Are supplements a scam?

With Bella Hadid’s wellness routine costing $736, it’s clear the supplement trend is gone. too far away

Every morning, Bella Hadid wakes up and drinks a mixture of three tinctures. Then a bowel support fluid goes down. Next, return 14 different pills with green juice. Then drink a bunch of seaweed gel dissolved in water. Then some fulvic acid. Then a glass of liquid trace elements. Then a croissant. Then wash it all down with an infused drink adaptogens, nootropics and botanicals. In accordance with the cutHadid’s morning wellness routine costs about $736.

The models’ regimen is extreme, but it reflects the growing popularity of supplements and the continued medicalization of the beauty industry. The supplement industry has been growing steadily for a long, long time, says Rina Raphael, journalist and author of The Gospel of well-being. We had 4,000 products available in 1994and then about 50,000 in 2019.

Today, supplements encompass everything from fruit-flavored gummies to adaptogen powders and vitamin-infused tinctures. In the United Kingdom, the market for vitamins and supplements is currently worth 582 milliongoing up to a step 2 billion dollars in the USA It’s an industry that’s also predicted to keep growing: while the global vitamin and supplement industry was valued at $48.8 billion by 2023, it’s poised to grow $79.5 billion by 2031.

For many people, taking supplements can be very beneficial. A vitamin supplement can be helpful if dietary sources are lacking, he says Aisling Pigotta nutrition expert and registered dietitian. She points out that the NHS advises anyone living in gray Britain to take a vitamin D supplement in autumn and winter. Taking supplements can also be helpful if you have high vitamin losses, she explains, and suggests that people with heavy periods might benefit from taking an iron supplement.

But among medical professionals, consensus is generally the most vitamins and supplements don’t make a bit of difference to someone who is otherwise in good health. In particular, in 2022, an article published in Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that supplemental vitamins are basically useless after analyzing 84 different studies of over-the-counter supplements. Just because a little bit of something is good for us doesn’t mean we have to take a megadoseyes, says Piggott.

The wellness industry has been for a long time too criticized for fueling eating disorders preaching the dogma of clean eating, and it seems that the supplement trend is the latest manifestation of this obsession with purity. Among the health-obsessed elites, there appears to be a growing interest in overcoming the human need to ingest food, an impulse that has likely fueled the rapid and indomitable rise of ozempicthe weight loss drug designed to suppress appetite.

In extreme cases, taking a variety of supplements is implicitly marketed as a way to ingest vitamins and minerals while bypassing the need to eat, which seems appealing to anyone with a neurotic fixation on staying healthy and thin. But vitamins are best absorbed by our bodies when consumed along with fats and oils in food, and Piggott adds that it was better to get nutrients through our diet anyway. Taking a vitamin out of the original food doesn’t always give the same benefits, he explains.

@babybella777 in the morning with me before I start doing things for you cc @Orebella #orebella – SoBerBoi

There have even been a number of studies where supplement manufacturers have been arrested for flogging completely useless or even unsafe products. In 2013, Canadian researchers found that many supplement pills contained large amounts of rice powder. In 2015, experts from University College London tested 30 ginkgo supplements bought from high street stores or online retailers, and found that around 27 percent contained little or no ginkgo extract. In 2022, another study revealed this more than one in 10 tested fish oil supplements from 60 major retail brands contained rancid fish oil.

Raphael adds that it is possible for supplements get worse the people’s health by lulling them into a false sense of security. There has been studies that have shown that supplements can actually have the opposite effect than intended, he says, explaining that many people believe they can buy a quick and easy pill that will solve all their health problems. Because of this, they may not be investing as much in their nutrition, or their movement, or their sleep habits, because they assumed they were taking a pill that would take care of everything.

With mounting evidence that taking a variety of different supplements is unnecessary and could even be harmful to your health, why do so many of us continue to believe the hype? In a word: marketing. In 2021, the supplement industry spent $900 million on marketing, in a sly attempt to convince us that a vitamin C gummy a day will keep the doctor away. Supplements are popular in part because they’re easy and promise quick results, Raphael says. Taking them sounds a lot better than committing to big lifestyle changes like changing your diet or moving more or following a better sleep routine.

I used to open a magazine and hear celebrities talking about their favorite fashion brands. Now, everyone is talking about their wellness and health routines Rina Rafael

Raphael also believes that celebrities have catalyzed the ongoing supplement trend, with many running their own lucrative vitamin and supplement brands. In 2017, high priestess of Woo Gwyneth Paltrow began sale of vitamins through her wellness brand, Goop, while more recently Kourtney Kardashian launched her own supplement brand Lemme in 2022. Notably, Hadids’ controversial morning routine video was released to promote her new brand welfare, Orebella. “I used to open a magazine and you’d hear celebrities talking about their favorite fashion brands,” says Raphael. Now, when you open a magazine, they’re all talking about their wellness and health routines.

The explosion of the welfare industry is one of the most powerful signs of late capitalism, where all it runs the risk of being commoditized. Material needs in Western countries have been mostly met, explains Mariano Torras, Professor of Economics at Adelphi University. So, to remain solvent, many companies have seen no other choice but to manufacture new needs. Enter wellness to continue on the consumer treadmill. Take Lemmes’ controversial Lemme Purr supplement, marketed as a way to promote vaginal health. By selling a product like this, Lemme is simultaneously telling her customers that they should be concerned about their vaginal health even if they haven’t experienced any unusual symptoms. i market Lemme Purr as the supposed solution to this invented problem. As Torras says, fear and anxiety are catalysts for the manufacture of needs.


It is also understandable that many of us feel increasingly pressured to do everything we can to prevent health problems, given the continued erosion of state support in the UK and US. Decades ago, much of the support we relied on came from the extended family network. The family was then replaced by the state and the market. And, above all, with the arrival of neoliberalism during the years of Reagan and Thatcher, the market has increasingly overwhelmed the State, explains Torras. Essentially, as individualism has taken root, maintaining good health has become a private responsibility and a hobby reserved for the wealthy, hence Hadid’s morning routine costing three figures.

Given the aggressive marketing tactics of the supplement industry and the atomization of Western society, it follows that many of us rely on supplements that promise to keep us fit, healthy, and beautiful. But as author and activist Barbara Ehrenreich wrote in her 2018 book natural causes, no matter how much effort we expend, not everything is potentially under our control, not even our own bodies and minds. So while loading a shopping basket with pills and powders may feel good in the short term, we should remember that there is a difference between feeling empowered and to be empowered Arguably, the most liberating thing we can do as consumers is to pause, step back, and put down the ashwagandha capsules.


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