Like half of all American adults, do you fall back on the nutritional “insurance policy” of a daily multivitamin/mineral pill? Perhaps you realize your diet’s not so great, and you figure that supplement will fill in the gaps.
Like 70% of baby boomers and older adults, you’ve been duped. That’s right. As a nation, we spend more than $12 billion each year on vitamin pills—basically a waste of money, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.
Why the fuss:
1) It’s the wild, wild West out there.
Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. As a result, they may contain other ingredients or levels of nutrients not stated on the label. The nutrients in multivitamins can come from real foods or from synthetic creations in a laboratory. But here’s the problem–in isolation, vitamins aren’t as useful as they would be in the naturally-occurring combinations found in food. Also, synthetic vitamins may or may not be well absorbed and utilized in the body.
2) Show me the evidence.
There are very few controlled research studies in the supplement world. Many have led to mixed results, with researchers from Johns Hopkins concluding from three major studies that multivitamins did not reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, or mental decline. In fact, their editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine was entitled, “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.”
3) They’re not all benign.
Consuming large doses of some vitamins can be harmful. While we can readily urinate out excess water-soluble vitamins (B’s and C), extra amounts of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) can accumulate in the body and become toxic over time.
What you can do:
1) There’s a test for that.
If you think you may be deficient in a vitamin or mineral, ask your doctor to order a specific test. In general, Americans no longer suffer from vitamin or mineral deficiencies. But there are exceptions for some people: vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and folic acid. Keep in mind, it’s best to supplement with a specific needed nutrient, not a handful of superfluous vitamins.
Check with your doctor for targeted vitamin/mineral tests and recommendations if you’re:
- an older adult
- a vegan or vegetarian
- suffering from age-related macular degeneration or other eye diseases
2) Talk with a dietitian.
This trained health professional can assess your food intake to see where the gaps are and help you plan a diet covering all your nutrition needs.
3) Make an effort to eat “real food.”
Your diet should primarily consist of whole foods, especially fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. I know by now you’ve heard this advice dozens of times, but the truth is there’s just no way to “out-supplement” a poor diet. Healthy fats, dietary fiber, minimizing the consumption of processed and fast foods, and plenty of water are all still important for vibrant wellbeing.
4) Give concentrated fruit and vegetable powders a try. What if you could find an easy way to improve your nutrition that bypassed all the problems listed above? Juice Plus+ fruit, vegetable, and berry blends provide the micronutrients of 30 different fruits and vegetables, and are:
a) Tested by an independent agency (National Sanitation Foundation, or NSF) to verify products meet and exceed strict guidelines for quality and safety, confirming that what’s on the label is in the product, and vice versa.
b) Backed by 25 years of research and 41 independent, clinical studies published in prestigious medical and scientific journals demonstrating the health benefits of Juice Plus+.
c) Just fruits and vegetables. These products provide nutrients in the amounts and synergies found in nature. Their nutrients are absorbed by the body in appropriate amounts, with no toxicity concerns.
If you want more information, please check out Juice Plus+ research findings.