Two of the most frequent questions I get concern vitamins are:
Should I take them, and if so, what should I be taking?
To answer the first question – despite the fact that you can’t make up for bad nutrition with good supplements – most people could probably benefit from vitamin supplements.
When people hear this suggestion – they typical response is – why?
1. It’s difficult to always make sure that your diet includes the proper amounts of some of the most important vitamins. Which ones? Keep reading – we’ll get to that. Some nutrients are difficult to get and the correct supplements can help make up for shortcomings in the foods you eat.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the RDA which is often looked at for “how much should I take” is really a recommended amount necessary to avoid the vitamin deficiency diseases – it is not necessarily the optimum amount for excellent health.
2. As a result of decades of intensive farming, and utilizing methods to shorten the amount of time to harvest, it’s questionable that food have the same nutritional value they once had. The University of Texas released a study in 2004 concerning this. That study of 43 garden crops led by a University of Texas Dr. Donald Davis suggests that their nutrient value has declined in recent decades while farmers have been planting crops designed to improve other traits; “Considered as a group, we found that six out of 13 nutrients showed apparently reliable declines between 1950 and 1999,” he said.
The nutrients they identified as declining at least somewhat in measurable value were protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. The declines ranged from 6 percent for protein to 38 percent for riboflavin.
This study is reflective of the kind of nutritional changes in our food supply over the last 50 years.
So – should you supplement your diet with vitamins – my answer is yes.
Make sure you read the next post covering vitamin supplements for more specifics and for general guidelines concerning what you should take and what to avoid.
Questions about vitamins or supplements? Contact me using the form below – I’d love to hear from you.