A good question but one that lacks a definitive answer. I take vitamin and mineral supplements. Can I say with certainty that they keep me healthy? I don’t know. I’m rarely sick. Maybe I’ll have a cold for a couple of days every few years. Is that because of the vitamins and supplements or is it genetic? My dad was rarely sick as well and I don’t think he took any supplements.
Also if you do a little research, there are conflicting studies on just about every supplement out there as to whether we need them or not. I found it hard to find a consensus except that unless your doctor prescribes something for you, you should try to get most of your vitamins and minerals from the food you eat.
And here’s how the Food and Drug Administration regulates supplements, direct from their website (items in bold are mine):
How Are Supplements Regulated?
You should know the following if you are considering using a dietary supplement.
- Federal law requires that every dietary supplement be labeled as such, either with the term “dietary supplement” or with a term that substitutes a description of the product’s dietary ingredient(s) for the word “dietary” (e.g., “herbal supplement” or “calcium supplement”).
- Federal law does not require dietary supplements to be proven safe to FDA’s satisfaction before they are marketed.
- For most claims made in the labeling of dietary supplements, the law does not require the manufacturer or seller to prove to FDA’s satisfaction that the claim is accurate or truthful before it appears on the product.
- In general, FDA’s role with a dietary supplement product begins after the product enters the marketplace. That is usually the agency’s first opportunity to take action against a product that presents a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury, or that is otherwise adulterated or misbranded.
- Dietary supplement advertising, including ads broadcast on radio and television, falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission.
- Once a dietary supplement is on the market, FDA has certain safety monitoring responsibilities. These include monitoring mandatory reporting of serious adverse events by dietary supplement firms and voluntary adverse event reporting by consumers and health care professionals. As its resources permit, FDA also reviews product labels and other product information, such as package inserts, accompanying literature, and Internet promotion.
- Dietary supplement firms must report to FDA any serious adverse events that are reported to them by consumers or health care professionals.
- Dietary supplement manufacturers do not have to get the agency’s approval before producing or selling these products.
- It is not legal to market a dietary supplement product as a treatment or cure for a specific disease, or to alleviate the symptoms of a disease.
- There are limitations to FDA oversight of claims in dietary supplement labeling. For example, FDA reviews substantiation for claims as resources permit.
Well, that certainly makes me feel safe and warm, how bout you?
Here’s What I Take
Having said all that about how the FDA regulates our supplements, I do take some vitamins and supplements that I’ve researched and feel comfortable taking. I also Here’s what I take, when I remember 😉
Whey Protein Isolate– muscle is protein and protein is necessary for building muscle. Whey protein is the highest bio-available source of protein which means that more of it will be absorbed and used by your body. I use Dymatize Elite XT. It comes as a powder and mixes with any liquid. I take it before and after every workout.
Creatine monohydrate- probably the most researched sports supplement of all. Creatine is naturally produced by the body and 90% of it is located within our muscles. The addition of a creatine monohydrate supplement helps to improve your workout and training capacity by reducing fatigue and increasing lean mass. I use Dymatize Micronized Creatine.
Ubiquinol- naturally found in every cell in the body but concentrated in the organs that require the most energy- such as our heart, liver, kidneys, and muscles. It’s the active anti-oxidant form of Coenzyme Q10 and is more easily used by the body. Several clinical studies have found it to benefit our heart, blood pressure and other major organs. It also fights damage from free radicals which is associated with aging. As we get older, our bodies produce less and less of this substance and that’s why I take it. I use Doctor’s Best Ubiquinol.
Vitamin B-12- National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet
Vitamin D-3- National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet
Vitamin E- National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet
Flaxseed Oil- National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health
Folic acid- National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet
Magnesium- National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet
I also take mobility supplements as I discussed in this post, Joints and Joint Mobility Supplements. While I still take Boswellia Extract, I’m also taking Turmeric Curcumin on the advice of one of my readers.
Turmeric is a spice that gives curry its yellow color and one of its compounds is curcumin. When taken with piperine from black pepper, its curcumin’s absorption is enhanced by as much as 2000%. Turmeric curcumin is an anti-inflammatory as well as an anti-oxidant. Numerous studies have attested to its medicinal and therapeutic properties.
What Supplements Should You Take?
Everyone is different and everyone’s needs are different. My advice is to check with your doctor, do your own research, and try different supplements in the recommended doses and see if you can feel a difference, especially with the joint and joint mobility supplements.
As I said at the beginning of this post, there really isn’t any definitive answer.
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