supplementThe answer to this question depends on your point of view.  Many people, especially medical and pharmaceutical businesses, are opposed to supplements, calling them an unnecessary fantasy that doesn’t contribute any nutritional value to your health. It’s a myth!

The opponents of supplements believe that supplements will not substitute medications, physical activity, or a balanced diet. However, supporters of supplements argue that it is an outdated view that applies to the time when life was balanced, physical activity was natural, there was a daily impulse, food delivered all the necessary nutrients to your body, and medications were only used as a last resort. That’s how it used to be. Then, what caused the change that suddenly the number of supplements’ supporters is growing? Well, social and public awareness is growing. People realize that the lifestyle, they choose, often contributes to deficiencies in their body that, in turn, contribute to the development of different alignments.

The levels of Vitamins and minerals in our food have decreased

Nowadays, diet and its quality leave lots to be desired. Many say: “This problem doesn’t affect me. I consume lots of fruits, vegetables. I’m sure that my diet is not lacking.” As it turns out, when they check the levels of vitamins and minerals in their bodies, their “healthy” diet didn’t protect them from vitamin and minerals deficiencies. Why does that happen?

We live in times when food is produced on a mass scale, the manufacturers use many chemical substances in order to “improve” the flavor, appearance, and expiration date of food. That’s why nobody is surprised anymore that the food contains preservatives, emulsifiers, dyes, hormones, food conditioners, artificial colors, and flavors, etc. Additionally, soil exhaustion is also a problem as well as chemical and toxic fertilizers, and the desire to speed up the natural growing processes by using artificial substances. In result, the products that we currently consume contain less than half of the vitamins and micro elements compared to the food cultivated over 40 years ago. The pepper used to have 30% more of vitamin c, the broccolis had 50% more of calcium and vitamin A, the apples had 40% more of vitamin A.

The lack of appropriate substances, sooner or later, cause health problems. Every one of us needs several dozen different nutrients which our body needs daily. Some nutrients will be the source of energy, some will be a source of building materials, some will be necessary for metabolic processes. It would be ideal if we could provide those from food; however, the studies show the people suffer from chronic vitamin and minerals deficiencies. Statistically, every sixth person suffers from only vitamin deficiency. Having full stomachs, we are truly starving; because it’s not about quantity, but quality. Men don’t suffer from lack of medications but from the lack of vitamins, minerals, appropriate fats, and amino acids. Every vitamin is unique and can’t be substituted. For example, iron won’t be metabolized without vitamin c, or collagen won’t be created without it as well. Without vitamins D3, K2, calcium, or magnesium, we won’t have healthy bones. Vitamins A and D3 work like hormones- they can turn on or off specific genes; and vitamins E, C, A can neutralize free radicals if there are too many of them. Vitamins soluble in water, first act as coenzymes. We can find them in fruits, vegetables; and vitamins solvable in fats can be found in oils and nuts. Unfortunately, you can’t accumulate vitamins for future; only the fat solvable ones stay in the body a little bit longer. Vitamins can combine with many enzymes, and if one of them is missing, then for example, insulin won’t be created, and if there isn’t enough of magnesium, then insulin won’t enter the cell. It’s very difficult to deliver all those substances in one tablet because it would have to be huge.

Supplements work

Supplements are a very important part of a balanced diet. It is proven by many studies. According to a study performed by a company called Cheers, 72% of people (taking part in the study) take supplements, and 51% of them take them daily. 86% of them believe that supplements have been improving their health. Many believe that the supplements also improve their overall mood – 33% in ages 36-55 and 55% ages 18-25. 44% of participants believe that supplements are advantageous.

What supplements should you buy?

Supplements come in different forms: tablets, powder, pills, and liquid. The liquid, as well as powder, are best absorbed, better than powders and pills. Herb infusions are very beneficial. Appropriate composition of carefully harvested good quality herbs provides you with flavonoids, phytochemicals, microelements, macro elements, trace elements, and amino acids.

Another issue is that the supplement market is huge and it is difficult to understand which elements we actually need and which are a waste of money. The supplement market is increasing yearly. The producers don’t always care for the good of the customer, but rather the profits.

What, then, should you pay attention to while purchasing supplements?

Of course, quality comes first. It is worth checking out the company, whether it actually exists (it might sound funny, but you can buy anything on the internet without knowing where it was produced and who produced it). If a company exists on the market for a few years, there is a higher chance that they might be good. The price is also important. If a product costs a few dollars and its composition consists of many vitamins and minerals, it might mean that the quality of a product isn’t so good. High price also doesn’t guarantee a quality product. Good supplements have a precise list of ingredients recorded on the bottle. It is good to use supplements recommended by different people who experienced positive results from taking them.

Nowadays supplementation is necessary. It is important to do it wisely and carefully.

Sources: “Are supplements the invention of xxl century?” Magazine “health without medications” (26)

“Is it worth it to supplement yourself” by Marek Wawrzenczyk, magazine “health without medications” (28)

 Kasia BrzozaKasia Brzoza

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