• Spectrum of Life

Vitamins and Supplement - Do You Need Them All?

For many people, they self prescribe supplements on the advice of friends, advertisements, and websites or books that may or may not reliable.


In my opinion, supplements cannot substitute for a healthy diet. When the diet is inadequate, one should starts to improve food choices and eating habits first. Ideally, all of us should get all the nutrients we need for optimal health from fresh, healthy nutrient-dense foods.


However in reality, this is often difficult. Modern farming practices have resulted in soils that are lacking in nutrients. Furthermore, harvesting, transporting, extensive processing, improper storage and cooking methods, causing many of the foods that reach our tables cannot meet our nutritional needs. More often than not, due to hectic and stressful lifestyle, food choices are always limited.


For many people, they self prescribe supplements on the advice of friends, advertisements, and websites or books that may or may not reliable. Sometimes, they take supplements on the recommendation of a physician. When such advice follows a valid nutrition assessment, supplementation may be warranted. Without an assessment, the advice to take supplements may be inappropriate. A nutritional therapist can help with the decision.


Who needs supplements?

When someone has a specific condition, for example:

  • People with specific nutrient deficiencies need specific nutrient supplements. For example, an iron deficiency anemic person need to increase their intake of iron.

  • Vegetarians who eat all plant based diets (vegans) and older adults with atrophic gastritis need vitamin B12.

  • People in certain stages of the life cycle who have increased nutrient requirements need specific nutrient supplements. For example infants need iron, women of childbearing age and pregnant women need folate and iron and the elderly need vitamin B12 and D.