If you followed every bit of nutritional advice going, then you would do nothing but eat. Your life would be spent consuming a wide variety of food, not to mention the contradictions you’d have to overcome. If you extended that to supplements, the latest fad exercise regimes – well, it’s safe to say you wouldn’t have a lot of time to do much else.
Whether you’re just trying to improve your health outlook in general or have a specific chronic illness you wish to tackle, then it’s easy to find yourself falling down a wormhole of information. Before you charge off to follow the latest new advice fad you found, it’s worth applying the same stringent procedure to anything you’re tempted to try. The quest for health does not mean making risky decisions in the pursuit of improvement – so here are the questions you need to answer about anything you may wish to try.
Have I Checked The Ingredients?
If you can’t find the ingredients on the packaging, then there’s your first warning that that product might not be for you.
If you can check ingredients, then you have to read them thoroughly – and understand every one of them. If you take a supplement without the right checks in place, then – as we’ll cover shortly – the consequences could be dire.
Even without terrible consequences, you still have to know what’s going into your body. So grab a magnifying glass, read the small print and make sure everything contained in a supplement is something you are comfortable taking. Don’t think because something is ‘natural’ it gets an automatic pass.
Am I Sure I’m Not Taking Something Similar?
This is why you have to be careful and check through the ingredients, asking for a doctor’s advice where necessary.
If you’re taking a standard multivitamin, then it probably contains an amount of rock calcium. That’s great; calcium is fantastic for your body and you should definitely supplement it. However, if you then decide to add in into your routine a product like AlgaeCal then you could find yourself taking too much calcium. That’s hypercalcemia – and it’s going to cause more health problems than it fixes.
This is why, in general, multivitamins are not the best option to meet your supplemental needs. They have a catch-all approach and don’t tend to contain the best sources for each substance as they are mass-produced. Better to find individual sources for the vitamins and minerals you know you need than applying a scatter-gun approach.
Is This Peer-Reviewed?
Peer review is an important part of the scientific process. If a researcher makes a discovery, they can’t just announce that and expect everyone to just go along with it. They turn it out to peer review, where experts can assess the benefits they claim they have found.
If a supplement, exercise regime or even a specific diet has not been peer reviewed, then be very cautious indeed. Anyone can set themselves up as an expert, so the key is not to take one person’s advice – make sure it’s shared by the scientific community as a whole.