One of the most frequently asked questions in the primary care doctor’s office is “Should I take vitamins?”
And though this answer can vary widely as with each individual, for the most part, my general response to that question is usually by asking the patient 2 more questions.
“Do you have good teeth?” and “Do you have a digestive disorder that prevents you from breaking down certain foods?”
If you answered YES to the first and NO to the second question and if you are not a picky eater, then you most likely do not need commercially made supplements.
It can be confusing with all the marketing and trends for using supplements, teas, extracts and more recently enzymes, but remember that these are all companies peddling and competing for your dollars.
I usually point out this bottom line and then remind that supplements are a type of synthetic and processed product. Processed vitamins and minerals that are usually not as good as if you get them contained in the real thing-FOODS.
I always say, “the handful of blueberries and nuts are so much better for you than the pill that says it has Vit E and iron in it.”
Real or Fake?
Now, would you rather have the real thing or the thing that claims to have the real thing in the capsule, tablet or liquid form? Real gold or 24K plated? In the worst cases, you might even get fool’s gold-something else entirely to simply look like what is expected.
When in doubt, Supplement
So go ahead, if your diet lacks a wide variety of foods or your access to them is poor or if you can’t chew well or digest properly- take a good targeted supplement or supplements- you probably should.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking you are doing something healthier just in the act of taking them or make the mistake of substituting the real thing for second best.
I agree that vitamins are definitely never a substitute for the real thing. Interesting read, thanks for sharing.
You are welcome Holli!
I eat plenty of veggies and fruit, so I like to eat my vitamins. Thanks for the info!
That’s the best way to get your vitamins for sure. Leave the vitamin pills for people who are deficient or have difficulty absorbing the nutrients from foods.
Very interesting, thanks!
You are welcome Mary Ann.
I definitely need vitamins in my life. I don’t get the nutrients I need through my diet.
Just make sure to avoid having any dairy products within 2 hours of using your vitamins so your body can absorb the vitamins.
Very interesting. I always hear about different vitamins that we should be taking next.
As long as you don’t have a malabsorption problem, you are not pregnant or nursing, chances are that you don’t need the vitamin pill.
I agree nothing is better that the real thing. I think people may have a different take on taking all those vitamins after taking a nutrition class. My nutrition class for my nursing program was an eye opener.
If people knew how little their body absorbed those vitamin pills.
Case in point; when I prescribe iron at a dose of 325mg, the body barely gets 60mg of elemental iron at it’s best.