Friday, 31 August 2012

To take or not to take? - Supplements the big debate!

I wanted to write something on here about a subject that has been written about so many times and everyone has an opinion on whether it's good or bad. Supplements! 

Nutritionally we are supposed to get most of our vitamins and minerals through our diet. People have been doing it for years and have had no problem doing so. Is that the case or did they have underlying health concerns which never surfaced as there was no solution for it?

In today's day and age 'we' I say loosely, are looking to go back to basics and opt for the natural, holistic, non enhanced, GM free products. 
The first commercial vitamin extract was sold in the early 1930's and since then has evolved to become what today's huge worldwide booming business is.

Doctors in the UK today prescribe vitamin supplements e.g. iron all the time but taking a supplement is often easier behaviourally then changing one’s diet towards a more appropriate one, but even when a supplement works well in the short term the practice of relying on supplements may induce a psychological attachment to an unsustainable approach in the long run!

So what are the pros and cons of taking supplements?


- prior to pregnancy and during it is recommended you take folic acid to help the foetal growth but also because you need a higher percentage and you can not rely just on your diet.

- what you can't get from diet you can from supplements as additional nutrients.



- overdose can cause long term systemic damage 

And although it isn't spoken about as much some drugs are coated with certain chemicals which can be detrimental to your health:

The people who are avid users of protein shakes, muscle enhancement pills need to know what they are taking. Yes you do gain muscle but what is the long term use of them? 

1.       Some muscle mass supplements could result in gastrointestinal discomfort. As most muscle mass supplements contain Creatine, consumers might experience stomach ache, diarrhoea or vomiting.
2.       Long term use of creatine contained in most of the supplements as it has low cost, can result in kidney damage.
3.       Since many supplements contain caffeine, regular use of caffeine could result in anxiety, restlessness and insomnia, Risk of dehydration is also possible due to combined use of creatine and caffeine.
4.       Not appropriate for persons having lactose intolerance since some protein supplements contain whey protein.
5.       Results are not long lasting, after you stop taking them, you start losing all your hard muscle.
Believe what you wish to but remember it doesn't cost much to have a healthy well balanced diet. Supplements should be used in conjunction and not solely just on their own or as a quick fix!

For more nutritional advice or treatment for any conditions please get in touch with Health and Harmony on 0203 417 4636.

Health & Harmony

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