It is estimated that 1/3 of the US population takes a multivitamin. Do you know why you are taking it? Better yet, how do you know it's working?
Most people will just assume that it is. But really, how do you know?
"If you are not assessing, you are guessing" – Gray Cook
There is a lot of truth to that. Unless you are doing regular blood tests or a symptom subsides, it's very difficult to tell if your multi-vitamin is actually doing anything for you.
In Fact, They Could
Actually Be Harming You!
There are different types of vitamins, one of which is synthetic. This means that the nutrients were created in a lab using various chemical processes.
For example, very often, synthetic vitamins will use coal tar to create vitamin B1.
Let me ask you a question. Do you think that is the same as the vitamin B1 found in Fish, Nuts, or seeds? Do you think we were meant to get vitamin B1 from coal tar? I don't think so...
Vitamin D3 is another one. Manufacturers typically will use wool oil to create it.
How about Calcium? Many of these supplements use calcium carbonate. You know what that is used for? Creating concrete!
These are just a small handful of examples, there are many more out there.
But just for a second let's say you were taking a trustworthy multi-vitamin. We've all heard the old adage "you are what you eat". Unfortunately research has shown us this is not the case.
You Are What You Digest!
We assume that the vitamin we are taking gets digested.
However, each year thousands of pounds of multivitamins are found in sewage.
That means a multitude of people are just "passing" their multi-vitamin without the body getting any benefit from it.
Money well spent, right?
According to the Los Angeles Times, part of this has to do with how the pill is constructed.
“If the pill is compacted too tightly when it is manufactured, or if the coating is too thick, it will pass through your system without dissolving.”*
So what needs to be done? To start, we need to recognize that now-a-days, every food and supplement company is trying to appear “healthy”. We need to dig deeper than that. When a vitamin says natural, all that means is that 10% of it comes from natural ingredients. That’s it! Here are some better tests:
1. Do the ingredient test: Can you pronounce the ingredients? If not, it’s probably not a good choice.
2. Look on the label for "Naturally occurring food sources." This will be much more reliable and trustworthy than simply “natural”.
Now, there are instances where vitamins need to be taken.
If you are pregnant, folic acid is something that you probably need to be taking or if you are anemic an iron supplement is going to be something you do need. These are just a couple examples of times vitamins are essential.
For the rest of us though, maybe we need to shift our focus and start relying on true natural sources of our nutrients instead of hoping that they are safe and that our body is actually getting value from them.
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