4 Myths About Supplementation
The supplement industry is massive — as in, it’s a $163.9 billion business. And it’s full of messaging that can be confusing to people. So it’s no surprise that there are a few myths we need to bust in order to parse out the factual, science-backed research that went into the making of First & Foremost.
1. You should take one pill for all your daily nutrients
To date, the supplement space has covered essential nutrients in a patchwork way — a single vitamin or mineral formula, or a blend with too much or too little of each nutrient. There’s been nothing comprehensive that adapts to the realities of everyday eating. A few multivitamins have 10-20 nutrients, but that doesn’t come close to meeting your needs.
Plus, your diet changes daily, which means your nutrient intake changes, too. There are ~30 essential nutrients (here’s our theory on the 26 we include, and the ones we don’t) that people need to consume every day, but it’s not as easy as putting all 26 nutrients into a single pill, or even two pills. The reason the conventional multivitamin supplement doesn’t work is because it combines vitamins and minerals that counteract each other and hinder absorption. It’s essentially a placebo. Or there’s often so much of a nutrient in a supplement that your body can’t process it, and in some cases, it can even be harmful. But these nuances are not always addressed in marketing, so shopping for supplements can be overwhelming and confusing.
We designed First & Foremost with nutrition science at the forefront to provide you with a healthy foundation for everyday health. We took a well-researched approach to supplementation that considers not only the nutrients but also — and more importantly — how your body will process them.
2. Consuming more of a nutrient is better for you
For every major life stage, your body needs a designated amount of each essential nutrient — what’s known as your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) or in some cases, your Adequate Intake (AI). RDA & AI are carefully calibrated to ensure you’re getting enough, but not too much of a nutrient, and they’re determined by your age, gender and whether you’re pregnant. These metrics are far more relevant goals for your nutrient needs than Daily Value (%DV), which is the generic target you see on nutrition labels
Many supplement companies approach RDA as a minimum, and will far exceed that amount in their program. But more is not always better. Consuming more than 100% of a nutrient’s RDA is unnecessary — you’ll excrete the extraneous nutrients — and there’s a small chance it could be dangerous. Your body can only absorb so much, and if the body can’t process or excrete the excess nutrients, the accumulation can lead to toxicity. While many people are concerned they’re not getting enough of a nutrient, the dangers of over-supplementing are serious and potentially fatal.
3. If I supplement, I can eat whatever I want
Supplements are not replacements for healthy eating, they are called supplements for a reason — they’re literally supplementary! To that end, they should complement an already healthy diet. They cannot replace the nutrition you receive from whole foods, which typically provide:
- Greater nutrition due to their complex composition of a variety of micronutrients
- Essential dietary fiber for digestion, which helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, stroke, and heart disease
- Protective substances, or chemicals that slow down natural processes that cause cell and tissue damage, such as antioxidants
4. You get what you see on the nutrient fact sheet
There has been a lot of mistrust within the supplement industry about the quality and accuracy of supplement fact sheets. What you see is often not what you get – or rather what your body processes. Usually the amount written on a label is done so with no regards to how much of the nutrient is actually absorbed. And many factors impact a nutrient’s bioavailability once you swallow a supplement: its form, its potency, what it’s paired with, what you ate, what you drank, and how many prebiotics or probiotics you’ve consumed. However, very few supplement brands take this account when presenting their products to their target consumers. Furthermore, unless done by a third party, complying solely with FDA standards does not ensure transparent and accurate information about what comprises each synthetic nutrient - as the FDA treats supplements as food not drugs.
First & Foremost is different. What you see is what you get. We are NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) Certified, which means our production system and ingredients are routinely checked for potency and purity by a third party to ensure we comply with United States Pharmacopeia and European Pharmacopoeia standards. Additionally, we understand that bioavailability of nutrients is a chess game. Our 3 supplement occasions per day system was designed to ensure optimal absorption of each nutrient. We take into account complementary nutrients, conflicting nutrients, solubility (fat vs. water), form and chemistry when we paired each moment to fit seamlessly into your already busy lifestyle. It’s all about the science, and we have that down pat.