Does everyone need vitamins or herbals as a supplement to their diet? My answer is another question to consider, “How is your health?” If you want to improve your health while and have digestive, emotional, immune, or hormonal health issues, then it is my belief, as a naturopath, that vitamins as well as herbals can and do help to restore health.
There are millions of supplements on the market today. There are millions of dollars spent on marketing to sell you vitamins. How do you know what you need? How do you know which company to buy?
First, I believe a foundational micronutrient formula is a good place to start. You can not achieve this with a one-a-day pill. If you have any health challenges you definitely can benefit from repleting specific nutrients related to your health condition. Also as we age, or if we have underlying immune issues, allergies, digestive issues I believe we need more antioxidants, and minerals. If you are over 40 I believe a nutrient test is a valuable tool. A local lab I refer to offers such tests, as well as hormone tests and food sensitivity testing. I personally did this a few years ago and found it very beneficial.
Second, choose vitamins carefully. Look for a few stamps or certifications on the label such as good manufacturing practices, nutritional council membership, third party testing, accreditation for in-house labs, and certification to produce organic products. Usually, quality supplements are sold by health-care practitioners. Also know that most vitamins are water soluble, so they are not stored in the body. But the fat soluble vitamins such as A, E, Zinc, Selenium, D are stored in the body so you can take too much. Vitamins should be a part of an overall naturopathic plan which includes nourishing whole foods, herbs, and homeopathy, to strengthen vitality, optimize your health and energy rather than merely treat the symptoms of disease. I feel strongly everyone benefits from a customized naturopathic plan.