Do supplements work?
As you know, here at MND I take a pretty hard line on supplements – personally, I believe that unless you are an extreme athlete, or suffering from ill health and need to repair, or living in/through particularly hard times or a tough environment, then I don’t think supplements are needed for MOST people. I believe that if you are healthy, and eating a balanced healthy diet, following the 12 Core Principles of MotherNaturesDiet then really supplements should not be necessary.
Supplements companies quote a lot of very ‘borderline’ research in their marketing materials, and they often use very ‘suggestive language’ and desirable images to convince you to buy the products.
This chart shows a large number of popular supplements that are available, plotted in rank of how much real scientific evidence there is to support their effectiveness. (This graphic is not from me here at MND, full credit to the source, with thanks.)
Supplements ‘have a place’ in helping people heal from ill health, or in helping athletes perform at the highest level (in terms of replacing minerals lost in extreme training, mostly), but for most people, I think supplements are a waste of money.
I think a good clean diet high in top-quality organic whole foods, gives you all you need.
A few supplements are worth having. For example, many of us do NOT live near the sea and do not get enough fresh fish in our diet (me included!) so a daily cod liver oil supplement makes good sense. And while I think I personally eat a great diet rich in anti-oxidants (I estimate I eat 10 to 12 portions of fruit and veg per day, mostly veg), for most people there is a strong case for including more anti-oxidants in your diet.
Still, in my opinion, most supplements are ‘expensive urine’ – the body does not metabolise the nutrients the same in supplement form as it does in whole foods, and for many/most people, half the supplements ends up down the toilet within a few hours.
Previous posts about supplements that you may like to see: