Whether to take vitamins or just eat well has been controversial for years. It becomes hard to know who to believe. But it’s not just about how to best get your nutrients.
I have supported consuming carefully manufactured supplements for years. Mono-crop, pesticide-laden farming has depleted and contaminated our soil across the country. Once this began, generation after generation has grown weaker and more susceptible to disease.
Many Americans have developed digestive issues from overuse of antibiotics, sugar, pesticides and GMOs. It creates a perfect storm of poor health in our country that corporate America thrives on.
The right supplements can help us get the nutrients we’re lacking, considering our less-than-nutritious modern diet. Next, the questions remain, “What are the right supplements? What do you look for when choosing a supplement?”
First, let’s look at fillers (non-nutrient additives in most supplements):
- Fillers are used to increase production
- Make supplements easier to swallow
- Increase shelf life
- Make supplements more appealing (coloring)
Since the FDA considers vitamins a food, they loosely regulate the supplement industry. This means vitamins can actually contain just 20 percent of the nutrients they claim to provide. The rest can be all sorts of fillers. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn’t offer any standards of what constitutes a multivitamin, either.
As a result, I look for supplements that don’t contain any fillers. Just think of fillers like the additives in processed foods. For instance, trans fats or hydrogenated oils may be added. These are the same oils used to increase shelf life in baked goods. They can clog the arteries, cause vascular problems and affect the brain, block the absorption of essential fatty acids and more.
Watch out, too, for artificial colors. Dyes like Yellow #6 have been linked to cancer, hyperactivity, allergies and chromosomal damage.
Beyond fillers, the nutrients can also come from dangerous sources. Selenium made from sodium selenite or selenate can cause DNA damage, cancer and birth defects. Meanwhile, the healthy selenium comes from methylated forms or foods like Brazil nuts.
Selenium benefits heart health, can reduce inflammation, increases blood flow and promotes the absorption of antioxidants. (Just remember that more isn’t better: The Daily Recommended Value of selenium is 70 micrograms for adults; it becomes toxic at 400 micrograms.)
Like the food you buy, you don’t want to see a long list of additives you can’t recognize or pronounce on your vitamin supplement. In general, the smaller supplement companies operate more like small farms in terms of providing the whole-food based nutrients.
I’m happy to discuss pros and cons of supplements more on a personal basis. Just register for a free 30-minute chat. Meanwhile, scrutinize what you’re actually getting out of your daily supplement.