Supplements and vitamins are more popular than they’ve ever been. But are they everything they claim to be? In this article, we debunk a slew of supplement myths and mineral misperceptions.
Supplements are a nutritional convenience for Nutritional indiscipline. Eat right and you should be able to get the most from natural foods. Eat wrong it’s best to consult a Dietitian before you pop diet pills
People, understandably, desire to be healthy and disease-free. Supplements are popular because they increase people’s chances of living a healthy, long life by taking a relatively inexpensive pill every day.
Supplements fly off the shelves when the desire to live well is combined with a bold marketing campaign featuring toned bodies and flawless grins.
In general, however, the vast majority of supplements are unnecessary for healthy adults who eat a well-balanced diet. It’s no wonder that there are some misconceptions regarding the benefits of these goods because they reside at the crossroads of science and marketing.
- More is always better
More isn’t necessarily better when it comes to vitamins. In fact, too much might be dangerous at times. People can be forgiven for assuming that vitamin and mineral supplements are safe at any dosage because they are available without a prescription.
Large doses of some vitamins, on the other hand, can wreak havoc on the body’s carefully tuned processes. According to the Indian Cancer Society, for example, “Too much vitamin C might impair the body’s ability to absorb copper, a metal that the body need. Too much phosphorous in the body might prevent calcium absorption. Large amounts of vitamins A, D, and K cannot be excreted by the body, and when taken in excess, they can be toxic.”
Too much vitamin C or calcium can also lead to diarrhea and stomach pain. Over time, taking too much vitamin D can cause calcium to build up in the body, a condition known as hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia can cause bone thinning as well as harm to the heart and kidneys.
- If the label says ‘natural,’ it must be safe
Unfortunately, the phrase “natural” has little value when it comes to a supplement’s safety or effectiveness. To give an extreme example, cyanide is a naturally occurring chemical produced by ferns. Of course, none of the vitamins we recommend contain cyanide.
Although some natural plant components have therapeutic effects, there is more to it. Dandelion roots, for example, are a laxative, whereas dandelion leaves are a diuretic.
There’s also the issue of dilution to consider: What percentage of the plant chemical is left in the finished product? It could be a minuscule trace or a highly concentrated extract.
- It is fine to take supplements alongside normal medicines
Because supplements don’t require a prescription and many of them claim to be “natural,” there’s a common misperception that they won’t interact with prescription drugs.
Many of these items, in fact, contain active components that may interact with other medications. As a result, supplements may enhance or mitigate the effects of pharmaceutical medications.
Researchers looked into “drug interactions and contraindications related with herbs and nutritional supplements” in a 2012 study. There were 1,491 distinct interactions between herbal and nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals that they discovered.
Most interactions were found in supplements containing magnesium, St. John’s wort, iron, calcium, and ginkgo.
The fact that the majority of people who use herbal or dietary supplements don’t talk to their doctors about it adds to the potential problems.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements protect heart health
It’s comforting to know that taking vitamin and mineral supplements can help safeguard our hearts. However, in 2018, a thorough review and meta-analysis found no meaningful benefit. Overall, the writers come to the following conclusion:
“In general, evidence on popular supplements (multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin C) indicate no consistent effect for the prevention of [cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, or stroke], nor for all-cause mortality to support their continued use.”
Despite the fact that “folic acid alone and B vitamins with folic acid, B6, and B12 decreased stroke,” the effects were minor.
- Vitamin C prevents a cold
Although this piece of “common wisdom” contains some truth, the evidence that vitamin C can prevent a cold is limited.
Vitamin C supplementation did not prevent the common cold in the general population, according to the researchers. They did, however, come to the conclusion that it decreased the intensity of symptoms and the length of the cold.
It “may be advantageous for persons exposed to brief periods of intensive physical exercise,” such as marathon runners, they added.
- Vitamin D prevents cancer
A great number of research have been conducted to determine whether vitamin D can help prevent or treat cancer. Despite extensive research, there is still no “consensus on whether vitamin D has a positive anticancer effect,” according to the researchers.
Vitamin D supplements and cancer risk were explored in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial with 25,871 individuals in 2018. Vitamin D supplementation did not result in a lower incidence of invasive cancer or cardiovascular events than placebo, according to the researchers.
- Probiotics and prebiotics cure-all
In recent years, a bewildering number of items claiming to enhance gut health and a slew of other issues have flooded the market. We’ve all seen the surge of probiotics and prebiotics in particular.
Prebiotics are meals or supplements that include substances designed to encourage gut bacteria, whereas probiotics are meals or supplements that contain microorganisms.
Gut microbes are undeniably important for optimal health. The microbiome is still a relatively new field of study, yet it has already been linked to illnesses as diverse as hypertension, diabetes, and depression.
Scientists have shown that probiotics can help with a variety of health conditions, including lowering diarrhea caused by drugs and alleviating irritable bowel syndrome symptoms (IBS). However, there is limited evidence that probiotics or prebiotics can improve health outside of a few specific disorders.
Of course, as additional research are conducted, this could change. However, marketing is currently driving the selling of probiotics and prebiotics, with words like “gut health” and “digestive health” being used.
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are essential for a healthy lifestyle. In general, however, a diversified, healthy diet will offer enough levels of these nutrients.
Supplement advantages for adults appear to be minor at best, with the exception of vitamin D and folic acid, as stated in the introduction. Despite the fact that the supplement sector is booming, throwing a critical eye over companies’ marketing materials won’t hurt anyone.
While the above article guides you to eating healthier, there is no substitute for customized professional advice given by a qualified nutritionist. We urge you to speak to your personal dietician or if you need help, contact a nutritionist at Qua Nutrition.
You can contact us at 9743430000 or log on to quanutrition.com to Book An Appointment.