Recommended Daily Supplements: Do You Take Them?

Readers, in Arthur De Vany's excellent book The New Evolution Diet (you can find my ragingly positive review here), there was an intriguing discussion on recommended daily supplements.

This is an area where I'm far from an expert, but I'm generally biased against taking supplements, for three reasons:

* Most if not all supplements are superfluous if you eat a widely varied diet.
* Supplements tend to be expensive.
* Supplements are second-order foods and are often exact opposite of natural.

The only supplement (if you could call it that) I ever take is a whey-based protein powder, during extended periods of heavy training--for example when I'm doing weight training or heavy distance running.

In fact, if you subscribe at all to the philosophy of paleo living, how can taking supplements make any sense at all? It’s hard to imagine a more incongruous sight than thinking of "Paleo Man" popping a multivitamin right before he picks up his atl-atl and joins the hunt.

That said, here at Casual Kitchen, I want readers (and myself) to keep an open mind. We want to stay open to new ideas--especially to ideas that differ from the ones we hold dear. Which is why I wanted to offer to readers the supplements that author Art De Vany himself recommends. Some of these are rather intriguing:

Vitamin D (1,000 IU daily)
Omega 3 fish oil capsules
Melatonin (periodically)
Branched-chain amino acids
Antioxidants (De Vany recommends Ultrathione Health Packs made by the Antioxidant Pharmaceuticals Corporation)
Sodium Bicarbonate (50-100mg daily)

Finally, in keeping with his philosophy of inserting randomness and variability into your life, De Vany counsels readers to take periodic breaks from these supplements.

Readers, what do you think? Do you take supplements? Which ones and why? What's your view on taking supplements in general?

Read Next: Does Healthy Eating Really Cost Too Much? A Blogger Roundtable Discussion

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Emmy said...

That is an interesting viewpoint, about the dry spelling and sodium bicarbonate - I'm going to have to read this book! Our family's mandatory supplementation is limited to AdvoCare probiotics and their OmegaPlex fish oil caps, when I can get my ds10 to take them. Logic would infer that any probiotics taken in a food would not survive the stomach environment and populate the gut, and with all the cooties my child brings home from school, I can justify the expense.

Whey protein? (shudder) That stuff was so stomach-churning, I always felt like vomiting after drinking that. You're a stronger man than I.

chacha1 said...

I take vit. D when I remember to, which is not often enough (probably). I take it because I rarely get any sun and even though my diet is dairy-full, that is probably not delivering "enough". Low D has been associated with dementia, among other things, so that's why I supplement.

chacha1 said...

@ Emmy ... just curious, why would you think a supplement taken by mouth would survive the gut environment better than the same nutrient in a food?

Marcia said...

Hm. Well I have two kids, so I've obviously done a lot of prenatal vitamins. I still have a bunch left (haven't taken them in awhile), that expire this month.

At my last doctor's appt, he recommended Calcium with D3. So I bought it, took it for awhile, and now I forget most days (but hey, your post reminded me today!)

In late Feb, I started a Beachbody workout program that came with Shakeology, which is a whey-based protein shake with a lot of other ingredients too. I didn't plan on renewing after the first month, but I have to say, I've never been healthier. I haven't been sick a single time since starting it (and you know, with a full time job and two boys, I catch literally everything).

So I figure it's an expensive multi-vitamin.

Also, during heavy flu/cold season, I keep a stash of Emergen-C and Zicam in the house/office/my work bag. If I feel something coming on or an officemate (I have two) or a kid is sick, I'll use those.

Marcia said...

I should also do fish oil, but haven't in awhile. I have some probiotics that I took last year after a bout of antibiotics.

Glen said...

I would suggest you read the book "Naked Calories". That may change your attitude to nutritional supplements.

Daniel said...

Glen, thanks for the rec. What's it about?