Fine Lines

Volume 2, Issue 4

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Page 14 of 16

14 ASCP Fine Lines Supplements are hot right now. Walk into any specialty store, boutique—or even Sephora—and you'll see a host of supplement options that guarantee both health and beauty benefits. But do you need them? In an ideal world, you'd get all the nutrients you need from the food you eat (and sun exposure). Unfortunately, because of demanding schedules, accessibility, or taste preferences, most of us don't consume the proper amounts of micronutrients through food. Fortunately, there are many different types of supplements available—but not all of them are created equal. DO YOU NEED SUPPLEMENTS? From traditional vitamin and mineral supplements to herbs and adaptogen potions, there are a variety of options to meet your goals and dietary concerns. That's not to say we shouldn't be focused on consuming healthy food, but even overall healthy diets can use a supplement boost. While not every individual needs supplements, taking a daily vitamin will help cover any gaps, like a vitamin "insurance policy." Following are three other reasons you might want to supplement your healthy diet. You're following a specific diet. If you're following a diet that excludes certain food groups, like paleo, raw, keto, or gluten-free, then you're at higher risk of not getting specific nutrients from foods. For example, vegans and vegetarians need to ensure they are getting enough B12, iodine, zinc, and iron. And paleo dieters may need to supplement with extra calcium, and vitamins B and D. You're in a specific population group. Older adults, over the age of 50, have increased needs for vitamin D and B12 and will likely benefit from supplementation. For postmenopausal women, vitamin D and calcium are especially important as they are at an increased risk of bone density loss due to hormonal changes. Nutrition needs also skyrocket for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and supplements are a good way to ensure they are meeting the daily required amounts needed for proper fetal development and growth. You have specific beauty concerns. While you can get many nutrients through food alone, you may consider supplementing when you have specific beauty concerns. For example, a biotin supplement may help strengthen hair and nails, while antioxidant and collagen supplements may help with sun damage and wrinkles. NOT A CURE-ALL Supplements can't replace the importance of a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins and fats. That said, adding in a daily vitamin supplement can help support specific needs, fill in nutrient gaps, or be essential depending on your overall intake. What About Supplements? There seems to be a supplement for everything that ails you. But do you need them? by Alex Caspero

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