We have all been told time and again, of the importance of vitamins. Yes, vitamins are important; crucial even. They are, after all, the building blocks of the human body, and the substance that helps in repairing and healing the body, and preventing disease.
Unfortunately, many of us resort to popping multivitamin pills to ‘supplement’ an often inadequate or unhealthy diet – like we’re taking out an insurance policy. What happens is that we blindly take combination vitamin pills without really knowing what our bodies need. There is a lot of information and misinformation about vitamins, especially on the Internet. Here are some common misconceptions you need to be aware of:
- Multivitamin pills are a substitute for a healthy diet
- All multivitamin pills are equally good, you can take any for good health
- If I eat a healthy diet I won’t need any vitamin supplements
- I should always take the same vitamins
Of course, with the internet turning everyone into authors, it’s possible you may find more, but these are the ones you really need to be cautious about.
Vitamins are not the villains here, our half-baked knowledge and misconceptions are. You need to understand a few facts.
- The nutrition your body needs is best absorbed through food and not through supplements, so there is absolutely no substitute for a healthy diet.
- Every individual has unique dietary needs, based on their age, gender, occupation, lifestyle, health conditions and so on. All vitamin combinations are not for everyone; there is no effective universal multivitamin pill.
- Popping multivitamin pills may not make up for the specific vitamin deficiencies you have. You need to know what vitamins your body is deficient in.
- In certain cases, taking extra vitamins that what your body actually needs, could even harm your body. Unnecessarily high doses of beta carotene have the ability to raise the risk of lung cancer in smokers; high doses of folic acid in people who don’t need them, can heighten the risk of colon cancer.
From all the above facts, it is clear that to lead a healthy life, you need to do something more than just take supplements.
You need to have a complete health evaluation through lab tests to assess your present health condition, and test your micronutrients to find out what your body really needs. An experienced naturopathic doctor can help you formulate a personalized plan that will enable you to enjoy optimal wellness throughout your life. At the Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness, we spend the time to do a thorough assessment of your health and ascertain your needs before we recommend a plan of action. In this case, we would start by running an extensive micronutrient panel to find out what your body really needs.