I was at the gym this morning sitting on the bike as I usually do for my morning routine when a vitamin commercial popped up on the front gym TV. A well known brand that you see all over TV and stores was pushing their “new” multivitamin. Turns out, it was simply their old vitamin with mint in it. They had a really nice fancy name with beautiful people on the commercial showing them doing cool things like triathlons, surfing, and cavorting on a beach. I smiled a little because it has been well studied that this particular popular brand of vitamin is junk. It does not absorb well in the gut and does not maintain effective blood levels to cause a positive health change. Issues with this brand concerning quality control are well established in multiple independent studies. This is true of most over-the-counter (OTC) brands.
As I was walking out the door in the gym guess what I saw being handed out as samples? Yep, the same “minty vitamins.” So what is the reason for the samples? Because they taste great and provides a “hook” for people to think something that tastes good and is associated with “vitamins” may be good for you. This is simply not true. Not even a little. This is an example of the many tricks in marketing to get you to think you are doing something good for yourself. Putting mint in junk does not make it good for you.
There are very few OTC nutritional supplements you can find that have a positive effect on your overall health. There are even less, if any that have any positive effect whatsoever if taken occasionally. Supplements can be a powerful and important part of an overall nutritional support for improving your health both short and long term if directed properly by a knowledgeable health care provider. Measuring your overall antioxidant levels and checking certain vitamin serum levels are an important starting point. Finding a doctor who knows how to do that and interpret what is optimal for you is important for overall health improvement. And finally, knowing specifically what the best quality sources for supplements are is key to ensuring your antioxidant numbers actually improve and affect your overall health in a positive way. Putting lipstick on that ineffective vitamin still makes it an ineffective vitamin….but hey, at least it’s minty!
To your health!