I used to eat my vitamin gummies everyday and now I stopped.
A little background first—in the U.S, there is inadequate intake of Vitamin D and B12. This means that most adults ARE NOT GETTING ENOUGH of these vitamins. It’s not to the point that’s it’s deadly, but its under what the BODY NEEDS. Other vitamins like Iron, Calcium & Potassium, are also low, but only for special groups of people (kids under 18, older people) Took a class called nutritional epidemiology—the study trends, causes and ways to control disease in a population. It was my fav class last semester, I learned so much and def wanted to share the knowledge with you guys. #educateyourself
Dietary supplement expert-Someone who worked in researching this supplements came in our class and spoke as much as she could on the topic. A dietary supplement is anything you consume besides your everyday food you need. So protein powders, vitamins, baby formulas, things like that. I was really interested in the vitamins part since I stopped taking vitamins when I became vegetarian almost 5 years ago. Why did I do it? Honestly, the only reason I remember was because I was broke and on a budget and the gummies I bought were almost $15. Yeah they last me a long time but they were not my priority so I just stopped buying them. Then once I wasn't broke I just forgot all about them and at that point I realized I hadn't gotten sick or wasn't feeling or noticing anything different so I figured I did not need them.
Back to the expert-she gave us a lot of info on who usually eats and buys vitamins. From what I remember it looked like the toddlers were taking a lot of vitamins as much of the old people--about 1-4 a day. So we know the really old have issues and are wayyyyyy more worried about their health than you and I. Some of the main reasons they take vitamins were to improve their overall health and increase their bone health. Do vitamins do this? Not really. Remember they already lived the best years of their life where they would have been able to increase their bone mass--through eating healthy food & exercise. Improving overall health--there is so much that determines if you have good health--again ONE VITAMIN WILL NOT DO THE MIRACLE.
So what about toddlers? They are growing and need a lot of nutrients in their body of course but it is honestly unnecessary. Parent's are mostly giving them multi-vitamins, but most parent's are also giving them other types of food with vitamins...its called fortified foods, AKA packaged foods. Back in the '90s the U.S GOVERNMENT PASSED a lot of LAWS that required companies to put a certain amount of vitamins in foods, packaged foods. This means that toddlers are getting too much of certain vitamins like folate and vitamin A, and yes, there are consequences to too many vitamins.
The truth about vitamins- the Food & Drug Administration is responsible for the safety and quality of drugs, make-up and supplements. But did you know that even though the FDA makes sure its safe (it won’t kill you)—they DO NOT check for QUALITY. So even if the bottle says it might have 50% DV of a nutrient, it is NOT CHECKED by the FDA. It may have more, it may have less. The expert also told us that there are even a lot of vitamins that have contaminants!!
A few other Crazy facts:
1. Companies are not allowed to say “prevent” on a vitamin/supplement bottle.
2. FDA is cannot review the safety of products until after the companies market the supplement (not before)
3. FDA can only ban a supplement if it harms somebody...smh
4. There are about 85k different types of supplements
5. These 85k MAKE MORE than the DAIRY INDUSTRY...last reported was about $43 BILLION
Vitamins as a vegan- If you read what I wrote you should know that there are NO SPECIAL WARNINGS about vegans getting or not getting their vitamins. The rules are the same. The statistics are the same. The only valid question would be if you've ever been told by a doctor/medical professional that you are lacking certain nutrients. This applies to before being vegan or already being vegan. They can run certain tests and they would be the only ones to tell you. There are also some signs you would be to notice on your own, which you should then go to a doctor to find out which ones. So what about vegans not getting B12? Did you read the statistic I wrote above?? On average no one in the U.S is getting enough, so this is not special to being vegan, this is an issue in general. Remember: there are vitamins YOUR BODY CANNOT MAKE on their own, B12 for example is a BACTERIA FOUND IN SOIL so unless you are eating dirt...please don't.
What should I do? Toddlers, Teenagers, Adults, etc...all of the nutrients you need you can get from plants and plant-based foods. With the issue of B12, some common foods are cereal, soymilk, plant-based milks, other fortified foods. Vitamin D, you can get from foods, but actually you can get this from 15-30 min of good old mother earth-soaking up some sun (without sunscreen). I mostly mention these two because remember, most Americans are intaking inadequate amounts of these vitamins, so you should def be mindful of that. When I was younger I used to get white spots on my face, subtle, but not subtle you know. The doctor told me I was very low on a certain nutrient..I forgot which one but it was not until end of high school that it went away. Ever since I stopped taking vitamins, I def did my research on what alternatives exist (fortified foods) and what plants are high in nutrients overall. When I became vegan and started to learn more and more I learned that some VITAMINS CONTAIN GELATIN! Check out my blog post "What is Gelatin" on the DISGUSTING TRUTH on what gelatin is made of.
It's going to take some effort at first but it is so worth it. I love knowing what goes into my body and my body can feel it! We SHOULD NOT BE QUESTIONING what the heck is in our food and we cannot afford to be WILLFULLY IGNORANT. While you are researching which foods you should be eating more of check out MY TOP 5 FAV ways to nutrients:
1. Nutritional Yeast Flakes- You can find it and buy it anywhere, online and in-store. Not too expensive usually about $9.00 per bottle.
2. Shelled Hemp Seeds- A bit more pricey but totally worth it! It has soooo many vitamina & minerals! Common but it might be easier and cheaper to buy online. You can literally use them on anything, cooked or uncooked.
3. Chia Seeds- Super common, you can find them in most stores, and they are easy to use!
4. Moringa Powder- Moringa is a plant that comes from Asia, but available mostly online or veg festivals. It it semi-expensive, but it has alottt of health benefits. It has a very earthy green taste so I wouldn’t put more than a table spoon!
5. Smoothies- I drink I smoothie almost EVERYDAY. They are just soooo easy to make easy to carry on the go and super yummy😋 To make sure I’m getting the most out of them I add veggies, ALOTT of FRUIT, and add
#2-5. This is my NUMBER ONE SUPER VITAMIN.
I know it’s alot to take in, trust me that was a 2-hour class. I hope I gave you all the info you need to make a more educated decision about EATING, BUYING, & FEEDING others vitamins. Stay woke my friends✌🏾
Read the nerdy science: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrient-inadequacies/overview#vitamin-C