Vitamin Supplementation – 5 Must Know Facts

For some, vitamin supplementation is a way of life; others feel that if they “eat healthy” there is no need to do anything further. There are, however, several important facts that everyone should be aware of when making the decision of whether to supplement their diet or not. Did you know?

1. Most vitamin pills/capsules pass through the digestive tract only partially digested.

2. Food alone does not provide all of the daily nutrition our bodies need.

3. Vitamin deficiencies are associated with many chronic diseases.

4. Vitamin supplementation plays a role in the prevention of many diseases–heart disease, prostate cancer, osteoporosis.

5. People over 50 are most at risk to suffer from vitamin deficiencies that result in chronic disease.

It’s fact! The Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Nutrition Research, Medical Science Monitor, American Journal of Epidemiology, and The Council for Responsible Nutrition Recommended Intakes of Vitamins and Essential Minerals, just to mention a few, have reported and published research supporting these findings.

Getting the Vitamins You Need

The USDA regularly monitors and evaluates the American diet. Its statistics have shown that the average adult’s diet does not provide all the essential vitamins and minerals needed to maintain health. To assure that optimum levels of nutrients are achieved, supplementation is recommended to fill these nutritional gaps. Particularly when one reflects on how fast food, skipped meals, and the lack of exercise impact our lives.

We have only one body and we have to take responsibility for its maintenance. Just as we regularly maintain our automobiles by changing the oil every 3000 miles or putting gas in its tank, we must provide the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to maintain health and “run” smoothly. When our bodies are functioning optimally, we are energized, our skin, hair, and nails mirror our health, we suffer less from colds, flus, and other maladies. Good nutrition supports and enhances the immune system, just like vaccines ward off disease by stimulating an antibody response that helps to lessen or prevent illness.


Research studies have been conducted to study whether there are any significant differences between liquid and pill forms of vitamin supplementation (Journal of Medicinal Food, Vol 2, No.3, 1998, p 207). The findings of these studies concluded that liquid supplements had definite benefits over tablet or capsule forms. As a liquid, nutrients are more bioavailable; in other words, they are more easily digested and absorbed in the intestinal tract. Pills must first dissolve before they become available to your body. It’s like swallowing an apple whole versus biting and chewing bites of the apple before swallowing. Chewing breaks down the apple into smaller pieces so it can be more easily digested or processed by your body.

Supplements taken as a liquid have the added benefit of being gentler on the stomach. Have you ever noticed that after taking a multivitamin your stomach felt upset? Some individuals have difficulty swallowing pills. For older adults and children, this can affect whether a daily supplement is taken. A liquid supplement eliminates these negatives. But more importantly, taking a liquid supplement ensures that the nutrients needed to maintain normal health, growth, and repair are actually being utilized, and are not just a number on a label.

Can Vitamins Prevent Disease?

Over 40 years of clinical research point to dietary supplementation as having a role in long term good health. While no one will claim that taking vitamins guarantees good health, indications are that people who eat healthy, who supplement their food intake to ensure adequate intake of both vitamins and minerals, and who follow a healthy life style enjoy a longer active life–they live younger and die older.

Numerous blind studies have compared people over the age of 50 who were given placebos with those who were given supplementation. These individuals were evaluated for the incidence of heart disease and stroke, Alzheimer’s and cognitive disorders, periodontal disease, and wound healing. The studies consistently showed a significant decrease in the occurrence of illness in people who were supplementing their diet (some conditions with more than a 50% decrease in occurrence). The studies also evaluated the blood of individuals with disease occurrence versus those who were disease free. In ALL cases, those with disease had a deficiency of at least one nutrient, while those who were disease free had no deficiencies (see Nutrition Research, January 2002).

In conclusion, while no one is ready to claim that vitamin supplementation will guarantee a long and healthy life; indications are that there is a favorable correlation.

Selecting the Right Nutritional Supplement

There are many options from which one can choose. You know this just from taking a walk down the vitamin aisle in your local grocery or drug store. But how do you know which one is right for you? You can take the time to compare labels, but the easiest or most obvious solution is just to select a multivitamin product. Vitamins are all the same. Right? Most manufacturers claim that their particular supplement provides 100% of an adult’s daily requirements. But wait, given what you have learned earlier in this article, you know that pills are not easily absorbed in the digestive tract. So if you choose a pill form of supplementation, just how much of the 100% of your daily requirements are you really getting? Actual absorption will vary from individual to individual, but liquid supplements are proven to be more bioavailable, so it is logical that this is where one should start. Look for a complete (liquid form) supplement that provides 100% or more of your daily requirements of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These are the ingredients you need to keep those 63 trillion cells in your body healthy and strong.

As with any health product, it is advisable to consult your physician.

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