Are the benefits of supplements real?

July 03, 2012
Volume 09    |   Issue 27

For years, conventional medicine has pooh-poohed the need for supplements. They used to say you didn’t need them at all — unless you had scurvy. As people began to see their incredible health benefits, though, the medical establishment had to adjust. But they’ve done so very reluctantly. In fact, some still insist supplements just give you expensive urine.

Well, all the naysayers who insist that nutritional supplements are unnecessary better get ready to make more adjustments in their thinking. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has a reply in the form of an updated comprehensive report citing sound scientific studies that prove otherwise.

They found that almost everyone needs dietary supplements!

The authors of CRN’s comprehensive report, The Benefits of Nutritional Supplements (4th Edition), found consistent and adequate health benefits from using supplements.

The report looked at supplements in a wide variety of key life stages. From pregnancy all the way up through the aging process, it looked at the impact of supplements on health and well-being. It even looked at issues surrounding supplements and mortality.

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The report looked at studies evaluating multivitamins and supplements like vitamins C and E, calcium, fish oil, vitamin D, vitamins B-6 and B-12, fiber and folic acid. And they didn’t cherry pick the best studies. They included in their research studies that showed benefit and studies that didn’t show any benefit. They even included studies that showed a negative impact.

The report’s author, Annette Dickinson, PhD, past president and current consultant for CRN, said they wanted to “paint a thorough picture of the state of the science surrounding these nutrients. And because we evaluate relevant scientific studies throughout the report, it was essential for us also to delve into the current debate over nutrient benefits — what is working, what could be improved, and what many experts in the field suggest.”

The report is conclusive — supplements work! And what’s more, while the medical establishment hasn’t eagerly supported supplements, many individual health professionals have embraced supplements. The report found a wide variety of physicians who recommend their patients take supplements. In fact, it found that the majority of many physician specialists (primary care physicians, OB/GYNs, cardiologists, dermatologists, and orthopedists), as well as other health professionals (nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and registered dietitians), all recommend supplements. Today, those who don’t believe supplements work are becoming rare. And they should be; the science proves they work.

There are some who still think a good diet will give you all the nutrition you need. But this report says that even those who are vigilant about eating a healthful diet still find it difficult to get all the nutrients they need from food alone. So no matter what you eat on a daily basis, make sure you’re taking supplements. At the very least, take a balanced, well-absorbed multivitamin mineral formula with equal amounts of calcium and magnesium like Healthy Resolve and a fish oil capsule like Daily Omega. Then, if you have particular health challenges, you can add other supplements as necessary.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,

Sources:

Council for Responsible Nutrition. "Nutritional Supplements And The Current State Of Scientific Research." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 24 Jun. 2012. Web.

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