Discussion Not Debate: The Right Way to Frame the Conversation Over Natural Nutrients Versus Supplements

Vitamins for wellness have rarely been the center of dinner table conversation. We talk about life, careers, and other subjects, but we have conveniently avoided the essential conversation about nutrients.

Vitamins supplements

The Unbalanced Numbers

According to a survey, nearly 92% of Americans have nutritional or vitamin deficiencies. Nearly 42% of Americans have a vitamin D deficiency. The story does not end there; a segment of the US population also faces the problem of excess vitamin intake.

The Polarizing Conversation

Due to the polarizing nature of this conversation, people tend to think that any form of packaged dietary supplement is less than ideal. Because of this mindset, they refuse to consider quality products like Nature’s Lab Organic Chia Seeds, which is a USDA-certified, organic raw superfood.

Here, we will talk about the benefits of both whole foods and supplements, and try to reach a middle ground. Usually, more importance is placed on natural sources of nutrients, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Here, however, we will look at both of them objectively and let go of prejudice toward one or the other.

Whole Foods and Marginal Deficiency

Whole foods are unprocessed, natural foods that retain all their nutrients and fiber, and have no additives like sugar or starch. Any individual who has a normal, healthy body, without any serious vitamin deficiencies, can continue to lead a healthy life by sticking to a diet of whole foods.

According to some medical experts, in America, the real issue is a marginal vitamin deficiency. A well-planned, prolonged whole food diet of fruits and vegetables can adequately address this concern.

Marginal Vitamin Deficiency

Marginal vitamin deficiency is a stage of depletion before a serious vitamin deficiency begins to develop.

There are various symptoms of marginal deficiency, some of which are:

  • Lethargy
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

The concept of marginal deficiency produces mixed reactions. Some people will get all worked up and go into complete overdrive with vitamin intake, while others will just shrug it off.

In the latter case, they’ll find out after a while that deficiency has gotten to a level where they need supplements for wellness.

A marginal deficiency will slow the rate of a patient’s recovery after surgery. It is also one of the causes of some underlying physiological issues that need medical attention.

Why Consume Supplements (Without Comparing Them to Whole Foods)?

At some point in your life, you will encounter people who eat a relatively well-balanced diet that includes whole foods and still complain about health issues like constant fatigue and dizziness.

People may experience fatigue, dizziness, or muscle pain for a lot of reasons. One of the major causes of these conditions, however, is the lack of vitamin D. This is where supplements come in, to take care of nutritional deficiency.

Remember that whatever supplement you take, you should consult a doctor or a registered dietician first.

What Are Supplements?

Supplements are synthetic sources of vitamins, usually in the form of a pill or a liquid. A supplement is necessary for people who have serious vitamin deficiencies.

A healthy person’s body can easily absorb nutrients and water- or fat-soluble vitamins from food. However, some people’s systems cannot absorb them, and they end up with a serious vitamin deficiency. In such cases, supplements become important.


According to medical experts, individuals who are above 50 years of age, regardless of gender, need an additional source of vitamins.

The following are statistics regarding the increase in the consumption of supplements, either as vitamin tablets or in other forms.

US Supplements Consumption

According to some reports, Americans are comfortable with taking dietary supplements to fill a nutritional void. In fact, according to a survey, nearly 92% of Americans take dietary supplements.

This data shows a surge in the consumption of vitamin supplements since the number was around 65% in 2009. Also, according to older but still relevant data, between 34% and 49% of older adults use multivitamins.

Wrapping Up

It is evident that there is an imbalance in the consumption of essential nutrients. The question is, where does this imbalance stem from in our otherwise healthy daily lives?

The answer lies in the way we internalize the debate about whole foods vs supplements. They complement each other and are equally important.