Vitamin and mineral supplements: Useful or a waste of money?

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Vitamin and mineral supplements: Useful or a waste of money?


Vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended in many cases. Iodized salt and Omega-3 fatty acids for several times a week, eat fish, iron and folate in pregnancy, Vitamin C and zinc as cold prevention zinc for seniors, as well as multi-vitamin supplements in the case of a generally unfavourable food composition: In all these cases, the supplementation of nutrients via the daily diet is also useful, Birgit Junghans, diploma in nutritional science expert at the German Institute for nutritional medicine and dietetics (D. I. E. T.) in Bad Aachen.

Often a lack of supply of certain mineral substances

The debate about the sense and necessity of food supplements, such as Vitamin and mineral supplements leads to an uncertainty of the consumer and of the patients whose doctor recommends such a product. There are, on the one hand, the representatives of the healthy diet, decline these products as unnecessary and money-making vehemently.

On the other hand, the people whose diet mainly consists of Fast Food, high fat food and little fresh vegetable ingredients and trying your gross Nutritional deficiencies, a variety of pills and powders to compensate for.

This polarizing view neglects that in Germany is often a lack of supply of certain mineral substances, as well as the fact that different life circumstances that hinder a sufficient intake through food, Junghans.

Feed in the Form of Vitamin or mineral preparations is often useful

In many cases, a dispenser in the Form of Vitamin or mineral preparations is useful, sometimes even essential. Overall, the supply of minerals and trace elements in recent decades, due to the increased consumption of industrially processed food in Western industrial countries is declining. Only 15 percent of the dietary energy derived from food in an unaltered Form, which have their natural mineral content. 40 percent of the food energy derived from fat and Oil, 20 percent sucrose, 10 percent alcohol and 15 percent white flour.

It is quite possible, its entire Vitamin and mineral needs through an optimal composite food to cover, Junghans, but the above Figures show that this is not always a desired destination, which is the majority of the population reached by far. A balanced diet that covers all the needs, is not easy and requires a sound Knowledge of foods and their ingredients, as well as on the quantities in which the human organism needs every day.

Increased need for at-risk groups

The Situation is compounded by the fact that a low-meat diet leads to a desired reduction of adverse saturated fatty acids, but at the same time a unwanted reduced iron absorption means. Vegetarians often have a healthier body weight, dietary fiber intake is sufficient, Vitamin C-supply well, however, the B-vitamins, zinc and iron are often lacking.

In various situations, such as pregnancy or lactation, the need for some nutrients is increased and a sufficient supply is not possible. In particular, folic acid and iron.

Likewise, older people often have an increased need for certain nutrients, but in contrast, a lack of appetite and a lower energy requirement is due to less physical activity.

Reasons for unbalanced diet in daily life

Optimal nutrition is not guaranteed in everyday life. Reasons for this may be:

  • Lack of time
  • A lack of knowledge about foodstuffs and their ingredients
  • Personal aversion to certain foods, such as fish
  • Canteen food, food in schools and kindergartens
  • In the elderly shopping and preparation opportunities, chewing problems, or by physical weakness, limited
  • In children, the preference for a few dishes, rejection of fruits and vegetables

Conclusion: a dietary Supplement useful in certain cases

The best intentions and intentions not of much use if they cannot be implemented in reality. Here, supplements can have their place and complement the gaps that arise in the daily diet. However, you are not to understand as an Alibi for reckless diet failure, warns Junghans.