20 Nov Supplementation: Is it Healthy or Harmful?
More and more people are using supplements to improve their health. This is a massive move with the global supplement market expected to reach $60 billion by 2020. This is a doubling from 2010.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the most commonly reported reasons for using supplements were to “improve” or “maintain” overall health. For instance, over one-third of women use calcium for bolstering bone health.
Suggested reasons for this increase are greater health awareness, rising medical costs and the increase in chronic conditions. Geographic issues are a part of the picture, too. In the U.S., rising medical costs are a major factor. In Asia, there is a growing geriatric population and Europe is experiencing an increase in chronic disease.
Other interesting statistics show that there is increased usage based upon education; the more educated the greater the use. Also, the greater the income, the higher the use of supplements.
50% of Americans take vitamins regularly. Some of this is blind belief, for there is evidence that many vitamin supplements are not properly absorbed by the body, so the value of the supplement is reduced or lost.
Your goal should be to make sure your supplements provide the nutritional value you are paying for. This is not an easy question to answer, for all supplements are not created equal. The mere ingestion of vitamins and minerals is not enough. The body must recognize and absorb the nutrients.
One American company has developed a patented process that allows the supplements to mimic nutrients found in nature. For instance, when plants absorb nutrients from soil, the vitamins and minerals are naturally integrated into the plant. This allows your body to naturally absorb the ingredients. Without this, many ‘pills’ are not absorbed and, in fact, create a build-up of unabsorbed material in the intestinal tract.
In the final analysis, supplement usage is increasing, and everyone should consider it as food supplies are processed and altered – no longer delivering the nutrition they once did. But, make sure your supplements are working to give you the benefit you need and not just passing through your body, not being properly absorbed.
Seek supplements that are proven to be effective and body-friendly.