FOOD SUPPLEMENTS: ARE THEY REALLY NECESSARY?

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Medically Speaking is a platform whereby some common and troubling medical issues and their possible solutions are discussed by medical professionals.  Below is the compilation of a tweetcast done on food supplements by a medical doctor, Dr.Harvey Olufunmilayo. Read, be enlightened and make an informed decision. Your health is everything!

Earlier today at work,I had a very interesting patient who made us have an interaction that serves as the basis for this new medical post
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He was a young man, 35yr old, married with a wife and two kids; and our discussion centered around #FoodSupplements and their importance.
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In the next set of tweets, I wil be writing a new medical post called “Are #FoodSupplements necessary for Everybody?”
Pls read patiently.
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Incase you want to join in the discussion, or ask me any questions, tweet @DrOlufunmilayo or just use #FoodSupplements, I will respond.
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As I always attempt to do, I only provide and present a strictly medical perspective based on clear verifiable research & not sentiments.
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If you have lived in any of Nigeria’s major cities- Lagos, Abuja, Calabar etc, then you would have seen/heard of #FoodSupplements
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And incase, you still don’t understand what I mean by the term #FoodSupplements, i mean all those Tianshi, GNLD, ForeverLiving stuff.
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The question I want to adress is,
1.Does every single person need to take this #FoodSupplements?
2.Do they do ALL the sellers advertise?
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Let me quickly burst your bubbles.
ALL the nutrients that you need can be gotten from healthy foods, fresh fruits & green vegetables.
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It is an absolute lie to insist that somehow #FoodSupplements can replace eating a healthy balanced diet or supply what your diet lacks.
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Some people have been sold the lie that healthy balanced diet, fruits and fresh vegetables are somehow lacking in basic nutrients.
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The truth is that the people who sell #FoodSupplements only peddle such falsity in a bid to sell their pills as the “missing” nutrient.
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As a matter of fact, except u have a background medical problem or u are too sick/malnourished to eat, #FoodSupplements are unnecessary.
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There are different categories of individuals who may need some form of supplements but the idea that EVERYBODY needs it is untrue.
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And even in the categories of people who medically need some supplementation, the needs are NOT the same.
It is individual-based.
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For example pregnant women usually need Iron to boost their blood levels,  post-menopausal women need Calcium prevent osteoporosis.
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But note that in this few examples, the supplementation is decided and given by the doctor based on the absolute necessity of the drug.
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This is different from the popular paranoia that drives most people to buy whatever is sold as #FoodSupplements which they don’t need.
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So in simple terms, except u are pregnant, over55yrs old, extremely malnourished, or too sick to eat; u do have NO need for supplements.
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You see the logic is simple.
If you eat good food with fruits & fresh vegetables,
And you are healthy with no illness,
Why supplements?

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I know there are doctors who out of financial motives sell this #FoodSupplements to healthy people who don’t need it.
This is a shame.
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The question to ask such doctors is simple:

Were they ever taught in medical school that EVERYBODY needs #FoodSupplements? Pls ask.
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It is evil to take advantage of people’s ignorance.
And that is what doctors who sell #FoodSupplements to healthy people are doing.
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There are so many lies that have been peddled by this so-called #FoodSupplements. Some people even say it is more effective than drugs.
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The risk with such nonsensical talk is that people discard their drugs and replace them with useless expensive unnecessary supplements.
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I once know a man who threw away his anti hypertensives & started using Tianshi drugs only to develop a fatal stroke and die later.
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A friend once told me that #FoodSupplements can “dissolve” fibroids.
This is very hilarious and outrightly ridiculous.
It is impossible.
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The reason why there is so much myth surrounding this #FoodSupplements  is because of our massive collective ignorance as a people.
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People just feel that #FoodSupplements can do everything from cure breast cancer to heal hypertension, or even prevent barrenness.
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If you have money to buy expensive #FoodSupplements, to be honest it will be better utilized on good food, fresh fruits & vegetables.
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Supplements are NOT for everybody. Just like drugs are NOT for everyone. Except there’s a clear reason to, it is pointless taking them.
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Spend your money on good food, fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables.
It is cheaper and more effective than any #FoodSupplements.
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Ask any medical doctor anywhere.
There is NOT one illness that medical school teaches prescription of all those GNLD products as cure.
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And let me confirm this to you.
Buying drugs and #FoodSupplements in buses/shops without a doctor’s recommendation is self-destructive.
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You can buy 3oranges for as low as 50naira.
Or a hand of bananas for 100naira.
Inculcate the habit of eating fruits.
That’s what u need.
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Is it not interesting that our grandparents who never used any so-called #FoodSupplements live longer lives than we do?
Think about it.
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Wanna know why?
They ate good food, well cooked, lots of fruits, much vegetables.
And less processed food or junk meals.
Unlike us.
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Don’t be deceived.
The people selling you GNLD, ForeverLiving and Tianshi stuff don’t care about your health.
It is all about the money.
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And pls note, doctors were NEVER trained at any point in medical school to prescribe them.
Don’t let anyone scam u cos he’s a doctor.
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Lets put emphasis where it truly belongs.
Good food, fresh fruits and vegetables.
If u have any complaints, or feel ill, see a doctor.
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Thanks for your time.
On a final note, eat well, take lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
And always go for regular medical checks.
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Olufunmilayo Harvey Ogunsanya aka #YourFavOnlineDoctor is a medical doctor. He has future plans of being a brain surgeon but presently practice in the medical department of a private firm. His regular tweet casts on diverse medical issues via his Twitter handle are absolutely informative and educative! You can follow himhim on twitter or tweet your questions at him via @drolufunmilayo

2 thoughts on “FOOD SUPPLEMENTS: ARE THEY REALLY NECESSARY?

  1. I totally disagree with what Dr Olufunmilayo has said about food supplements! I have been very sick several times where I take normal drug and it seems not to work then I take food supplement and I feel way better…I have loads of testimonies of food supplement…. Truth be told, how many of us really eat fresh vegetables and fruits??? How FRESH are the vegetables and fruits in the market??? You speak of supplements as if they are bad! You may be a Dr but what you don’t know, you don’t know!

    As the name implies, it is simply to supplement our food…#FoodSupplement…. I can bet that even you as a Dr does not eat the so-called FRESH vegetables and fruits everyday!

    Food Supplement cannot and will not take the place of drugs…. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits are the best but in a situation where you can’t get all the vitamins and nutrients in a day, you will need a food supplement….shikena!

    Its good to take food supplement but its not by force! So please do not speak of it as if its a piece of rubbish. May you not be in a situation where all you need will be a food supplement!

    1. Note that he agreed that they can be useful in some cases but they can’t substitute your medication for supplement without your doctor’s say so

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