By: Dr. Terry Weyman
“you don’t need vitamins, it will only give you colorfull and expensive urine”, “eat right and you don’t need vitamins” are some of my favorite responses I get when I ask patients if they take supplements.
Unfortunately, when I googled “do I need to take vitamins I got 57,700,00 hits. No wonder its so confusing! Lets try and break it down to 5 basic thoughts, look at Myths and Truths.
1. If I take Supplements, I don’t have to worry about diet and exercise
2. I can get all the nutrients I need from food on my plate
3. All Multi-Vitamins are the same
4. Vitamins cause colorful uring and are a waist of money
5. Taking all your daily vitamins at once is the same taking them through out the day
These are the most asked and commented questions that are asked of Clinicians that I know of. Lets take a look at each one and come up with some logical and researchable results.
First off, Supplements are just that, they are designed to “Supplement” what is missing from your diet and provide extra if a desired effect is sought after. For example, if your are building a house, you maybe putting on the roof. Instead of waiting for roof tiles to arrive one at a time, you may order more tiles to be delievered so the materials are on site to provide the desired task. They are called Supplements, not food, so having a good diet and exercise is still very important. If you are unable to provide your body with the proper nutrition from time to time, you may need to Supplement your diet with the proper vitamin or mineral. If you are going through stress, either physical or emotional, you may burn through necessary chemicals needed by the body for proper function and supplementation is necessary during these times.
Second, myth. My question to you, is how do you know that the food you are consuming is doing what you want it to do? Food has gotten weaker and now with the introduction of GMO (genetic Manufactured) there maybe very little nutritional value at all. Also, are you getting what you need from your diet when you need it? Date gathered over the past 70 years on the nutrient contents of fruits and vegetables shows a “median decline of 5%-40% or more in minerals, vitamins and proteins” Add in chemicals used in pesticides, preservatives, weak soil, lack of mineral content and so on, you never know if what you are eating is providing what your body needs. According to Dr. Oswald, in an article he wrote, “take a look at the dietary reference intakes (DRI) values set by the US Department of Agriculture and compare them to the level of nutients ingested per capita, per day as reported by the USDA.” These numbers are alarming and for certain areas of the US as well if you are requiring more than the food is giving you, ie, disease, stress, sports and or high functioning lifestyle, supplementing your diet with added nutrition is recommended.
Third, all vitamins are not the same when it comes to quality, use of bonding agents and absorbtion. Cheaper supplements use cheaper bonding agents which can “hold onto” the vitamin/mineral and not release it to the body. Other vitamins can use either man made chemical minerals verses natural which will affect absorbtion rates and ability for the body to break down effectively. Calcium for example comes in three forms, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Citrate and combinations. Which do you need and how will your body break it down to be absorbed. The differences in the ability to absorb different forms of nutrients found in mulitvitamins can be quite staggering.
Fourth, Color change is more associated with Riboflavin (Vit B) more than anything. During breakdown, its structure causes the “glowing” yellow seen in your urine. Since Vitamin B is water soluable, the breakdown is seen as excess is excreted. If you think about it, to get to the urine, it went through the blood stream first and was used. Knowing this, A good guide, if you are under a lot of stress, your body will use more Vitamin B than normal. IF you take a B complex vitamin and you DON’T see the Florences Yellow, then you need to take more.
Last, fifth. Granted, it maybe easier to take all at once, but you must look at what you are trying to accomplish. Are the supplements fat or water soluable? Vitamins D, A, E and K you want to take in the morning and its ok to take those all at once since your body will store these Vitamins up and use when needed. All other supplements its better to split up since the body will not store them and they are used throughout the day. As in eating several small meals a day is better than few large meals for nutritional absorbtion, the same rule goes for supplements. Consult with your Doctor on when he/she wants you to take your supplements for the desired affect.
I hope this helps eliminate a few questions and concerns. Always get your supplements from a reliable source, mass produced supplements are not guarenteed to provide purity and potency. Seek advise from your Chiropractor, medical Doctor, Acupuncturist or therapist. Look at expiration dates and manufactured dates for freshness. Remember, you only get ONE body, take care of it!
Dr.Terry Weyman is the clinical director of Chiropractic Sports Institute. For more info go to their website, www.gotcsi.com