Facts and Myths about Health Supplements

Have you ever wonder about the quality of the supplement you buy over the counter?

Are they all of the same quality or are they different?

Before we answer these questions, let’s first look at why vitamin supplements are recommended in addition to the general diet. It is true that you can get vitamins and minerals from your diet but studies have shown that nutrient levels in fresh produce have declined over the last few decades. A comparison between USDA nutritional value for fruits and vegetables in 2010 and those of 1975 revealed that the vegetables people were consuming back in 1975 contain more nutrients than the ones that are being grown nowadays.

For example, Vitamin A in apples has decreased by 41%, Vitamin C in sweet peppers has decreased by 31% and Vitamin A and calcium in broccoli have decreased by half. Causes of this drastic drop in nutritional values are over farming, change in seed quality and depletion of natural minerals in the soil as a result of industrialization.

Apart from environmental causes, the type of diet we choose to follow may also influence our nutritional status.  Produce from organic and local farms do have higher nutritional value. However, there has been growing complaints about the use of fertilizers and pesticides in the process. Therefore, vitamin supplements became a much safer alternative.  Vegans, keto eaters or anyone who is on a strict weight loss program may also benefit from taking supplements to help ensure that the body is getting enough vitamins and minerals.

Returning to the previous question about whether the supplements available in the market are of the same quality. The answer is no. Just like any medications, quality of the supplement varies. For example, there are many forms of Vitamin B12. The most common form is a synthetic form called cyanocobalamin. Although it is effectively absorbed, it cannot be utilized by the body. Moreover, cyanocobalamin also breaks down to cyanide which is toxic to our body. Fortunately, there is a high quality form of Vitamin B12 called methylcobalamin that can be utilized by the body thus improving nervous function and energy level. In summary, it is important to peruse through the ingredients on the label every time you are at the pharmacy to make sure you’re getting the right form of vitamins.

If you have doubts about how to start taking vitamins, you might want to seek more advice from specialists in holistic medicine who are trained to prescribe personalized supplements. The process usually begins with a detailed history taking to help determine a person’s lifestyle and risks of nutritional deficiencies. Then, some laboratory tests including both blood and urine tests, will be done to investigate the problems and tailor-made supplements will be prescribed to correct the deficiencies. If you are interested to know more about tests for vitamin deficiencies, do not hesitate to contact us at BodyConscious at Y Wellness Bangkok.