Dietary supplements and multivitamins can be a hot topic in the fitness and wellness industry. Because supplements are regulated in a different way than other food and drug products, it’s no surprise that some are wary of their safety. It’s true that the FDA takes action against unsafe supplements after they reach the market, butit’s up to the manufacturer to make sure they’re safe for consumers before they hit the shelf (and we know this doesn’t always happen). With all of that being said, I’ve taken a multivitamin for years. Whether it hurts or helps, there is no way to know for sure, but I feel better thinking that if I’m lacking vitamin C one day or calcium the next, the vitamin is filling in those dietary gaps. No one wants scurvy or brittle bones, after all.
Jenn and I recently had the opportunity to try Nature Made’s vitaminID program, which is tailored to the user’s personal history. We each took a health survey and received a customized vitamin regimen just for us. Based on family and personal history, we even got recommendations for cholesterol supplements, blood sugar packs andPMS support supplements. Nature Made then sent us their basic vitamin pack to try.
The vitamins come in a super cute box (see photo for three of the funky designs) and are all pre-packaged so you know exactly which vitamins you’ll be taking each day. The base pack consisted of a massive list of pills: a regular multivitamin, vitamin C, calcium, fish oil plus vitamin E, a fruit and veggie supplement, and a magnesium pill. That’s six pills in our base packs! (Imagine if we’d gotten the additional supplements!)
Now, I’m not one for taking tons of pills, and I know Jenn rarely takes an ibuprofen when she has an ache or pain. So taking six pills a day was a lot for both of us. If you do plan to try out a plan like this, I recommend spacing the pills out over the day. Take one or two with each meal so that you’re not choking down pill after pill before bedtime (I learned this after making that mistake once). Also beware of “fish burps” from the fish oil pill. While I didn’t have a problem (thankfully), Jenn got the gross burps after taking the fish oil supplement. Sick.
Again, I’m not sure how you know if vitamins actually work in supplement form. Did we feel superhuman after trying this regimen? No more than usual. But with this program you’re definitely filling in any possible deficiencies in your diet, and the customization gets high marks from us (along with the cute boxes)! What are your thoughts on dietary supplements? —Erin