Are Vitamins a waste of money? I’ve had this discussion a few times with people. When they see vitamins at my house or in my car or whatever.
HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND ON VITAMINS Vs BEER / TAKE OUT FOOD
First point I’ll make is that I’ve NEVER heard anyone say vitamins are bad for you***. My only real point of opposition that I face is people saying “It’s a waste of money” or “You should be getting all the nutrients you need from a balanced diet”. Damn right, I SHOULD get all the vitamins I need from a balanced diet, but I have neither the time or the money to actually have a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients I need to kick ass.
Next point I’ll make is that more often than not that person telling me I’m wasting money on vitamins have no problems in spending $150 down the pub on beers that cost $12 each (when a $7 basic beer would suffice) thereby making any spend I make on vitamins seem irrelevant by comparison. Oh yeah, don’t get me started on how much some of these people spend on drug usage. They could be paying off a mortgage with that much money. Yet they heckle me about my $5-$10 a month vitamin habit.
Like most adults I do my own shopping. By buying vitamins when they are on sale I find I’m getting mine for $5-$10 a jar for standard-issue vitamins. I honestly believe they do help. I find myself getting sick less than others, and I think I look younger and healthier than most of my similarly aged friends.
THE FIRST STEP
If you’re thinking about taking that first step into taking some vitamins or supplements but have no idea what you’re doing I’d suggest either a Men’s multi (if you’re a man) or a Woman’s multi (if you’re a woman). Keep it simple. You won’t get miraculous results overnight but things will start improving even if you don’t notice it. Most humans however have deficiencies in either Vitamin C, Magnesium or Vitamin B3 so if you cover your bets and use those three, many niggling health issues would be solved.
***I should preface that point by saying you can overdose on vitamins and get at least mildy ill. if you take reasonable notice of the dosage on the packet you should have no issues unless you have some freak allergy.
Again, I’m not here to preach to you, but when you ask yourself “Are Vitamins a waste of money?” Think to yourself, “What am I REALLY wasting money on anyway? Chances are it’s destroying your health as well. Even if all the vitamins do is stop you wasting money on alcohol, tobacco, drugs or fast food there’s an instant health benefit there!
VITAMINS AND WHAT THEY DO
I’ve listed some of the more common vitamins and a brief outline of what they do for you. Obviously its not comprehensive by any means but its a starting point. If you have any underlying health issues or even if you’re not sure consult a doctor before starting a regieme, but make sure you stick to the dosages!
Good for eye health and can prevent macular degeneration
improves skin and hair
“Could” help with Cancer development (retinoid can block growth of cancer cells)
Can lower excessive cholesterol
Helps bones and teeth (increased presence of vitamin A is linked to lower instances of osteoporosis)
Can help during pregnancy (consult a doctor with this one)
Promotes tissue repair (especially in wounds)
Supports Muscle growth (especially in children and the elderly)
Slows down signs of gains (especially in skin)
B12 is needed for red blood cell production, body tissue repair and is vital for the function of the central nervous system. If you don’t get enough of it you can develop condition such as Anaemia (lack of red blood cells), Neuropathy (nerve damage), Neurological disorders.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin. Unfortunately the human body can’t produce or store it. Vitamin C produces antioxidants which provide a natural immunity boost by fighting off free radicals. Vitamin C has an impressive list of benefits which include:
lowering blood pressure and risk of heart disease.
Reducing Uric Acid levels thereby reducing gout risk.
Helps prevent iron deficiency
Boosts immunity (as mentioned before)
Aids memory function
Vitamin C has an impressive list of benefits, if you choose one vitamin to take this would be the one. Cheap easy and if you buy the right ones its even quite tasty.
Can be Caused by Lack of sunlight (Not generally an issue in Australia unless you get NO sun or are old or of darker skin colour). Lack of Vitamin D can cause a decrease in bone density, depressed mental state, loss of libido and insomnia.
Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in your body and your body can’t work properly without it. 50% of men and women don’t get enough of it. Magnesium would be naturally found in nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables. Humans need 320-400 mg a day of this for men and women respectively. Magnesium deficiencies can see the onset of Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimers and Heart Disease.
SHOULD YOU TAKE VITAMINS?
Some articles I’ve seen are more negative on the subject some are neutral and some are positive. It’s hard to get a definitive answer. THis is a slightly more negative article I found but still said “you can get everything you need from a balanced diet”. Are you getting a balanced diet? you have to look at this realistically. I eat pretty decently but not what I would call balanced. I’d need to triple both the time I spend and the money I spend to achieve this. Article from the Sydney Morning Herald
In short, i think there would be very few people in the middle class or lower who truely have a healthy diet either here in Australia or in the United States (Where most of our traffic comes from). In most cases you could start up a regiment of vitamins for less than the price of a quarter pounder / or a couple of take out coffees per week. Even if it doesn’t work wonders for you