Multi-vitamins -- Insurance or a Waste?
Many Americans are under the impression that we all need multi-vitamins. Advertisers try and convince us that a “one-a-day” will fill in the gap for a poor diet. The media promotes vitamins in a variety of ways. According to CDC’s latest statistics, more than 50 percent of the US population takes some form of nutritional supplement each day, and about 40 percent of US adults take a daily multi-vitamin. In America we spend approximately $27 billion each year on supplements yet we are not getting any healthier.
I strongly believe that our food supply is not what it once was and supplementing appropriately can be of value, however the correct supplements are essential. First, not all multi-vitamins are good products, in fact, most are junk! Just because something is touted as being “natural” or “healthy” doesn’t automatically make it true, and such is the case with the majority of multi-vitamins. There is a big difference between a synthetic or synthesized vitamin or mineral and a real nutrient. Most products also contain additives and fillers that are worse than taking nothing. These manufacturers do not always list everything in the capsule on the label.
Many people mistakenly believe that a vitamin is a vitamin, and one form of a mineral is equal to any other, failing to understand the inherent differences between synthetic chemicals and whole food nutrients. Many also mistakenly use supplements as a way to avoid having to change their dietary habits. But if you eat a diet consisting primarily of processed junk food, and take cheap synthetic vitamins and minerals, you’re not likely to see a major change in your health status. Supplements should be used in addition to, NOT in place of, a healthy life-giving diet. You simply cannot cover your nutritional or lifestyle “sins” by taking a handful of supplements.
If you do decide to take supplements do your own research or consult a trusted health care practitioner. The package design, label, advertising claims, and even advice from a health food store owner often will steer you wrong. All the products Dr. J uses are made with quality ingredients by trusted companies. And also Dr. J can help you determine if a given supplement is right for you at a given time.