Vitamin Supplements
Epidemiologist says supplements has no real health benefits. Pixabay

A scientist hailing from one of the best institutes in the country has pointed out the adverse health effects of supplements, advising people not to rely on them too much.

This comes at a time when a report published by Grand View Research shows that the world is turning towards dietary supplements to meet their daily nutrient requirements. This has turned dietary supplements into a lifestyle choice for personal use, as opposed to things that support the specific needs of people.

As per the report, the world will witness a nine per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2023 and 2030. As of 2020, the supplements market is worth nearly $164 million. The report has particularly started how self-directed care and focus on preventive healthcare with stress on personalised nutrition is causing this book as more and more people opt for nutraceuticals than pharmaceuticals.

Supplements are different formulated medicines which contain nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, fat etc to meet the dietary requirements of people. It's usually taken along with a specially curated diet suited to your needs.

Why is this crucial?

Amidst this, the advice from a leading UK scientist to eat real food and ditch the supplements is a telltale sign. Professor Tim Spector who is a genetic epidemiologist from the prestigious King's College in London has pointed out that these supplements don't have real health benefits and hence they can't substitute real food.

This is absolutely paramount for people to understand as the fast-paced life in today's world is driving us towards supplements in the name of living healthily. Coming from an epidemiologist, that is, a specialist trained in disease history, it is of primary importance, especially when the world is recovering from a pandemic.

Spector has underlined how these supplements are used as a money-making scheme for companies but in reality, they have no health benefits. He has advised people to throw them away and indulge in real food.

How are they made?

Spector said that most dietary supplements are made in China and have little to no therapeutic value. No one should solely rely on them. Instead of these supplements, a good mixture of original natural food sources of the required nutrients is a better option. That is the real food.

Spector labelled these nutraceutical companies as future food giants who will rule the market and they are spending astronomical amounts for this purpose. Contrary to popular belief they aren't some artisans crafting the finest organic food in a little corner shed in Somerset. Most of them are made in giant Chinese factories which aren't regulated and nobody knows anything about their constituents and operations style.

Plant-based unprocessed food diet advised

He also suggested a plant-based diet as it eliminates ultra-processed food. According to Tim Spector, plant-based diets have little to no ultra-processed food and hence are rich in nutrients. The effect of a plant-based diet is intensive as it helps in saving the environment. In fact, giving up meat is better than giving up cars as it has more carbon-offsetting potential.

Spector further highlighted how we are spending all our money on supplements when they should be used for buying real food. Pointing towards Vitamin B12 he added that B12 is the only supplement out of all which is useful. It is good for vegans and vegetarians in general who don't have enough iron sources in their diet. People with an iron deficiency or on a low-iron diet can use that supplement. Other than that, using supplements is wasting money.

How will it help?

For those curious about the health benefits of real food over supplements, Professor Tim Spector highlights their role in increasing your life span and life expectancy. As you opt for a more balanced diet of natural sources of nutrients it will replenish your body with all the nutrients required for a healthy life.

This ultimately keeps diseases at bay and increases our lifespan.

Professor Tim Spector says personalised nutrition based on your specific needs should be everyone's goal. He himself indulges in a highly fermented food diet and follows intermittent fasting.