Are food supplements necessary

Are food supplements necessary?

Around 248 different food supplements are marketed in Spain. One of the most consumed is that of the artichoke, according to a study prepared by the Foundation for Nutritional Research (FIN) of the Barcelona Science Park and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. But do they really work?

Obviously I cannot analyze each one of them, but if I want to detail the most consumed ones (we will leave those of the athletes for another post):

Table of Contents

  • 1 1. Artichoke extracts.
  • 2 2. Fat Burners.
  • 3 3. Vitamin complexes.
  • 4 4. Omega 3
  • 5 Conclusion

1. Artichoke extracts.

These supplements are attributed diuretic and slimming properties, but … Why consume artichoke extracts when you can eat the artichoke itself? I hope you reflect on this, although for those who were looking for a yes or no, no, there is no evidence of it, and if you want its benefits, eat it whole, thus, in addition, you will increase the consumption of vegetables in your diet and you will save a money.

2. Fat burners.

Absolutely no, they don’t work at all.  No matter how much they sell it to you, no matter how many magnificent properties they are attributed and many celebrities who claim to have taken it to lose weight and stay as ideal as they are, no, they do not work. The truth is that it is neither useful nor advisable to rely on these substances to lose weight successfully. The highest European authority on food,  EFSA , has not approved any health claim for any food or supplement with respect to a purported ability to specifically remove body fat.

3. Vitamin complexes.

Eating a healthy, balanced and varied diet, with a daily consumption of fruits, vegetables and vegetables, respecting the recommended consumption frequency (3 pieces of fruit a day and 2 servings of 150-200g of vegetables and / or vegetables a day), vitamin supplementation is not necessary. What’s more:

  • There is no evidence to indicate that vitamin or mineral supplements have an effect on the prevention of cardiovascular events, cancer or mortality in a healthy population.
  • In most cases, there is not enough data to draw conclusions.
  • The lack of benefit from vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements is pretty clear.

Special mention should be made of deficit situations, such as the case of iron deficiency anemia, or in specific physiological states, such as pregnancy and lactation, where it would be indicated and recommended (indeed, not taking them would damage health). Thus, in iron-deficiency anemia, it would be recommended to take iron supplements such as  folic acid supplements  in pregnant women.

4. Omega 3

The dramatic increase in sales of fish oil dietary supplements  is not justified by the available evidence regarding their role in health.

Also, I want to make you think again, and for this I analyze this omega 3 supplement, which is also recognized by the Spanish Heart Foundation, just as we are not going to believe it, right?

This is an omega 3 supplement, krill oil. Let’s see its composition: 1 MegaRed capsule contains 27.5mg of DHA

What food do we have rich in DHA? Blue fish, specifically salmon. A salmon fillet contains 2,230mg of DHA

We would need 81 MegaRed capsules for it to provide us with the same as a salmon fillet .


  1. Following a healthy, balanced and varied diet (within a healthy offer), no supplement or vitamin supplement is necessary.
  2. Always prioritize food before supplements, as in the case of omega 3. If you want to consume more omega 3 eat more salmon, do not buy supplements.
  3. Last but not least, whenever you are going to take a supplement, which is by prescription, not on your own initiative, it is a simple way to know if you really need it.

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