Are vitamin and mineral supplements REALLY helpful?!

Question: Are vitamin and mineral supplements REALLY helpful?
I have heard so much about vitamin and mineral supplements over the years. Many times I even started taking them on a regular basis for a few months but never stayed with it very long - always so expensive. Do vitamin and mineral supplements really improve your health if you stick with them long-term? Some experts say they can transform your health for the better, and others say that all they do is make your "piss" expensive. What do you think. Thanks for your responses - David


Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

I would say that a basic multivitamin is a good insurance for most people (after all, when was the last time you ate 8 bushels of corn, or drank a gallon of olive oil to get your days supply of vitamin E) - but I surely wouldn't go overboard with them.

There is no reason to take a vitamin that contains many hundreds of times what you require everyday. The research indicates that taking too many vitamins could be just as bad as being chronically low in them.

Hi David,

I have studied a lot about food and alternative medicine and have to say that most of the resources dont support vitamin and mineral supplements. The reason is that our bodies are not able to digest them properly and therefore these supplements actually cost the body an extra energy for dealing with them and eliminating their leftovers.

You really can get all you need from the food. Of course, one needs to be a bit aware and make sure you get what you need. It is always good to eat enough cereals, vegetable and fruit. Always drink enough water. And to make sure that the vitamins and minerals actually stick, try to avoid as much as you can: coffee, tea and alcohol - those have a very strong ability to lead them from your body.

Last thing... I often read how much of what people should eat to make sure they get enough of such and such vitamin - these must be measured for elephants!;-) From that people get impression they can never get enough of it from the food and have to take supplement. I personally do not agree. It is better to keep variety in the food, drink enough water and do not overeat.

Hope this helps.

years of studies and interest

I agree with Tink, but want to add:

* there may be times when you need more of a particular vitamin or mineral (if you break a bone, for example, or if you smoke) than is normally sufficient for everyday 'maintenance'
* if you're going through a particularly stressful/busy time and your energy starts to 'flag', a multi-vitamin is probably a good idea

Probably the best measure is yourself, and how you feel - the best way for you to decide whether you need anything, and what you might need, would be for you to look up the different vitamins and minerals and read the info on their deficiency symptoms and toxicity symptoms.

I'm a Naturopath

If you're already getting good dosages in your food then youshould be fine. Most people aren't though and these are very helpful.

Calcium is a mineral, not having enough of that makes your bones easier to break. Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium better. Vitamin C may make your immune system get stronger. All they really do is help you, so if you can afford them, then hell yeah buy and use tem.

"A lot doctors and scientists once believed that you don’t need to supplement with vitamins if you eat right. Victor Herbert, the outspoken Harvard nutrition scientist, was quoted by Time magazine in a famous 1992 cover story about nutrition as saying that vitamins just gave one "expensive urine." However, four years later, in 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established regulations requiring the addition of folic acid to enriched breads, flours, cereals, corn meals, pastas, rice, and other grain products. This was in response to the discovery that many thousands of babies were being born with spina bifida because their mothers were not receiving enough folate in their diet.

It has been estimated that each year there are 14 million cases of preventable heart disease, 1.3 million preventable cases of cancer, more than 500,000 preventable strokes and thousands of babies born with neural tube defects that could have been prevented by a simple multivitamin.

Drs. Walter Willett and Meir Stampfer of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health recently advised, based on their research and expertise, that a daily multivitamin “makes sense for most adults.”"

Yep, take your multi vitamins.


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