very interesting discussion....but the simple point to note as to why we are opting for these supplements
1) due to the fast paced life, as working mom's we cannot provide the freshly cooked or freshly cut fruits to our kids.
2) the nutrients are lost in the process of storing the vegetables/fruits, cooking process and also consuming the food after long gap after packing it.
Taking Supplements does not mean, we can avoid taking the normal regular routine. inspite of all the 3-4 days meals etc if we take as per the healty eating habits, we will be able to provide only 50% of the requirement.
At a young age , we may not realise this, but once we cross 30yrs, our body starts sending signals.
so the reason we hv to give these to kids as well as take these supplements.
with regard to cost, you have to check how much of nutrients the tablet is giving n if we have to consume the same equivalent in terms of fruits or veggies, how many kilos we hv to eat and what is the cost n can we really give time to eat so much?
also what is the absorption rate for this? there may be cheaper subsitutes, but they are syntetically made and they will have side effects.
a simple example, we all might hv taken ShellCal (calcium supplement). take a tablet and put it in a glass full of water. wait for 20-30 mins. after this if u try to mix the sediments with a spoon, you will see that it is lime like (choona) that we use for whitewash. This tab comes for 2-3 rs, but what is the side effect if it enters the intestines?
given this info, you are the best person to decide, if u need more info, do mail me.