Vitamins have been around for nearly a hundred years. That's enough time for scientists to learn a lot about how they work. It's also plenty of time for rumors to spread. Here, Dr. Luke Bucci, a scientist with 30 years of industry experience, debunks common myths.
Myth: If your diet is healthy, you don't need vitamins
Less than 5% of Americans get everything they need from their diet. Yes, you read that right. Even the best diets aren’t perfect. Well-formulated supplements can help fill the gaps. In fact, it turns out that most of us are missing the same nutrients.
Myth: More ingredients = better multivitamin
Lots of products tout a lengthy ingredient list, thinking more stuff demands a higher price. But quality and number of ingredients don’t go hand in hand in this case. Here’s why --many nutrients commonly found in multivitamins are already plentiful in the food you eat (yep, even not-so-perfect diets) and doubling up on intake can actually do more harm than good (think kidney stones). Don’t look for a multi with lots of ingredients, look for one with the right ingredients.
Myth: Food-based ingredients are best
Food-based vitamins can come with unwanted baggage like herbicides, pesticides and heavy metals. Ensuring that food-derived vitamins are free of unwanted contaminates often involves heavy processing or added preservatives, which can majorly reduce efficacy. Your best bet are ingredients that are gently extracted and maintained. Like Ritual’s food-derived D3 and E, and fermented vegan Omega-3s.
Myth: All Iron was created equal
Big vitamin companies that sell at retail tend to opt for ingredients that are shelf stable and cheap to produce. However, these are rarely the most effective forms available. Hundreds of clinical studies tell us that there are significant differences in how certain ingredient forms perform versus others. Look for forms that are proven to work in the body, like 5MTHF for Folate and Ferrous Bisglycinate for Iron.