If you’re looking to support your health, increase your energy levels, boost your mood and mental acuity, and even improve your chronic health condition symptoms, getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals each day is vital.
While diet is the best way to get the nutrients you need, dietary supplements can be an important way to fill in the gaps.
The Low Down: Do You Actually Need Supplements?
The body needs essential minerals and vitamins to perform daily functions, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition. In short, they help your body function in every possible way. Without them, your digestive system wouldn’t work, your heart wouldn’t beat, and your bones would break. In a nutshell, they really are miracle workers!
As mentioned, your first course of action should be a healthy diet. You’ll want to eat clean and colorful. The National Institutes of Health recommends eating:
- Whole Grains
- Unsaturated fats
- Good Protein
At the same time, you should limit:
- Highly refined grains
- Eating trans and saturated fats
However, the Council for Responsible Nutrition also explains that even people who eat well might be at-risk of being deficient in a particular vitamin, leading to a need for dietary supplements. In fact, many Americans are deficient in calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E, even when eating well.
A good example: people who live in cloudy environments tend to not get enough sunlight, which can lead to vitamin D deficiency, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Health also says that people who
live with food restrictions or health conditions like Crohn’s or celiac disease,
which inhibit the proper functioning of nutrient absorption, may need
supplements as well.
According to Family Doctor, there are also many sub-groups of people who are also at nutritional disadvantage, including:
- Children between the ages of 4 and 18
- People over the age of 51
- People who are obese
- People who abuse alcohol
These groups could gain health benefits from supplementation. Some common dietary supplements include:
- Herbal supplements
- B vitamins
- Hormones and testosterone boosters
- St. John’s Wort
- Antioxidant supplements
- Mineral supplements
If you’re just starting to think about taking dietary supplements, many multivitamins provide a well-rounded dose of what your body needs.
BodyLogicMD offers O.N.E. Multivitamin, which provides a comprehensive once-daily multivitamin for both men and women. O.N.E multivitamin specifically provides antioxidant support as well as promoting cellular and optical health.
option is MultiPlex Complete, which is an all-natural
liquid multivitamin and multi-mineral complex that contains 215 nutrients,
including super foods, herbs, and organic aloe vera—with no additives and great
tasting citrus flavor.
What You Should Know About Kids’ Supplementation
Many parents provide their children with a once-a-day multivitamin, which can help keep them healthy and strong while promoting growth and immune system function. If you’d like to give your child a supplement, you’ll want to talk to your pediatrician about your kids’ unique health needs—especially if they’re picky eaters who may not get all the nutrients they need from food!
You’ll want to keep in mind that many multivitamins come with or without iron, too. Iron is an essential mineral that keeps your blood and muscles healthy. Most children aren’t at risk of iron deficiency, but menstruating girls are more likely to be at-risk for low iron.
It’s also important to remember that kids shouldn’t exceed the daily recommended intake for vitamins A, E, and K.
Additionally, kids’ multivitamins should be free from the following ingredients, as they can have a negative impact on kids health:
- Artificial colors and flavors
- Any allergens (like gluten or soy) that your child may have an adverse reaction to
A Note on Safe Dietary Supplement Use
First things first: according to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (this is also referred to as DSHEA), there are a lot of rules around what can and cannot be defined as a supplement—as well as rules around manufacturer claims.
For example, no supplement can be said to cure or treat a disease, but a supplement may be able to promote health. It’s important that you stay away from brands or products that claim to treat diseases or cure illnesses, since it’s not legal for manufacturers to claim this. A quality product from a trusted manufacturer will not make irresponsible claims like these.
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety or effectiveness before they come to market. Because of this, you’re putting a lot of trust into the maker of your supplements. For this reason, you want to buy professional-grade (also known as pharmaceutical grade) supplements from trusted sellers only. Cheap vitamins at the drugstore or online may be enticing, but they may not contain quality ingredients.
In 2015, The New York Times reported that dozens of popular supplement brands at several national retailers didn’t even contain one of the herbs being promoted on the labels. The products contained a lot of needless fillers, even some that could potentially trigger an allergic reaction. In short, make sure you’re getting only the safest and most effective supplements out there.
Beyond product safety, there are some other things you should know: there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, there are some supplements that can cause health issues when taken in excess. Additionally, you’ll want to be careful when taking certain supplements with medications. For these reasons, you’ll want to be sure you’re developing a supplement regimen that your doctor or an expert within the BodyLogicMD network approves of.
Beyond maintaining a healthy diet, actively exercising, keeping stress at bay, and working toward a healthy weight, supplements can be an excellent tool in your wellness arsenal.
BodyLogicMD works exclusively with manufacturers that select nothing but the purest ingredients for each formulation and meet the highest standards of safety and quality in the industry. Shop BodyLogicMD and trust that what you’re getting is the best for your unique health needs.
Dr. Jennifer Landa is Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD and the owner and operator of BodyLogicMD of Orlando. Dr. Landa dedicates her practice to bioidentical hormone therapy, customized nutrition and fitness programs to help women and men resolve menopausal and andropausal symptoms, including weight gain, sexual dysfunction, declining energy levels and stress. As a former gynaecologist, Dr. Landa has always desired to help patients achieve wellness through hormone balance and preventive medicine.