Great piece. So many people so many opinions. And what should we believe from the manufacturers of these supplements.
As you describe and the way you look at supplements it seems more like religion than science.
I strongly believe (religion!) that in most of the cases you don’t need supplements. If you eat fresh and vary your type of foods you should be fine. Only if you train heavily you might need some type of supplements. If you have run for 2 hours, you might need some extra protein. You can get that be regular food, but it’ll bring other ingredients that might get over the level you need. In this case I refer to carbohydrates. Is there food that is rich of protein and low of carbs? Is the amount of carbs low enough that when taking the amount for the desired amount of protein the amount of carbs is still low? In those cases you might be better off with a protein supplement.
Can I stress some science here too: Chemicals are believed to be harmful and organic stuff harmless. This is not always true. Oxygen (O2) and water (H2O) are both chemicals and are considered harmless. On the other hand there are many mushrooms you better not eat. Chemicals are just very pure substances. Our bodies cannot distinguish between glucose from a lab or from an apple. The ingredients that come with the substance (contaminants) or the overdosing the amount your body can process can make a pure substance more or less harmful (I am leaving the real poisonous chemicals out of the equation). Pharmaceuticals are strongly regulated on contaminants and doses, where homeopharmaceuticals are not. Multi-vitamins are therefor more dangerous than you might think. The danger of overdosing is very real. When it comes to vitamins, it’s not at all the more the merrier. Always consult a doctor when considering taking a vitamin.