Should You Be Taking Supplements?

Should You Be Taking Supplements?

One of the question I get asked most often is: “Should I be taking Supplements”? With all of the conflicting information out there about nutrition and supplementation from so-called experts and Gurus, it’s hard to know what do and who to believe these these days. Unfortunately, more often than not the information and advice provided is biased and rooted in a motive for profit. In addition, the supplement industry is not regulated so quality, safety and effectiveness can be hit or miss. So how do you know if and when you can trust information about nutrition and supplementation? Well dealing with certified experts is always a good start. Relying on information rooted in scientific research from peer reviewed journals is also ideal. Lastly, rolling up your sleeves and taking the time to do some truly objective research typically leads to a better understanding of any topic. There is a ton of bad advice out there and so you need to know how to sort through it all to get to the accurate information. Having said that the answer to the question is absolutely yes! Eating a nutritious diet is very important but taking good quality supplements is beneficial as well. Chances are you are not getting all of the nutrients that you need from your normal diet so supplementation acts as your second line of defense when it comes to proper nutrition. There are numerous reasons why supplementation is necessary if you want to function at an optimal level. One of the main reasons is that improper farming practices have slowly depleted our soil of key nutrients.  As results farmed foods have approximately 50% to 75% fewer micro-nutrients than in the recent past. In addition, our water is also depleted of minerals due to modern production methods. Poor food quality is also a key reason we now need supplementation. When you’re consuming low quality foods, you have to eat even more to obtain the right amounts of nutrition.  Keep in mind that diets too low in calories can lead to nutrient deficiencies so you need to be careful when doing calorie restricted diets especially for longer durations.  Lastly, nutrient absorption is greatly affected by your age. Studies have shown that children need more nutrients to support growth, and seniors need more nutrients due to malabsorption issues. Even if you are eating healthy and nutritious food on a consist basis it’s still possible that your aren’t getting all the nutrients that you need from food.  Current evidence suggest that nutrients from food is more beneficial than nutrients from supplements. That is why you should focus on a eating a balanced and nutrient rich diet first.  However, adhering to a healthy diet is rarely enough to provide the body with everything that it needs. There is plenty of evidence that suggest that a higher intake of nutrients via a nutritious diet in conjunction with proper supplementation may improve your health as well as prolong your life. We live in a demanding, stressful and toxic world that requires a healthy and optimized human body to counteract the negative environmental factors with regards to health and nutrition. Adding quality supplements to your diet is always a good idea when it come to providing your body with all of the nutrients it needs to function at an optimal level!

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