Choose wisely.

Are supplement’s useful at all for my Health?

The short answer is YES, they do help, they are beneficial and they do work however if you want a more elaborate answer and to discuss about the rage of supplement’s, allow me to share with you this Article today.

Vitamins are organic compounds that our bodies use, in very small amounts, for a variety of metabolic processes. It is best to get vitamins and minerals from eating a variety of healthy unprocessed foods.

While taking a general ‘broad-spectrum’ the vitamin and mineral supplement ‘just in case’ poses a little health risk, and may benefit a person whose diet is restricted and lacks variety, taking vitamin and mineral supplements instead of eating a nutritious diet is not recommended.

There are more than 90,000 vitamin and dietary supplement products sold in the US alone, (I talk about the US because it is by far the largest consuming country in the world). They come in pills, powders, drinks, and bars. And they all anticipate some better versions of ourselves—selves with sturdier bones, slimmer waistlines, heftier muscles, happier intestines, better sex lives, and more potent noggins. They foretell of diseases dodged and aging outrun.

Every day, your body produces skin, muscle & bone. It also formulates chemical messengers that travel from one organ to another, issuing the instructions that help in sustaining you a healthy life. But for performing all this, your body requires some raw materials. These include at least 30 vitamins & minerals. components that your body needs but cannot manufacture on its own in sufficient amounts.

When the food on the plate falls short and doesn’t include essential nutrients like Calcium,Zinc, Iron, potassium, vitamin D, Vitamin B12, etc. A supplement can help take up that nutrient. Vitamin and mineral supplements can help prevent deficiencies that can contribute to chronic conditions. Numerous studies have shown the benefits & effectiveness of supplements in a daily diet. 

Of course, our bodies do need these vitamins to live – it’s just that the diet of most people who live in developed countries in the 21st century already includes them in abundance. In many cases, taking high amounts of them in a refined form (especially vitamins A, C, and E and beta-carotene) can actually be harmful, increasing the risk of cancer and other diseases by excessively inflating the concentration of antioxidants in the body.

Supplements vs. whole foods

Supplements aren’t intended to substitute for food. They can’t replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Whole foods offer three main benefits over dietary supplements:

  • Greater nutrition. Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of the micronutrients your body needs.
  • Essential fiber. Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, provide dietary fiber. As part of a healthy diet, fiber can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also help manage constipation.
  • Protective substances. Many whole foods are also good sources of antioxidants — substances that slow down a natural process leading to cell and tissue damage. It isn’t clear that antioxidant supplements offer the same benefits as antioxidants in food. Some high-dose antioxidant supplements have been associated with health risks.

So what we can take from this is food first, always. Food provides vitamins in the most biologically available form, in the right quantities and combined with other complementary nutrients.

We’re big believers that if you’re otherwise healthy, a healthy eating pattern should never be replaced by a supplement. More and more often we’re seeing people who are eating a poor diet, drinking, and smoking and believe everything will be okay if they take a supplement.

Supplements May Help

While diet is the key to getting the best vitamins and minerals, supplements can help. For instance, if you’re doing your best to eat healthy foods but still are deficient in some areas, supplements can help. The key is to ensure they’re taken in addition to healthy diet choices and nutrient-dense foods. They’re supplements, not replacements. Only use supplements if your healthcare professional has recommended them.

“A supplement will generally provide 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance for all vitamins and minerals,” Kris-Etherton said. “Therefore, many nutritionists will agree that a supplement is OK if nutrient needs are not being met by a healthy food-based diet.”

It is important however to note that we all have specific nutritional requirements and health concerns at different stages of life, and it is ideal to choose supplements that target those specific needs.

Is it good to take a Multivitamin every day?

Multivitamin and multimineral supplements are not recommended for generally healthy adults. But if you’re concerned your diet is inadequate – perhaps because you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables – and you’re not in a position to improve it, a multivitamin could fill in some of the gaps

It is also important to note that Supplements won’t ward off disease.

“It would be great to have a magic pill that could reduce the risk of developing a cold or flu… but at the present time, there is no magic pill that can do that.

There is some evidence vitamin C may slightly shorten the duration of symptoms, she noted. But rather than popping vitamin C pills, it’s better to eat fruits and vegetables.

The Benefits

Normally, you should be able to get all the nutrients you need from a balanced diet. However, taking supplements can provide additional nutrients when your diet is lacking or when certain health conditions cause you to develop an insufficiency or deficiency.

In most cases, multiple-vitamin supplements provide all the basic micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) your body needs. These multiple vitamins are generally safe because they contain only small amounts of each nutrient.

Individual nutrients can also be sold as dietary supplements, but usually in larger amounts than what’s found in a typical multiple-vitamin. They may be used to treat a deficiency, such as iron deficiency, but sometimes they’re used therapeutically to treat specific health conditions or risk factors.​ For example, large doses of niacin may be used to raise good cholesterol, and folic acid has been used to reduce the risk of a birth defect called spina bifida.

Scientific research supports some of the benefits of using many dietary supplements for certain health conditions, but in many more cases, the effectiveness has not been backed up by the research evidence. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements has dietary supplement fact sheets that assess the evidence for (and against) the therapeutic use of a large number of dietary supplements.

The Risks

Taking higher than recommended doses of some vitamins may cause problems. For example, the vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble, which means they are stored in the body. High doses of these vitamins can be toxic.

High doses of some water soluble vitamins, like vitamin B6, can also become toxic. Large folate intakes can hide vitamin B12 deficiencies. In extreme cases, for example, where people take 100 times the recommended dietary intake (RDI), this can stop the work of anticonvulsant drugs, such as those used in epilepsy.

Excessive doses of some minerals may also cause problems. At just five times the RDI, zinc, iron, chromium and selenium can be raised to toxic levels in the body. For example:

  • Large intakes of fluoride (especially in childhood) may stain, and even weaken, the teeth.
  • Very large doses of fish oil can lead to decreased blood clotting.
  • Iron toxicity is also common. Even a small amount over the RDI can cause gastrointestinal upset, nausea and black bowel actions (poo). Severe toxicity can lead to coma and even death.
  • High levels of vitamin B6 have been linked to some types of nerve damage.
  • Doses of vitamin C above one gram can cause diarrhoea.
  • High doses of vitamin A may cause birth defects, as well as central nervous system, liver, bone and skin disorders.

For a healthy adult, if supplements are used, they should generally be taken at levels close to the RDI. High-dose supplements should not be taken unless recommended under medical advice.

Dietary supplement manufacturers have to follow some rules regarding labeling and the claims that can be made about the supplements. The claim can be made that a dietary supplement addresses a nutritional deficiency, supports health, or reduces the risk for a particular health problem when there is enough evidence to support that claim. Supplement labels must also use this statement:

This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Most dietary supplements are safe as long as you follow the label instructions, but large doses of certain nutrients can have strong biological effects on the body. While that may be beneficial in some cases, there are times when taking large doses of individual supplements can be dangerous.

Products bought online can be dodgy

Buying supplements online, particularly from overseas, is a very risky activity, as indeed is buying any medication, as the chances of receiving forged products are significant.

Supplements sold on the internet are unlikely to have been evaluated by the TGA, which means there is even less surety that the product contains what it says it does, whether it contains unlisted, illegal or dangerous ingredients, or whether it is contaminated with toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury or arsenic.

Currently there are a number of TGA safety alerts for weight loss and other products that are contaminated with illegal ingredients that have been linked to health issues such as heart disease and cancer.

But if the supplements are made the wrong way, the impact can be devastating — even deadly.

Now that we have covered what you should consider before supplementing, let’s cover some synthetic nutrient’s to supplement with your diet that is actually worth your time and possibly money investing into.

#1. Vitamin D

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.

#2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably the most widely used single vitamin. It’s known as an antioxidant and is often recommended as a remedy for the common cold. There is even research to suggest that it may have cancer-preventing properties due to its ability to aid the body in fighting off malicious cells.

#3. Probiotics

A mounting pile of research is showing how crucial the trillions of bacterial cells that live inside us are in regulating our health, and how harmful it can be to suddenly wipe them out with an antibiotic. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that if you do go through a course of antibiotics, taking a probiotic (either a supplement or a food naturally rich in bacteria, such as yogurt) to replace the bacteria colonies in your gut could be a good idea.

#4. Zinc

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.

#5. Niacin

Also known as vitamin B3, niacin is talked up as a cure for all sorts of conditions (including high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and headaches) but in most of these cases, a prescription-strength dose of niacin has been needed to show a clear result.

At over-the-counter strength, niacin supplements have only been proven to be effective in helping one group of people: those who have heart disease.

#6. L-Glutamine

Glutamine is the most commonly occurring amino acid in the human body. It is responsible for transporting nitrogen into your muscles. Glutamine also plays a large role in metabolism, the functioning of your immune system, protein synthesis, and energy restoration. During heavy workouts your body’s glutamine levels can become depleted, sometimes taking a week to get back to a normal level. Supplementing glutamine allows you to work out rigorously without running the risk of depleting your natural stores.

#7. Whey Protein

Whey protein shakes are probably the most widely used sports supplement on this list. They are a clean and simple way to reach your daily protein intake quota. If you come in shy of the amount of protein you need per day (generally 0.7 grams per pound of body weight) you risk falling into catabolism. Protein helps your muscles repair and grow after exercise.

#8. Beta Alanine

Beta Alanine is a non-essential amino acid responsible for the amount of Carnosine in our muscles.

Carnosine is heavily involved in sports performance. It’s a pretty intricate process to go into how exactly Beta-Alanine acts in the body, but the upshot is that it creates more Carnosine, which stabilizes the PH level of your muscles and in turn translates to a better performing athlete.

#9. Creatine

Creatine has a bad reputation, but fundamentally it’s a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in your body. It leads to greater ATP creation in the body, which translates into greater amounts of energy available under strain. For example, an athlete who could squeeze out 5 reps on a given weight without creatine could feasibly expect to get 6 or 7 reps out of the same weight. As long as other things are optimized, it would lead to extra size and strength gains.

#10. Spirulina

Spirulina is a type of algae that grows in tropical and subtropical environments. It’s a very rich source of antioxidants, such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. This makes Spirulina a great thing to include in healthy shakes and smoothies and for many people is one of the core supplements used for overall health and wellness.

 #11. Glucosamine

Glucosamine is formed naturally in the body as a combination of glucose and the aforementioned amino acid Glutamine. It repairs cartilage and other tissue. While we form glucosamine naturally, production in our bodies slows as we age.

#12. Fish oil

“One of the key nutrients many of us don’t get enough of is long chain omega 3 fats (which are found naturally in oily fish, for example, salmon),” Debenham told HuffPost Australia.

“There is solid evidence to show that omega 3 fatty acids are necessary for a healthy heart and brain, and play a role in reducing inflammation throughout the body.”

Fish oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Person holding a few supplement pills

#13. Magnesium

Magnesium is an important nutrient which plays a role in hundreds of enzymatic bodily reactions, including metabolising food, synthesis of fatty acids and proteins, and transmission of nerve impulses.

“Magnesium is also great to take in the evening for a better night’s sleep and managing stress levels.

Other/Natural Sources of rich nutrients.

Beans and Legumes

Experts believe that the high soluble fiber content and the wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in beans and legumes may help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Eating one serving of legumes like beans, peas and chickpeas each day have been linked to 5% lower LDL cholesterol levels and a 5-6% lower risk of heart disease.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high in antioxidants, minerals, and healthy fats. They have been associated with a reduced risk of early death, heart disease, and diabetes.

One review found that 4 weekly servings of nuts were linked to a 28% lower risk of heart disease, and 22% lower risk of diabetes.

Whole Grains

Whole grains contain many valuable nutrients, including fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and selenium.

Whole grain consumption has also been associated with protection against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Meats and Chicken

Meats (Especially red) and chicken are rich with protein so make sure to eat enough red meats and chicken but don’t forget your vegetables.

Bottom Line

Supplement’s are worth delving into however there are limitations and restrictions put in place for a reason, supplement as it is implied in it’s name should only be only to ‘Supplement’ & not to replace a meal so use only to supplement if you are lacking in a specific nutrient, do not overdose. We see bodybuilder supplementing with these synthetic nutrient’s however they themselves keep in mind the hazards of overdosing so maintain that sense of alertness.

Did you find this Article helpful? Did you take anything from it? If you did i would love to hear your opinions in the comment section below – Stay strong and healthy everyone.