I have been doing some research in this area again lately. Wow is it complex!
The bottom line from any respected professional medical people is that you most likely can get everything you need from the right diet approach. I can tell you though that it is not possible to hit everything you need 100% of the time. The supplement thing makes sense to me as I know I miss out something important each and every day. I know this because I have been tracking my diet using a really useful I phone app called mynetdiary. The point is that my diet isn’t bad but I do often not hit 30g of dietary fibre or over shoot the recommended 2400mg of sodium recommended or come up a bit short on zinc or magnesium. Sure I can choose a diet that ensures enough calcium and satisfies some other suggested targets but not all of them all of the time. So long story short, supplementing is something of interest.
You may have heard of Dr Mercola, if not you should check his stuff out. Yes he looks like he is a businessman as well as a doctor (aren’t we all?) but if you watch enough of his material ( a lot of it is on youtube) you will get a sense of ‘integrity’ in my opinion. His top 5 supplements are a Probiotic for a balanced digestive system, krill oil for its optimal delivery of omega 3 fatty acids in the right proportions, Ubiquinol, an anti-oxidant which helps all the other anti-oxidants work better, a multi vitamin that has a good amount of all the important vitamins but also minerals and resveratrol, a potent plant phenol with reputed anti inflammatory and even anti aging properties.
This is a very controversial area as there are so many claims and counter claims not to mention experts and big business thrown in to the mix. Who do you believe? Probably the only way to really test any of these things out is to try each one in isolation and change nothing else about your diet or exercise approach and then see how you feel and even better than this get some objective measurements to back up any feeling you might have on the matter. The ‘placebo’ affect is so potent that any conclusions reached must be balanced out with this well documented phenomenon.
In making my mind up with these type of things I try to go with what most research is supporting g whilst keeping an open mind on something which may not be fully backed yet by the medical and or the business community (the support from which can either raise suspicions or make a case for its efficacy).
I am going to give the above 5 supplements a go, along with a protein supplement (which we supply) in a comprehensive personal experiment in July. Check out that post if you want to know more.