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.
Does this sound familiar to you: Gastroscopies, colonoscopies, lactose intolerance tests, stool tests, blood work and allergy tests?
And no concrete result could be found in any test?
Then perhaps you also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
There are many causes of irritable bowel syndrome and many different treatments to cure it.
Learn in this article which vitamins, minerals and other supplements can help you to get your irritable bowel under control.
Hand on heart: How many hours do you sleep every night?
Less than 7 hours?! Then you should read on now!
Because sleep is extremely important for your health. About seven to eight hours of sleep is optimal so that our body can really recover from everyday life, renew its cells and strengthen your defenses.
However, there are many people in the world who suffer from sleep disorders. Falling asleep quickly and sleeping through the night is a real struggle for them.
According to studies, there are even more and more people with sleep problems nowadays.
Learn what you can do to improve your sleep quality in this article.
Does this situation sound familiar to you: One night you're eating fast food with your friends and the next morning you have several blemishes on your face. As tasty as the burgers and fries were, sometimes unhealthy eating leaves unsightly marks on the skin.
Why is that? All the nutrients we consume reach the skin via the blood.
But food doesn't always have to cause blemishes. There are also foods that are good for your skin.
We tell you which vitamins, minerals and fats are particularly good for the skin and can even positively influence your skin appearance.