It seems that many people take vitamins because they think the food they're eating lacks the nutrients needed to be healthy. Did Oprah say take supplements and everyone followed!?! I checked the intertubes and it seems that supplement sales are over 20 billion a year. Are people thinking they can use vitamins to "fix" their poor food choices or that they need them to ensure good nutrition? Are all the economic troubles a factor as people can't afford a wide variety of food?
I know many of us here on PH take some supplements, fish oil seems to be a prominent one, but outside of that do you think you eat well enough that you can obtain all the vitamins you need from eating a wide variety of foods?
If you were taking supplements have you slowly phased them out but added other things in? Example: sea vegetables, cranberries, yogurt for Iodine. Dark leafy greens, fruit, broccoli for Calcium. Fish, eggs, mushrooms for Vitamin D.
If you are taking supplements, want to share the what and the why? I'm always curious..
For me, I take ZMA at night and fish oil and have never taken any other supplements. Parents raised me in a way where food rules, pills do not. I definitely eat an extremely varied diet and am eager to see, after my blood tests next week, how my bod is doing.
as far as why people take vitamis, i think it's more about people hearing bits of epidemiological studies as they're driving to work, watching the news, reading newspapers or, yes, watching oprah and thinking, "well i don't want to die or get sick from _ so i better start supplementing _ immediately!" i had a marketing professor tell me that fear and love are the two strongest emotions that separate people's money from their wallets.
personally, i occasionally take fish oil if i find myself not having eaten salmon for awhile and i have started taking magnesium again. everything else, i try to balance out with my diet. i eat about 8 oz of liver a week, i go through a gallon on bone broth ever 2 weeks, i eat pastured butter often, grassfed ruminants, and colorful organic vegetables. i haven't punched my vitamins and minerals into a calculator but i feel great and my skin, hair and nails look great so i think i'm doing alright.
There are times when supplementation can be a good thing, like magnesium with me. No matter how much I try to get in the diet, supplementing always seems to help me out. And although there are food sources of vitamin d, oftentimes they aren't enough to raise the levels, super vitamin d mushrooms seem to be about as much of a supplement as supplements, they don't just have them lying around the supermarket.
But in general we should be eating so that we don't need to supplement to get enough nutrients. One good reason is that oftentimes essential nutrients are in the same place that non-essential nutrients are, and if you aren't getting enough of the former then you aren't getting enough of the latter. And supplements aren't always as effective.
And yes, people do actually take supplements as a license to eat bad diets. They actually seem to believe that a multivitamin "covers" a box of donuts.
I'm a big fan of supplementing things that you can't get in sufficient amounts through food. I take astaxanthin and pantethine and think that there are other good supplements that are of value. But many of the ones found in the drugstore probably aren't unless someone is really deficient.
I take magnesium when I feel that my sleep quality is going down the tubes. And it really helps.
I take fish oil when we've been eating a lot of chicken and pork (sometimes we go through a kick of white meat).
I take Vitamin D in the late fall and winter - I live on the West Coast of Canada - we don't get sun in the fall and winter - so i have to take something to remain happy or else I turn evil, depressed and prone to getting sick all the time.
Great question! At the moment I take no supplements at all. Not because I'm a supplement snob but because ordering them is another one of the MANY things I'll get round to "tomorrow". If and when I get round to ordering them I shall take vitamin D for sure. I was sent a link by a lady on twitter called "VitDSue" she recommended this brand http://www.bioticsresearch.com/node/1570 which is in drop form so no questionable oils, and is good for those with malabsorbtion problems.
I would also like to try magnesium to see if it calmed me down a little and to see whether it would be able to focuss my ever chattering mind and wandering thoughts.
Like luckybastard I eat lots of ruminant animal meat, lots of different colours of veg, lots of pastured butter, some wild caught salmon, eggs, and I eat sushi nori for the iodine (and the crunch ;D). bone broth is on the menu as is liver and heart. (I draw the line at kidneys because I think they smell and taste like piss) so I should be doing alright, if I'm not, I'm not sure I can be arsed to fiddle around too much. If I feel and look ok, that's good enough for me, for now.
I've read that the soil used in farming is not the same that it was 50 to 60 years ago because of over farming and lack of crop rotation. Since the soil is poorer so are the nutrients in our food that is grown in this soil and maybe this is one of the reasons why we need to take certain supplements to make up that difference.
I take supplements when I can't get sufficient nutrients from food sources. This is after 30+ years of research and self-experimentation (on-going!) I don't watch TV or listen to the radio, so my choices have been influenced more by books and internet forums like Paleohacks.
I take Magnesium, D3, and C daily.
There's not enough Magnesium in our local water supply.
I am dark-complected and older & don't enough D from sun exposure. There's not enough in the fatty fish I eat to keep me in the optimal blood level range to keep my asthma at bay.
I seem to be histamine-intolerant, so I take C for its antihistamine effects.
I'm taking Zinc right now to remedy a long-time deficiency, but will reduce & possibly eliminate this when my body is sufficient.
I am curious to know your D level since you are getting D2 from mushrooms not D3.
I think Luckybastard's professor hit the nail on the head with "I had a marketing professor tell me that fear and love are the two strongest emotions that separate people's money from their wallets."
We're all scared of getting cancer and dying a painful death. Somebody does a study, usually involving rodents, showing some benefit or other of an isolated micronutrient, and then it's touted in the press as something we need to take to maintain basic health at the least, or to stave off some sort of horrible disease at worst. And the research establishment/media plays on that fear.
People supplement in dosages that are far greater, and taken in isolation or with inappropriate combinations, than what they would ever encounter in nature. Look at calcium and vitamin e, both of which were pushed heavily by the medical establishment and both of which have since been proven to have detrimental effects when taken in large doses in supplements. Some things, like C, you just pee out if you have too much. Some minerals, like selenium, stick around in the body and can actually be quite toxic in high doses. Vitamin D, by the way, is made by the body and stored. You draw upon the D that you got in the summertime for a long time afterwards. Probably the only time you'd really need to supplement is if you don't get sun exposure for long periods of time or if you put sunscreen on every time you go outside.
For my part, I have always avoided supplementation as a matter of principle, and tried to eat a highly varied omnivorous diet. I am definitely no expert, but I have an intuitive feeling that our bodies have evolved over a VERY long time to use food as a source of nutrients and fuel, and that tweaking the balance by ingesting random levels (decided by who?) of supplements on a daily basis is playing with fire. That said, I occasionally (3x a week) take a lowish dose of magnesium, because I've had some trouble sleeping lately. (but that's probably hormonal.) Unless I read VERY good evidence to the contrary, I won't likely change anything...
Yeah, you can do it without too much trouble.
Just eating a lot of meat and liver takes you most of the way there.
If you don't eat dairy, best source of calcium is sardines (somewhat good source of D3, iodide, and selenium as well).
Eating a lot of pastured yolks covers E, cholesterol, more D3, K2, selenium, EFAs etc.
Almonds are probably the best route for magnesium (even with the high phytate) and nickel, and the raw ones have a lot of E as well.
Raspberries are good to ensure that you're getting enough manganese and vitamin C.
One of the most important things though is that you stop eating mixed meals and instead eat all flesh for one meal, all phytate-rich starch in another, all fruit in a different one, etc. Digestion is better and vitamin/mineral absorption is maximized.
You'd probably still be lower than the optimal level for D3 during the winter, but you'd be miles ahead of most people.
If you are poor like many of us in this economy you can hardly get all the nutrients you need from the diet alone. Fish twice a week, 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables per day? Also so some vitamins like vitamin D are just low naturally in the diet. Women because of their physiology (loss of blood every month) are almost always anemic and need iron supplements to met their nutritional requirements. The other issue is bioavailability, nutrients from the diet may not be bioavailable enough to meet the body needs. While food is best way to get all our nutrients, sometimes supplements met the gap where diet sometime fails or is handicapped.
However, supplements get a bad rap because alot of people consumed them without adequate knowledge. Nutrients are like medicines, dose dose dose is important.
I have increased my supplementation, but moved away from the CW recommendations. I never worry about calcium, but I make sure to take more magnesium and fish oil than before. I have also recently started taking D3, and might move on to K2 as well. I no longer value or trust the RDA suggestions, and prefer to go with individual nutrients for short periods of time.