Whatever health issue you’re tackling, or if you just want to stay healthy, you’re probably bombarded with recommendations from well-intentioned natural health researchers on various supplements and herbal remedies that will help you.
Unfortunately, for several reasons I’ll discuss in today’s feature article, many of those supplements and vitamins (even some vitamin C pills) can cause more harm than good and can even make you sick.
This is an important issue so please read on and make your comments below.
Thousands, if not millions of studies throughout the years have isolated various types of nutrition, herbs and vitamins that can drastically improve health and often cure diseases better than prescribed medications.
This research is often based on studying a huge database of nutritional consumption among certain group of people and then comparing the frequency of diseases in this and other groups that do not consume the same nutrients.
For example, a research study may go over various studies from 25 countries and compare people who consume a big amount of vitamin C to those who do not and find out that those who consume a high level of vitamin C have lower rate of high blood pressure.
After reading about this study, you may grab a bottle of extra strong vitamin C in your local supermarket as you shop for tonight’s dinner. But after consuming 500 mg of vitamin C supplement for a couple of weeks you maybe disappointed to find out your blood pressure didn’t go down.
Well, there are three main reasons…
1) Most cheaper supplements sold in supermarkets and discount stores are less than useless. They’re produced using synthetic materials and most of the pill is nothing but filler that does not release the vitamin in the first place. So even if you’ve the vitamin C (or whatever nutrition you bought) in the pill, it will go in one end and out the other undigested.
Many of those cheap supplements are also loaded with unsafe chemicals that will harm you in the long haul.
So if you’re going to buy a supplement, spend a little more in your local health food store on a high quality supplement that your body will soak up. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice as people working in these stores are often walking libraries of natural health.
2) The second reason you’re not benefiting from your supplements is that oftentimes you don’t get the same benefits from supplements as you would from a higher quality diet. An average orange includes about 70 mg of vitamin C. But I guarantee this 70 mg is more valuable than any 500mg supplement taken in pill form. Often there are other nutrition in the fruits and vegetables that enhance the absorption of the nutrition you’re after. You don’t get this benefit from pills.
Side note: If you really want to load up on vitamin C, get a handful of the Chinese Jujube fruit. It’s not very common but some health food stores or Asian supermarkets will have it. About 100 grams of Jujube includes whopping 500mg of vitamin C.
As far as antioxidants go, the same can be said there as well. Even though they have been shown to fight pretty much any disease (including arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease) repeated studies have shown that supplements focused on antioxidant ingredients such as vitamin E are pretty much useless. You must get the antioxidant from your diet, not pills.
Which leads us to the third reason…
3) The third reason you’ll not necessarily benefit from even the best supplements comes to our human nature. Very often, we like to cut corners. And if we’re taking supplements, we think that’s enough- so we don’t look after our diets. Often we are not even conscious of this tendency but it has been well recorded in research.
So if you take supplements, use them more as a backup parachute than the main source of nutrition.
I took vitamin C as an example in this article because we all know how beneficial it is for us and you need really big doze to take too much of it (2000-4000mg daily). The advice I’ve given is just as valid and even more applicable for other types of supplements and herbs.
Actually, when dealing with herbs, you should apply extra caution and preferably consult a doctor focused on natural methods, herbalist or other expert since many herbs can cause side effects and often interfere negatively with each other, just like prescribed medications.
This is not to say you should not use herbs and supplements. In fact, I personally use a handful of natural supplements every day. Just make sure they’re of good quality and only used as safety-net, not as a main source of nutrition.
The best method to tackle your health issue is applying holistic lifestyle approach. You can find safe, effective natural guides on most issues you are interested in on the right hand side of this page.
But first, please let us know what you think and leave your comment below.
by Shelly Manning