3

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Are supplements necessary?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 04, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I think supplements should only be used if necessary. It's possible to thrive solely on real nutritious clean organic foods. I used to buy supplements all the time and i now regret wasting all that money. Protein powders, Omega 3 fish oils, creatine, multivitamin, fiber and detox supplements and none of it made much of a difference to my health. Unless you buy expensive high quality supplements, you are wasting your money. The supplement industry is not regulated and there is a lot of cheap low quality stuff out there that is not good for your health and your wealth. Cheap stuff full of binders,fillers, excipients and additives. 80% of supplements out on supermarket shelves are useless. Opinions?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 05, 2012
at 02:15 PM

Taking supplements is a modern extension of chewable Flintstones, and has nothing to do with ancestor living. Chew some willow bark and save your money for better food.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 04, 2012
at 09:28 PM

And for future reference, I have noticed that in a lot of your questions, you inject a bunch of your own set of strong opinions (not facts), and then ask for ours. This makes it seem like you're just looking to confirm a pre-existing bias. It

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5 Answers

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 05, 2012
at 01:45 AM

not necessary. But proper diet in today's world (especially in the winter when farmers markets are gone and your stuck with limited produce at the super market) is not always possible. I've found that my iodine, copper, D, and Omega 3s are insufficient in the winter, so I supplement.

2
0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

on August 04, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Necessary for what? Adequate "good" health? Nope, except in special circumstances, namely GI issues and liver issues.

Necessary for "perfect" or "great" health? Most likely. This is due to the poor soil and conditions of animals nowadays. In addition, plant breeding and hybridization has bred some of the nutrition of plants out and increased some of the undesirable traits (undesirable for health-conscious people, desirable for the food industry.)

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on August 04, 2012
at 09:21 PM

Supplements should be just that- a supplement to an already healthy diet. They are not usually necessary and they will not make up for a poor quality diet or lifestyle, but they can be useful if you already have solid groundwork and want to optimize in some places. I used to use protein powders too (whey protein and casein protein), and when I stopped I did not suffer any declines in performance or body composition. I still take a few supplements like r-ala, coq10 ubiquinol, and tyrosine. I take D3 in the winter time and a multivitamin about about once a week. Supplements supplement.

And your reasoning that because the market is not regulated, it is filled with sub-quality items is a misconception on 3 levels. First, it is regulated- the FDA often pulls supplements from the market because ingredients have become banned. If companies continue selling supplements with banned ingredients, they will get sued.

Second, there are many different supplement markets as well- you can't just speak of "the supplement market" because consumers of supplements all have different preferences. Some want bodybuilding supplements, some want discount supplements, some want high quality amino acid supplements, some want discount amino acids, some want herbal supplements, etc. Gaia, for instance, does not directly compete with Gaspari Nutrition, even though they are both in the broadly defined "supplement market." Gaia competes more directly with things like Life Extension and Garden of LIfe. So, if you are looking for high quality herbal supplements, you're likely not browsing the aisles of CVS pharmacy or pursuing bodybuilding.com (although they have more recently begun carrying Gaia and other higher quality, longeivty/herbal sups). ANother example would be that Gaspari competes with BSN, and which ever one delivers a better product geared towards increasing workout motivation (super pump vs noxplode) that one will reap higher rewards (profits). There are untold companies you have not heard of because they've been competed out of business by their market.

Third, you act as if an unregulated market is a bad thing. I already addressed that it is intact overtly regulated by the FDA, in that you cannot sell supplements with banned ingredients. However, it is also regulated in another way- you cannot sell supplements that consumers do not trust or want. That is, you can't sell supplements that consumers will not buy, and if consumers are not buying them, then you are out of business and no longer in the industry. However, if you were regulated by the government, you could get bailed out even if you were insolvent (think US postal service, AIG, etc). That's a considerable downside of regulation. Additionally on this point, no barriers to entry (lack of entry regulations) is a good thing, as it means everyone gets a fair chance to compete, and more people can enter the market. More people entering the market means fiercer competition, which weeds out companies that do not reach consumer satisfaction (based upon whatever their goals, values, etc).

So, as you can see, "the supplement industry" broadly is overtly regulated by the FDA and directly by the consumer. It is not regulated in that there are zero barriers to entry (anyone can try their hand in the business), which ultimately means more perfect competition (as free entry is a requirement for perfect competition to exist within neoclassical and wahlrasian framework).

1
59fa7cd87fb9d669adf21e5cf3e7ada5

on August 04, 2012
at 09:20 PM

No they are not necessary for most people, hope that answers your question.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 05, 2012
at 02:15 PM

Taking supplements is a modern extension of chewable Flintstones, and has nothing to do with ancestor living. Chew some willow bark and save your money for better food.

1
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on August 04, 2012
at 09:19 PM

I stand by my supplements (not multivitamins). I eat really clean but I don't think I eat enough of certain important things like magnesium, selenium, and zinc and I certainly don't get enough D3 or K2 without supplementing. I also am hypothyroid and have PCOS so I find the supplements extremely beneficial and don't believe I would feel the same level of wellness just from my diet alone, as I can tell a noticeable difference when I don't supplement for a few days.

As for cheap quality, I don't buy my supplements at Walmart or anyplace that sells low quality stuff. I stick to brands like Now and a few others that I buy from Iherb. I don't know if I'm right but I think their turnover is pretty high so I'm not getting old crappy stuff and I can watch out for nasty fillers by reading all the ingredients.

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