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This is a common question I receive from patients. It’s also a pretty hot topic in the wellness industry with contradictory responses. Many people today are supplementing their diets with anything from a multivitamin and protein powder to antioxidant elixers. However, the answer to this question is not clear cut. Every body is unique. Plus, everybody is in a different part of his or her life experiencing any number of varying conditions. A normally healthy person going through an intensely stressful period of life for a month or more may need supplements. After the stressful period ends, the supplements may no longer be necessary. It’s something that varies per person, depending on the current condition which is always in flux.

I know. You never got an answer to the question.

Then you have studies, like the one published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology earlier this year, which concluded generally moderate- or low-quality evidence for preventive benefits (folic acid for total cardiovascular disease, folic acid and B-vitamins for stroke), no effect (multivitamins, vitamins C, D, β-carotene, calcium, and selenium), or increased risk (antioxidant mixtures and niacin [with a statin] for all-cause mortality).

The fact is that no supplement can replace quality, whole foods, sleep, and healthful living. We are past the point of giving in to false hopes of popping pills to give us the energy to “do it all.” We know that no elixir will “turn back the clock.” We have to start living a life that we love, a life that balances mind, body and spirit. Then you can unlock the vitality you desire.

Supplements can be beneficial in extenuating circumstances. They are generally recommended for pregnancy. They may also have benefits for people who are prone to certain deficiencies. These need to be addressed and monitored by a wellness professional.

If you believe you may benefit from supplements, seek professional care first. Also, focus on eating a balanced diet of lean protein, healthy fats and lots of fresh produce. You can call us at Vitality Health Center for more information and to schedule a consultation: 310.396.3635

Be well and happy.

Calliope Tsoukalas Nutrition Counselor/Health & Fitness Writer

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