3 Common Vitamin Misconceptions That Need to Be Debunked Once and for All

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You’re walking through your local health food store. Today is the day, you think. Today you will be confident enough to buy the vitamins you’ve been meaning to for a while.

As you turn the corner and enter the vitamin aisle, the sheer range of tablets, oils, and supplements overwhelms you. After reading the back labels of different brands, comparing and contrasting one from another, questions continue to flood your mind. Should you choose the brand that you’ve seen on TV commercials, which promises to cure your fatigue? Should you mix and match supplements to suit your family’s complicated medical history?

Unfortunately, the vitamin industry is full of misrepresentation from big pharma companies wanting to capitalize on growing health food trends. As a consumer, it can be confusing to pick through the propaganda and actually find a vitamin that works for you.

But vitamins are still a wonderful way to fuel and protect your body, especially as heart conditions and early onset diseases continue to become more prevalent in young people.

Knowing the common misunderstandings surrounding vitamins can help you find the best way to boost your health routine without worry. Coming from my passionate background as a certified nutritional practitioner, here are three big misconceptions that I can squash right now to help you move forward in your health journey:

1. “I can get all of my vitamin D intake from the sun.”
Some people believe that simply opening the curtains and going outside once in a while will expose them to enough vitamin D to stay healthy, but this is a common misconception. Even people who live a particularly outdoorsy lifestyle can struggle to get their required dose of vitamin D. In addition, those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months will receive a significantly lower dose.

It’s also important to note that going out in the sun brings its own dangers. The American Academy of Dermatology warns that spending time out in the sun without proper skin protection is an unhealthy and ineffective approach to soak up more vitamin D. Sun exposure risks to DNA are far more serious and untreatable than the consequences of a vitamin deficiency, which can be fixed by the right supplement.

2. “Ingestion equals absorption.”
With the proliferation of oral vitamins on the market, people believe that whatever they swallow is doing them good. But this is far from the truth. Our organic pathology prevents our bodies from absorbing 70 to 80 percent of the vitamin content we ingest.

When we swallow a vitamin, our digestive system kicks in and carries out what’s called a “first-pass elimination.” Stomach acid and bile assault the vitamin’s properties, and then the body tries to absorb the remaining contents. Whatever survives the first-pass elimination phase is transferred on to the liver for filtering. But because vitamin pills are made up of so many fillers and binders, the liver mistakenly views them as “foreign active ingredients” and consequently hoards them, barring vitamins’ benefits in the process.

3. “The only way to get vitamins is to swallow a cocktail of tablets.”
Those fat, colorful vitamin tablets can look friendly and safe, but they can be more harmful than they appear. The liver works hard to clean up excess active ingredients, especially in complex vitamins like B12. In turn, these ingredients can accumulate in the liver, overworking the organ and making it less capable to continue its regular job.

The efficacy of vitamins is as much about how the nutrients are delivered as it is about vitamin content. Taking vitamins in pill-based form may soon become a practice of the past, as the transdermal method is shown to be much safer and more effective.

Transdermal basically means “through the skin.” Vitamins absorbed through a patch bypass first-pass elimination, leaving your digestive system to carry on its regular function. In doing so, the absorption rate goes up to 90 percent, meaning you feel the effects of the vitamins sooner and stronger.

Knowing your symptoms and finding the best vitamins for your daily needs are two critical steps toward allowing your body to organically fight future health issues. It’s important to be aware about what supplements you’re taking in and how they are delivered into your body. Armed with knowledge, you can further debunk misleading myths about the vitamin world and allow your good health intentions to finally pay off.

Shane Griffin is a certified nutritional practitioner and the founder of Vitamin Patch Club. Before founding VPC, Shane was a prominent nightclub owner in Toronto whose life in the fast lane took him down a path of self-destruction. After holistic health revolutionized his life, Shane pursued an education in that field before launching Vitamin Patch Club, a fusion of member-driven “philanthropreneurship” and holistic health.

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