I am sitting enjoying a cup of green tea chatting or rather debating with my brother on whether or not we really need vitamins. He hasn’t taken them in years, but I still do and hence decided to do some research to make an informed decision.
As another great year starts, we make all those resolutions, one is often to take better care of ourselves and that includes taking vitamins. Well, have you given thought to all the chatter around whether vitamins work? I am an avid vitamin taker but recently stopped as I wanted to do some research to make sure that the ones I am taking actually have the vitamins they say they do. The vitamin market is a billion dollar business but not all vitamins are created equal. I recently read an article that sited dangerous levels of chemicals found in some brands of vitamins which can be detrimental to us. This gave me a reason to pause. First, am I able to get the vitamins I need from food? Do I really need supplements? Some of us periodically may turn to extra vitamin C when fighting a cold.
Supplements are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as food, not as drugs. The primary issue with vitamins is that while it is regulated by the FDA, we are reliant on the manufacturer to list the ingredients in the container. This is where the problem lies. In random testing, it has been discovered that other dangerous substances have also been found mixed in with the listed ingredients. There is no formal testing process by the FDA to guarantee what the manufacturers lists is accurate.
Do your research and make sure that you are taking supplements from a reputable source. The most expensive does not guarantee the best. Check in with your physician , especially if you are taking prescribed medications, it could save your life. All things in moderation. First, plan on getting your vitamins from your food source and then truly supplement with vitamins if really needed.
Some of the sources are listed below.
|Vitamin||Support Function||Sample Food Sources|
|A||Vision, Immune System & Reproduction||Fish (Salmon), Green Leafy Vegetables, Yellow Fruits e.g apricots, Cantaloup|
|Calcium||Supports Bone Health||Dairy (Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese) , Leafy Vegetables, Sardines|
|D||Helps the body absorb Calcium / Muscle movement||Fatty fish, Fish oils|
|C & E||Protects cells from damage caused by Free Radicals||Vegetable oils – wheat germ , sunflower, soybean / Nuts|
|Folic Acid||Supports Cell Growth and the Nervous System||Beans, lentils, oranges, liver, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach.|
|B12||Health of Nerve and Blood Cells||Clams, Beef Liver. Fish, meat, poultry, milk and dairy. Fortified breakfast cereals|
It’s a new year and I plan to ensure that my vitamins come from my food choices.