Vitamin supplements have been getting a bad rap lately, leaving many of us feeling more than a little sceptical about an industry worth more than $1.5 billion in Australia alone.
So, is the quick fix to our problems simply taking a tablet each morning? We asked Adelaide Hills-based pharmacist Simon Dawe to help us cut through the hype around this industry and determine how effective vitamin supplements are for our health and wellbeing.
“In a perfect world, we’d get all the essential vitamins and minerals our body needs from our diet. But because we’re all so busy, our diets often aren’t what they should be.”
Based at The Green Dispensary in Stirling, Simon has been a pharmacist for over 20 years and is trained in how vitamin supplements may affect health conditions and interact with prescription medications.
When vitamin boosts can be effective:
1. Vitamin deficiency
If you’ve been identified as having low iron levels, an iron supplement would be beneficial. Similarly, people with osteoporosis will benefit from calcium supplements and, for many of us suffering from a lack of sun in winter, a Vitamin D boost might be helpful.
Pregnancy multivitamins are beneficial to take before, during and after pregnancy. Packed with extra iron and folate, these multivitamins help prevent anaemia and serious neural tube defects in the developing baby.
3. Poor diet
If a week of working late has seen fast food become a too-common addition to your diet, a good multivitamin can help to ensure your body is getting all the essential vitamins and minerals it’s been missing. And remember – the best brands are those continually updating their ingredients to reflect recent research.
4. Taking antibiotics
The world is starting to recognise the effectiveness of taking a probiotic to help protect and recover the gut against the side effects of antibiotics. The health of your gut can have a big impact on the health and wellbeing of other areas of your body, including your brain.
5. Chronic pain or arthritis
Most of us aren’t meeting the recommended weekly intake of fish and if you suffer chronic pain or arthritis,
fish oil is a great natural anti-inflammatory.
Prices may vary at different locations. *20% discount on most non-prescription pharmacy products but excludes items already discounted by 40% or more. At Health Partners Participating Pharmacies for Health Partners Extras and Package members. Further conditions and exclusions apply. See healthpartners.com.au/discounts for more information.