I’ve heard it said that all most supplements do, at best, is give you expensive pee.
And despite the fact that I’ve been known to make it absolutely MONSOON in the vitamin aisle, I’m not completely against that maxim!
What the body doesn’t need, if it’s water soluble like Vitamin C or B12, it gets rid of via urine!
But I’m still choking down about...11 non-prescription pills at bedtime, so what gives exactly?
Image Source: @naturallycurly of @ange_liah
Curlistas, welcome to the intersection of healthy health & wellness skepticism, and the desire to be beautiful.
I want to back up for a minute actually.
Chances are good that if you can easily afford to hit the supplement rack, you’re not actually at risk for malnutrition.
Of course there are exceptions. You’ve got your all-meat dieters, your picky eaters, your vitamin D deficient dark-skinned beauties that rarely venture into the sun on purpose (cough cough), and so on.
Still, the likelihood of someone who gets three varied squares a day needing multiple supplements to live well, as opposed to just a change in diet, are lower than most of us non-doctors think.
So where does beauty come into all this?
Although many beauty standards have their roots in culture (for better or worse depending on whose and what applied to whom), quite a few of them have their roots in general health!
Hair LENGTH is disputable, but clear skin, strong teeth, and dense hair (where hair is considered beautiful in its presence) are some that can be found in disparate cultures because they’re general indicators of good nutrition.
Because I’m my grandmother’s granddaughter, I grew up reading supplement catalogs for fun. Yes, literally.
But it wasn’t until I was in my teens I think that the rise of supplements for the explicit promotion of beauty arose as opposed to the promotion of health.
I’m dating myself here, but I can remember going down the supplement aisle for rows and rows of boring looking bottles, as opposed to the practically glittery plethora of hair & skin complexes we see today!
Considering where health and beauty intersect, it’s really no wonder why the trail went where it did.
I couldn’t have predicted YouTubers with millions of followers crying on camera over beauty gummy-based influencer drama, mind you, but hey.
By the way, since gelatin is made of boiled animal bones and skin...aren’t REGULAR gummy bears collagen gummies?
I’m just saying.
So why take most supplements at all?
Despite my interest in them, I’ve got major beef with the fact that so many companies are allowed to go unchecked because they say ‘XYZ SUPPORTS 123’, rather than making outright claims.
That said, if someone were to lay a hand on my horsetail capsules, I’d tear it off their wrist and eat it.
The fact remains that certain substances, like silica aren’t found in huge portions in normal human diets, since we aren’t ruminant animals, and eating grasses like bamboo would wreck our teeth and our digestive systems.
And other nutrients might just not be found in high concentrations in foods! Spinach actually doesn’t have that much iron in it after all.
So some supplements do have their place!
Especially when you can see that they work.
So what do you use?
I take Solaray’s horestail, Target brand Biotin 10k mcg + 100 mg keratin, ForrestLeaf Advanced Collagen + hyaluronic acid & C, and finally, I choke down NatureMade’s GIGANTIC Postnatal multi vitamins.
My hair at this point all of eleven years past my second big chop is bigger, softer, and the best it’s been since I was a little cocoa-colored troll doll of a kid!
But I also followed periods of taking these supplements with NOT taking them, and paying attention to what I’m doing in the meantime.
Sure, my fine lines stand out like the Grand Canyon if I dessert binge, and don’t sleep, but I also see them more without my collagen complex.
I also played around with TONS of different brands and combos before I reached this one. You really only need your bone building multivitamin clashing with your magnesium fizz in the form of a day of…”toilet trips” ONCE to know how much attention you need to pay to those numbers on the back of the box.
The main takeaway here is that I can stand by the supplements I take in particular because I’m keeping an eagle eye on the results.
Talk to a doctor when/if you can, read reviews, read warnings, and keep tabs on yourself—and you’ll be able to separate the snake oil from the holy grail soon enough!
Do you have any favorite supplements, curlfriend?
Tell me about it below!