Many Americans have recognized the importance of maintaining proper nutrition through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. However, taking multivitamins without proper supplement education can be detrimental to your health. Unfortunately, capitalism has been hard at work creating a massive market for dietary supplements, which far too often fail to deliver on promised results. Additionally, some supplements may contain additional harmful elements, such as radioactive ingredients, toxic chemicals, and unstable compounds. To alleviate the confusion between what is and is not beneficial to health, you need to know the difference between health foods, supplements, and synthetic vitamins, which vitamins are helpful, and how you can maximize your health through dietary supplementation.
Health Foods Versus Synthetic Multivitamins
Technically, natural supplements do not actually need to come from the environment; they only need to mirror the effects of naturally occurring substances in food. As a result, whole food supplements better describes which supplements should be taken. Whole food supplements are concentrations of supplements in their natural forms, such as Omega-3s, beta-carotene, and vitamins A and E from green, leafy veggies.
Synthetic Supplements and Selenium
In reality, synthetic supplements have become popular due to the overwhelming misconception of synthetic compounds are as good as, if not better, than health food supplements. Specifically, selenium supplements have grown in popularity. Selenium has anti-cancerous effects, benefits the eyes, reduces risk for heart disease, osteoarthritis, and cognitive impairment, and treats cold sores and shingles. However, synthetic selenium is produced dramatically cheaper than its whole food counterpart. Selenium comes from the soil as plants collect the element. However, millennia of vegetation and farming have virtually depleted the selenium the soil, and the scarcity of whole selenium becomes a victim to the laws of supply and demand. Non-whole food forms of selenium have been linked to olfactory—nasal and tongue—problems; selenite is exceedingly toxic in minuet doses; DNA replication is damaged from selenite; and selenium toxicity can contribute to the development of diabetes.
What to Do…
Taking naturally occurring supplements is always going to result in far-better results for the body. However, some whole food supplements may have been contaminated, such as fish from radiation. As a result, it’s best to follow these guidelines for taking supplements:
- Probiotics – Promote natural bacteria to benefit the digestive system should be added to the diet.
- Supplements with ISO 9001, Good Manufacturing Processes, and ISO 17025 certification.
- Supplements with credible tracking of manufacturing, including growing, processing, and distribution.
By understanding why artificial supplements negatively affect the body, you can take a stronger role in ensuring your body achieves proper nutrition. After all, nutrition is the source of all the compounds the body needs to thrive.