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Are Supplements Recommended?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
19 replies 1.9K views
CottaCotta Forumite
3.7K posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
Hi All,

Are supplements recommended to help improve health? I have been thinking about Niacin and Vitamin C supplements but having read up on these there are obviously both pros and cons, does anyone here have any recommendations?

Thanks in advance.


  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
    6.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic
    Vitamin D in winter is recommended by Public Health England
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • A.Penny.SavedA.Penny.Saved Forumite
    1.8K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Do not only supplement with certain individual vitamins, particularly vit b's. Doing so causes imbalances because many vitamins depend upon other nutrients. This becomes more of a problem because vitamins tend to contain much higher amounts than food which has a much bigger impact.

    TBH vitamins & minerals is a very small part of health. Getting it wrong can cause more problems than not supplementing at all IMO.
  • MurphybearMurphybear Forumite
    5.7K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    The following may help. It is from the BBC programme "Trust me, I'm a Doctor".

    "A study by the Food Standards Agency recently showed that the average Briton gets all their recommended daily allowance of every dietary vitamin from their normal food and drink. And if you already have enough of each vitamin in your body, and taking supplement vitamin pills cannot give you a ‘boost’ or give you any health benefit.

    There are a few important cases where vitamin supplements can be useful, though: growing children between 6 months and 4 years old should take vitamins A, C & D. Very strict vegetarians may need supplementary vitamin B12, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also consider supplements – especially vitamin D and folic acid.

    Vitamin D is rare in our diet, and is formed in the body when we are exposed to sunlight, and in the UK many of us are not getting enough so the elderly and housebound should consider it as well as young children and those pregnant and breastfeeding.

    If you are considering taking supplements, then do talk to your doctor for advice – because you could otherwise just be wasting your money."
  • trailingspousetrailingspouse Forumite
    3.9K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    If you have a specific deficiency (as diagnosed by a doctor) then supplements may help. But beware - if, for example, you take extra iron, it could mask anaemia in blood tests, which could mean that potentially life-threatening illnesses would be missed.

    The best bet for all round health is to eat a sensible quantity of healthy food across a broad range of food groups. But it's worrying how few people actually manage to do this.
  • edited 11 November 2018 at 8:23AM
    mal4macmal4mac Forumite
    126 posts
    edited 11 November 2018 at 8:23AM
    I'm reading "How to Eat Better" by James Wong, which is wonderful on plant nutrition. He discusses the Public Health England report. He points out that the (money saving!) basic button mushroom is one of the healthiest kinds of mushroom, and just three of them can provide the full recommended daily intake of Vitamin D. To get this from other sources you would need to eat 10 eggs, or a can of tuna, or a kilo of turkey breast!

    BUT mushrooms have zero vitamin D to start with, you need to stick them on the windowsill, preferably gills up, for an hour or two, anytime between 10am and 3pm - even gloomy light will do.
  • MikeMichaelMikeMichael Forumite
    14 posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Vitamin c is having advantaged as well as disadvantages.
    • Heart diseases
    • Cancer
    • High blood pressure
    • Eye diseases
    • Improve memory
    • Improve immune system
    Here are some disadvantages.
    • Nausea
    • Headaches
    • Diarrhea
    • stomach cramps
    • blood sugar

    Do not use any vitamins without doctor’s instruction.
    If you are utilize Vitamins C then you just have to consume Vitamins c rich food such as Kakadu Plums, Rose Hips, Guavas, Blackcurrants, Mustard Spinach, Broccoli and Strawberries, Bell Peppers, Oranges, Blueberries
    By adding these things in your diet you might be able to reduce Vitamins Deficiency.
  • gabardine_angusgabardine_angus Forumite
    14 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I do find omega fish oils help, but I don't eat fish, so if you usually do you probably wouldn't need them
  • Man, I used to be so addicted to supplement. Used to religiously swallow like a handful and then add in superfoods to my smoothies as well.
    To be honest, I don't think they did much...apart from making me feel better about myself for taking care of my body. The whole practice stopped once I had a baby because I barely had any time to look after myself. And to be honest? I don't feel much different.
    The only things that I take these days (when I remember) is probiotics and fish oil. The latter I don't bother with when I'm remembering to eat oily fish.
    This is just my experience, though, as a 30-something without health problems. For my dad, on the other hand, he swears by Lutein for eyes and prostate health supplements - says without them, he ends up going to the bathroom several times a night! So I guess it's different based on who you are and what supplements you take...
  • Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle Forumite
    844 posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper
    If you have a specific deficiency (as diagnosed by a doctor) then supplements may help. But beware - if, for example, you take extra iron, it could mask anaemia in blood tests, which could mean that potentially life-threatening illnesses would be missed.

    This is precisely why one should tell their dr everything they are taking at the time of blood tests, including supplements or any natural/herbal things.

    I personally take a handful of different supplements daily, because I know that my levels are low (in the normal range, but not by much) and some because I had a hunch they might help and saw a definite difference when taking them, and again when I ran out. There have been others I've tried, seen no benefit, so stopped. But none of this was done without research - and not research from wellness/green blogs, but from reliable sources - or without caution. If I were well enough to make sure I had a great diet I'd much rather do that, but most days I barely have the energy to eat let alone cook, so for me supplements are better than nothing.
  • amandacatamandacat Forumite
    214 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts
    The only supplement I take is turmeric capsules. Since getting in my 40s I’ve gone from having no allergies to having hayfever and a dust allergy! Taking these has really helped, in the spring and summer if I forgot to take them I’m sniffling all day.
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