A lot of people ask themselves whether or not they should take natural health supplements. They wonder if they are necessary, how much of the supplement will actually be absorbed, is it worth it to spend more money on better brands of supplements or whether these supplements could actually harm their bodies. These are all excellent questions that should be considered when thinking about taking a natural health supplement.
Some professionals in the conventional medical system would say that supplements are a waste of time and money. While professionals in the natural health community stress their importance for maintaining optimal health, if they are needed by the individual.
The Case of Vitamin D
The need to supplement with Vitamin D comes with mixed reviews. Studies show that Vitamin D could be necessary for preventing things like Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease (1). Vitamin D is also a necessary co-factor in the absorption of Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin K2.
Humans make Vitamin D in their bodies when exposed to the sun’s light. So the idea of supplementing something we cannot get from our diet seems like a good idea for people who may not get adequate exposure to sunlight because of their geographical location, or because of their work circumstances, they are not out in the sunlight enough to re-fill their body’s Vitamin D levels.
But the type of Vitamin D matters. Vitamin D3 is the preferred type to supplement with, since it raises blood levels the best (2). But, is raising blood levels of this vitamin enough, or safe? Some professionals are weary of supplementing with Vitamin D since it is known to act like a hormone in the body, and is not easily excreted (3). This can cause imbalances in the hormonal system. The thought here, is that the body should manufacture its own Vitamin D from the sun’s light, rather than getting it from a supplement, since the quality of Vitamin you would get from the sun would be superior (4).
Another thing to consider is that blood tests only show you a snap shot of what is going on in the blood at the time of the test. It does not show you how much of any given nutrient is getting into the cells of the body where it needs to be in order to be properly utilized. Also, high blood levels of a nutrient could mean that none of the supplement is getting into the cells and that it is all just circulating in the blood. So is supplementing with this nutrient a good thing, or a bad thing? The jury is still out.