The Wall Street Journal has recently reported on a number of studies indicating “that supplements have little benefits in generally well-nourished, Western populations,” insinuating that vitamins and supplements are unecessary for your health.
Yes Wellness certainly agrees wholeheartedly that the supplements the Wall Street Journal was reporting on would have little benefit in a well-nourished population. A person eating organic greens and grass fed, drug free meat, combined with regular exercise consisting of aerobic and resistance training, may not benefit from taking Centrum (synthetic) multivitamins. However, to suggest that we are all well nourished in our Western populations is so much bunk. None of the studies accurately represent the American population, in which most are malnourished with sodas and empty caloric foods making up the bulk of their diet. These foods do not contain the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are needed to be considered well-nourished.
Naturopathic doctor, Michael Long states:
“Even with totally irresponsible use, you would be hard pressed to be killed by your vitamins… In truth, studies are published every day showing the safety and health promoting effects of vitamins, especially when used responsibly (i.e. for a specific purpose, after objective testing showed a deficiency) and according to the evidence.
If you want to focus on something that will actually kill you, open your medicine cabinet and look at the drugs that stare back at you. Close to 1 million people die in North America every year as a direct result of the adverse effects from prescription drugs. The safety record of pharmaceutical drugs is not even comparable to vitamins.”
If you are interested in optimizing your health, your best solution is to choose the highest quality foods possible – that means organic fruits and vegetables and grass fed, drug-free meat. Once that is done and you are looking for improvement, odds are that you would likely benefit from some supplements. It is in my opinion that just about everyone can benefit from:
- A high-quality omega-3
There are many other supplements that you could consider, depending on your specific circumstances or goals.
When choosing a supplement, do your homework first and use only those that come from a reputable manufacturer using whole-food, natural ingredients, that are free from additives and have gone through a vigorous quality control process.