Our modern lifestyles of processed foods often means we don’t get enough of certain vitamins and minerals. For a long time drug store multivitamins seemed to be the answer.
Doctors would say “Get your vitamins from food, not pills.” Straightforward advice, and ideally we would all eat a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. But for supplements, are they really a viable alternative?
The commonly echoed advice around the web is that synthetic vitamins don’t absorb well into the body so most of it is passed out in urine. Some sites state numbers like 9% absorption rates, which explains why some vitamins contain 600% or even 2000% of the recommended daily value of various vitamins. With a roughly 9% absorption rate, they argue, you can still get 54-180% daily value from those amounts. Even if it worked that way, in principle it seems like a shame to know that roughly 91% of what you’ve paid for doesn’t end up in your body.
The idea of organic supplements is that their vitamins and minerals come from natural sources that are easier for the body to identify and absorb. Working under this assumption, supplements with astronomically high vitamin values aren’t needed because much higher percentages of those vitamins are being absorbed by the body and not simply peed out.
Lower end synthetic supplements get blown in for having contaminants or impurities all the time, so the recent push for organic is also in part to avoid those pitfalls.
Organic supplements can help you live healthier, but the standard caveat here is the same as applies to anything: these isn’t a magic health pill that solves all your nutrition problems. Supplements are meant as just that, to supplement what you’re already eating and bolster any areas that are a little low. It’s therefore not as though you can live on processed food and junk all the time and simply take supplements to make up the difference. The kind of health transformation a lot of people are looking for can only truly be attained with lifestyle changes. Supplements can help you get there, but you need to be willing to make changes in some other core areas as well.
It’s also important to note that most supplements are not FDA evaluated. This doesn’t mean they’re unsafe or that they don’t work, but simply that they can’t be used specifically to cure, diagnose, or treat illnesses.
Contact me to learn more about local supplements for your personal goals!