Americans love their vitamins. About half of us take some form of multivitamin or supplement every day, according to industry experts.
But there is a right way and a wrong way to take supplements – and your health may depend on knowing the difference, according to top doctors and nutritionists interviewed by Newsmax Health.
“In an ideal world where everyone eats a healthy and balanced diet, supplements would not be needed,” notes Walter Gaman, M.D., physician and author of “Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health.”
“But we do not live in such a world and at any age, taking vitamins as an insurance policy can be very helpful.”
Dr. Gaman points out that supplements can potentially not only keep us healthier, but help us live longer, look better and give us more energy. But he warns that supplements are not benign – some can even be toxic if used incorrectly.
Here are common mistakes people make when trying to improve their health with supplements:
Not reading labels. Skip Lenz, a compound pharmacist California, says that the vast majority of people do not read supplement labels and end up taking supplements incorrectly. The most common result is digestive disorders. “If the label says to take the pills with food, do so,” he notes. “Drink lots of water to help release the nutrients into the blood stream.” Also, be sure you’re taking the supplement as indicated for maximum benefit. For example, B12 vitamins are better absorbed sublingually, dissolving under the tongue, rather than swallowed.
Storing the supplements in the refrigerator. The high humidity of most refrigerators changes the potency and chemical structure, says Lenz, causing supplements to quickly go bad. “The B vitamins in particular begin to discolor and smell,” he notes. The best place to store vitamins and minerals is in a dark, cool, dry place. Bedroom closets can be ideal. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are not good choices because they are often hot and steamy. Also, keep the cotton inside the bottle. It helps keep moisture at bay.
Ignoring expiration dates. Julian Whitaker, M.D., founder of the renowned Whitaker Wellness Institute in Newport Beach, Calif., notes that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements and therefore does not require manufacturers to print expiration dates. Without them, however, there is no guarantee of freshness and potency. Reputable and trusted manufacturers list expiration dates on their labels anyway. Throw away those ancient supplement bottles!
source: news max health