In this post, we want to explain what these two terms mean. This is not merely an exercise in wordplay; as you’ll learn after reading through the post, there is an important distinction in terms of the huge impact that supplements can play in practicing preventative healthcare. And that’s really what vitamins and supplements are all about—something you take to make you healthier now and stay healthy for the future. Pharmaceuticals are very different—you take them to “fix” a problem you already have (and oftentimes, the fix is sometimes not a fix and something that creates even worse problems, aka side effects).
The term supplements is the broader term and includes vitamins as well as other products like omega-3s, calcium and other minerals, botanicals, joint supplements and heart supplements, to name a few. Vitamin is a narrower term and refers to a natural substance that is usually found in foods and that helps your body to be healthy. Multivitamins are by far the most popular type of supplement that approximately 31% of all Americans take regularly, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s also key to note that most vitamins are naturally found in foods.
In fact, in the last decade or so, the number of Americans taking multivitamins has decreased from about 37% to 31% from 2000 to 2012, according to the same article mentioned above. The primary reason for this, as I am sure you may have seen, is the numerous studies that have come out stating essentially that vitamins do not provide any real medical benefits, that you can get the same vitamins from a balanced diet and that vitamins may actually do more harm than good. Now first off, these studies are by no means definitive—there are many studies that actually find the opposite; that is, vitamins are good for your health. But remember these studies only relate to vitamins, and NOT to supplements is general, so the key takeaway is that there are many supplements that can really help you become more healthy.
A botanical supplement “ is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or scent. Herbs are a subset of botanicals. Products made from botanicals that are used to maintain or improve health may be called herbal products, botanical products, or phytomedicines.” This is as defined by the National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. The use of botanicals has been increasing in the past decade, and is projected to increase significantly in the years to come. This is for the plain and simple reason that there are many botanicals that provide scientifically studied benefits, and many botanicals such as bacopa monnieri, shankhpushpi, jyothismati, rhodiola rosea, ashwagandha, and schisandra are generally not found in foods, so you have to take supplements to get their particular benefits.
Check out our first two products which are primarily composed of important botanicals beneficial for brain health and sustained daily energy here.
To Your Health!
The Supplematix Team