Recently a celebrity doctor was called to speak in front of the U.S. Congress to talk about supplements he has endorsed in the past. While the Congressional inquiry focused primarily on the diet supplements others in the media took it as an opportunity to tarnish all supplements as well. Just as we cannot equally tarnish all pharmaceuticals we also cannot tarnish all supplements. As with anything the truth lies somewhere in between.
Depending on your diet and health related needs supplements can play a part in keeping you healthy in your day-to-day life. Dictionary.com defines “supplement” as “something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency, or reinforce or extend a whole. ” Maybe you are not deficient in a particular nutrient that does not mean you cannot “reinforce” the whole of your body to make sure you have enough in times of stress or sickness. Especially in times of sickness the body needs extra vitamins and minerals in order to keep your immune system running optimally.
Ensuring adequate vitamin and mineral intake can be done with food where the food has been grown in properly prepared soils. One unfortunate aspect of mass industrial farming is the depletion of minerals from the soil, minerals that are then consumed by humans for their health. When you can’t get enough vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, supplementation may be necessary.
As with everything in life, moderation and an individualized approach is what works best. Different bodies have different needs due to genetics, local environmental factors, diet and more. The key to living healthier is being fully aware of your body and environment and leveraging your knowledge to eat and live better.