This post has been weighing on my mind for awhile and thought it was time to put it all in writing. I’ve had so many people ask me about vitamins/supplements and it really comes down to a case by case basis.
Supplements are gaining popularity and I believe that there is a time and place for them. As our soil is depleted of its nutrients it means that the fruits and vegetables we eat aren’t as nutritious as they could be. Also, time from harvest until it hits the grocery store also impacts the nutrient level. Supplements in these cases can help us to fill in the gaps.
When talking about supplements there isn’t a one stop shop approach as everyone’s needs are different and everyone will have different nutrient deficiencies as well. I feel that if you really want to supplement appropriately you should have testing done to better guide you. A Functional Medicine Provider or Nutritionist can help you with these tests. Here’s my go to resource, Britt Reuter, MS. A lot goes into what your diet looks like and how active you are.
For example, Vitamin D is a supplement that is routinely recommended, but dosing varies depending on how deficient you are. Without knowing that level it is easy to over and under dose. And, neither is good for you.
There are many supplement companies out there as well. Supplements are not all created equal and I remember getting a hand out when I was pregnant with Evelyn that told me that it didn’t matter what prenatal I took as they were all the same. I cringed, as this just isn’t the case.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the authority to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed.
Manufacturers are required to produce dietary supplements in a quality manner and ensure that they do not contain contaminants or impurities, and are accurately labeled according to current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) and labeling regulations.” Similar to the personal care industry, each supplement company is responsible to ensure that what they say is in the product actually is in there. This could pose a problem.
There are some brands that I am loyal to for their commitment to quality and source of ingredients. Some of my favorite brands are Vitamin Code, Pure Encapsulations, Metagenics, Standard Process to name just a few. There are so many great quality supplement companies out there. I generally steer clear of Target or Walmart as well for buying supplements.
It also seems that there are more and more direct sale style supplement companies popping up. I’m not going to talk about any specific companies, but in general I will say that I do have a problem with some of the types of supplements (weight loss, meal replacements) and when people promoting them do not have the proper background or knowledge to fully understand what they are selling. I think a lot of people think that just because it’s a supplement there are no risks involved and that just isn’t the case.
If you have questions about specific supplements or brands, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have and if I don’t know the answer I will steer you in the right direction.