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Walk into most any pharmacy or big box store and peruse the vitamin and supplement aisle, and you can probably become completely overwhelmed, confused, and perhaps even frightened away. There is an endless sea of options out there just begging us to ingest them in the hopes of making our bodies even healthier. My solution to this dilemma has been to simply avoid this aisle. In fact, the last time I engaged in a regimen of daily vitamins was in my elementary school days and it was the Flintstones variety. This habit was short-lived, however.
When I visit the doctor today and am queried about any medications, vitamins, and supplements I take, I simply reply, “None.” After the doctor raises a quizzical eyebrow, I proudly inform her, “Well, I am not on medication of any kind, and I don’t take vitamins or supplements either.” While the no medication proclamation is always a good thing, it seems I am frequently urged by my doctor to at least take a daily multi-vitamin, calcium, and perhaps a vitamin D supplement.
While there are many reasons why I shy away from taking vitamins and supplements, the main one stems from a lifelong belief engrained in me by my father many years ago. A respected cardio-pulmonary specialist, my dad frequently opined that taking such things was really not necessary, provided one adhered to a well-balanced diet full of the foods that provide the essential nutrients, coupled with a commitment to daily exercise. As one who abhors taking medication of any kind, that was good enough for me. Even though my busy lifestyle may not always allow for the most favorable of diets, I make sure to exercise at least two hours a day, which I believe is the main reason I am not on medication of any kind at age 47.
However, I am constantly reminded through news, media, friends, and medical professionals today that calcium and vitamin D are clearly necessary for strong bones. I boast a diet that is rich in calcium through the variety of foods I eat bearing that nutrient. I also spend an appreciable amount of time in the sun, absorbing that natural vitamin D supplement along the way.