This is my view on whether vegans should take supplements or not.
If you’re on a wholefood plant based way of eating then you shouldn’t need supplements other than two, which I’ll tell you about in a minute.
Assuming your food is pretty good, like you grow it yourself, get it at farmers markets, buy local produce, organic where you can etc, then you should be getting all your nutrients from the food.
Most people don’t know but some supplements can actually be detrimental to your health. These are in two ways:
- Hazardous ingredients are known to turn up in some supplements causing those taking them to end up in hospital with a range of serious problems. These are mainly found in Body building, Weight loss and Sexual enhancement supplements.
- Some supplements have the risk of giving the taker organ damage, cancer and cardiac arrest.
Many ingredients can also interfere with those taking prescription medicine especially cholesterol lowering and blood-thinning drugs.
So to give you a couple of examples.
Red Yeast Rice is used to Lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol to help prevent heart disease however, it can actually trigger kidney and muscle problems, liver problems, hair loss and can magnify the effect of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, increasing the risk of side effects.
Green Tea Extract Powder mainly used in the weight loss industry can lead to dizziness, ringing in the ears, reduced absorption of iron (exacerbates anemia), glaucoma, can elevate blood pressure and heart rate, can cause liver damage and possibly even death.
It’s the way some of the supplements are made up and the ingredients that are used that is the problem.
Also, you have to remember that the supplement’s ingredients have been processed – not a whole-food and therefore can be just as detrimental in its refined state as sugar or white flour is.
If you believe you should be taking supplements, then always seek advice from a health professional.
On a brighter note:
The two I suggest? Vitamin B12 as this comes from the soil and we have the habit of washing the bejezual out of our veggies – and Vitamin D if you’re an indoor person or live in poor sun. Vitamin B12 comes in a selection of foods, so look on the label for the words ‘fortified B12’ and you won’t have to bother with tablets.
And, always choose quality branded product from a health food store.
That’s it for me today