The Pros and Cons of Vitamin Supplements
There is a lot of pressure these days to get healthy. From eating organic foods to trying the latest exercise program, we are bombarded with messages about the importance of meeting certain standards when it comes to caring for our bodies. This health and fitness craze has a lot of people running to the nearest health supplement store to spend money on a multitude of bottled vitamins.
But just how necessary is it to supplement our diets with store-bought nutrients? When do we need them, and when is it okay to assume a well-balanced nutrition plan is enough? Well, that depends on a number of factors. Read on for the pros and cons of vitamin supplements:
Nutrition. The most obvious reason to take a vitamin supplement is to improve your health. If you don’t think that you are getting all of the nutrients you need out of your diet, or if you can’t eat a well-balanced diet for any of a number of reasons, then a vitamin supplement may be just what the doctor ordered (literally) when it comes to staying healthy.
Ease. Let’s face it: not all of us like to eat our vegetables . . . and getting the recommended daily allowance of vitamins through a well-balanced diet may seem downright impossible for some. If you can’t stomach the thought of eating six to eight servings of a food group in one day, then it is much easier to get your vitamins by popping a pill.
Medical conditions. A variety of medical conditions require vitamin supplementation. Your doctor will tell you when you need to include a vitamin supplement in your diet.
Waste. Have you ever noticed that your urine is especially bright after you take your vitamins? All of that color is due to the fact that you are actually urinating out much of the vitamins that you previously ingested. Your body simply doesn’t absorb all of the vitamins you supplement yourself with, so you are in effect wasting a portion of what you take in.
Cost. Vitamin supplements can be very expensive – plain and simple. It goes without saying that if you know you are getting what your body needs out of the food you eat, then you can give your wallet a rest and avoid the vitamin aisle at the grocery store.
As you can see, there are cases where you really could benefit from taking a vitamin supplement . . . but there are also some instances in which vitamin supplementation is not necessary, or even useful. Take your specific circumstances into consideration when determining whether to take those extra vitamins or not.
About the Author: Hal Gustine is a phlebotomist training instructor with a passion for overall health and well-being. He does his best to get his vitamins from his food and always discusses supplementation with his doctor before making any changes.