When it comes to personal nutritional supplements, there’s a definite divide between those who say that supplements are beneficial, and those who say there have no benefits whatsoever. The important question is, whose opinion is the correct one?
The truth is not very tough to figure out. Scientists understand that by drying certain edibles, such as berries for example, followed by turning them into powder, it both maintains the bio-availability of their nutrients and in some cases increases the density and potency of certain compounds, such as antioxidants. This does not happen with all plants, but at least in the majority of cases, drying and powdering something to create a supplement is not going to be detrimental to its benefits.
Understanding if extracted nutrients are beneficial
All nutrients will not be beneficial to all people. It depends upon a lot of factors including an individual’s physical make up, their body chemistry, their physiological and psychological state and whether they have any nutrient imbalances or deficiencies.
It seems common for nutritional tests to be performed on groups who are seldom representative of those who may actually benefit from taking nutritional supplements. If you ran a trial of headache pills on one hundred people, and only six of them were currently suffering from a headache, then the results of the trial are hardly likely to be satisfactory or even valid. The same goes for tests for nutritional supplements – if the majority of the subjects do not have a nutritional deficiency or imbalance, then they are hardly likely to benefit from taking the supplements. The result of these trials will therefore be skewed, giving a biased opinion.
The real truth – and the only trial that is really worth undertaking – is for a person to try supplements for themselves. If you feel your health and well-being is not up to scratch, then your first port of call should be your physician. They will conduct blood and other tests to see if you are suffering from a nutritional deficiency or imbalance.
Identify the imbalances, then work to correct them
Once you’ve seen your results, you can identify areas in your diet that need improvement. You may be able to cure your deficiencies by altering your diet, but in some cases that’s not the easiest way to go about things. Sometimes the problem with your nutrient deficiency is simply that your body is not capable of absorbing enough of the nutrient you need in order to function correctly. Eating more in such a case will do more harm than good. Also, often you will not be able to find the nutrient you need locally, or you may need more of a food that’s expensive and your budget cannot justify the outlay. In all these cases, a nutritional supplement is the most convenient answer.
So, are nutritional supplements worth taking? The answer is more complex than seems needed for such a simple question. The truth is that it depends on the individual, and there is no simple ‘cure-all’ that will suit every single one of us.