Pick Vitamins that Work for You – 6 Tips


We all know that a diet of food rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is essential to our health and well being. Yet you tried a nutritional supplement that did little for you despite a friend’s or salesperson’s enthusiastic recommendation. Then scientific studies conclude supplementation has no benefit or could even be harmful. No wonder you may be confused! By following a few simple rules, you can choose nutritional supplements that can help maintain and improve your health.

1. Make sure the supplement is in the right form. Many vitamin makers take short cuts to keep production costs low. Inorganic forms such as magnesium oxide or calcium carbonate are difficult to absorb. Most people don’t benefit from them. Organic forms such as calcium ascorbate are well absorbed because they are similar to vitamins in our food. They are also large molecules that do not fit in a small tablet. The daily dose of a good multivitamin requires more than one pill.

2. You need more than one form of some vitamins. Many makers use a single form, again as a short cut. The vitamins in our food come in many forms, and each of these forms performs different functions in our body. So instead of beta-carotene, look for mixed carotenoids. Instead of the succinate or acetate forms of vitamin E, also called tocopherol, look for natural mixed tocopherols.

3. Make sure the dosage is high enough to make a difference. If your supplement contains the U.S.RDA or less, it will likely make little difference in your health. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) amounts prevent deficiency diseases such as scurvy from lack of vitamin C, according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council. The RDAs do not define the optimal intake for an individual. There is a growing body of research showing that optimal intake for many nutrients, especially antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins C, E, beta-carotene and selenium may be much higher than their current RDA. In their 1989 report, the Food and Nutrition Board stated that the RDAs do not apply to individuals with “unusual stressors.” These stressors often include prescription drug use, the habits mentioned below and chronic illness.

4. Don’t expect supplements to make up for bad habits. Smoking, processed food, carbonated beverages, caffeine, alcohol, and antacid consumption are just a few habits that deplete you of vitamins and minerals or make it difficult for you to absorb them. Work on stopping these habits instead.

5. Make sure you can utilize the supplement. Some people with health problems cannot absorb or utilize even the best vitamin and mineral supplements. Homeopathic, herbal or other support may be needed. If you think this may be your case, a practitioner skilled in these areas may be able to help.

6. Don’t cherry pick. Taking only one or two single vitamins or minerals can be harmful, as was found in the 1996 Beta-Carotene and Retinal Efficacy Trial (CARET). This study was stopped early because the researchers determined that a synthetic form of beta-carotene increased the incidence of lung cancer in smokers. If you apply our rules to the above study, you will see potential reasons for the bad outcome. Instead of mixed carotenoids, they used a poorly absorbed form of beta-carotene that is also known to block the absorption of carotenoids from food. They also used only one vitamin in isolation. Beta-carotene in the doses used in the study becomes a free-radical, unless vitamins C and E are present to neutralize it.

Free radicals are molecules that damage cellular structures, including DNA, which can lead to cancer. Everyone, even healthy people, have free radicals. Your body constantly neutralizes them to keep you healthy. Smoking generates free-radicals. So giving the smokers beta-carotene alone only increased their free radical load above and beyond that already produced by smoking, and put them at greater risk for cancer. This study reinforces the rule that supplementation cannot make up for bad habits. Not smoking remains the most effective way to prevent lung cancer.

Studies suggest that a good supplement regimen includes a quality multivitamin supplement, flax seed oil, additional vitamin C and an antioxidant formula. Beyond this, seek the assistance of a practitioner skilled in nutritional medicine.

Bethany Klug, DO specializes in holistic medicine at the Kansas City Holistic Centre.

She teaches whole foods nutrition and holistic living online. Visit University Of Masters [http://www.universityofmasters.com/amember/go.php?r=278&l=uggc%3A%2F%2Fjjj.havirefvglbsznfgref.pbz] for information about her courses. Please enter “DRKLUG” in the referral box when you enroll.

She authors the monthly column “The Doctor Cooks” for the Kansas City Wellness Magazine. The Doctors Cooks Weblog is now online with past articles, menus, recipes, tips and other resources. Please subscribe!

How useful was this post?

Related Interesting Posts:

Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

Leave a Reply