Health

Supplements, expensive pee or beneficial for health?

Two strong opposite positions about supplements. On the left people who don’t believe in artificial pills. Their argument is that the human beings have been living healthily in this world for centuries, without supplementation. Even so, some of our ancestors lived more than 100 years. Therefore, this option supports supplements as a waste of money. Or in other words, an expensive pee because they just pass through the body without any benefit.

Supplements
Variety of brands and supplements on the market

On the right, a totally different view. Those who support the idea of taking supplements. Their main argument focuses on the soil. Depletion of the soil cannot guarantee all nutrients in the food any longer. The soil over exploitation impoverishes the food quality. Therefore, this option claims that supplements have some health benefits.

Where are you, closer to the left or to the right?

Yes, the population didn’t use vitamins pills ever in their entire life. True, but possibly the soil contained all its goodness 100 years ago and these days it doesn’t. For example, it would be interesting to find out how much vitamin C an orange had in the year 1900 and in 2000. Difficult to guess.

Many studies support both ideas out, however the negative ones inundate the internet. Having said that, the best test would be to always listen to your body. Listen to your body: A recent research from Tufts University (1) in America came out last year and it didn’t support supplementation as an option for health.

Researchers compared the intake of a range of nutrients with rates of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The study, which involved more than 27,000 US adults, discovered that certain nutrients in food, but not in pills, were generally linked to the lower risk of diseases.

The study showed that adequate consumption of vitamins A and K, as well as magnesium and zinc, reduced the risk of death. But this finding only applied to nutrients in food, not supplements.

Supplements
Some more brands of supplements on the market

Some other studies against pills say that people seem healthier than the rest because they care more about the diet, food and their lifestyle.

Positives studies about supplementation navigate on internet too. Many supplement companies run researches to prove efficacy of their products. But, would you trust them? Certainly, whatever study they fund and develop, it’s bound to bring some positives results for them. They probably say the truth, possibly they are right too. However, a study with 50 people or fewer is not going to fully representative of the real case against a study with 50.000 people.

Totally white or totally black doesn’t exist in the supplementation world. What works for some people, may not work for the others. The best option: listen to your body. Sometimes you may walk near the left edge and sometimes you are closer to the right. I do believe that food can provide almost 100% of necessary nutrients and vitamins. But, I also believe that supplementation contributes positively to the well-being. Yes, always the right supplementation and in the right moment, depending on the person, the age…

Reference:

(1) https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M18-2478

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