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.
Do you read the labels of your supplements in detail?
When buying supplements, many people just quickly skim the list of ingredients without really understanding what's actually behind them.
We admit: The list of ingredients in dietary supplements can be very hard to understand. What many consumers don't know is that supplements from some brands contain many unnecessary ingredients in addition to vitamins and minerals.
Avoid supplements with a long list of "inactive ingredients" on the label. Because some of these additives can be harmful to your health.
We explain what exactly additives are and why they are sometimes found in supplements. Learn which additives you should avoid no matter what, so you know what ingredients to look out for the next time you buy.
It doesn't matter how old you are or what life situation you are in:
Life can be quite overwhelming!
From stress at work to family obligations or financial worries, there are so many types of stressors.
We are constantly trying to give 100% at work, want to be as productive as possible, be there for our partners and family, maintain our sports routine, and on top of that support other people - all while also wanting to maintain our social contacts and see our friends regularly!
Do you love sun-kissed skin just as much as we do?
Tanned skin looks healthy and glowing. But it's probably no surprise to you that overexposure to the sun can lead to skin damage and accelerated aging, right?
Besides the well-known sun protection, such as sunscreen, head covering and sun umbrellas, you should also pay attention to your intake of vitamins and minerals. The B vitamins and many other vitamins and minerals have the fascinating ability to protect your skin from the inside out.
In this article, we'll introduce you to 5 of the best supplements for summer.
Let's dig in!