Monday, April 25, 2011

Am I Becoming a Vitamin Junkie?

Centrum Silver, 220-Count BottleI’ve never been one for taking vitamin supplements, except prenatal vitamins when I was pregnant and nursing, and Calcium with D in more recent years to help protect against osteoporosis. I’ve always figured supplements were a waste of money and I should just eat nutritious foods and get my vitamins the old fashioned way. I know many folks who swear by their vitamin regimen, however - extra B for stress, C to ward off colds, etc. I’ve marveled at how they can keep track of it all, especially those who take different combinations several times each day.

Turning Point

So I’ve been cruising right along for the past several years with just my calcium supplements when I remember to take them. Then at the turn of the year, I added a Mature Multi beings we had them lying around threatening to expire (we’ve been gifted a bunch of different supplements in the past few years). While in the medicine cabinet, I notice a bottle of B-6. Well, as I’d been feeling a little edgy, I decided to throw in one of those because the B vitamins are supposed to help with stress, right? Then I figured this was a good time to develop the one-baby-aspirin-per-day habit to stave off heart attack and stroke, as well.

Okay - now I’m up to 5 pills every morning. Hmm. I’ve got two calcium, one multi, one B6 and a baby aspirin. Then we go visit my aunt. Well, she’s tells me all about the two supplements she takes specifically for pain relief and I instantly write it all down because it sounds like my mother-in-law could benefit. On the way home, we stop at a health food store and buy Quercetin with Bromelain and Celery Seed. Guess what? Both bottles now live at our house - so I decided to give them a try. After all, I have some chronic aches and pains. So adding two of each, I’m now popping eight vitamins and a baby aspirin each morning with my breakfast.

Are They Doing Any Good?

The jury is still out on whether these supplements are doing me any good. For starters, how would I really know? I have noticed that my fingernails are stronger but was told by a friend that harder nails come with age. Great - just what I need is aging confirmation at my fingertips! But is it possible that I was suddenly old enough for that to be the case and it coincided exactly with the time I started taking supplements? I only ask because I’ve always had weak, brittle nails and there is a definite improvement. Can it be just a coincidence?

I don’t know that the multi-vitamin and extra B-6 are doing anything but there’s still half a bottle of each so no reason to quit those. I intend to continue both the calcium and baby aspirin, even when I have to buy more beings I’m trying to prevent future health catastrophes. So I guess the bottom line is that I’m really all about avoiding problems in the future rather than improving my health in the here and now. There is another supplement I want to add, however. A while back my dad told me about Vinpocetine, which was recommended by Dr. Oz and is supposed to help with memory and prevent stroke. The problem is, I can’t seem to remember to go buy it.

So what do you think? Are vitamins and other supplements a complete waste of money or are they akin to affordable health insurance? And at nine pills a day and contemplating a tenth, am I becoming a vitamin junkie?

PS - The image is an Amazon affiliate link because it was an easy way to get a vitamin graphic and NOT because I take Centrum Silver (I don't - at least not yet!). I just didn't think it was worth the time and effort to take and upload a picture of my very boring looking vitamins.

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