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.

It Depends.

“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.

About the author

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Dr. Carol

Dr. Carol- doctor, wife, mom and maker PB&J!
One of my passions is to help people Embrace change, Try new things and be BOLD for a healthier and balanced life!


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