins and supplements do any significant good. In fact, the results of recent studies lean in the opposite direction, finding that certain vitamins may be bad for you.
Find out if you’re just swallowing the promise of better health.
If you wash down your daily multivitamin with a green juice every morning, you might be patting yourself on the back for being healthy—but are you actually getting too much of a good thing? If you're eating a relatively nutritious diet, the truth is, your multivitamin isn't doing you much good.
Over-the-counter supplement labels will generally advise how often supplements should be taken and whether they should be taken with meals. But, don’t just take them willy-nilly. For some supplements, optimal absorption can depend on the time of day taken. Here are five of the most common supplements and the best times of day to take them:
Just remember, it’s important to use supplements as they are intended: to supplement your diet and a healthy lifestyle. Nothing that comes in a nicely packaged tub can replace whole foods, routine exercise, and adequate recovery. Do your research and start by developing a deeper understanding of your current nutrition, then build out a plan from there.
Some supplements are like golden nuggets that anyone can benefit from introducing into their life. These are key micronutrients that almost every person is either deficient of, or could benefit from higher reserves.
If you are in general good health and can get all the nutrition your body needs to flourish and thrive by eating organic vegetables and fruit, consuming wild caught fish, pastured grass-fed meats and dairy, and you know what foods to avoid, then you’re probably good to go. That being said, there is still usually room in one’s health regimen for improvement. If you are thinking of supplementation, I highly recommend the following list as a good starting point.
Magnesium has never been a nutritional superstar, but in recent years, research has confirmed its many crucial roles in the body and uncovered new potential benefits. Notably, it’s involved in energy production, cell growth, blood pressure, bone health and the functioning of the heart, nerves and muscles.
There’s no doubt that magnesium-rich foods are some of the best choices around—but supplements are another matter.
Of all the "classic" vitamins—the vital organic compounds discovered between 1913 and 1941 and termed vitamin A, B, C, etc.—vitamin D could be the most beneficial to take in supplement form - Joseph Stromber
If you choose to take Vitamin D make sure it's a supplement containing Vitamin D3 with K2.
We still have much to learn, but here’s a safe bet: usually when something is over 1000 percent of the recommended daily value, it's probably best to just leave it on the store shelf - Scientific American
Fish oil: friend or foe? The answer is more friend than foe, especially if the fish oil comes from food sources rather than supplements - Howard LeWine MD
Vitamin C might not do anything to prevent or treat the common cold, but the other widely-used cold supplement, zinc, may actually be worth taking. A mineral that's involved in many different aspects of your cellular metabolism, zinc appears to interfere with the replication of rhinoviruses, the microbes that cause the common cold - Joseph Stromber
As consumers, we'd like to think that the vitamins and supplements we buy are effective and safe. In reality, this isn't always the case. Labdoor is an independent company that tests supplements. We find out whether products have what they claim and if they have any harmful ingredients or contaminants. Then, we grade and rank those products, write reports, and publish that information for free, so consumers can confidently buy the best supplements for their health.