Supplements “Facts vs Myth”



Dietary supplements : Facts vs Myth


1. Supplements supply only a fraction of the nutrients needed daily, and are not a quick fix for sub-optimal food choices. (Fact)

Reason – Whole food contains a variety of components, in phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and dietary fat, which cannot be found in supplements. Consuming whole foods will provide these components naturally, in much higher levels. Although vitamin deficiency is rare, it may occur when nutrients are limited in one’s diet, or as a result of a secondary deficiency caused by tobacco, alcohol use, or disease.


2. Consuming large quantities of supplements will lead to optimal health. (Myth)

 Reason - The body will only use the vitamins and minerals that it needs. Any extra will be excreted or may pose a risk for toxicity. Consult a doctor or dietitian before consuming any supplement, and avoid consuming large quantities of supplements.


3. Supplements with added enzymes are easier to digest. (Myth)

Reason - The body makes its’ own digestive enzymes to breakdown and absorb supplements. Added enzymes are unnecessary; however, consuming lactase enzymes may be beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant.


4. Timed-release supplements do not aid in absorption throughout the day. (Fact)

Reason : Unlike time-release medications, time-release vitamins are are no more effective than regular vitamins, and they usually cost more. High-doses vitamins, including many time-release preparations, may cause liver problems and other toxic effects, particularly with fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and E. If you have dark skin or little exposure to direct sunlight, vitamin D may have to be supplemented.


5. Osteoporosis can be prevented by consuming calcium supplements. (Myth)

Reason : Many factors such as calcium, estrogen levels, exercise, gender, body size, smoking, race, and genes, contribute to the development of osteoporosis. The most effective treatment in postmenopausal women may be a combination of additional calcium, vitamin D, exercise, and estrogen. While calcium consumption from foods such as milk and yogurt is the best way to meet daily needs, a daily calcium supplement with vitamin D may be beneficial if calcium intake is below recommended levels.


6. People who are emotionally stress do not have an increased vitamin needs. (Myth)

Reason - Physiological stress such as burns, trauma, and surgery (not emotional stress), do increase nutrient needs, and a supplement may be prescribed. Additionally, research shows that 30 minutes of exercise for 5 days out of the week is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and acts to combat the effects of stress on the body.