Don't Believe These Three Supplement Myths

Don't Believe These Three Supplement Myths

If you could live a longer, healthier life by taking a small pill each day, you'd do it, wouldn't you?

You’d be crazy not to!

With this fact in mind, the incredible growth of dietary supplements makes sense. It's estimated one out of every three Americans currently takes some sort of nutritional supplement each day. According to government statistics, more than $11 billion is spent each year on vitamins and minerals in the U.S. alone!

This extreme interest in health and nutrition is, unfortunately, fueled by false advertisement, as proven by the roughly 92 percent of Americans who are nutrient deficient - the numbers just don’t add up.

The Internet, television, and product labels make claims not backed by science, fooling millions and reaping a sizable paycheck. And in America, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means supplement manufacturers aren't required to back their claims by science.

In your quest for fitness, don't be fooled by these three myths surrounding the use of nutritional supplements.

Myth #1: “More Is Better”

If vitamins, minerals, botanicals, herbs and protein shakes are good for you and available over the counter, they must be safe to take in high doses, right? Science has proven otherwise.

You feel a cold coming on so you pop the vitamin C pills and lozenges to ward it off, but too much of certain vitamins and minerals can be dangerous. For example, when you overdose on vitamin C, your body loses its ability to absorb copper (and too much has actually been shown to have a negative impact on immunity); too much phosphorus and your body can't absorb enough calcium; vitamins A, D, and K can build up to toxic levels when large doses are taken; too much vitamin A will put you at risk for osteoporosis; vitamin E may increase your risk of stroke; and iron your risk of heart disease. And you thought those supplements came with no risks.

And this doesn’t even touch on the fact that over the counter supplements - including those found at health food stores - are routinely found to contain contaminants and heavy metals, which accumulate in more concentrated amounts, posing significant health threats. Children are at a heightened risk for adverse effects due to their size.

When choosing a multivitamin and other supplement, look for ones that are “pharmaceutical grade” (typically not available over the counter), as these must meet rigorous standards and be free of binders, fillers, heavy metals, contaminants and other substances. And, be careful of combining a multivitamin with another vitamin supplement.

Myth #2: “A Supplement Will Make Up for My Unhealthy Diet”

Hate vegetables? Drink too much caffeine? Like to skip breakfast? Well, be wary of relying solely on supplements to make up for your nutritional deficiencies.

The very term “supplement” means to complete or enhance, not stand alone as a solution. Your body is better able to absorb nutrients from real food, so supplements should only be taken as icing on your healthy cake. Besides, relying on supplements to fill in nutritional gaps can put you at risk for the overdosing dangers mentioned above.

Eating a healthy well-rounded diet will also provide millions of phytonutrients unavailable in supplement form. It also helps your supplements be more effective when you do take them, as supplements are made less effective when taken on an empty stomach.

Myth #3: “I Can Trust the Claims of Supplement Labels”

Many supplement containers describe the health benefits their ingredients aim to provide. These range from increased vitality to improved disease immunity. Great as these claims may sound, they are rarely, if ever, backed up by significant, proper research. They are, however, great marketing tools that will pull you in and trick you right out of your money.

Federal guidelines do not require supplement companies to substantiate their claims.

It isn’t surprising that the claims of supplements aren’t proven by anything other than anecdotal evidence. Recently, independent research found that 30 percent of products labeled as multivitamins do not include the ingredients in the amounts listed on the labels and occasionally contain dangerous ingredients.

This can be avoided by selecting brands that have undergone clinical testing at a proper lab or university, especially those who allow the institutions to run their own research (so the companies are not involved to meddle with results.)

So what do you do with all this information?

You don’t necessarily need to trash every supplement you own, but it is important to take stock of where you are nutritionally and physically so you can make adjustments that work for you.  

A great opportunity would be our no-obligation HealthPrint Assessment, during which we’ll evaluate your biomarkers of health, identify major risks for disease and deficiencies and create a plan to help you achieve optimal health on your terms. It's just as individual as your thumbprint, but a whole lot more revealing.

It’s a great place to start if you’re testing the waters of health and fitness, and excellent addition to an already solid routine. Simply click the link below to schedule.

Ultimately, my advice is to not fall prey to the marketing gimmicks. You’re smart and savvy and deserve only the best - here’s to making that happen!

Click Here to schedule your HealthPrint

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