Myths About My Body: Supplements

Question

Are there supplements I should definitely take or can I avoid them altogether with a good diet? Does that change through different ages?


Answer

This is a great question, as many people take a plethora of supplements.  I prefer that my patients get their nutrients through food if possible. Why? Healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables and whole grains, contain an abundance of nutrients. I don’t tend to recommend supplements ~ I don’t think that the magic is with individual nutrients, but rather when they work together. With that said, sometimes it is beneficial to take a supplement, i.e. if you have osteopenia – weakened bones – then calcium and vitamin D are helpful. Unless you are really mindful of how much of these you are getting through your diet, it might just be simpler to take supplements. Regardless of what you decide to do, remember that supplements are not regulated like regular medications in this country. Therefore, it is important to know the source of what you are taking so you can be sure of its quality.

 

bethricanati

Beth Ricanati, M.D.

Beth Ricanati, MD is the Science & Medicine Editor of The Thirlby. Her debut book, Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs chronicles her journey of a thousand challahs and one woman’s quest for wellness and peace. This physician-mother has built her career around bringing wellness into women’s everyday lives, especially busy moms juggling life and children.  She has practiced at the NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, and now at the Venice Family Clinic. In addition, her writings have appeared in peer-reviewed medical journals and many lifestyle blogs. Ricanati lives in the Los Angeles area with her family and one challah-loving dog.