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Vitamin Supplements
That Might Actually Be Worth Taking

Here are vitamin supplements you should take

Recently, there’s been a scientific backlash against supplements. Articles have been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reviewing the fact that most scientists don’t believe supplements are worth taking. Angry scientists have implored the public to stop wasting their money. (One could question their motives and who are their paymasters, but that's another story.)

But, of course, there are many different supplements out there. Are all of them a waste of time?

Well, it turns out that there are actually some that might not be. According to the Smithsonian Institute, there are some supplements that western people need to take, usually because of their particular diet or lifestyle. Here’s what you need to take.

Vitamin D

Back at the beginning of the 20th century, there was a flurry of discovering of different vitamins, all the way from A through C. Then, just before the second world war, scientists discovered vitamin D, a vitamin that wasn’t contained in food but was generated in the skin after exposure to sunlight.

For a while, not much changed. But then in 2008, scientist released a meta-analysis - a type of study that uses data from all studies on vitamin D - to come to the conclusion that people who took the vitamin on a daily basis lived longer and are less stressed than those who did not.

Calcium supplement and vitamin D tablets
Contrary to what some scientists would like to believe, there are vitamin supplements that
are actually worth taking, to maintain your health and strengthen your ability to fight diseases.
(Image by Wikimedia Commons)

Part of the reason for this, they argued, came down to the western lifestyle. People in western countries spend most of their time indoors and, as a result, fail to sufficiently expose themselves to sunlight. This then leads to a chronic shortage of vitamin D in the body. Even when people go outside, they often wear sunscreen, which again blocks the formation of vitamin D in the skin. Going outside without sunscreen, however, is not advisable, given the risk of skin cancer, so most pharmacists, like Sable Pharmacy, recommend people take supplements instead.

Probiotics

While not a vitamin, probiotics are another supplements that people in western countries might want to consider taking. Probiotics are different to prebiotics in the sense that prebiotics are foods that provide a good source of food for the healthy bacteria already in your stomach to thrive. Probiotics are actual bacteria that add to the population already in your stomach.

The problem right now in western countries, because of people’s diets, is that the don’t have enough “good” bacteria in their gut. Not having enough good bacteria is associated with higher body weight, reduced immunity and increased prevalence of diabetes.

A 2012 meta-analysis of more than 82 randomized, controlled trials found that supplementing with probiotics significantly reduced the chances of diarrhea. They have also been found to be effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome.

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that is probably worth taking, according to the science. Why? Well, one of the reasons is that it appears to be very effective in preventing the common cold. It turns out that the metal interferes with the action of the rhinovirus in the body, preventing it from getting a foothold.

A 2011 review backed up this claim and found that zinc, not vitamin C, is the most effective agent for preventing the common cold.

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