Unless. Unless you don't have healthy habits. If you continue to drive through fast food chains, mentally beat yourself up, sit on a couch watching tv or playing your phone for hours on end, you might need a supplement daily. If you are overweight, you may need to supplement to aid in energy, detox and organ support while you make changes, however, it should not be a lifelong dietary supplement. If you gain weight without it, there are other factors to look at and adjust in your life.
I may get flack from this, but in my opinion, you do not even need a multivitamin/mineral, omega 3 or probiotic everyday. You should consume foods that provide these in your diet each day. What are you eating if it doesn't have minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and healthy bugs? All of these products that people take to stay thin are plastered all over facebook and other social media daily. I realize it has helped people kick start their journey to health, and that, I feel is fantastic. I do not believe that they should be consuming these products once the weight is achieved. I have many people that I love and respect in my life that sell these different products. I do not mean to offend them, because they have found such amazing changes that they have become a passionate advocate for these companies. However, I think it is ridiculous to take a fat blocker or fat fighter with you to restaurants. If you are going to eat that lasagna and chocolate cake, do it, enjoy it, but realize doing that everyday would not be a healthy option. Taking a fat blocker does not make it any better, in fact you missed out on possibly healthy fats for your brain, heart and skin and with those healthy fats missed out on fat-soluble vitamins necessary for keeping your cells youthful, your eyes healthy and your immune system boosted.
But, to answer the original questions, take what is necessary to help you restore your health. At the same time, however, you should be creating better eating, moving, resting, and thinking habits. For instance, someone with digestive issues, may need to take enzymes, bile salts, pre and pro biotics, and some herbs to help restore the lining of their digestive tracts. At the same time, they should be tested for food sensitivities that are creating inflammation in the tract, learning healthy cooking and snacking options, begin a regular exercise routine (even if it is just walking around the block every morning and night), getting to bed at a regular time and giving gratitude for the body that has allowed them to live. However, once inflammatory foods are out of the diet, and the intestines have been restored, those supplements would not be necessary any longer. Instead, they would now be eating a variety of fermented foods for the probiotics, and a large variety of vegetables, fruits, oils, sprouted nuts, seeds and beans, herbs and spices to provide energy giving vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
What to take really needs to be looked at in conjunction with your current state of health, your lifestyle and your end goals. How much to take would also be connected with the above statement, however, there are times when megadosing is beneficial and safe. This, too, would be in very short term. An example would be with viral infections. You may want to take extra vitamin A because this aids in fighting off infections. (Disclaimer: Anyone interested in doing this should do their homework and talk to a knowledgeable health care professional. For example, too much vitamin A for extended time, or in pregnancy, can cause toxicity problems.)
What kind to take is a great question. If you find it at Walmart or Walgreens most likely you do not want it. In this case quality over quantity is very important. Quality, often comes with a price. Because supplements are not regulated by the FDA, they are not equal across the board. The rule is that what is on the label, must be within the bottle. That means that the 2.000IU of vitamin D you thought you were taking in each pill, is not necessarily in each pill. Also, the cheaper they are the more often they are filled with toxic fillers and chemicals, including artificial sweeteners. There are a few brands out there that are good, however, I believe the best brands are pharmaceutical grade and often only sold by health care professionals. When it is pharmaceutical grade, the amount that is supposed to be in each pill, is in there and they will actually breakdown in the digestive tract. We have viewed many x-rays with whole pills stuck in the intestines. Not a pretty picture.
And how long should they be taken? Until you don't need them anymore. There may be times in your life of higher stress or traveling in which you don't have access to the best food or water. In these times, you may want to supplement with a multivitamin, probiotic, omega 3 and green foods. In the best case scenario, as soon as the high stress has passed or you return home to a more familiar routine, you will wean off the supplements as you restore order to the body.
The human body is amazing. It will work hard to keep you alive even when trash is being dumped into it. At some point though it will begin to breakdown. Supplements can help, but instead of going down that expensive road, why not begin to make small changes today. Add in new foods or habits each month and by the end of the year you may feel better than ever and still have some money left in your pocket.
In Vibrant Health,