Dietary supplements are a relatively new concept in the medical field. They sprung to the scene at the turn of the 21st century, and it doesn’t seem as though we’ve ever lived without them.
In fact, before the 1970s, we didn’t ever really consider the nutrients in our food. We ate foods we knew were healthy — without worrying about calories, fat, micronutrients, or vitamin deficiencies at all.
These days, this industry is booming. We take supplements for just about everything, from enhancing our energy to our sex lives. Kids take vitamins to deliver the right amount of calcium to their bones, and women regulate their hormones by taking certain vitamins and minerals.
Find out what types of supplements are available, if you even need them, and who to turn to if you want to get the highest quality vitamins.
Supplements are a part of our daily lives — pretty much from birth on. As kids, we take chewable gummies with calcium and other nutrients. And as we grow older? We begin taking vitamins that support our immune systems and diets.
Vitamins are available for pretty much any nutrient deficiency, from iron to vitamin C. Vegetarians and vegans take supplements to ensure they get the right amount of nutrients that meat would normally provide. Women take supplements to replenish vitamins and minerals they lose during menstruation.
So, how do you know what supplements you need — and which ones you can kick to the curb?
One of the easiest ways to determine if you have a nutrient deficiency is to listen to your body. If you’re tired or fatigued a lot, you may need to replenish vitamins lost through sweat or urine.
If you’re concerned about your nutrient levels or whether you actually need that vitamin, we recommend getting an at-home lab test kit to check your levels and only take the vitamins you need.
Some of the most common supplements include:
If your body needs one extra nutrient, there’s a good chance you may need a few more, too. That’s why there are also supplement blends on the market.
Most of us can only get so many nutrients through food these days. There’s a huge list of reasons why you may need to take a supplement to replace vitamins you can’t get through food.
Some of us simply can’t eat enough kale, spinach, or broccoli to get the recommended amount of vitamins.
Others abstain from certain foods for religious or personal reasons.
Some people don’t get enough vitamins because they spend less time outdoors than our ancestors did and aren’t exposed to the sun for enough time each day.
People that exercise for long periods of time or train for endurance or sports can often lose key nutrients through sweat.
If you are predisposed to certain conditions because of your DNA or genetics, you may need to take supplements to stay healthy.
Essentially, everyone is different and every body has different needs. Finding the right blend of supplements isn’t easy — though it isn’t rocket science either. Most doctors and nutritionists will listen to your symptoms and run a few tests to determine if you need supplements and the correct dosage for each nutrient.
Some supplements have gotten a bad rap in the past few years. Before nutrient testing became so prevalent and accessible, plenty of patients self-diagnosed themselves with vitamin deficiencies and ended up taking too much of some nutrients (and not enough of others).
Supplements can be bad for you if they are taken incorrectly. To avoid taking supplement incorrectly we recommend:
We humans are attracted to certain foods because they contain vitamins our bodies can’t produce. We need to find sources of salt and fat outside of our bodies, which is why we crave salty foods that are high in fats.
Just some other nutrients that we need include:
Women can also find vitamins that support women’s health and men can find ones that support their hormones and health needs. There are also vitamin blends formulated for patients of different ages and with different dietary needs.
If you have any of the following conditions or symptoms, you may want to check with a digital clinic or online doctor to see if you should be tested for a vitamin deficiency:
We recommend always checking with a doctor before starting a supplement regimen. In some cases, you could be suffering from a more serious condition that may need medical attention.
Patients training for endurance (or are simply trying to maximize peak performance and/or general health goals) often take supplements, too.
These supplements are specially formulated to maximize blood oxygen levels, increase energy, and enhance sleep. Sometimes the difference between your best performance and just getting by can mean increasing a vitamin or nutrient.
Companies that specialize in supplements for peak performance include Asystem, Baze, and Vital Proteins.
You can order supplements through online doctors and digital clinics that specialize in nutrient deficiencies, men’s health, and women’s health.
Some of the most popular digital clinics and supplement providers include:
We also recommend ordering an at-home testing kit to find out if you actually do have a deficiency or have a predisposition to one.