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When to add vitamins and supplements

When to add vitamins and supplements to your diet

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - More than half of Americans take vitamins and supplements, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

From calcium to zinc, there's a supplement for every letter in the alphabet.

Bill Ayzin, owner of Wealth of Health in Idaho Falls, says most of his customers fall into two groups.

"You have common-sense people who are doing classic supplementation of what's missing in their diets. Then you have a classic group of people that's following television programs, like the famous television doctor, like the bunch of other doctors, and like some other celebrity who are out there pumping marketing information," said Ayzin.

Monika Buerger, owner of Eagle Canyon Wellness in Ammon agreed with Ayzin.

"Like anything else, there can be the proper application of them and the misapplication of them," said Buerger.

Both Buerger and Ayzin take supplements, but they use the proper application.

In Idaho, common vitamins and supplements are usually generic multivitamins, omega-3's and probiotics.

"We tend to call that a healthy trinity - a probiotic, essential fats and a multivitamin," said Ayzin.

Knowing what individuals need requires more than just picking the bottle that promises results.

Buerger uses special tests to see if the body can even handle the vitamins.

"It gives us basically what the cells are doing with the vitamin or substrate. If a person has too much of it and they're not utilizing it we don't want to add more to it. We may want to add something else in order to get them to utilize that which they're hoarding up, so to speak," said Buerger.

Reading the labels and comparing brands, especially for popular kids' vitamins, could save consumers from wasting money on fillers.

"Do they have a lot of sugar in them, do they have a lot for preservatives in them. That can be more detrimental than helpful," said Buerger.

"Remember the word supplement, it's to supplement your diet, it's not a replacement and it's not a fix," said Ayzin.

Existing laws make it difficult for the Food and Drug Administration to regulate problematic supplements.

Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, most manufacturers don't need FDA approval to sell dietary supplements.

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