4 Myths About Vitamins and Supplements - Explained
Vitamins and minerals are substances your body needs for growth and proper functionality. Supplementing with vitamins plays an important role in the lives of most Americans. Nearly 80% of American adults over the age of 18 complement their diets with extra vitamins, with half of them using supplements for their overall wellness benefits.
But this has not stopped the spread of misinformation regarding supplements. And separating fact from fiction can be difficult when your family’s welfare is at stake.
So let’s start cracking some of the most popular myths about supplements:
Myth no. 1: Different brands of the same supplement do the same thing
There is a common misconception regarding brands that use the same ingredients. You might be tempted to say that if every manufacturer has access to the same ingredients, all brands offer the same thing.
However, the Food and Drug Administration does not test dietary supplement products before they are put on the market, rather, places the responsibility on the manufacturer to ensure they are safe before they are marketed.
Thus, when it comes to supplements, you do get what you pay for. Make sure you read labels carefully. More reputable brands invest in testing and label their products non-GMO. They are also careful not to produce their products with common allergens such as gluten, corn, nut or soy.
Myth no. 2: Multivitamin supplements can cover all your bases
Think of vitamins as a form of insurance against any potential deficiencies in your body. For example, since it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D on a daily basis, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing this vitamin.
A multivitamin, on the other hand, is a supplement that contains many vitamins and essential minerals. Multivitamins may seem like the perfect choice since it sounds like they have everything you need. Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that multivitamins can contain doses of vitamins that are too small to have any real effects. This is why you need to be aware of the exact vitamin deficiencies you have and act upon that issue. There’s no point in supplementing with something that you simply do not lack.
However, you might need multivitamins if you can’t adjust your diet and are at risk for several nutritional deficiencies. Bundles are available in the correct ratios to cover your needs but you’ll have to make sure that the provided dosages are sufficient enough to negate your deficiency risks. Make sure you only supplement the vitamins your body lacks.
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Myth no. 3: More is always better
Too much of anything can be toxic to some extent-- even water. Thus, there is such a thing as overdosing on vitamins.
Supplements can be useful for filling the gaps in your diet. But before trying any of them out, take into consideration your lifestyle, age, gender, health goals, stress levels, sleep patterns, dietary restrictions, and any medical conditions. It may be worth speaking with your doctor to determine what is best for you. Taking vitamins inappropriately or in high dosages can harm your health. When taken as directed and intended, multivitamins and minerals are not expected to cause serious side effects.
Myth no. 4: They are unnecessary
In an ideal world, we would get all the nutrients we need from food and the healthy daily habits that we create. Unfortunately, a significant number of people do not consume or have access to nutrient-rich foods. If you’re deficient in vitamins, your body might process them better in supplement form.
Dietary supplements are beneficial for certain populations as they can help manage various conditions and lifestyles. For example, someone on a calorie-restricted diet may benefit from multivitamins and minerals. Pregnant moms can benefit from taking folic acid. Someone who is lactose intolerant may benefit from calcium and vitamin D, whereas a vegan can benefit from taking B12.
Now that the top myths regarding supplements have been busted, we hope you understand that, while they aren’t miracle workers, they do lend a helping hand when you need it the most.
Source: Adobe Stock
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