Are you a supplement taker?
Turns out, 68% of the US population are, according to a survey conducted in August 2020! In an attempt to avoid medications, people will choose supplements to address their symptoms. However, there are a couple things to note about supplements:
- All supplements are not created equal
- Supplements are not benign
Let me break it down for you so you know what to look out for when selecting supplements!
First of all, a supplement is a product that is intended to supplement the diet… not replace – supplement it! It can contain vitamins, minerals, herbs or botanicals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, hormones, probiotics usually in a capsule, liquid, or powder.
Secondly, supermarket or drugstore brands are cheaper. As a result they contain cheap fillers and binders which can negatively impact your liver and the absorption of nutrients – even sometimes creating gastric upset! Choosing food-based or highly bio-available supplements is more expensive but it doesn’t hurt your gut or your liver. So it’s important to read the label and know what to look out for. Red flags are:
- Ascorbic Acid. Synthetic form of Vitamin C derived from GMO corn. You need Vitamin C to produce collagen, to repair and grow tissues throughout the body and to heal wounds! It’s essential for bones and teeth and iron absorption. It’s a major antioxidant. But in this synthetic form it can actually cause more harm than good (damaging arteries, and reducing endurance capacity in professional athletes). The best sources of Vitamin C are from Camu Camu and goji berries. You can find clean food-based Vitamin C supplements as well.
- Vitamin E. Yes, even though it is an antioxidant the FORM that is used in supplements can be derived from soy or wheat germ oil, two highly refined oils. Check for the source when reading the label!
- Fish Oil. This is one of the most disappointing of them all. It’s been drilled into my head that cod liver oil is great for you. And it is… it contains Vitamin A and D as well as essential fatty acids that are great for brain health! However, conventional processing methods for fish oil can render the oil toxic due to contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, solvents and heat! Heat makes the oil rancid, and you don’t want to be consuming rancid oils!
- Folic Acid. Look out for this in your Vitamin B complex or Multi-Vitamin. It’s actually a synthetic form of the real Folate, found in dark leafy green vegetables! Folic acid is an inferior form of folate compared to the bioavailable form of methylfolate (5-MTHF). Likewise, vitamin B12 in the methylated form of methylcobalamin is considered a superior form compared to the more common form, cyanocobalamin.
- Magnesium. We need magnesium for so many things. It’s a co-factor for Vitamin D3 and Calcium, it relaxes muscles and helps regulate heart rate, but the cheap magnesium oxide won’t do much to help as it is the LEAST bioavailable form of magnesium! Instead look for Magnesium Citrate, Glycinate or Malate!
- Solvents. Why oh why would anyone put this into something for human consumption? Well the truth is, they’re used in the extraction process of fatty substances like Castor oil, Evening Primrose oil, and lecithin. The neurotoxin Hexane is one such solvent, and it can negatively impact the brain! Be super vigilant and look for hexane free oils!
- Titanium Dioxide. Classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen ”possibly carcinogen to humans”, avoid any supplements, toiletries, makeup or house hold products that contain this.
If you’re ordering supplements from Amazon, don’t! If something on the manufacturer’s website costs $45 but it’s $20 on Amazon, that’s a red flag that it’s probably a cheap knock off – yes, people do this, unfortunately.
I hand pick the supplements that I use with my clients. I begin with myself and they’re usually medical-grade or highly bioavailable. I do not use multi-level marketing supplements ever!
I have a professional dispensary via Fullscript, professional accounts with Cellcore and even my own online store, where again I’ve handpicked the supplements that are listed on there, because I truly believe that your body deserves the very best!
Don’t you? Because who has time to play Russian roulette with their bodies and be slowed down by an adverse reaction?
Which brings me to my final point! Supplements are not benign. Let me give you the story of Angela who was taking Vitamin D3 when she came to see me, and a host of other supplements that she got from Wholefoods. Angela was dealing with body aches, fatigue, headaches and some pretty gnarly hormone imbalances. When we reviewed the supplements she was taking, even though they were good quality, she wasn’t supplementing with the right co-factors.
But after all, how could she know? She’s not a nutritionist. She just knew that she was deficient in Vitamin D so she started taking it. However, she was missing a critical few components, and those missing pieces were contributing to her symptoms! Within 3 days of us adding in those co-factors, her body pains, fatigue and headaches went away! And that is why you should always seek out professional guidance on what you’re supplementing with and how – beginning with testing, not guessing!
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Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!
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