It should be everyone's goal to derive most of our nutrients – vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber – from food. Supplements are a supplement to a good diet and are not meant to replace food. But the reality is, between our hectic schedules, less-than-satisfactory cafeteria options, and whatever other reasons we give for unhealthy food choices, modern agricultural practices have left our once mineral-rich soil depleted. Mineral depleted soil equals deficient vegetation and modern technology provides a solution to that problem – the nutritional supplement.
What is a nutritional supplement? It's an extracted nutrient – either natural or synthetic – that is bound together in a form that is easily (or sometimes not so easily!) swallowed. It is intended to supplement the diet with nutrients known to promote health such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, herbs, etc.
It's the non-nutritive ingredients that cause concern. According to the FDA, there are over 29,000 supplements on the market. With so many to choose from, many of us believe if we buy higher priced nutritional supplements we are getting better quality products. However, this is not always the case.