Vitamins - worth it or a waste?
Just as there are food and fashion trends, there are trends in vitamins and the latest supplements. Last year, everyone was taking magnesium, this year it’s all about the probiotics.
So how effective are vitamin pills? Should we all be taking a daily multi-vitamin? Does it matter if you buy them from the supermarket?
High-quality practitioner-only supplements can be incredibly helpful in correcting depleted nutrients. They are usually of a higher dose based on peer-reviewed research and often have formulas designed to enhance absorption. I use these supplements to treat specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies with targeted supplementation, e.g. a vitamin B12 spray for a vegan client or iron for anaemia. While buying supplements from the supermarket can seem like a good option, especially when you are time poor, they may not offer the dose needed to be effective.
The first and best way to increase your vitamin and mineral intake is to eat a variety of fresh foods. “Food First” is where I start with all my clients and sometimes it is all they need. It could be as simple as adding an orange to your day to increase your vitamin C intake or sprinkling a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds over your porridge to bump up your magnesium.
As for a daily multi-vitamin, they aren’t generally necessary for good health. Some people (pregnant women) and some health conditions may require short-term multi-vitamin and mineral supplementation but the reasons for any deficiencies or poor nutrient absorption should be addressed during this time.