Answering Alumni Questions | Are vitamins and supplements good or bad for you?

(energetic music) – My name is Gianni Parise. I’m a professor in the Department of Kinesiology here at McMaster. I’m also a McGrad. I did my undergraduate
degree in Kinesiology and graduated in ’97, class of ’97. I did master’s degree and a PhD here at McMaster in the
Department of Kinesiology before being hired in 2005 into the Department of Kinesiology where I am currently a full professor and I have a research lab examining muscle stem cells and exercise. I also look at aspects of
nutrition as well in my research. So, the question that I
have been asked to answer is, are vitamins and
supplements good for you? And the answer to that question really requires some context. If we’re speaking about
the general population and you’re a healthy individual who eats a balanced diet, and is following the Canada Food
Guide then absolutely not. Vitamins and Supplements are unnecessary and in fact, are basically
a waste of money. There are very few
instances in which vitamins and supplements are actually important and one of those
situations might be someone who’s been, for example, diagnosed with osteoporosis, this is a disease in which we see a lose of bone mass and it’s associated
with an increased number of fractures particularly
in an aging population and more so in females than males, but in that particular
condition, supplementing with things like Vitamin D and Calcium are actually quite important in the treatment of the condition. Another example where a supplement might be good for you or recommended would be in advanced aging where we know that the maintenance of lean mass or muscle mass is really important to maintain mobility and
independence as we get older. We know that it’s sometimes more difficult for older adults to consume
enough protein in their diet and so, supplementing
their diet with protein is also a good strategy to try and maintain muscle mass as we age but generally speaking,
vitamin supplementation and use of other supplements
is really unnecessary and a waste of money, particularly if you are consuming a balanced diet and following the Canada Food Guide. (energetic music)

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