While we are surrounded by an ever increasing number of nutritional supplements and health products, we often know surprisingly little about them. In this blog post we want to take a closer look at some little known facts and misconceptions surrounding vitamins and supplements.
Have you ever wondered where the word “vitamin” comes from?
Originally word “vitamine” was coined by a Polish biochemist named Casimir Funk in 1920.
He called the substances 'vital amines'. He put the two words together making 'vitamines' and later the 'e' was taken away.
The word was derived from the Latin “vita”, meaning life, and “amine,” because vitamins were originally thought to contain amino acids.
The most popular vitamins in the western world include multivitamins, vitamin C and magnesium. Other products that are very popular include vitamin D and B, fish oil and multivitamins.
Interestingly the situation is quite different in Asia. In Vietnam and Korea Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal dietary supplements.
The most widespread nutritional deficiency worldwide is iron deficiency, which can lead to anemia.
Iron deficiency is particularly prevalent in developing nations in Africa and Asia. Common causes are poor diets and certain health conditions. Women are the largest at-risk group for iron deficiency.
Another very common nutrient deficiency is vitamin D deficiency. People in all geographical locations can be affected. While there is a lack of sunlight in higher latitudes, people in sunny countries might not get sufficient vitamin D due to cultural habits and changes in lifestyle.
In our industrialized world people around the world tend to spend more time inside air conditioned offices. Many are also avoiding sun exposure because they are afraid of skin cancer.
Taking too many supplements and vitamins can lead to unwanted side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Other side effects include hair loss or even liver damage.
As a general rule of thumb remember: Fat-soluble vitamins are more likely to cause toxicity, although water-soluble vitamins can do so as well. This is due to the fact that water-soluble are easily excreted from the body.
Our recommendation to avoid “mega-dosing”: Choose supplements carefully based on your personal requirements. Talk to your physician, always stick to the dosage on the package and don´t randomly mix various supplements and fortified foods.
Like Paracelsus famously said: “The dose makes the poison.”
This is false. There's no magic pill that can replace a healthy diet and prevent all disease.
Supplements simply can't replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
A common misconception is that vitamins are all natural and thus the same like any other food. While supplements often contain natural ingredients they can in fact interact with medications
Certain supplements may interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications. You should always share the list of supplements with your physician and pharmacist to avoid unwanted effects.
This is not true. In fact, The majority of supplements available on the market today are made artificially. That means that they are made artificially in a laboratory setting or industrial process.
When choosing supplements it is important to read the product description carefully and not blindly trust pretty images or marketing messages.
While vitamins that are sold in pharmacies and supermarkets are generally safe here in Europe, it doesn't mean that you should blindly take supplements, especially if they are bought from foreign countries. A 2018 study found that there were unapproved and even dangerous ingredients in 776 (!) dietary supplements. Most of these products were for sexual enhancement, weight loss, or muscle building.
You should always be suspicious when manufacturers make claims about miraculous effects. We recommend sticking to trusted brands and products that are approved in the EU and reading product labels carefully. Be especially careful with products from the internet.
A common misconception is that all vitamins and supplements are created equal. This is not the case. There are big differences in the quality and purity of the used ingredients, between synthetic and natural components, manufacturing standards and testing.
For example, vitamin D supplements come as either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.
Most vitamin C supplements on the market use synthetic vitamin C or ascorbic acid instead of natural vitamin C.
Finding the right information on the internet can be confusing. Even leading doctors and health experts may have very different views on certain topics related to vitamins and supplements.
If you are looking for reliable sources of information we recommend checking the official websites and recommendations of health authorities in your country and talking to medically trained professionals to determine the most appropriate product for you.
Here at AAVALABS we believe in maximum transparency. That's why we provide certifications for our products upon request. You can also find comprehensive product information on our website.
Are you getting enough sleep, zinc and vitamin C? Then this is already a big step for the health of your immune system. But in the colder months and during flu season, you should pay special attention to your defenses.
A well-functioning immune system plays an important role in the fight against flu germs. If it doesn't work properly, we are at risk of getting sick.
But what exactly does the health of our gut have to do with this?
The gut provides back-up and is strongly connected to our defenses.
Learn how exactly the gut is connected to the immune system and what you can do to strengthen your defenses, especially during this flu season.
A healthy immune system is no coincidence. Daily eating habits and general lifestyle have a direct impact on our body. They help our body to protect us from infections and toxins.
In order for our immune system to do its job properly, it needs to be constantly supplied with vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
And yet it is still inevitable that every now and then a virus or bacteria will invade our body. If an intruder has managed to get into our body, immune cells (kind of blood cells) come into action to fight it. Blood cells are a very important part of our immune system and should therefore be well supported.
But how can we support the production of blood cells? We found out for you & are going to tell you now!
Did you know that the skeleton of an adult human being consists of up to 214 bones and more than 650 muscles?
The health of our bones is extremely important - they keep us active and ensure that we remain fit as we age. Modern ways of working, such as sitting for hours, mean that our bodies are often strained. We should therefore make sure that we promote blood flow to our muscles and joints through an active lifestyle. Nutrition is also fundamental. Through a healthy dietary style, we need to provide our bones and muscles with many nutrients.
Learn from us what you can do for your muscle and bone health.