Healthy Lifestyle Is More Important Than Supplements

Since dietary supplements rose to popularity there is something of a belief that we can eat what we like, and then just top up our nutrient levels with vitamin and mineral pills. It’s a nice thought and it would be great if it worked. But new research suggests that taking a dietary supplement might leave us overconfident in our level of health to the point where we think we can get away with eating unhealthily.

The research team, from several Taiwanese universities, concluded that many people who take daily supplements often consider themselves invulnerable to health problems. The team looked at the relationship between frequent use of dietary supplements and the behaviours associated with it.

According to the researchers, around half the population takes dietary supplements on a regular basis. A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 50% of Americans take at least one supplement per day. The most commonly used supplement is a multivitamin multi-mineral health aid.

Based on the results of their new study, the researchers found that participants who thought they were taking dietary supplements acted as though they did not have to worry about other wellbeing concerns. In one experiment, for example, volunteers who believed they were taking supplements preferred a buffet over an organic meal. Those who weren’t taking the supplement more frequently chose the organic meal.

In a second experiment, those who were told they were taking a supplement walked less than those in the control group. Indeed it seems the across the board, if you believe that your supplement is ensuring you good health you tend to indulge more and therefore pay the price.

It’s well known that nutrients are best absorbed through food rather than taken in the form of a pill. Being healthy takes more than just topping up your nutritional requirements with supplements and a healthy lifestyle will always be more important.

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