Many of us are taking some form of multivitamin or supplement, either on a daily basis, or just whenever we remember. However, it’s a sad fact that there’s a lot of misinformation floating about regarding these very common little pills – so let’s bust some myths with straight facts
Myth: Orangey-yellow urine means you’re not getting any of the goodness
Fact: Completely wrong. Vitamin supplements or B-complex vitamins will often turn your urine a darker yellow or orangey colour; this is likely due to vitamin B2, AKA riboflavin. The clue is actually in the name; ‘flavin’ originates from the word ‘flavus’ which means ‘yellow’. The extra colour in your urine is harmless, but if it bothers you, you can always drink more water to dilute your urine, making it a lighter colour.
Myth: You don’t like vegetables, but as long as you take supplements you can avoid them altogether
Fact: The best way to ensure you get all the nutrients and disease-preventing benefits you’d get from vegetables, the best solution is… to eat vegetables! Studies have shown an important phytochemical in veggies such as broccoli is poorly absorbed when taken in the form of a supplement, meaning you won’t be getting all the goodness. There really is no substitute for the real thing.
Myth: It’s fine to use the same bottle of supplements you’ve had for two years, as there’s no expiration date
Fact: Nutritional supplements do have an expiration date, and you should be checking it. This is because vitamins can lose their potency by up to a staggering 20 per cent, as time passes. Although you won’t be in any real danger from taking vitamins that have expired, you won’t be getting the benefit you should be.
Myth: Supplements with the term ‘all natural’ must be safer than those without
Fact: This simply is not the case. ‘All natural’ is not an official term that is regulated by any government body, and will not guarantee a product’s safety.
Myth: All your supplements are sealed in bottles and can be stored anywhere
Fact: Some supplements, such as fish oil, flax oil and probiotics, should be kept in the fridge so as to maintain their shelf life and overall quality. Some supplements can actually expire and become rancid if stored in the wrong place, although most vitamins fair well in a dry cupboard or dark place such as a drawer. However, you should never store vitamins on top of a microwave or fridge, as such places commonly exude heat and can make your vitamins less effective. A bathroom medicine cabinet is another common supplement storage no-no, because of the typical moisture levels and humidity found in a bathroom.
Myth: It doesn’t matter when you take supplements, as long as you take them
Fact: Most vitamins and supplements should be taken with food; you could actually be lessening their effects if you take them without. This also makes them less likely to cause stomach upset.
Author bio: Lindsay Loveridge is a nutritional expert who writes for various online websites and blogs, including http://www.simplysupplements.net. She also works as a personal trainer and is based in London.