Do you wake up each morning and reach for a fix of vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements? I know I do. Right after breakfast, I pop a multi-vitamin, usually a Theragran-M into my month. Then later in the day, I take extra calcium, vitamin D with magnesium and a fish oil capsule. But is it necessary? After all, except for occasional indulgences … like french fries! or nachos!!, I eat healthy meals. And I also mix it up, eating a variety of different foods, colors, fruits and vegetables each day. So do I need the supplements too? Well as it turns out, the answer is probably yes. Many doctors think supplements are a good idea to make sure we get all the vitamins and nutrients that may be lost by the time our food reaches our plates, or that we just don't get enough of in the foods we eat.
Most doctors agree, you don't need to buy fancy vitamins. Dr. Mehmet Oz, co-author of the books, “You, The Owner 's Manual,” says it's fine to buy “straight forward, inexpensive vitamins” like those found in a drugstore. He tells readers to purchase vitamins from the big companies. The better known companies are not likely to cheat you on the amount of vitamins listed on the label. You want to be sure "the vitamins are in there" as claimed. For the amount of each vitamin recommended check here. The one area Dr. Oz differs from what is routinely recommended by the FDA and vitamin companies is the amount of vitamin D an adult needs. Dr. Oz and new studies say the standard is too low. Instead, we should get at least 1,000-1,200 IUs per day. Vitamin D should be combined with 1000 mgs of calcium, plus 500 mgs of magnesium so your body can absorb it. And if possible it's best to divide your dose of vitamins and supplements, and take them twice a day. Some doctors, including Dr. Oz, believe DHA-Omega 3 fats are good for your brain. If you don't eat salmon or sardines twice a week, the consensus is, you can take a daily DHA-Omaga 3 pill.
As Dr. Oz notes, “Most of us could get all our nutrients from our diets," but the reality is, "most of us don't” in the foods we eat. So unless you're that rare person who eats right every single day and can be sure the apple you eat today has all the nutrients it did a hundred years ago, “you're better off taking supplements just to be safe.”
And as we focus on staying healthy, America is debating a safety net of another kind: universal health care. Here's what Roger Ebert, the noted film critic who has battled cancer for several years, has to say about the proposed reforms. It's worth a read. Click here.