For awhile now, I've been trying to figure out my feelings on taking multivitamins and other supplements on a daily basis. Are they helpful? Necessary, especially for women of childbearing age? A waste of money?
I know plenty of people who swear by the energy boost they get from vitamins, whether SuperMom, Melaleuca, or LifePak. I have tried the latter two; taking a vitamin called SuperMom always struck me as a little silly because, well...I'm not a mom. Both of the vitamins I tried required multiple pills, multiple times a day; I hate swallowing pills, and it's difficult for me to remember to do so at various times throughout the day. So my regimens on both supplements were fairly short-lived, a month or two, but long enough (I felt) to make the assessment that I didn't feel any different, in any way, while on either of them. I also tried Food-Based One, from Whole Foods, and had similar (lack of) results. I don't get sick that often (knock on wood!), which is one of the other benefits that people often mention when talking about their vitamins, and so that doesn't hold a lot of sway for me.
However, I have been taking an Omega-3 supplement for a couple of months now (thanks, Mom!) and I will say I've noticed a difference in my skin since I've started taking it. (Perhaps more importantly, they also have tons of other purported health benefits as well.) I tend toward dry, rough skin (as you all know by now!) and while it hasn't fixed some of my more persistent eczema, the texture of my skin in general seems more supple to me. I use a facial moisturizer with sunscreen, but that's it, and I feel like adding the Omega-3 supplement has helped facilitate even better results from this fairly lazy skincare regimen.
I've also started taking Loma Lux Eczema, a homeopathic combination remedy, since my bout with the dyshidrosis and so far I can't say I've seen much of an improvement (the dyshidrosis was already gone by the time the Loma Lux arrived, so I'm taking it more now for my more generalized eczema) , but I've also not taken it consistently for long enough to make a fair analysis. The jury's still out on that one, and we'll see. Right now I'm able to take that, the Omega 3s, and my birth control all in one fell swoop, so at least I'm not dealing with the multiple dosing times.
I guess the conclusion I'm coming to is that I'd much rather try hard to get all my nutrients from a healthy diet--including paying slightly higher prices for some products-- than pay to take a supplement that doesn't seem to me to make much difference. Our diet these days consists of probably 4-8 servings of fresh produce a day, a couple servings of whole grains, and a couple of servings of fats in the form of whole, grass-fed dairy or eggs (which tend to have much higher levels of Omega-3s in them). As a result, our intake of various vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids is pretty high compared to other dietary patterns, so supplementation probably holds a less dramatic benefit for us than it might for other people.
However, were I to get pregnant (or be attempting to), something like this that we could do ourselves and which is based on real foods holds a lot of appeal for me.