Whole Food Supplements Can Make a Whole Lotta Sense
Taking dietary supplements have become quite popular in the United States. A 2013 Gallup poll estimated that more than half of all Americans take dietary supplements and 68 percent of Americans age 65 and older take dietary supplements. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that 29 percent of Americans over the age of 65 take four or more vitamin supplements. As a result, the dietary supplement industry has grown to become a multi-billion-dollar business featuring lots of choices for healthcare professionals and their patients.
Most healthcare professionals believe in the adage, food first, even though it can be very difficult to get all of the nutrients needed from diet alone. For example, this was the conclusion from a 2015 literature review in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: “National surveys show that micronutrient inadequacies are widespread in the US and that dietary supplements…help fulfill micronutrient requirements in adults and children.” That’s one reason why most healthcare professionals recommend dietary supplements.
The dietary supplement category of whole food supplements became popular over the past several years. Whole food supplements contain ingredients that come from edible whole foods that include all parts of the plant, herb, or food source. The idea is that a whole food supplement provides the wide range of vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes, and coenzymes that are found in the food or plant. These supplements are often minimally processed and are considered to be more nutrient dense and nutrient diverse. Manufacturers of whole food supplements often use organic starting material and claim the supplements are more easily assimilated and absorbed by the body. Sometimes manufacturers will also add specific isolated vitamins to the whole food mixture.
Whole food supplements can help support health on a variety of levels. Whether you are looking to support immunity, energy, balanced inflammation, or weight loss, there is a whole food supplement available. Whole food supplements are available in liquids, powders, and tablets.
The dietary supplement industry has grown dramatically over the past decade. The addition of a wide variety of whole food supplements presents a new and important choice that some patients and practitioners may prefer. A choice is good, and so are the many whole food supplements that are now available. If diet alone cannot provide the necessary nutrients needed, whole food supplements can help fill the gaps typically present in the diets of many patients.
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Gahche JJ, Bailey RL, Potischman N, Dwyer JT. The Journal of Nutrition. 2017;147(10):1968-76.
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