Are Supplements Good for You?

Supplements seem like a good idea – but are they? It depends on your goals.

Typical daily vitamin supplements are usually made from synthetic vitamins. In other words, they are replicated in a laboratory. Many health professionals, including some medical doctors, say that your body doesn’t recognize nor can it utilize these the same as the nutrients found in fresh, whole foods.

This is why an RDA is set (Recommended Daily Allowance). It is an allowance made because it is understood the body will not use much of the supplement. This brings up another problem when you read about the studies done with many of the supplements.

There have been many studies, but the most known controversial studies were done with Vitamin E. Anyone following the history of the studies will see first, it was bad for you. Then it slowed heart disease, then it caused heart disease…. What?! How could this be?

It happens that one of the studies followed only people with cancer and another only seniors who were very sick. They were so flawed that even the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau has a web page of links that question the findings.

In addition, these studies were mainly done with the synthetic or laboratory version of the vitamin. It is well known that synthetic vitamins can actually be hazardous to your health. A well known one, vitamin A, can be toxic if you take too much. Symptoms of toxicity include headache, nausea, migratory arthritis, and the list goes on.

On the other hand, if you drink 20 ounces of fresh carrot juice, your body uses the beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A. If you have enough vitamin A already, your body will simply stop converting it and you will eliminate the rest.

With this knowledge, it is easy to apply common sense. Are supplements good for you? Check your label. If you see ingredients like “from acerola cherries,” which you know to be a food, it’s probably a good product. You can find these types of supplements in your local health food store or on-line.

Also try juicing both veggies and fruits. Try a variety of fruits for their great flavor. In addition, you can drink 10 times the amount of vegetables than you can eat. (And don’t worry; no one ever gained weight from consuming too many vegetables.) Invest in a juicer and check out your local farmer’s market. You’ll get fresher produce and support your local farmers.

Consume fresh whole foods, whole food supplements and drink fresh vegetable or fruit juice. Supplementing nature’s way can give you the supplementation you need. You’ll feel the difference.

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