Are dietary supplements necessary?

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A large study recently done by Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston finds taking certain supplements may not be offering you the benefits you may think. 

So is it time to clear out your supplement cabinet?

Seventy-five percent of U.S. adults take dietary supplements, according to a 2018 study by the Council for Responsible Nutrition. One of those people is Katie Melius. 

“I take a calcium supplement and with a vitamin D, because I probably don’t get enough of that in my diet either,” Melius said. 

She follows a healthy diet so she says other supplements such as a multi-vitamin isn’t necessary, but she does give her kids a multi-vitamin. 

“My kids aren’t the best eaters so I do give them a vitamin to help supplement in case we’re missing something. So, they’re kind of picky eaters so they don’t eat the best,” Melius said. 

Registered dietitian Lizzie Kasparek says unless your diet is lacking in certain areas, supplements may not be necessary. 

“If you have a well balanced diet you probably don’t need a supplement unless you’re maybe from a certain subgroup, like maybe you’re pregnant, vegan, vegetarian, you have a very limited diet,” Kasparek said. 

She says consuming supplements through food will give you the best benefit compared to taking supplement pills.

“I think a lot of us are kind of blindly supplementing and we have these thoughts that maybe supplements are actually better than food. But there’s certain things in food, just the food itself that changes the way that we actually are absorbing and utilizing the nutrients,” Kasparek said. 

If you’re currently taking a multi-vitamin in addition to supplements, it’s a good idea to check the label to make sure you’re not doubling up. 

“I kind of look at every vitamin and mineral that they’re taking and say ok, you’re already getting this here, and your diet is already great so do you really need to be spending your money on that?” Kasparek said. 

To get a better idea of what may be lacking in your diet that requires a supplement, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor. 

To read more about the recent study conducted on dietary supplements, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


 

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