It's not exactly what you'd expect. The aisles of Whole Foods and other health food stores are overflowing with healthy looking folks. They're shopping for organic beans, fresh produce, and the occasional whey protein bar. So, while you really haven't paid attention, you just assume these health devotees spend their fair share of time in the vitamin and supplement section.
A recent study by the National Cancer Institute says the healthy folks are keeping their distance. The study found, through a survey of over 7,300 people, that the least healthy among us are the most likely to explore the health benefits of vitamins and supplements.
The study was aimed at determining whether cancer survivors are more likely to use supplements. The medical community's concern is that too little is known about the interaction between vitamins and medications. They believe that, while vitamins and supplements may provide benefit, they may also do harm. They want to see further evidence-based studies conducted.
What the study found is quite interesting. Cancer survivors do indeed use supplements, but not to treat cancer. They tend to use the supplements to treat other chronic medical conditions. Chronic medical conditions were shown to be the key factor in whether one uses vitamins. Those individuals with a chronic medical condition, of any nature, were 82% more likely to be taking two or more supplements.
So, here's the new strategy. Next visit to Whole Foods, pick out the healthiest looking person you see and stay on their tracks. If they avoid the vitamin aisle, they're the one. Now, just follow along behind them, and buy whatever they buy. Before you know it, you'll be looking so good, people will be following you around the store.To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about eating whole, healthy foods, see this from The World's Healthiest Foods.