February 15, 2010

Vitamins - Who Needs Them?

Every day we are bombarded with millions of pieces of information about all sorts of services and products that we are forced to sort through.  And, when it comes to vitamin supplements, there's alot of hype and claims out there, all crafted by marketing experts that are paid to know how we think and buy.  Sometimes that ends up making it really hard for the average Joe or Josephine to know who and what to believe and how to get at the truth. 

This is one reason why I never used to take vitamins.  We've all seen commercials promising this or that product as the ticket to good health.  Then, the nightly news comes on and there's reports of vitamin pills being found in sewage, completely passing through the body in tact!  Now, that explains why those products never made me FEEL better (the manufacturers bank on you telling yourself that even though you don't feel better, you ARE doing something good for yourself).  But, how do I avoid getting suckered the next time around? WHAT are we supposed to believe?!

Whether it's true or not that some vitamins pass through the body in tact, it still begs the question of how much of what we ingest is actually absorbed into our blood stream.  Even if my vitamin pill DOES dissolve, you don't have to go all the way down the pipe to the sewer...just glance before you flush.  All those nutrients that are SUPPOSED to do wonders for our bodily functions appear to have primarily created a neon light show in the toilet. 

So, for awhile I just opted out of the whole thing, thinking I'd just eat right and get proper nutrition that way.  But what I've learned is that farming just 'aint what it used to be, folks.  Modernizing our farms was a genius idea, no doubt. But, turning them into factories where animals are not allowed their natural rooting instincts, where they spend their pathetic, short existence in extremely limited INDOOR quarters, and where pesticides are standard fare, all of this has dramatically affected the quality of the food we eat. And, the environment in which we live.

The fact that our bodies are not getting what they need is showing up in our medical clinics, in our compromised immune systems, and bringing rampant virus epidemics, cancer and dozens of other ailments that our bodies used to be able to fend off.  Sounds pretty dismal, doesn't it?  I was discouraged too until I started doing my own research and asking some questions. 

Recognizing my own need for supplementation (story to follow in tomorrow's post), the first question I asked was "has this product been studied, and if so, by whom?"  It's one thing for a supplement to be studied by the company producing it, and quite another if that study was done by an independent lab

The law does not require these studies on supplements, and they are pretty expensive, so most companies don't have them done (this is partly why a particular product could be less expensive).  But, the ones that do will stand out, they will be heads and shoulders above anything else you can buy, and give you results that you can feel and see in your own lab results.

So, what are you taking for supplementation?  There are a lot of claims out there.  Has your supplement been tested?  Has someone other than the maker studied it?  Have there been any blind studies done that conclusively prove the effectiveness?  If not, you might just be wasting your money while your most valuable asset, your health, continues to go unsupported.

fighting back,
P.S.  The supplement I found, Vemma, HAS been studied and tested by an independent lab (Brunswick Laboratories), and the stats are amazing. What's more, I am living proof that Vemma indeed makes a difference! Come back tomorrow for the beginning of my own story, and we'll wrap up the week with a couple of other supplement recommendations when we're losing weight.


  1. A little bit of TMI here, but I started taking vitamin supplements last month, because I've been feeling under the weather, catching everything easily, etc. Since I started taking them, my poo has never been solid. And not in a good way.

    So I'm stopping taking them again, and if it doesn't improve, then it's not the vitamins, and I can go back on them.

    Like I said on Twitter, I'm totally psyched to see these posts, see what insight and info you have on them, 'cause I'm wondering if I really do need to be taking vitamins if I'm eating properly, or if they really work at all!

  2. @Tracy, sometimes too much magnesium can cause loose stools, check your bottle for that. What are you taking?

  3. I haven't been taking my vitamins and I know I should. I'd like to hear more about Vemma. Thanks.

  4. Great post Cheryl! I too am a fan of Vemma and recommend it because of the results I've experienced.

  5. Great story. You make excellent points about supplements not being regulated and how the nature of food production has changed our ability to get certain nutrients from our food. My advice to clients is always a quality multi vitamin and quality food. For most people that is enough. In other cases, an extra dose of C or calcium might be warranted. The goal of any supplement should be to provide you what you do need and not things you don't, like added colors or sugars. Always check out what you are taking and look for quality. Certain things effect people in different ways, so always let your dr. know what you are taking as well. You also can get too much of a good, so be mindful of how your body reacts and discuss any adverse reactions with a physician.

  6. @Ellen I'll be talking a little more about it throughout the week, so stay tuned! The important thing is to take a quality vitamin...I DO think we need them.

    @Pam I am hearing that more and more people are discovering Vemma....I know it has changed my life!

    @Pamela Thank you so much for your comment...EXCELLENT info. The optimum combination is just as you say ~ a quality multi and quality food!