Many people do not like to take pills regularly, and I don’t blame them. It feels artificial, which violates the “caveman principle” we have talked about.
Yet, is true that food quality is compromised by processing, trucking, and storing. At least vitamins and minerals can provide some insurance against inadequacies of food. After all, very few of us are eating directly off the ground. Even if we did, the soil is largely depleted. At least this is true in developed countries whose people eat primarily out of grocery stores.
It is rare for vitamins to have noticeable symptom relief. They should not be used therapeutically, in my opinion. One exception to this might be antioxidants for macular degeneration http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/lutein?sso=y]. Another might be magnesium citrate (not oxide) for menstrual cramps and constipation [https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/]. Zinc and copper sometimes help prostatic hypertrophy [http://www.naturalnews.com/025265_zinc_Prostate_testosterone.html]. Folic acid http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/117/14/1772.full] and CoQ10 [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1552-4604.1990.tb01862.x/abstract] have research validating benefit in coronary artery disease. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to have a lot of benefits for cardiac and immune systems [http://advances.nutrition.org/content/3/1/1.abstract], so that general recommendation does seem to make sense as well.Having mentioned these exceptions, it is still true that there will not be major benefits measured in days or even weeks.
So what is a recommendation for general health? Simply taking a multi-vitamin probably offers enough insurance against declining food sources.
The supplement industry, partially because of lack of FDA authority to regulate it, has adopted many of the marketing techniques of big Pharma. Promises of wonderful health and happiness are greatly exaggerated. So buyer beward.
Of course, there are strong controversies on this topic. I know there are a lot of opinions about this. I welcome the discussion.
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