Worth or Waste?

By on Jul 8, 2015

In a recent report by the New York State Attorney General's office, four major retailers have been accused of selling supplements that are mostly filler ingredients or are completely void of the herbal ingredients advertised.This raises an important question: Are supplements really worth the $28 billion in annual sales in 2010?2 And if some supplements are beneficial, which ones should you invest in taking regularly? Let's talk about a few of the most popular options on the shelves:

Fish oils are really Omega-3 oils, which may prevent heart disease, anxiety, depression, and macular degeneration, though medical studies are not conclusive on all of those claims.

B-Vitamins convert food into energy and build new red blood cells, so they are a vital part of staying healthy. A large percentage of people with a varied diet consume B-Vitamins through different meat and dairy products, though they can also be found in leafy greens and legumes.

Vitamin C is usually mentioned when someone feels a cold coming on, though scientific studies have recently conclusided that Vitamin C intake isn't consisstent in strengthening the immune system across the general population.

Garlic supplements are advertised as saying they lower cholesterol, fight cancer, hypertension, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, infections, and the common cold. None of these claims have been conclusively determined through scientific studies, however.

Can one multi-vitamin really supply all the vitamins and minerals that you need? Not exactly.4 Depending on your age, diet, and a large number of other factors, your body may need a different mixture of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy than what a general multi-vitamin can provide, even if it is targeted towards your demographic.

Dr. Erich Acebedo, one of the providers at WellHealth's Life and Wellness clinic, encourages his patients to take Fish Oil supplements and B-Vitamin supplements. He also says that taking the recommended doses of Vitamin C or garlic supplements won't hurt.

If you are looking for preventative measures through supplements, you may be better off eating fresh foods and exercising throughout the week. If your doctor has determind that you are vitamin-deficient, taking a supplement may help alleviate that deficiency. Treat supplements the way that you'd treat prescriptions. Consult and collaborate with your doctor and come up with a healthy plan.

1 http://nyti.ms/1z8YVbM | NewYorkTimes
2 http://bit.ly/1MIRFrs | AnnalsofInternalMedicine 
3 http://bit.ly/1B6JILf | Cochrane
4 http://usat.ly/1ek3Myj | USAToday