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Top 10 Vitamin Myths

facts and myths

Americans spend over $20 billion a year on dietary supplements, yet recent headlines cast doubt on their efficacy. There’s a lot of confusion about nutritional supplements in general, adding to the skepticism. Here we separate fact from fiction.

  • Myth #1: Vitamins make you hungry.
    Fact: No study supports this. Vitamins can give you more energy, you may become more active, burn more calories and then feel hungry. Studies actually have shown that vitamins, especially multivitamins containing chromium, appear to reduce hunger.
  • Myth #2: If I take vitamins, I don’t have to worry about diet or exercising.
    Fact: They’re called nutritional supplements for a reason – they supplement a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise. Aging, stress and other issues can make it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients from your diet. That’s why many doctors recommend a good multi.
  • Myth #3: It’s best to take vitamins on an empty stomach.
    Fact: Take all supplements as directed and that’s typically with food. Ingesting them with a meal helps absorption and gets you in the habit of taking them regularly.
  • Myth #4: Regular activity gives me enough sunshine for sufficient Vitamin D.
    Fact: Most of us spend our days indoors working or watching TV. If we do go out, we slather on sunscreen. Whether you live in sunny Florida and especially if you live in a northern climate, you may not be getting enough sunshine exposure to create Vitamin D. Yet Vitamin D is important for bone, breast, colon health and more.
  • Myth #5: Organic vitamins are better than synthetic.
    Fact: Your body cannot tell the difference. Certain organic vitamins may have naturally occurring fiber or other nutrients that synthetic does not. Usually either will suffice.
  • Myth #6: All nutritional supplements are safe.
    Fact: Google the word vitamins and see how many results appear. Some are legit, some are not. How can you tell the difference? If a company makes outrageous claims to cure a disease or lose weight while you sleep, be suspicious. Look for reputable companies that sell high quality products, are guaranteed, have a long history in the industry, and comply with FDA guidelines.
  • Myth #7: Taking vitamins affects your weight.
    Fact: Vitamins have no calories. There are no studies linking vitamins with weight gain.
  • Myth #8: Supplements don’t expire.
    Fact: Whether in capsule or tablet form, over time, even supplements kept in dark bottles will break down. Although they might not be harmful to take, they will lose some of their potency. Follow the “best used by” date.
  • Myth #9: The bathroom medicine cabinet is the best place to store vitamins.
    Fact: Supplements are best stored in a dry, cool place, so a medicine cabinet exposed to heat and moisture is probably not a good idea. Instead keep supplements in a kitchen cabinet away from the stove or sink.
  • Myth #10: You can’t overdose on vitamins.
    Fact: It is possible to consume too many supplements. Extra amounts of water soluble vitamins like B or C are excreted daily, fat-soluble vitamins including A and E get stored in fat tissues, so you’ll want to monitor your intake. Follow the recommended daily allowances and you should be in good shape.