Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN
It’s actually gotten so bad that we've decided to write a blog post on it. So, here we are.
Anyway, as a former health advisor on Life Extension’s advisor line, I can tell you that I’ve definitely heard my fair share of myths.
And sure - some of them have been funny, but many have just been flat-out disturbing.
And, of course, believing in these myths is not going to make any of us any healthier. So, let's see if we can help squash them once and for all.
Below are the top five supplement myths we'd like to see wiped from our collective awareness. Ready?
Supplement Myth 1: More = BetterSometimes people will take a large dose of a supplement in an effort to get immediate or better results. This is totally unnecessary.
In fact, in certain cases, less is more.
The bottom line is that you should take a dose that is clinically based. For example, if a study shows that 300 mcg of melatonin supports sleep, that’s all you’ll probably need.
A higher dose of a supplement won’t necessarily get you quicker or better results. For some people, a higher dose can actually produce an unwanted effect, like insomnia.
So, please stick with research-supported supplement dosages. More does not equal better.
Myth 2: Supplements Should Dissolve in Water!“If this supplement doesn’t dissolve in a glass of water; it won’t dissolve in your stomach.”
Ouch - how many times have we heard this one?
Look - your stomach acid is composed of hydrochloric acid. It’s one of the most corrosive compounds around.
When concentrated, it can even dissolve metal! That’s why many of us literally laugh when we hear this myth being repeated.
Putting a pill in a glass of water in no way simulates the conditions in your stomach. Water has a slightly neutral pH— and yes, it can dissolve substances, but not nearly as effectively as hydrochloric acid can.
Supplement companies will test their products for dissolution. This is part of the quality control process. And want to know a secret? They don’t use water for the tests!
Myth 3: Supplements Give Immediate ResultsMany people think that if a supplement doesn’t offer noticeable results in a couple of days, it simply doesn’t work at all.
This is totally false, but I get it … I’ve been guilty of this too. The truth is we all want immediate results. We live in a “fast-food world,” remember?
However, when it comes to supplements, a little bit of patience can often go a very long way.
You can typically estimate a working time-frame by looking at the related clinical research. What you’re looking for in any given study is “how long did supplement x take to produce a desired effect?”
If it took three months in the study, then that’s what you should aim for — although everybody is different and shouldn’t necessarily expect the same results.
There is no general rule of thumb for time frames, but to play it safe, always give it at least a couple of months.
Consistency and patience are what usually produce results. Sorry to break the news to you. ;-)
Myth 4: Supplements Hurt Liver and Kidney Function“If you take a lot of supplements, you’ll ruin your liver and kidney function.”
This couldn’t be any further from the truth. In actuality, many supplements will enhance kidney and liver function, not harm it.
For example, vitamins and minerals are cofactors in your liver’s natural detoxification process. And there are a number of herbs which help this process as well. Beyond that, there are even antioxidants that protect your kidneys from the toxins they filter on a daily basis.
So what actually is likely to harm your liver and kidneys? All the excess salt and sugar consumed in a typical Western diet. This will actually stress out your liver, warranting a higher intake of nutrients for the detoxification process.
Myth 5: All Supplements are Created Equal“All supplement products are the same; it doesn’t matter where you buy them.”
False! To make a good quality supplement you need three things … and not every company delivers them.
You need quality raw materials, clinically supported dosages in the product, and scrupulous manufacturing practices. Unfortunately, many companies out there cut corners and end up making low quality and/or ineffective products.
If you’re looking for a high quality supplement product, do your research. With time, you’ll notice that all companies are certainly NOT the same.
Don't buy a supplement just because the bottle on the shelf lists the ingredient name you're after. Do some digging first - it could make all the difference in the world.
What’s Your Take?Supplement myths abound, and we’ve only skimmed the surface in this post.
So, what myths about nutritional supplements drive you absolutely crazy? Please tell us in the comments!
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