Harvard: Most Supplements Are Wasting Your $$$

Here’s 5 That Have Proven Benefits

If you’re like me, you try to keep up with the latest trends in health and wellness.

An overwhelming arena to keep up to date with is supplementation. It’s always changing and there’s always that “new” supplement that cures everything under the sun.

It appears that most supplements may not help at all and may even cause harm. Many supplements are unregulated and can tout claims that may not have any scientific validity. 

“Americans spend nearly $37 billion annually on dietary supplements. But they are not subject to the same regulations governing the quality and safety of prescription drugs, and most lack evidence of health benefits.”


This is why you should always be skeptical and do your own research.

By definition, supplementation is something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. The best way to obtain the nutrients your body needs is from your diet. When you eat whole foods, you body usually absorbs them much more efficiently.

The problem is, most of our diets fall short of what we need to maintain a constant state of health. Also, it’s a lot easier to take a magic pill than to have a lifestyle change. Regardless of my opinions, people are going to take supplements. So you don’t waste your money, here are my top 5 supplements that have been shown to beneficial:

1. Vitamin D – Bone Strength/Immune Support

“Unfortunately, medicine took a very long time to realize that vitamin D is not simply a vitamin that prevents rickets. For that purpose, 400-600 IU/d may be enough. However, we know today that vitamin D is a powerful nuclear receptor-activating hormone of critical importance, especially to the immune system.”


2. Magnesium/Trace Minerals – The Relaxation Molecule

“There is good evidence for the use of supplemental Mg in preeclampsia/eclampsia, various cardiac arrhythmias, migraine headache, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complications, premenstrual syndrome, hyperlipidemia, and asthma. Magnesium should also be considered as an adjunct for depression, attention deficit disorder, prevention of renal calculi, prevention of cataracts, smoking cessation, and a number of other conditions as outlined above. With the alarming increase in diabetes in the general population, it would be prudent to optimize Mg intake for prevention and also for use as an adjuvant agent in the management of this common disorder. “


3. Vitamin B12 – Healthy Red Blood Cells

“Screening for B12 may be warranted in patients with one or more of these risk factors: gastric or small intestine resections, inflammatory bowel disease, use of metformin for more than four months, use of proton pump inhibitors or histamine H2 blockers for more than 12 months, vegans or strict vegetarians, and adults older than 75 years. Oral administration of high-dose vitamin B12 (1 to 2 mg daily) is as effective as intramuscular administration for correcting anemia and neurologic symptoms.”


4.  Probiotics – Gut Health/Food Allergy Prevention

“There is increasing evidence in favour of the claims of beneficial effects attributed to probiotics, including improvement of intestinal health, enhancement of the immune response, reduction of serum cholesterol, and cancer prevention. Exposure to bacteria in early life may exhibit a protective role against allergy and in this context probiotics may provide safe alternative microbial stimulation needed for the developing immune system in infants.”


5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Brain Health/Neurodegenerative Disorders

“Omega-3 fatty acids (PUFAs) exhibit neuroprotective properties and represent a potential treatment for a variety of neurodegenerative and neurological disorders.”


As a patient and consumer, you should always ask questions and do the research yourself. Since the supplement company is loosely regulated, almost anyone can throw a pill into a bottle, slap a label on it, and put it online or store shelves.

Not all supplements are a total waste of money so do your due diligence and make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

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