You run, you exercise religiously every day and you eat clean. You pretty much do everything the book on healthy lifestyle says you should be doing and you start seeing results with time. All that is great, but do you take care of your health along the way? Are you taking enough nutrients to satisfy your organism’s needs? I’m talking about the daily dose of health food supplements, or vitamins and minerals.
Nutritionists have a term: ‘recommended daily dose’ of vitamins and minerals a healthy grown human should take. But, this doesn’t necessarily go for all; some have the need to take it, and some don’t, since minerals and vitamins do come with some negative side effects. That’s why you should pass a proper check-up by a medical professional so you know exactly the type of deficiency you have and what you need to take to make it up. Here’s why vitamins and minerals aren’t just pills you can buy over the counter in a pharmacy and expect to miraculously improve your overall health.
1. Water-soluble vitamins shouldn’t be taken in excess just because they’re not stored in the body.
This is completely true. Although water-soluble vitamins dissolve in the body and are excreted in the urine, doesn’t mean you can have as much as possible of these. For instance, vitamin B6 is good for your nervous system, skin and hair, but taking too much of it may lead to conditions such as neuropathy, skin lesions, photo-sensitivity, nausea and similar problems. Also, too much vitamin B6 may mask the B12 deficiency and increase the risk of certain cancers like colon, prostate and lung cancers.
2. Health food supplements are a source of energy.
False, false, false! Vitamins and minerals aren’t a source of energy. The only countable source of energy is the food you consume, or to be exact, the amount of calories and carbohydrates that food contains. Stuffing yourself with a hand full of vitamins and minerals isn’t going to give you the fast start you so need, on the contrary, it can only cause you severe damage.
3. If the recommended dose is good, than taking more than that must be better.
How can this be true? Remember the term ‘recommended daily allowance’ ? It means that someone made the effort to measure how much is the optimal dose of health food supplements so you don’t need to put yourself at risk by guessing. If you decide to go into the mega-dose territory on your own, you should be aware of certain risks that may cause damage to your health.
4. Vitamins and minerals are good for all because they can be bought without prescription.
Common misconception. Just because you can buy them, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good for you. Think of it like this, vitamins and minerals are still drugs, just not that strong and powerful as antibiotics. If you don’t need to take them, with time they will leave their mark on you, it just won’t be a positive one.
Bottom line is that you shouldn’t play with health food supplements just because they don’t require a prescription to get them from the pharmacy. And all people aren’t the same; we don’t feed ourselves in the same way, we don’t live in the same environmental conditions and we don’t lead the same lifestyle. Some people have an increased need for vitamins and minerals from birth, as an inherited ‘flaw’ and some have their organism in perfect condition. So, be smart, visit a doctor first and then get the right type and dose of health food supplements to improve your health.