Have you been wondering if you should be taking vitamins? Or perhaps you’re concerned you’re not taking enough? Here, we debunk some of the most common myths about vitamin supplements and separate fact from fiction to help you to make informed choices for your health.
Myth 1: Supplements stop you from getting ill
No! Sadly, supplements cannot stop you from getting ill.
A common myth is that vitamin C can stop you from getting a cold. It’s a great theory but unfortunately the research just doesn’t support this. However, vitamin C is fantastic as it supports many functions in your body, including your immune system. When your immune system is working well, it is better equipped to fight off illnesses like colds.
Research has shown that vitamin C can help to reduce the length of a cold. If you have a cold, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and eating a good variety of fresh fruit and vegetables to make sure your body has all the nutrients it needs to function well and fight off your cold. If you feel like you need a helping hand to get those nutrients in, then taking a vitamin C supplement can support your body’s immune system.
Myth 2: Supplements aren’t needed if you eat a healthy diet
Sadly, no matter how healthy and balanced your diet may be, there are certain instances where you may still need to supplement your diet with vitamins. The most well known example is vitamin D – we don’t get much of this from our food, and the majority comes from our exposure to the sun. We are encouraged to take supplements during the Autumn and winter when we don’t get as much from the daylight.
For the majority of people, eating a healthy diet is the best way to get your vitamins, but for those with health issues like gut problems, chronic conditions like autoimmune diseases, and those on long-term antibiotics, food alone may not be enough. Why? Because these conditions impact how the gut absorbs the nutrients from the food you are eating. These kinds of health conditions cause inflammation in the gut which can reduce the amount of nutrients that are absorbed. Fewer nutrients being absorbed means fewer for the body to utilise.
This is where IV drips come in handy. This alternative to oral vitamins is a fast and effective way to get vitamins if you have a deficiency. IV drips are used to administer fluids and nutrients to patients via a thin catheter inserted into a vein in the arm. This means that instead of vitamins and nutrients being absorbed through the gut (where much of the benefit is lost), they are delivered directly into the bloodstream. The catheter is connected to a bag of saline solution which contains the desired mix of nutrients for your body. A medical professional will be able to tailor the contents of this solution based on your body’s requirements.
Myth 3: More is better
More is not always better. Taking over the recommended amount of vitamin supplements can be dangerous for your health. This goes for both oral supplements and IV vitamins. For instance, excessive use of vitamin A, which is often present in supplements and some foods, can result in vitamin A toxicity. Nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, bone pain, and possibly liver damage are possible symptoms. Similarly, excessive intake of vitamin C, which is commonly praised for its immune-boosting effects, can result in diarrhoea, stomach pains, and kidney stone development.
But what about IV drips? These can be very beneficial for people who are very low on nutrients or have severe deficiencies. IV drips are carried out under medical supervision by doctors who are well equipped to handle any complications if they arise.
Put your health first
Now that we have debunked the most common myths about vitamin supplements, it is time for you to assess your health and consult a medical professional if you feel like you may have a vitamin deficiency. Remember, when it comes to your wellbeing, putting your health first is not a luxury, but a necessity.