A sampling on supplements

Do you wonder about vitamins? I know I’ve certainly heard the back and forth arguments about vitamin and mineral supplements.

Do we absorb enough of them to make it worth taking them? Are we taking too much? Not enough?

Today’s foods are notoriously lacking in nutrients. We hear that all the time. With over-farming, and pesticides that are designed to choke out nutrients for weeds thrown on the same soil where we grow foods, it’s not too much of a jump to imagine that our foods are likewise suffering for adequate nutrients. The plants aren’t healthy. And hence, neither are we.

Taking supplements today are probably a good idea. They do some amazing things, if you research the different ones.

What can be confusing are dosages. While multivitamins are a good addition to one’s diet, they don’t always give you the amount our bodies need for full wellness. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is not set at a level that all humans need to be healthy – they’re set at the lowest level required not to be sick. There’s a difference.

And another problem is that the spectrum for human needs for vitamins and minerals are all over the charts. It’s difficult to throw out a blanket amount of any nutrient for all people, because every single person’s needs are different. Every body is unique, looks different, works differently, and requires a unique balance of macro-nutrients (fats, carbs, and proteins) and micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals) to function properly.

So in the end, it takes a little research on recommended doses, and trial and error as to how much your body really needs for working on all cylinders rather than the bare minimum of status quo.

Also, to take supplements you should first understand how they work. Take vitamins, for example. There are fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) that we store. If we take too much of it, our bodies can store an excess of it in our fat cells that can lead to signs of toxicity. It’s rare to get to that point when just eating foods rich in certain vitamins. But when taking supplements, it’s much more common. This happens because all of a sudden, it is getting copious amounts of a substance that it is not readily prepared to use all at once, and stores it away for leaner times. With food, it can slowly work at breaking the item down and using what it gets as it’s broken down.

So be careful and listen to your body when you show signs of overuse, and back off on your intake.

Water-soluble vitamins (B vitamins, folate, Vitamin C) don’t run as much of a risk of toxicity, since whatever the body doesn’t use it simply gets rid of within a 24- to 48-hour period. So, taking copious amounts of any water-soluble vitamin may just be money down the drain. Literally.

So do a little research on vitamins and minerals, what they do, and what deficiency signs are for each one. or take a quiz to get an idea on what you might need to fit your lifestyle! Go to a doctor and get your blood-work done to get a better idea on what you may need more of in your diet, and with supplements. You may be surprised at what physical complaints you have that could easily be cleared up with just a few more milligrams of a vitamin or mineral.

It really can be as simple as that. Be well!


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2 thoughts on “A sampling on supplements

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