On the labels of vitamins and mineral supplements you’ll find all kinds of encouraging claims: boosts energy, beat stress, lose weight, improve performance, reduce wrinkles! Can these supplements actually live up to the claims they make or is it all hype?
The role of vitamins and mineral supplements is not to cure or prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease or even cancer. Thier role is to supplement some of the nutritional gaps we may have in our diet. Experts say that there is a real place for supplements in our diet; however, they should fill in the gaps and not replace a healthy meal plan.
Let's take a closer look at what vitamins and mineral supplements can do for your health.
When Food Falls Short
When you’re not getting the essential nutrients you need –calcium, potassium, vitamin D—from your food, supplements can take up the nutritional slack. Supplements are especially helpful for people whose allergies cause them to miss traditional nutrients. Vitamins and mineral supplements fill in these gaps to prevent deficiencies that can contribute to chronic conditions.
There are countless studies that show the effectiveness of supplementing missing nutrients.
One National Institute of Health study found that postmenopausal women who take Calcium and Vitamin D saw an increase in bone density, as well as reduced fractures.
Who Benefits From Supplements?
Because they lack the 40-plus nutrients needed for good health, vegans, or people on vegetarian diets, can benefit from taking a daily supplement. Anyone on a low-calorie diet may also consider taking a daily supplement. Those with a poor diet or picky eating habits, who limit food groups or have limited variety within those food groups, should take a daily supplement.
People who’re at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis are likely to benefit from a regular Vitamin D supplements. Another study by the NIH found that most adults do not get the recommended amount of Vitamin D each day. Considering most people work in offices, they do not get enough sun exposure. People who believe they’re Vitamin D deficient should talk to their doctor. A simple blood test can determine whether or not you’re lacking.
As with any dietary change, you should discuss with your doctor which supplement would best benefit you.