The importance of supplements for your overall health

The Vitamins and other dietary supplements market were approximately 123 billion US dollars in the 2019. Between the growth in the popularity of wellness and the arrival of COVID19, we can safely assume that the market is far larger.

But do we really need supplements and are they helpful?

The effect of multivitamins

People take vitamins and other dietary supplements mostly as cheap insurance against possible deficiencies in their diet. Research shows however that blanket multivitamins and most other specific vitamins show no benefit or one that is almost negligible.

“Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet,” says Dr. JoAnn Manson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “And they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.”

What does help?

Researchers like Doctor Rhonda Patrick, follow a different path of specific supplementation. Take Vitamin D for example. In Dr Rhonda Patrick’s supplements list, you will see that she takes even more Vitamin D now (5000IU to be specific) because research shows that deficiency has effects on the immune system, and higher levels have shown to improve recovery.

Be specific

Rather than trying to cover all your bases and take a blanket multivitamin. Be as specific as possible during supplementation. Look at symptoms, like fatigue, or even sleep and supplement to handle that issue. In a podcast episode with Joe Rogan and Matthew Walker (author of Why We Sleep) talks about trying Melatonin and how it may help some people, and that a test is possibly worthwhile if there are difficulties sleeping.

As always, speak to your doctor before you decide on a supplementation strategy. The takeaway from all this is that unless you have specific reason to supplement a certain vitamin due to a deficiency, then you should look at getting as much as you can from food.

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