6 Supplements That Might Actually Help You


♪Intro♪ Supplements are super popular. One recent survey estimates that more than
half of Americans use them, and we spend billions of dollars on them each year. The truth is, though, most people don’t
need any supplements, unless they’re deficient in a vitamin or mineral. And even if they are, they should probably
switch up their diet instead of buying pills or powders. That’s because when these chemicals are
eaten in food, your body can absorb and use them better. Plus, it’s much harder to overdose. A surprising number of supplements have actually
been shown to hurt us. In fact, every year, about 23,000 Americans
head to ERs because of adverse reactions. All that being said, there are a few supplements
— in the right situations — that might be worth it. Before you take anything, though, you should
definitely talk to a doctor, who will look at your personal situation and help you make
an informed choice. We’re not doctors. So, that being said, here are 6 supplements
that scientific research seems to give a green light to. At least… in some cases. One of the clear winners in the supplement
world is one that might look kinda sketchy, since it’s all over bodybuilding powders
and energy bars. But creatine is the real deal. It’s a molecule that you naturally make
in your liver and kidney, and mostly store in your muscles. And besides workout supplements, you can get
it from foods like beef and fish. Not everyone responds to extra creatine, but
studies have shown that many people see improvements in sports that require short bursts of power,
like sprinting. People can run faster, lift heavier weights,
and build more muscle. Creatine can also help with muscle recovery
from intense workouts, but doesn’t seem to help with endurance sports, like long-distance
running or swimming. Scientists think that the extra creatine gets
modified by your body and helps make the main molecule that cells use for energy: ATP. That extra available energy lets muscles work
harder than they normally would, especially in bursts. Outside of weightlifting competitions, creatine
also can help people with muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease that causes progressive
muscle loss and weakness. These patients tend to have lower levels of
natural creatine. And, in certain forms of the disease, supplements
increase muscle strength and let patients go about their daily lives more easily. Didn’t think we’d mention a trendy juice,
did you? But beet, or beetroot, juice seems to actually
do something! It’s made from beets — no shocker here. And in multiple studies, researchers have
found that it can improve athletic performance, specifically for aerobic sports, like running
or swimming. While the juice has a lot of potentially good
stuff in it, scientists think the part that’s most beneficial for exercise is the nitrate. Beets are chock full of it, and our bodies
will turn it into nitric oxide, which triggers blood vessels to get wider. This allows more blood to flow, so more oxygen
gets to your muscles. Your muscles use oxygen to break down food
to create energy to contract. So, with more oxygen around, you don’t tire
out as quickly. At least, that’s the working theory. For those same reasons, beet juice might also
help lower blood pressure. If you drink a lot, though, just be prepared
for some pink or red pee. Now, like we said, you typically don’t need
supplements unless you have a deficiency, so there’s no real good reason to take multivitamins. And non-food antioxidants generally don’t
help either. But there is one exception, for people with
age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. People with this condition are usually over
the age of 50. They slowly lose their vision, because of
damage to the macula, which is the central part of the retina — the light-sensitive
cells at the back of your eye. The basic idea is that because cells in the
retina absorb light, which can excite electrons and create reactive molecules called free
radicals, they could get damaged. So antioxidants, which sop up free radicals,
might help. And some of the most familiar vitamins, including
vitamin C and E, are antioxidants. There’s been quite a bit of scientific debate
and lots of clinical trials to pin down which vitamins and antioxidants are actually helpful. The general consensus is that certain combinations
do work well enough to slow the progression of AMD. They don’t prevent eye damage, but slowing
it down is still good. You’ve probably heard about this one, but
it’s worth mentioning because it’s one of the few cases where we have pretty indisputable
evidence that a supplement does some good. Folic acid, or folate, is a B vitamin — B9
to be exact. Vitamins are compounds that your body needs
to work and grow that you can’t make on your own, so you have to get them from somewhere
else, like food. Specifically, folic acid is important for
making red blood cells, and thymine and cytosine, two of the four bases that make up DNA. If that sounds kind of important, let me assure
you: it is. You can’t make new cells without it. So, while everyone needs folic acid, pregnant
people really need it, because they’re rapidly growing a whole new human inside them. That means the usual folic acid that we eat,
either naturally in leafy vegetables and other foods, or in fortified things like breakfast
cereal, may not be enough. Doctors advise pregnant people to take folic
acid supplements, both before and during the pregnancy. Without enough folic acid, they can develop
anemia, or too few healthy red blood cells. That can mean their tissues don’t get enough
oxygen, making them tired. And deficiencies can affect the baby’s growth
too, since they’re getting the vitamin from their parent. Not enough folic acid can cause a neural tube
defect early in development, which can be serious. In one defect, known as spina bifida, the
baby’s spinal column doesn’t close all the way, which can damage nerves and sometimes
leaves kids paralyzed. In another, called anencephaly, the baby doesn’t
fully develop its brain or skull. Most of these babies die before or just after
birth. Melatonin is sometimes marketed as a cure-all
for sleep-related problems. Its track record is a little spotty, but studies
have found small benefits in certain cases. It may be most useful for people who have
abnormal or disrupted circadian rhythms — like people with jet-lag, night shifts, or a condition
called delayed sleep phase syndrome, which is when your biological clock is perpetually
several hours behind. And that’s because melatonin is a hormone
that helps control our cycling in and out of sleep. As it gets later and dark outside, the pineal
gland in your brain starts to release the hormone, and it binds to receptors deep in
the brain to help usher you into dreamland. So when your body isn’t naturally making
melatonin — like if you’ve changed time zones — taking some could help ‘reset’
your internal clock, and let you get more rest than you otherwise would. And some studies support this idea, while
others find barely any improvement. Also, melatonin might help people with insomnia
fall asleep faster, and increase the total amount of time they sleep. It’s typically only about 10 extra minutes,
though… and in some experiments, those gains aren’t there. Last year, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
even revised its guidelines to say that they don’t recommend melatonin for insomnia. Although they also admit that’s based on
relatively weak evidence. So the scientific community isn’t positive
about this one. Part of the problem is that even though melatonin
is relatively well studied, researchers have tested different dosages at different times
and for different things. So we can’t be too confident about what
it can do. The other big thing worth mentioning is that
even though people may use melatonin like a drug, basically to treat or prevent a condition,
the FDA doesn’t classify it as one. So it’s regulated in the US like a supplement. Which basically means… it’s not very regulated. A study published in 2017 found that 70% of
melatonin supplements have 10% more or less melatonin in them than their labels say, with
some falling in a enormously wide range. The supplements can also have other things
that aren’t listed on the label, like the neurotransmitter serotonin. And this could get dangerous, like too much
serotonin can lead to overactive nerves and a bunch of potentially severe symptoms, like
seizures. Last but not least is one of the oldest supplements
in the world: St. John’s wort. The saintly name comes from the fact that
the plant’s yellow flowers bloom around the birthday, and feast day, of John the Baptist. It’s been used for lots of maladies, going
back at least to the ancient Greeks. But it’s most famous for its effects on
mood. Modern scientists think that’s because of
the chemical hyperforin. Hyperforin prevents neurons from taking up
certain neurotransmitters, like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which leaves
more of them in synapses between cells. Scientists aren’t sure why this helps, but
having more of these neurotransmitters around may let neurons communicate better, and strengthen
the circuits in the brain responsible for controlling mood. Many standard antidepressants do the same
basic thing, even if their mechanisms are slightly different. Now, St. John’s wort has been tested in
multiple placebo-controlled trials. These are clinical trials in which some people
get the substance being tested, and others get a placebo, like a sugar pill. That way, researchers can tell if a drug or
supplement does anything. And those experiments showed that it helped
people with mild to moderate depression. The best case for St. John’s wort is a 2008
meta-analysis that included 29 different studies. It concluded that the supplement does better
than a placebo and is just as effective as standard antidepressants, but with fewer side
effects. But that meta-analysis also included a lot
of studies from Germany, where St. John’s wort is popular and tends to do well in trials. And other studies, especially those outside
Germany, have sometimes failed to see St. John’s wort doing much more than a placebo. Regular antidepressants sometimes fail in
those same tests too, though. So really, it goes to show how strong the
placebo effect can be. A huge downside of St. John’s wort is that
it interacts with a lot of other drugs and makes them less effective — like HIV antiretrovirals,
birth control, and organ transplant rejection drugs. And we’re not even close to listing them
all. Researchers think hyperforin triggers the
liver to make more of an enzyme that breaks down certain medicines, so you go through
them more quickly. And you most definitely should not combine
St. John’s wort with other antidepressants, because those drugs can also increase serotonin
levels, which can lead to a serotonin overdose. Because of other mechanisms, St. John’s
wort can also make you more sensitive to the sun, and it can lead to miscarriages, so pregnant
people should avoid it. Not to mention, some people are straight-up
allergic. So even the best-of-the-best supplements come
with some pretty huge caveats, or are very specific to certain people. And… that’s the biggest lesson here. In recent years, study after study has debunked
any benefit from a lot of supplements that we assumed were good. So, unless you work out a specific plan with
a medical expert, resist the urge to pop vitamins and botanicals to get healthier. Usually, you’re better off without them. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow,
which is produced by Complexly, a group of people who believe the more we understand,
the better we get at being humans! If you want to learn more about evidence-based
medicine, check out our other channel Healthcare Triage at youtube.com/healthcaretriage. ♪Outro♪

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Comments

  1. This presentation is a sterling example of how much weight small clinical trials are given over the massive abundance of anecdotal evidence accumulated, sometimes, over centuries. Too often reports of the efficacy of certain foods or substances are dismissed because they lack the stamp of approval from clinicians who have been trained to gather up statistics and assemble them into some kind of coherent report about whatever item they are studying. Without this clinical analysis, very often, whole histories are discarded because the clinical trials don't add up to the results reported by thousands of first hand experiences. Also, due to the tendency of these kinds of trials having a predetermined anticipated outcome, the voluminous anecdotal histories related to the subject of study are summarily dismissed. This is particularly true when the trials are conducted by groups who have an agenda and a stake in the establishment of bona fides for what is being studied. Thus we've seen such stalwart health aids as ginseng, gotu kola, fish oils, vitamin rich veggies and other nutrient rich substances belittled as "old wives tales" and anecdotal myths. Many times the studies are arranged in such a way as to isolate certain aspects of the whole food that are essential to the actions of the components under examination thus rendering the exploration of effect disconnected from the synergistic impact of the whole food. So, any given study may claim that this molecule or that enzyme is either useful or useless under laboratory conditions when in fact the real world use is far more complex than the study is prepared to consider.

  2. Gee! I wonder who funded this travesty of a hit piece on supplements. They must think the average viewer is in elementary school. The presenter needs to go back to class.

  3. I take multi vitamin most days. I understand that the benefits are limited at best. Thing is, how can you know if you have minor deficiencies? I’m not going to log the properties of everything I eat. Since there are very few risks associated with using vitamins I use them to make sure I have no deficiencies. I try to balance my diet but I don’t want to use a spreadsheet just to eat 🙂

  4. You can use the placebo effect to your advantage. If you believe your pills are effective then they might be. Just make sure they won’t slowly kill you 🙂

  5. Always choose a methly group attached to a folate . Folic acid is not easily broken down in the body , opt for folate.

  6. Folic Acid is not important for anything, 5DMHF is. Folic acid must be converted to 2DMHF and then 5DMHF before it is useful, and folic acid competes with 2DMHF for the same enzyme (yes, it must react twice).
    This makes higher folic acid result in lower 5DMHF because it bottle-necks at 2DMHF which is not bioactive, and then you get intracellular folate deficiency.

    Have fun.

  7. A big issue with a lot of supplements (the natural ones more commonly, like St John's Wart) is that they aren't well regulated, nor have many studies been done proving their efficacy. However, vitamins and minerals are more regulated, but not entirely. Either way, before taking anything, do research on the upper limits on vitamins and minerals unless recommended by a doctor or dietician. For example, niacin can come in extremely large doses to try to control cholesterol levels, and should NEVER be taken unless under regular examination by a doctor that recommended it.

  8. I take a cod liver oil and vitamin D pill once or twice a week, I have joint problems and mild agoraphibia

  9. For about half the US population, folic acid (synthetic folate) is toxic at some level and can cause severe mental health and neurological problems. Natural folate needs to be supplemented, either in food or in whole food vitamins, to combat this toxicity. Also, those of us with gastroparesis have a very difficult time eating enough nutrients, so a whole food multivitamin is also necessary.

  10. High doses of sodium ascorbate! Our bodies don’t make vitamin C.
    Sodium ascorbate is the only effective form of vitamin C.

  11. Serotonin Poisoning is no joke! It’s like being dragged through hell, only every individual layers of your body, because you can feel every single layer fighting to get away from the layer next to it!
    You also can’t remember your name or where you are half the time, all while you want to throw up because it would feel good, but you just can’t!

  12. Unless you are living out of a blender and drinking kale, spinach, raw eggs, nuts and berries, you are most likely malnourished. Your fancy pasta dish at your expensive Italian restaurant has little if no nutrients. And, that sandwich and chips at lunch is the same. Americans are fat and diabetic because they consume sugar. They also eat too many carbohydrates. Food is not entertainment it is nurishment. If you are enjoying what you eat, you are probably eating the wrong things.

  13. Studies are often done by people with agendas, such as the multibillion dollar pharmaceutical industry, which skews the studies results to fit their desired outcomes.
    They have a lot to protect, and you not needing their drugs is not to their interests.

  14. If you tied his hands behind him he couldn't talk. Come to think of it that would be an improvement, just text

  15. ST. JOHN'S WORT IS NOT HARMLESS!! There are certain foods you shouldn't eat w/this herb. Whatever you can't eat while taking an MAO, don't take w/St. John's Wort.

    Why there has been no mention of pre- & probiotics, I do not understand. After a month on Dr. T_bias's D_ep Imm_ne capsules, I started losing weight, didn't want to eat as many junk foods, & cut many of my med doses in half or more! I know this is not scientific research, but I won't recommend anything I haven't tried or haven't seen to display good/great results. In my case, $23/mo. is well worth it, even if only a placebo effect.

    Finalily, if'n yer old like me, you don't absorb the good stuff you need as readily as you did when young. Life just ain't fair. But hey, we all gotta go sometime. I don't want to be a constant tax on anyone. 'Sides, I already made my peace w/Lord Jesus, so I'm ready anytime. Chow!

  16. I was informed by an anastesiologist, those people who put you to sleep for surgery that St. John's Wort has counter indication with some of the drugs used for pre-op and during surgery. I was in pre-op at the time and they tried 1 mg of the drug they were no planning on using and they (surgery staff) predicted that my vitals could go out of control which happened so surgery was cancelled and I stayed in pre-op until my body fully stabilized for release from the hospital and I had to wait 72 hrs without taking St. John's Wort for the remainder of the herb to leave my body so surgery could be safely performed.

  17. I have add and melatonin is a godsend. Plus, I feel so refreshed and my dreams are so much vivid and I can remember dream much better. Me personally use naturol gummies. Love it

  18. Where is the iodine, a little research will show the power of iodine in our bodily functions, not only thyroid but immune system and much more

  19. Ask your doctor to tell you which vitamin is right for you. 😂🤣😂 The last time I attempted a nutritional discussion with a doctor I gave up. I will never try that again. They know exceptionally little re nutrition or vitamins and minerals. My OPiNION.

  20. Western medicine GP (general poisoner) doctors are probably the largest group of mass torturers and mass killers ever in the history of man. They are primarily there to make money for themselves. They know nothing about good health because they are not trained in health and/or nutrition though they will try and masquerade as "health" doctors. They are only trained in the use of medical poisons. They are only medicine/poison doctors. As a rule, the poisons they suggest and promote will be extremely dangerous to your health. If possible, never ever use them, As a rule their poisons will not address the underlying root cause of your symptoms. Often they will have very little useful effect, if at all, and any effect they have will usually only mask symptoms, have dangerous side affects, exacerbate other existing problems in your body, create dependency and rarely cure anything in a biologically enhancing way.
    The poisons they promote are made by large western pharmaceutical corporations which exist to make profits. To make profits, western pharmaceutical corporations will lie and deceive you and the medicine doctor too and basically do whatever it takes to sell any product and make as much money as they possibly can. Do not ever believe anything said by a western pharmaceutical corporation. In the interests of your good health, if you can possibly avoid it, never ever take their poisons. If ill, and you have to, use a medicine doctor for diagnosis and test purposes only. When they talk to you, take their advice with "a grain of salt". They think they know a lot (if not everything) unfortunately, they do not and their advice will often be incorrect. After their diagnosis, research dietary and nutritional treatment options, Paleo, Ketogenic, Low carb, High leafy greens, gluten free, exclusion diets, healthy food, intelligent eating, fresh unprocessed foods, fasting, supplement options, vitamins, minerals, herbal treatment options, Ayurvedic (Indian) Asian (Chinese) and European herbal treatments, Acupuncture, Meditation and just about any alternative that appeals and is not dangerous. Ask around and research online.
    “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”
    "You are what you eat."
    Be polite and courteous to medicine doctors, sometimes they may have a lot of power over your situation. Do not try to convert them, often they are health fools and thoroughly poisons indoctrinated. Many have very large egos that do not respond well to challenge, truth, honesty and anything outside their tunnel vision/tunnel education of poisons. If challenged and shown up to be the ignorant, poisoning, incompetent frauds they are, there is quite a risk they will become angry, aggressive, vindictive and quite nasty towards you.

  21. Folic acid is important but folate, the synthetic one, can be very damaging for some people. I don’t understand (well, only as $ saving, lazy, irresponsible…) why in the world you’d think adding supplements in water or in many foods for EVERYONE can be health promoting. Chloride and Fluoride are very damaging to people with thyroid issues because these two have similar molecular composition to iodine, and so the body will reject iodine thinking it has too much when in fact there’s a deficiency that will affect many body functions and cause ill health. Just one example.

  22. Just Juice some spinach, half a beet some parsley, 3 carrots, and one apple. This is will get your engine running. Have a nice day.

  23. Did you just say that pregnant women have babies in their stomach?? Did this baby eat the clump of cells?
    Funny how the truth comes out when we aren't paying attention.

  24. This guy is a fool. He's even has glasses on which is an indication he's had or has nutritional deficiencies 🤦🏻‍♂️
    We all have deficiencies all the time. And don't ask a doctor about nutrition ffs!

  25. DO NOT TAKE FOLIC ACID ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE MTHFR WHICH HE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT. Folic Acid is artificial. YOU WANT TO TAKE FOLATE OR METHYLFOLATE.

  26. 4:43 – "Pregnant people"
    Yes, let's use gender neutral terminology, even for that which is dictated by biology.
    My cynical mind wonders whether this is a slip of the tongue, or political correctness gone mad 🙂

  27. Some people have health issues that make supplements necessary to the point where I have to get IV infusions since I’m unable to absorb from food. Otherwise healthy people typically don’t need them & are better off without. It’s also important to know that where you get your supplements, it can make a difference between getting what the label says & getting something that’s either lacking or has more than a safe amount so buy from natural pharmacies!

  28. St. John's Wart helped me in the late 1990's with depression, completely getting me over it and back to normal within 6 moths to a year without having to continue taking it forever like doctors who love you put you on and leave you on an antidepressant for the rest of your life, essentially making you into a perpetual Zombie who can not FEEL good or bad for the rest of your life?
    Do NOT EVER take pharmaceutical antidepressants, they are literally mind numbing!

  29. I have bipolar and take an ssri. Just like below don't take st John's wart if you have a mental illness. It can drive you off the edge. Ok video but they should have added curcumin tumeric

  30. Beet juice can be cause very bad gout and redness of the skin. It's safe to use if you are using it for exercise but don't drink it everyday if you aren't getting your daily workout.

  31. Creatine. 5mg in the morning every day with my first 50 grams of whey isolate based protein. Heavier lifts for a longer time. Helps with recovery time also.

  32. CoQ 10 is my supplement of choice. I take statins and that causes significant muscle fatigue….CoQ10 reduces the muscle pain and fatigue. Recommended by my nephrologist.

  33. I think the best supplements for me are: creatine, b-complex, fish oils, magnesium, msm / sulphur, zinc, collagen, apple cider vinegar. I disagree with melatonin (careful, it's a hormone), and beet juice (is high sugar). But best to seek out the highest quality foods you can afford including large amounts of concentrated greens.

  34. What a load of useless rubbish. I could name 5 supplements which are scientifically proven to increase health, life span and combat cancer.

  35. A lot to criticize here. Such a good channel but it's misleading. People might walk away thinking supplements are bad where as there are a lot (omega 3, ginseng, etc, etc etc) which are crucial to fighting over metabolic diseases caused by lack of exercise and mainly a terrible diet

  36. How can they miss THE BIG ONE? 1000 IU of vitamin D will literally cut your risk of getting cancer in half. That of course is most especially if you don't get a lot of sun, like if you're usually indoors or if you live in the PNW where it's so often cloudy and then not warm enough to want to sun tan much of the summer. (Or if you use sun tan lotion and don't get any healthy sunlight even when outside.) Almonds and pine nuts are also reputed to be especially valuable for that too, as they have good proportions of very digestible iron and phosphorus.

  37. More recent studies on metformin suggest it can probably prolong life span significantly. Want to live to 120? Nothing else so far is suggesting it can do that for you. Good luck getting any of this old, cheap and (especially in a "one 500mg pill a day" dose) harmless medicine which has no sensible reason to be "by prescription only" unless you know someone with diabetes. It's going to be very hard to find out if it's effective or not when no healthy person is permitted to get it.

  38. Phenibut for sleep and anxiety, and kratom for pain. Both are slightly addictive, but the benefits outweigh the risks.

  39. Just a warning that creatine can have bad side effects. I have stomach aches and skin flushes when I taken the minimum dose

  40. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 has deregulated the industry, so there is no safety or purity checked on supplements, as such contents of these supplements are unknown and adulteration is a huge concern.

  41. Raw beet….ugh. Found out I'm one of those sensitive to it…it burns the hell out of your throat, painful as hell for 24 hours!

  42. I would be cautious of creatine. It added quite a bit of water weight and made my body look “fuller” but if you care about hair loss I’d avoid it. I started shedding like crazy on 5g/day and it’s still continued over a week after quitting. I’ve read that it was most likely a myth and only one (rather poor) study confirmed this. After reading it was most likely fine and possibly only bad if you carry the male pattern baldness gene. Well I’m not sure if I carry that but the hair loss occurred very fast and unlike what you’d expect in regular male pattern baldness, generally very slow and you’ve lost half of it before you’ve even noticed. If you take it I would just monitor that and stick with low amounts. Otherwise if you eat meat then just get your creatine that way.

    I’d also avoid melatonin if you have depression. I’ve been using it for a decade and it causes some serious depression and inability to get anything productive done the next day. Yet I continued to take it from a very young age to now because I can’t stand those 5am nights.

  43. I don'T know but according to some people, our food contains so much less vitamins and minerals, that one cabbage in 1800 probably had the same amount of 10 cabbage today. So to say that ONLY people with deficiency in vit and min should take them is a little …light? What about saying how much a normal adult person should have? And realizing that most of us eat fast food instead of 'green foliage' and vegetables? Let's get real here. Most people don't even have that once a week!!! At least i have a lot of friends here in canada who don't! So what is left to them is to buy vitamins and minerals and take some. I know it is not the best source of vitamins but in our crazy life, with all that crazy food we eat, i think that it is finally not so bad a solution…

  44. Creatine? not even in the top 20, what a total joke, Conclusion after watching this… Ignore these ass hats who call themselves Scientists, they got their degree's via Mommy paid off the dean of the college, or listen to them and Die Young!

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