Common Misconceptions About Vitamin Supplements

Vitamins are essential substances needed by the body so that cell function, growth, and development will occur normally. When the body is vitamin deficient, health problems may arise.

But contrary to common belief, vitamins are just meant to be a  supplement and never a replacement for a healthy diet. The best way to keep our body in good shape is still by consuming a variety of healthy, unprocessed foods.

There are many other common misconceptions about vitamin supplements that you should forget or, could even lead you to harm. So, we are listing and debunking them down one by one.

Vitamins are a Standalone Key to Nutritional Success

The key to good nutrition is the proper balance and sufficient levels of important nutrients. You can’t achieve this by taking vitamins alone as many people believe. Yes, vitamins can serve as supplements for some people to help meet their nutrient needs. It can also be introduced into the body at high doses easily when required. But while vitamins can be beneficial, taking a vitamin pill alone cannot fix health issues nor boost the body instantly

The best way to achieve nutritional success is by getting the right combination of healthy compounds provided by the foods we eat and a correct dose of vitamin supplements. This way, our bodily functions can easily be carried out and our health well-maintained.

High Levels of Vitamin Intake is Better

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is a scientific basis on the levels of nutrients a person needs each day. Based on a recommended nutrition system known as the Dietary Reference Intake (RDI), small but adequate amounts of needed vitamins and minerals is already enough to protect the body. Contrary to common beliefs, large doses of nutrients are never better than small amounts. As the saying goes, “everything in moderation”.

Both fat-soluble vitamins (stored in the body) and water-soluble vitamins (excreted by the body), when taken in high levels of dose for the long term, can cause harmful effects to the body.

For example, high vitamin A intake might lead to birth defects, or disorders in the skin, bones, liver, or in the central nervous system. Excessive vitamin E supplement on the other hand is linked to an increase in mortality rates. Likewise, high doses of vitamin B-6 may cause nerve damage.

Unless recommended by a medical expert, high-dose vitamin intakes must be avoided. You must consult with your doctor before taking vitamin supplements in high doses.

Vitamin Deficiency Causes Abrupt Sickness

If you are not absorbing enough vitamins or minerals, you may be low on fat-soluble vitamins(vitamins D, K, A, and E) or water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C, B1- thiamin, B-12, and folate) but that doesn’t mean you’ll acquire abrupt sickness right away.

A vitamin deficiency will surely affect your health conditions but it will take a matter of weeks or even months to occur. For example, it would take 4 to 12 weeks of no vitamin C before developing scurvy.

An occasional “cheat day” for not eating healthy foods will not harm you instantly. Just make sure that your usual diet of wide unprocessed foods is taken in most of the time. If you think you have a vitamin deficiency, you should consult with a medical expert, who will recommend running a blood test to confirm it.

Also read: How To Combat Vitamin Deficiency

Vitmain pills

Vitamins are Miracle Cures

Numerous people think that vitamins are medicines that are used to treat ailments. Contrary to this, vitamins are not miracle cures.

For instance, it is a popular belief that vitamin C helps you to keep away from catching a common cold. Worldwide researches were not able to produce strong evidence to prove this up to this date. Rather, the studies reflect that continuous vitamin C intake at high doses only eases some of the cold symptoms and its duration.

Similarly, vitamin E is often referred to as the source of the fountain of youth. Being an antioxidant, it is also widely promoted to be beneficial in preventing heart diseases. Unfortunately, no evidence suggests that taking high levels of vitamin E can reverse the effects of ageing. Large-scale studies also conclusively deny that vitamin E supplements prevent heart disease-related deaths.

Some evidence proves that megadoses of vitamin A play a small role in cancer prevention, yet equal evidence also shows that it could speed up the onset of other cancer types. Moreover, vitamin A was found out not to be effective in conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Rather, it appears to help protect the cancer-causing cells that the treatment is targeting to destroy.

So, don’t put too much hope on vitamin supplements being a miracle cure but follow a healthy diet and your doctor’s advice.

Vitamins Can Counteract Stress, Depression, and Anxiety

While it is true that omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies might lead to emotional disturbances,  it is more likely that a feeling of fatigue and pressure is due to lifestyle issues such as stress, depression, or unsafe health habits rather than vitamin deficiency.

In this case, taking a vitamin supplement will never drive stressful feelings and persistent tiredness away. In depression cases or more serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, popping a vitamin pill will not likely cure it either.

Though some vitamin supplements may help, a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and good nutrition are some of the best ways to better equip your body to cope up or combat these lifestyle issues and conditions.

Vitamin Supplements are Not Necessary

While there are common misconceptions about vitamin supplements giving our body everything it needs, there’s also one that says they’re not necessary. This is not necessarily true.

Eating a balanced diet can indeed give the body the best vitamins and minerals necessary for metabolic processes. But if eating all those healthy foods and yet you’re still deficient in some essential vitamins, nutritionists will agree that a vitamin supplement is OK.

Supplements play an essential role for some specific people like those who suffer from long-term restrictive weight-loss diets and persons with mal-absorption problems. Folic acid (vitamin B-9) supplements are also strongly advised for pregnant women or those who plan to conceive a baby to help prevent the risk of brain and spine birth defects.

Vegan people likewise can benefit from vitamin B-12 supplements to aid in nerve functions and development. Women in their post-menopausal period along with elderlies may need calcium and vitamin D supplements to regulate and maintain bone health. All of these prove that vitamin supplements are necessary for many people.

Fruits instead of vitamins

Professional advice is not needed for over-the-counter vitamin supplements

Just because over the counter supplements can be bought easily anywhere, doesn’t mean they can’t harm you.

Some supplements can readily interact with prescription medicines that might increase or decrease the potency of your medical treatments in terms of absorption, metabolism, or excretion. Wrong combinations of dietary supplements and medications could cause mild complications to serious or even life-threatening conditions.

This is why it’s important to consult a doctor along with a dietitian to provide professional advice related to your situation. Don’t forget to give a detailed list of all supplements and medications you are currently taking including the dosages and frequency of taking them.

Remember that health professionals understand your individual needs better in terms of a safe and effective supplement dose.

Who Can Help You?

For your vitamin supplements needs in Southport on the Gold Coast, Greg Keily Chemist has a large team of experienced pharmacists on hand who can give you important information on vitamins and the right advice on prescriptions. We also stock a great range of vitamins available for purchase.

Call Greg Keily Chemist today at (07) 5555 7877 or visit us in Southport for all your enquiries and needs for vitamin supplements.

You can also send your enquiry to info@gregkeilychemist.com.au