Many people in the Rochester, NY area are taking some kind of nutritional supplement. In fact, over one-third of the entire country takes at least one form of supplement each day. Since their spike in popularity in the 1950s, vitamin and supplement companies have made bold claims that they help with performance, chronic diseases, and immunity. Is there any validity to these claims or do these extra vitamins just end up in our urine? Let's talk about supplementation, medical reasons that it may be necessary, and how a typical person should be using supplements to become healthier.
There is no research showing that excess vitamin supplementation can help increase performance, super-boost immunity, or prevent chronic diseases. Any claims that suggest overloading on vitamins is beneficial simply aren’t true. There is evidence to suggest that supplementation can help those who are suffering from specific vitamin deficiencies. The body’s normal biological processes can be significantly inhibited if a person is not taking in their recommended daily intake of certain vitamins. These deficiencies can affect athletic performance, increase fatigue, and even decrease natural immunity. In some extreme cases, deficiencies can even be the cause of diseases. The most common example is a deficiency of Vitamin C causing scurvy, but there are many more.
The average person should be getting enough vitamins through their diet, but there are many situations where diet may not be enough. Supplementation in these scenarios may be very beneficial. The most common reason a person may have a deficiency is through drug-induced nutrient depletion. A side effect of certain prescription drugs can be the reduced absorption or overuse of certain vitamins in the body. Birth control pills are one of the best examples of this situation. Oral contraceptives are renowned for causing deficiencies in Vitamins B, C, and many other minerals. Besides drugs, there are also medical conditions that can limit the amount of vitamins that can be absorbed at one time. Pernicious anemia, a disease that causes less red blood cell production, is caused by an intestinal disorder that prevents the absorption of Vitamin B12.
Supplementation can also be beneficial for those who are not getting enough vitamins through their normal diet. Symptoms such as weight loss plateaus, fatigue, or even dry and itchy skin are all signs of some type of vitamin deficiency. Here at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, your Rochester chiropractor, we have a process for determining which vitamins someone is deficient in. First, we have patients use diet tracking software to keep a record of their food intake throughout the week. Next, we determine which vitamins are deficient from the diet and recommend supplements to help reach recommended daily intake. Finally, if this helps alleviate symptoms we help introduce foods rich in those vitamins to help transition off the supplements. Give us a call, ask about our nutrition program, and schedule your free consultation.