Monday, September 6, 2010

Vitamins, Supplements, Glucosamine... what does it all mean? And do they work?

When I was pregnant with Big Sister E, I took good care of myself. Every day I took my prenatal vitamins and drank extra water and talked my husband into rubbing my feet (or as close to every day as possible).

Two years later I did a fairly decent attempt at keeping up with things when I was pregnant with Little Sister B... although the amount of times that I forgot to take my vitamins seemed to be much higher. I guess combining "pregnancy brain" with "mom brain" left me pretty much completely absentminded.

Now that the only person that is affected by my healthy decisions is me, I have to admit that the amount of talk out there about vitamins and supplements mostly baffles me. There are just so many, how do I know what they all do? I hear words like antioxidants, glucosamine and amino acids thrown around and I wonder if I just didn't pay close enough attention in my science classes back in high school (actually, I know for a fact that I didn't. I was bored stiff in science).

But when I have the opportunity to do just a little research on sites that focus on what is available, I find that a lot of the benefits sound like ones I could use. Vitamin B supports and increases metabolism rate? Sometimes I'm not sure I have one at all. Glucosamine plays a key role in building cartilage and helps cushion joints? That's something I could definitely use, seeing as I tore cartilage in my knee and had to have surgery back in college.

However, a little time online also brings up thousands of articles on why vitamins and supplements don't actually work and could be doing more harm than good. It all has my mind spinning with thoughts of what to do next, which pretty much leads me to do... nothing. Is that going to mean my body might fall apart?

Do you regularly take vitamins? How do you know if they are helping you?


Liz Mays said...

Thanks a lot! Now MY head is spinning! ;)