Peoria, Ill. (HOI) — With catchy ads, you might want to take an extra vitamin or two. Local health experts say at times, it can be misleading.
“Direct to consumer advertising for vitamins, supplements, nutraceuticals has led to a significant rise, and it’s a billion dollar industry”, said Dr. Michele Couri.
Dr. Couri says women ask her every day about supplements, and she’s glad they do, because she advises anyone talk to their doctor before they commit to them. She also suggests they look at their dinner plate first.
“I would love to see you get all of your vitamins, all of your minerals and all of your antioxidants from your diet. That’s what how nature intended us to get those”, said Dr. Couri.
But what if you can’t? Registered Dietitian Kaela Ketcham says that’s when supplements do come into play, commonly helpful for vegetarians, vegans, and pregnant women.
“Supplements don’t contain fiber, they don’t contain supplements… so remember when you’re eating food you’re not just getting vitamins and minerals you need, you’re also getting things that benefit your body, too”, said Ketcham.
But in other cases, how do you know you’re deficient in a certain vitamin?
“A lot of it is sitting down, taking a very detailed history, doing a physical exam to make sure there aren’t physical signs or symptoms of vitamin deficiency, and then lab work that’s appropriate”, said Dr. Couri.
If you take them without a deficiency, these health professionals say you’re likely wasting your money and it could interact with other prescriptions if not properly recommended through a doctor.
“Often times we do just urinate what we don’t need out, so essentially we’re just wasting our money. Calcium and iron, if you take those together they cancel each other out”, said Ketcham.
Both experts say the best way to save you money is to talk with a physician before splurging on the latest health supple, but also search for reputable brands because these products are not regulated by the FDA.