It’s hard to know whether or not vitamin supplements are good for you or not with the massive amount of conflicting information seen everywhere. Commercials seem to imply that supplements are miracle pills offering every health benefit under the sun, which obviously isn’t true. Some people seem to become health experts whenever you pick up a supplement bottle and will go on about how they are actually killing you based on some article they read somewhere. Websites and magazines are full of scare mongering articles about how multivitamins are killing people, which can inflame your hypochondria and make you more nervous than you need to be. The truth is that there are many benefits of using a vitamin supplement that won’t affect your health or diet negatively.
What supplements can and can’t do
These articles are usually working under the assumption that people are using supplements to replace their diet and prevent major diseases such as cancer and diabetes. You don’t need to be a health expert to know that these claims are false. Supplements aren’t designed to replace a healthy balanced diet or prevent diseases. They are instead intended to make up for the lack of any nutrients you may not be getting. If you are on a restricted diet for health, religious, or personal reasons, then a supplement can often help you feel healthier.
For instance, if you are on a vegetarian diet you may not be getting the amount of iron you need which can lead to fainting spells. If your job means you have to eat on the go a lot, you may not be getting the healthiest food or even skipping meals. These are all instances that supplements are designed for.
Other types of supplements
But people on restricted diets aren’t the only people who may be needing supplements. Some aren’t even designed for restricted diets. If you work all day in an office and have been experiencing pain in your bones or weak muscles then you might not be getting enough vitamin D, a vitamin mostly gained from direct sunlight. There are supplements you can take to make up for this deficiency without changing anything else about your diet or lifestyle.
People over the age of fifty are often encouraged to take additional supplements for their health. The elderly often need more vitamin B12 because their blood has a hard time absorbing it. Vitamin D is also recommended to reduce the risk of falls, as it makes bones stronger.
Another type of supplement provides the body with the recommended daily amount of calories. We all know that eating fruits and vegetables are good for you and recommended by all health experts, but on their own they don’t provide enough calories to fuel the human body, which can provide another problem for people with restricted diets. If you don’t consume enough calories each day then you will be losing more energy than you consume. If done too much for too long then this can cause fatigue, malnutrition, dramatic weight loss, and other dangerous effects. Even if you are trying to lose weight, a supplement to boost your calories may be essential to keep you healthy.
Sports professionals and people trying to lose weight often use supplements to adjust their bodies to the way they want, although this is best done under medical supervision and under the advice of a doctor.
While some studies claim that supplements are dangerous to long term health, many people only require supplements temporarily, mostly pregnant and breastfeeding women but also people on a diet or suffering from an illness. Some women who experience heavy bleeding during menstruation can also lose excessive iron and need to take a supplement for it. There are no adverse effects to the body on taking a supplement temporarily.
Homeopathic supplements made from natural ingredients are another increasingly popular option available widely from health food shops. They are a tempting option and can provide some benefits, including psychological ones, but there is no need to avoid regular supplements which have been scientifically tested to provide the nutrients you need.
Where to buy supplements
The easiest way to get supplements is to pick them up from supermarket shelves, which isn’t always the best option as it means diagnosing yourself and potentially picking up the wrong supplement that could damage your health. Multivitamin tablets are one of the most common supplements bought from supermarkets as they provide a daily dose of all the vitamins that you need, so they seem like the best option to many people. However, an excessive amount of some vitamins can have negative effects on the body so it is best to check with your doctor about what supplements are best for you and how long you should keep taking them. The right supplements may be found online rather than in stores such as the Bigchemist online supplement store.
Consult with your doctor or nutritionist on which are the best supplements for you. If you combine these with a healthy diet and regular exercise, then supplements will have many short term and long term benefits to your health.