Supplements: Do I really need them?

SUPPLEMENTS! Let’s talk about supplements. 

Everyone seems to be on one or sometimes more… especially a multivitamin. But do you really need to be taking them?

I get more and more questions about which vitamins to take? Which new supplement on the market is the best? What about a “tailored” supplement?

How do I know if I need a supplement?

Many companies today are marketing “specifically tailored” supplements to meet your needs. 

I want to first address the fact that, unless you provide them with a blood sample or your most recent lab results, then you aren’t going to get an accurate assessment. 

Blood work is the only thing that is going to determine if you are deficient in anything. Also, a lot of times, we assume we are more deficient in particular vitamins and minerals than we really are. 

You likely are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals if you are eating a standard diet. It is hard to become deficient in particular vitamins unless you have an underlying disease or have difficulty accessing a wide range of foods.

Some things that may cause deficiencies include:

  • Anemia 
  • Thyroid imbalances
  • Winter months 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Bone disorders

However, it takes time usually for deficiencies to pop up. And you’ll likely experience other symptoms if you are deficient in something. Sometimes we don’t! But that is why it’s important to check our blood levels each year.

But, isn’t more better than less?

Not necessarily. Anything you take in excess, besides Vitamins A, D, E, and K, will be flushed right through your system and into your urine. 

Sometimes taking all these extra vitamins and minerals is just extra work on our kidneys. The same goes for any protein supplements that are not necessary. We typically only absorb 25-30 grams of protein in a sitting so anything extra is just putting your kidneys through more work.

That’s a lot of money to be spending just to pee it out! 

What if I am deficient in something according to my lab tests?

Then you likely ONLY need to supplement that particular vitamin, which will be must more cost effective and “tailored” to your needs. 

When all of these new vitamin and supplement companies make us feel like we are deficient in our most basic vitamins and minerals, we buy their products. 

You can identify your needs very simply at your next physical with routine blood work. If there is anything specific you feel is lacking, then ask your doctor to check! 

This will save you tons of money on supplement subscription services! 

If you have any questions about a specific vitamin, please message me or comment below! I’m happy to help!

hi there, i’m michelle

welcome to my little home on the internet! I'm a Registered Dietitian and am here to share with you evidenced based and realistic ways to better your health for the long haul. Here you'll learn ways to eat that are both practical and sustainable. Enjoy!

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Current Location

New Hampshire

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