Pill Poppers Anonymous

I know you’re out there…all you pill poppers who love to take endless amounts of vitamins and minerals…but the question is are they all necessary? A couple of weeks ago we talked about omega 3 supplementation and I promised you a post on multivitamins, so here it is. Plus this also gives me the chance to tackle a reader’s question on protein powder.

Vitamin and mineral supplementation – is it necessary? Long story short: no! I guess you want more information, well, as long as you’re following Canada’s Food Guide most healthy people can meet their vitamin and mineral needs through food. Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot replace the benefits of healthy food or provide nutrients such as fibre, carbohydrates, essential fats and protein. However, there will be a time in your life when vitamin supplementation can lend a hand:

i) Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need a daily multivitamin with folic acid

ii) Men and women over 50 need a daily vitamin D supplement of at least 400 IU

Just so you are up-to-date with current research:

i) Recent studies have shown that some vitamins and minerals taken in higher doses can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. For example vitamin D and osteoporosis

ii) While other studies show taking folic acid, and vitamin E at high doses can cause harm

A couple of weeks ago, a reader asked which protein powder I would recommend in morning smoothies. Well, using the same logic as the vitamin and mineral supplementation debate I recommend getting protein from food sources rather than from a powder. So, for this example if you are making smoothies try using Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt. Greek yogurt contains 13g of protein while regular yogurt contains only 4g. But to answer your question, there is no research out there to recommend one type of protein powder over another, so I’m sure there is nothing wrong with the one you are using.

Take home message: Eat healthy and you wont have to take a multivitamin unless you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or over 50. Don’t forget about your omegas!

Image courtesy of TheKarenD