The world of supplements can be confusing. Have you ever gone into a store or onto a website to look for something and ended up leaving more frustrated and perplexed than before? You are not alone! The internet can lead you down a rabbit trail and into a blackhole of information searching and with so much conflicting information out there, it can be hard to separate myth from reality. Let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions and myths to find out what’s fact and what’s fiction.
Myth 1 – If I eat healthy I don’t need to use any supplements
Reality: If only this were true 100% of the time! The truth is that even for people who eat a well-balanced, nutritious whole food diet every day, they can still have nutrient gaps in their diet (think vitamin D for example). And, the majority of people in Canada do have nutrient deficiencies and are not meeting the recommended daily intakes for essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. There are MANY reasons for this including factors like health conditions, absorption issues, food choices and changing agricultural practices that impact soil quality and nutrient availability.
Myth 2 – All supplements are created equal
Reality: There is a GREAT amount of variation and differences between supplements and their manufacturers. So not all supplements are created equally! Products can vary significantly based on things like the sourcing of raw material/ingredients, processing practices, packaging, and quality assurance and testing. There is a high amount of product adulteration containing undisclosed substances not on the label.1,2 So always keep in mind what a supplement company does throughout the journey of a product from its origins as a raw ingredient through transportation, processing, and packaging to when it reaches your shopping basket as the final product. Quality, purity and testing should be top priorities of any quality product to meet and exceed industry standards. Check out Jamieson’s 360 Pure promise for more info on our quality assurance and testing.
Myth 3 – If a supplement is more expensive that means it’s better
Reality: The cost of a supplement does not reflect its quality. People often associate something that is expensive with being better but the fact is that supplements are more than just their price tag and the quality and ethics of a brand means more than cost. Look for products that ensure they follow industry and government guidelines, complete rigorous quality and purity testing and complete or hold third party testing standards. Quality is more valuable than the price tag when it comes to supplements.
Myth 4 – The more supplements I take, the healthier I’ll be
Reality: More is not always better. Taking supplements as a replacement for nutrition and proper lifestyle/self care practices will never stack up to actually putting in the time to take care of yourself. While supplements can be very beneficial and necessary for your health, they are meant to provide additional support for the body but not replace the fundamental needs for your wellbeing which are nutritious foods, physical activity, adequate sleep and mental/emotional health.
Myth 5 – Everyone needs the same amount of vitamins (per age group)
Reality: Our bodies are all unique and while we all have some basic foundational needs (macro and micronutrients), each individual will have specific needs for their body, their health conditions/goals, and for differences in biology and age. A one size fits all approach doesn’t work for the uniqueness of each of us!
So the key takeaways here are:
- Most people need to supplement at least a few nutrients daily to make up for losses or deficiencies
- Not all supplements are created equally and a focus should be on looking for quality, testing and purity of a product and it’s ingredients
- Over supplementing won’t make you healthier if you aren’t focusing on diet and lifestyle first
- Nutrient requirements change during each different stage of life, biological differences, activity levels and goals
- Government of Canada. Food Fraud. Accessed Sept 22, 2020 at: https://www.inspection.gc.ca/food-safety-for-industry/information-for-consumers/food-safety-system/food-fraud/eng/1548444446366/1548444516192
- Government of Canada Adulteration of Natural Health products. Accessed Sept 22, 2020 at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-health/medical-information/adulteration-natural-health-products.html