When it comes to supplements, we Americans have a special thing for it. More than 170 million Americans spend more than 30 billion dollars every year to buy various types of dietary supplements. More than 30 billion! There must be a reason for it.
We are being bombarded with various types of supplements every day. Except for some specific top rated supplements, manufacturers are literally pushing supplements of every kind into our throats. But are we actually benefiting from these supplements? How can you know that the supplements you are taking are actually working? Are they really fulfilling the purpose for which you were motivated to take them in the first place?
There is no easy and short answer to this question. And it will be wrong and hypocritical to give a verdict regarding the efficacy of supplements. There are so many factors that come into play when we are talking about this matter. In this article, I am going to cover the relevant factors which determine, how long does it take for vitamins to work or any other supplement to work.
Factor 1: How Much Deficiency You Have
The first factor in determining actually how long does it take for vitamin supplements to work is how much deficiency you have to begin with. If you have a severe deficiency to any kind of nutrients like vitamins or minerals, it will take a bit more time to overcome the deficiency you have. Think of your body as a bucket. It requires more time to fill an empty bucket.
Factor 2: The Quantity of Dosage
The effectiveness of the supplements you are taking also depends a lot on the dosage amount. Each nutrient has a specific amount in which it will deliver the most value to our body. Taking less than the optimal amount will slow down the effects you are expecting. On the other hand, taking more than the optimal dosage can have other side effects or make the supplement ineffective at all.
The optimal amount for each nutrient is not a thing written in stone. It differs from body to body. The dosage instructed at the supplement packages is just a standard.
Factor 3: The Quality of The Supplements
Of course, the quality of the supplements you are taking is a big factor in determining how long it will take to work or if it will really work or not. Unfortunately, these dietary supplements do not fall under the medicine category and thus are not regulated by the FDA. The quality checking procedure is completely up to the manufacturers. No one will raise a finger about it unless someone dies off by taking such a supplement (and you have to prove it as well). Reputable companies often pay rating agencies to assure their consumers about the quality of their products.
Factor 4: The Form of Supplement & Absorption Rate
The supplement form you are taking is also a crucial factor in determining the efficacy of the supplement. The absorption rate of the supplement depends on the nutrient and in the form you are taking it. The compound in which the nutrient is soluble determines the absorption rate of the compound.
For example, zinc is one of the essential trace minerals. There are many types of zinc supplements. Zinc sulfate (zinc chelated with sulfate) is more absorbable by our body than zinc oxide or just zinc.
Another key point in this regard is the interdependency of nutrients to be absorbed by our body. Majority of the nutrients require other nutrients to be absorbed and utilized properly. For example, if you are taking magnesium supplements without taking enough sodium, your body won’t be able to utilize that magnesium. The case is the same if you take zinc or calcium supplements with vitamin D deficiency.
Factor 5: The Reason of Deficiency
You should investigate what is the reason for the deficiency which led you to take the supplement in the first place. This is and should be the proper procedure for taking supplements. There is no point in filling a bucket up that has a hole. The cause of deficiency can be malnutrition, diet plan or any medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Taking supplements after self-diagnosing doesn’t help always. You have to investigate the root cause behind the deficiency by consulting a professional.
Factor 6: You Are What You Eat!
In this postmodern environment where we humans have derived a long way from our traditional, nature-oriented society, It is very easy to forget that our food was meant to be the source of all our essential nutrients. You are what you eat and your diet habit has a lot to do with maintaining good health.
If you can’t make your diet plan according to your body requirements, you can take help from a nutritionist in this regard.