Although we are healthier than ever before, the World population’s general health is deteriorating. There are more and more “Lifestyle Diseases”  and almost half the western population suffers from some kind of chronic illness. The human population has been advancing and our life expectancy has increased year after year. But for the first time in decades we see that the life expectancy of newborns is lower than that of their parents. These days you easily get sick and it is very hard to stay healthy. But I believe that we can have a great influence on our health by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Are vitamin and mineral supplements essential for good health?

Is it good to supplement vitamins and minerals? Today, the debate flares up on the use of vitamins and minerals. It especially focuses on the high-dose supplements. Scientists claim that if you eat healthy and varied you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. According to them, high-dose supplements are unnecessary and even dangerous to your health. Many studies have shown time and again the benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements, because nutritional deficiencies are very common nowadays .

Nutritional supplements have been used safely for decades and Europe and the US are very strict on safety regulations. Studies shows that only 2% of Westerners eat according to the nutritional guidelines. So what is a good balance between nutrition and supplements?

I believe that modern day diets contain too few nutrients. Therefore, I am advocating the use of high-dose supplements in conjunction with a healthy diet. Even a 100% organic diet does not prevent a lack of nutrients. This defect is easy to overcome by supplementing. But it is very important that you go for high quality supplements.

Supplements are sold everywhere, but unfortunately the quality is not always up to par. A lot of famous vitamin brands that advertise on TV and in magazines, and various private label brands do not match the vitamin structure of your body and are often filled with bad additives (in Europe E-numbers). These products are often cheaper but the compounds are poorly absorbed by the body. When it comes to supplements you are be better off spending a little more money on a multivitamin that your body can utilize for 100%.

Good quality brands that I believe in include Solgar, Vitals, Aov, Bonusan, Ortholon and Orthica . These brands are available at specialty health & wellness stores or drugstores. Some are organic and some are not. All brands have a special focus, and their own vitamins & minerals composition.

Most of all, just like with any food you eat, you need to read the labels on the package of vitamins and research what is in it. Ask someone who specializes in vitamins on what vitamins you should use, instead of deciding yourself what vitamins to take. That way you have a better chance to avoid error or overdosing. You will get the right dose of the right vitamins and hopefully it will help to feel great!

Best, Daan Kelderhuis

First published on January 20th 2014, updated in 2019