7 Vitamin Supplement Myths, Busted
The world of vitamin supplements is vast. And there’s a lot of information floating around out there about their necessity and efficacy. With thousands of different vitamin products on the market, sorting supplement facts from fiction can feel like drinking water through a firehose. But luckily, there are some hard-and-fast truths you can rely on!
Are Vitamin Supplements Even Necessary?
Let’s start with this: supplementing nutrients is a good thing. Contrary to popular belief, getting all your essential vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet is challenging. Taking a vitamin, mineral, or multivitamin supplement can help ensure that any nutritional gaps left behind by your diet are adequately filled.
What does that mean for your body? That it has everything it needs to function at its full capacity! Vitamins and minerals are central to essential bodily functions like your immune response, bone health, energy, and so much more. When you’re adequately nourished, your body has what it needs to thrive.
Common Vitamin Supplement Myths
Okay, so we know supplementing is a great tool to help optimize our health and well-being. But what about the nitty-gritty details? Like the kinds of questions that start Facebook feuds? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you wade through the muck, and determine fact from fiction. Let’s get to myth-busting.
1. MYTH: Multivitamins are all the same.
FACT: There are many factors that influence the quality and efficacy of a multivitamin; they are not all created equal. Here are a few things you can use as a litmus test while you shop:
- The “type” or “form” of the nutrients – Such as whether the vitamin is sourced directly from whole foods (like our Pure Radiance C®), from synthetic vitamin isolates, or fermented.
- The vitamin quantities – Ideally, each serving size should contain close to the recommended Daily Value (DV) of any given nutrient.
- The presence of co-factors or herbs – Cofactors are complementary nutrients that help the primary nutrient do its job (like in our Zinc Complex®), while synergistic herbs are typically included for additive health benefits. In both cases, you get more bang for your buck if these are included in your multivitamin.
- The packaging – Well-designed packaging and opaque bottles help protect the supplement's potency.
The certification badges – Ones like USDA Organic, B Corp, or even Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are all indicators of either quality ingredients or the ethics with which the multivitamin was made.
(Psst: Pure Synergy® supplements deliver on all three of these!)
2. MYTH: Vitamins are never bad for you.
FACT: This is a common misconception. When it comes to supplementing essential vitamins, you actually can have too much of a good thing. Vitamin A (in the form of retinol or retinyl palmitate), vitamin B6, and vitamin D are all ones to be mindful of. Each of these, if taken in amounts well above the recommended Daily Value, can build up in your body, causing some toxicity. So if you want to add one of these vitamins to your supplement routine, a good first step is to check in with your healthcare provider.
3. MYTH: Fat-soluble vitamin supplements (like vitamins A, D, E, and K) must be taken as an oil to be used by your body. They don’t work as a dry powder in a capsule or tablet.
FACT: This isn’t something to be too concerned about. If vitamin absorption is a top priority, you can always opt to take fat-soluble vitamins with a meal. Eating a small amount of fat can help your body absorb these vitamins as efficiently as possible.
4. MYTH: The higher the percent Daily Value in each serving size, the better.
FACT: There are a few things to be mindful of here:
- Quality, not just the sheer quantity, of the vitamin matters too. Vitamins come in different forms and purities, which hugely impact how well your body can absorb and use the nutrients. For most people, a multivitamin made with high-quality, easy-to-absorb nutrients is a great option.
- If you have a particular deficiency, a standalone supplement with a high percent Daily Value may be just the ticket. But as discussed, you can have too much of certain vitamins, so checking in with your healthcare provider is a great place to start.
5. MYTH: Vitamin supplements are meant to be taken as needed, like if you’re feeling low energy.
FACT: Actually, prevention is key! Once your body gets to the point where there are physical symptoms manifesting (like fatigue), that’s usually an indicator that there’s something lacking – be it sleep, exercise, or certain nutrients. Regularly taking a multivitamin can help build a strong health foundation and protect against nutritional depletion.
6. MYTH: If you miss a day taking your vitamin supplement, take twice as much the next day.
FACT: Don’t do this. It’s best to just keep taking the recommended serving size and not double up – even if you miss a day.
7. MYTH: Don’t take vitamin supplements if you’re on prescription medication.
FACT: Although there can be some interactions with certain medications and ingredients in a vitamin supplement, it’s not as common as you may think. In fact, there are actually certain prescriptions that can predispose you to nutrient deficiency, in which case supplementation would be necessary to maintain a solid nutritional base.
Speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to determine any known drug interactions with your current or new supplements.
At the end of the day, learning more about the supplement scene is a great first step in any wellness journey. High-quality vitamin supplements, like ones made with organic, whole-food ingredients, can be transformative in their nutritional value. And when your body has what it needs to flourish, you’re well on your way to living your healthiest, happiest life.