Recently, we have seen millions of people worldwide struggle with an invisible virus. Despite an elaborate army of immune warriors, many people are still prone to nasty infections and diseases. This is partly because that every aspect of our health is dependent on adequate micronutrients, namely vitamins and minerals.
However, macronutrient malnutrition or deficiencies are prevalent, even in industrialized countries. Unhealthy lifestyle, genetics, limited sunlight and stress can all jeopardize our physical and mental health. Therefore, supplements are often needed to bridge the gap. In particular, elderly people, children, and immunocompromised people should pay close attention to their micronutrient levels and consider preventative supplements.
The latest reviews of health-promoting micronutrients published on the prestigious journals Nutrients and Frontiers in Immunology suggest that people should ensure at least adequate consumption of essential vitamins and minerals because they carry out many important biochemical functions in the body. Deficiencies can have dire consequences ranging from weak bones to cognitive decline. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the Nobel laureate for Physiology and Medicine, puts it this way: “A vitamin is a substance that makes you ill if you don’t eat it.”
In addition to covering the basics, many other high-quality supplements could offer health benefits. For example, omega-3 is well established for promoting brain health, which is required for brain development as well as slowing cognitive decline. Prebiotics and probiotics nourish a healthy gut microbiome, which not only helps with digestion, but also strengthens immune functions and mental health.
Other natural berries, plants and herbs such elderberry, echinacea, and ginko biloba contain a diverse spectrum of health-promoting molecules, including antioxidants, phytonutrients and polyphenols. These can help neutralize the oxidative stress inside cells, thereby promoting cellular health and overall health.
In conclusion, appropriate use of supplements under the guidance of healthcare practitioners could offer a variety of health benefits. Nevertheless, supplements should never replace a well-balanced diet.