9 Supplement Myths: Busted!
It’s time to separate fact from fiction
Here are some truths behind the supplement world’s biggest myths.
Myth #1: The more the merrier
Busted: Your body metabolizes different vitamins in different ways, so more is not always better.
First, you need to be familiar with the different types of vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are transported around the body in fat. Your body stores any excess in the liver and fatty tissues. Water-soluble vitamins (B, C, and folic acid) are transported around the body in water. Your body can’t store these because you pass the excess through elimination. It’s best to know what you actually need by doing a test like the Tissue Mineral Analysis, otherwise you may be supplementing something your body already has plenty of.
Myth #2: Take vitamins and supplements, then you can eat whatever you want and still be healthy
Busted: Supplements are meant to fill nutritional gaps, not negate an unhealthy diet or be a total source for vital nutrients.
The very definition of the word ‘supplement’ is “something that is added to something else in order to make it complete.” Apply that definition to your daily diet. Your first source of nutrients should be the food you eat.
Myth #3: I eat healthy so I don’t need supplements
Busted: Even healthy foods can have depleted nutrients.
Everything from farming methods to soil composition aren’t what they used to be. Hormones and pesticides play a big part in the production of food which means the food you eat— even if pulled from the earth— can have altered levels of nutrients, leaving holes to be filled. This is where supplementation comes into play.
Myth #4: Taking supplements on an empty stomach is always the best way
Busted: Following directions for each individual supplement is the best “across the board” rule.
The absorption rate and process of metabolism varies by nutrient. They get absorbed in different places to be utilized differently, therefore it’s important to pay attention to the directions of each supplement. For the most part, vitamins and minerals are best taken with food because they are adding back nutrients which should be in the food, however many herbs are better on an empty stomach.
Myth #5: Everyone needs the same supplements to be healthy
Busted: Our bodies are all different, with different biological & chemical needs.
Age, gender, genes, and diet are just a few factors in your body’s natural make-up. Sure, everyone needs the same basic vitamins to be in good health but how much and with what accompanying nutrients will vary.
Myth #6: Any supplement with “All Natural” on the label is good
Busted: Reading the nutritional facts and ingredients will give you far more important info.
There are things in nature that aren’t ideal for consumption. Check out the backside of the label for the more info. It’s also important to read even the inactive and “other” ingredients at the bottom of the label.
Myth #7: Taking a supplement that has expired is no big deal
Busted: Vitamins lose their potency over time.
Expired supplements won’t hurt you, but you won’t be getting your money’s worth because they could be a bit “stale,” meaning less potent. It is important to note, however, any supplement that has an oil or any oil-based vitamin can go rancid over time, especially if it has not been kept cool. Rancidity is oxidation, producing free radicals and we don’t need any extra free radicals.
Myth #8: All multivitamins are basically all the same.
Busted: Some contain fillers and even vitamins/minerals you don’t need or that can be harmful.
Some are not made with pharmaceutical grade ingredients or are sourced from GMO constituents. They can also contain fillers, dyes and even artificial sweeteners. As far as vitamin content you don’t need, let’s look at iron, for example. Yes we all need iron, but in different amounts. A woman who has not reached menopause will need more iron than a woman who has reached menopause. And a man needs a different amount than them both. Copper is another mineral included in many multivitamins that needs to be noticed and monitored based on your body’s need.
Myth #9: Taking all my vitamins together doesn’t matter.
Busted: They can sometimes interact with each other and can influence absorption, efficacy, etc.
Vitamins and minerals can be synergistic or antagonistic to each other, and must be in proper ratios to be effective. It’s best to read the labels carefully or ask your supplier to review any special instructions or warnings before you establish your supplement routine.
Can you think of another myth that we missed? Leave it in the comments and we’ll see if it can be busted!