Hype or Help? The Truth About Vitamins
Like a car, our bodies need the proper fuel to perform their best. Dianna Singh, an integrative health coach and owner of Elk Grove Vitamins and Cameron Park Vitamins, often shares this metaphor with her customers. “The majority of us own cars that run on gas,” she says. “We all take the sufficient precautions to keep them in running order. When we don’t, say, change the oil, put air in the tires and so on, what happens? That vehicle is not going to work as it should. Would you put soda in your gas tank? It may run for a minute, but it will start breaking down.”
And our bodies are no different. “Everything—absolutely everything—affects our bodies, inside and out,” she says. “The human body is made up of vitamins and minerals along with more elements.” However, the soils currently used to grow foods lack the important vitamins and minerals our bodies need. Supplements help make up for the missing nutrients in our bodies.
Magda Peronel, ND, from Revolutions Naturopathic, in Folsom and Roseville says adding the right multivitamin to your diet can benefit you. “In order to optimize all of our bodily functions, such as hormone production, toxin excretion, electrolyte balance and body repair, we need vitamins and minerals at every step of the process,” she says.
But vitamins can quickly become too much of a good thing. “Often it is not which supplement [to take] but it is the dose that people need to be careful about,” says Peronel.
As certain aspects of your health decline as you age, more medications may be introduced to your daily routine. Kathryn Boulter, ND, from Revolutions Naturopathic, says those medicines could also strip your body of key nutrients. “As a person takes more medication or has more serious health conditions, their nutrient deficiencies should be considered more seriously,” she cautions.
In addition to aging, Peronel says it’s important to take the right vitamins when you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. “In both situations, there are nutrients that we need to make sure are present for optimal health.”
Where should you start on your vitamin journey? “A good start is taking a high-quality multivitamin and talking with a qualified doctor about your specific health needs,” advises Boulter. “Lab testing can provide some clues. A qualified health professional can also recognize the signs and symptoms of nutrient deficiencies or imbalances.”
Once you know what supplements you need, you can head to your local health food store to shop for the vitamins. "In the journey to good health it is essenital to use supplements and vitamins, and the best way to start is by having informed people be your guides," says Judy Gillespie, owner of Sunrise Natural Foods in Auburn and Roseville.
“When you purchase from locally-owned shops, you’re typically working with someone who has been educated through a lot of training and is quite knowledgeable,” says Singh. “These companies have been around a very long time and they have your best interests at heart, providing you with the best ingredients. And as always, talk with your health care professional for your personal needs.”
In the end, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. “The takeaway is that this is a complicated topic that is best addressed with expert eyes and ears for finest results,” says Peronel.
by Kourtney Jason
Local VITAMIN SHOPS
230 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, 916-351-9355; 254 Gibson Drive, Roseville, 916-351-9355, revolutionsdocs.com
Sunrise Natural Foods
1950 Douglas Boulevard, Roseville, 916-789-8591, sunrisenaturalfoods.net
Elliott’s Fine Nutrition
641 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-983-9225, elliottsfinenutrition.com
Cameron Park Vitamins
3342 Coach Lane, Cameron Park, 530-558-4202, cameronparkvitamins.com
Elk Grove Vitamins
9647 East Stockton Boulevard, Elk Grove, 916-686-4488, elkgrovevitamins.com
Remedy RX Pharmacy
1420 East Roseville Parkway, Suite 130, Roseville, 916-740-1600, myremedyrx.com
Innovative Compounding Pharmacy
820 Wales Drive, Suite 3, Folsom, 916-984-9222, icpfolsom.com
Folsom Medical Pharmacy
1300 East Bidwell Street, Suite 105, Folsom, 916-983-4900, folsompharmacy.com