Is it all in your head?

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With more and more health supplements claiming to cure every ailment and affliction feared by the health-obsessed, we delve deeper into a new, fast-growing market designed to add fuel to the fire of hypochondria.

Is it all in your head?
Once upon a time, going on a diet meant simply exercising more and eating a little less but in today's image and celebrity-obsessed world the food we consume can be as much of a status symbol as the clothes we wear. Ask any woman which diet Madonna is on or what brand of health supplements Jessica Alba took post-birth to help her get back in shape and you can bet that the majority will know the answer and have even tried it themselves in their quest for the body beautiful. The truth is, Madonna has all of her meals prepared for her by a professional chef who can even make tofu taste good, and Jessica lost her baby weight because she had the luxury of a personal trainer to whip her back into shape in record time.

Rather than motivating us mere mortals to eat healthily and exercise regularly, our obsession with looking like the celebrities is actually having a detrimental effect on our health mainly because getting a body and face like a celebrity is completely unachievable for someone who has a full-time job and an average income. Marketing companies have picked up on this fact and have cleverly produced solutions in a pill that claim to turn back the clock, plump up skin, diminish wrinkles and make us thinner and more intelligent. Luxury skincare brand Nude has even cottoned on and released a range of food supplements that claim to transform the skin and even hydrate you, just in case you don't have the time to drink your daily two-litre water quota.

Rather than shun such supplements as a ridiculous waste of money, most of us are embracing them, convinced that a multivitamin, daily dose of iron, vitamin B or evening primrose oil will turn us into a happy, glowing, working machine able to accomplish everything we ever wanted including wealth, a size eight figure, great love life and a successful career.

It's not just us ordinary people who are obsessed with vitamins and minerals though. Hilary Swank has admitted to taking 45 food supplements a day and Margaret Thatcher apparently had a daily injection of vitamin B12 during her stint as prime minister, showing that even those in the spotlight don't feel like they can function without popping a pill.

The truth that the drug companies don't tell us though is that if your body doesn't need all of the vitamins you are taking, they are simply excreted. So that expensive packet of pills meant to give you gorgeous, glowing skin and thick, shiny hair could actually be completely useless. We all know that the best way to get our vitamins and minerals is through food itself, and the likelihood is that if you're thinking about vitamins and minerals then your diet is probably already very healthy and you don't actually need to supplement it with tablets. So the next time you feel seduced into spending your hard earned cash on a bottle of something claiming to transform you into Elle Macpherson, think about spending the money on some wholesome, healthy food instead. We can guarantee it'll be a far better investment and will give you all the pleasure of tasting something incredible too.

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