I truly believe that your body is worthy of good care, that the body can heal itself if you give it the opportunity to do so. Over the last 7 years as a Clinical Nutritionist, and Sports and Exercise Nutritionist some of the biggest challenges I come across both for client’s and other practitioners is the use of supplements. Nothing gets people jumpier than a box of frogs than when you mentions supplements …………..
As a clinical nutritionist, I get asked about supplements all the time. Do we really need to supplement? Can’t we get everything we need from our food? If we do need to supplement, what are the best supplements? And there are so many options … how can you know what’s right for you and your clients? I also see a lot of scaremongering and misinformation out on the internet and social media. So I am going to answer two questions……………..
- Do you really need to Supplement?
- Are you 100% certain your supplements are Safe?
So the first question – Do you REALLY need to supplement
I am a BIG believer in getting as many of your nutrients a day through real, whole food – The most bio-available nutrients are those found in nature’s best multi-vitamin: a diverse, nutrient-dense real food diet, homemade and from local organic sources.
This is a goal for everyone to strive for. If you’re not eating a diverse nutrient-dense diet, prepared from raw local and organic sources, then there’s a good chance that you need a boost from supplements.
And sadly, even if you ARE eating this way, you probably still need extra support. It’s part of modern life – we’re not outside enough to get sufficient vitamin D, if you live in the Northern hemisphere chances are that even if you are outside you are still not getting enough Vitamin D. We are now so focused on cleanliness and anti-bacterial wipes, soaps you name it we are not playing and working in the dirt to get soil-based probiotics, add soil depletion, modern farming methods, lifestyles full of chronic stress, and massive toxic exposure to the list, and even if you’re eating the best organic diet, there’s a good chance your body still needs the extra resources.
So the short answer is yes: we all need to supplement. How much and to what extent depends on your lifestyle, your diet and what’s currently going on in your body.
- Soil depletion has reduced the nutrient content of our food supply
- Hybrid crops provide lower-nutrient food
- Modern fertilizers do not supply enough trace elements
- Modern use of chemical pesticides and herbicides all over the world make food somewhat toxic, and damage soil microorganisms. Both of these also reduce the nutrition of the crops.
- Long-distance transportation of many foods diminishes their nutritional content.
- Food processing often drastically reduces the nutrient content of common foods such as wheat flour, rice, dairy products and others.
- Pasteurization and homogenization of dairy products drastically reduces the bioavailability nutrients
- Food additives often further deplete nutrients.
- Weak digestion and poor eating habits impair the absorption of nutrients.
- Stressful and hurried lifestyles impair digestion and use up more nutrients
- Chronic and acute infections and other illnesses most people have also depletes nutrients and increases nutritional needs.
- Almost all babies are born with congenital mineral and other deficiencies
- The increased use of vaccines and medical drugs can drastically deplete a person’s nutrition.
- Toxic chemicals and toxic metals in the air, water and elsewhere also deplete nutrients and increase the need for nutrition to combat them.
- Some medical procedures also drastically deplete nutrients.
- Special life situations require extra nutrition: babies, children, the elderly athletes, anyone who is ill, particularly those with a chronic illness, pregnant and lactating women, anyone who uses alcohol, refined sugar or recreational drugs, anyone following a vegetarian or other restricted diet for any reason such as weight loss or anything else, anyone under extra stress due to financial issues, a difficult job or marriage, or for any other reason.
Add up the numbers in these groups and you have most of the population! So now you are convinced you need to supplement the next question is :
Are your Supplements Safe…….. Not all supplements are created equal.
I strongly encourage you to do your homework here. If you’re going to invest in supplements, for goodness sakes don’t scrip and save and buy the cheapest you can find. Here’s a sobering fact: supplement companies are not regulated with the same kind of rigor by the FDA as pharmaceuticals. This means there is no required quality control testing from pill to pill, or bottle to bottle. It also means you’re often getting loads of fillers and binders, sometimes accounting for as much as 40% of the supplement itself! Which is what you are getting if you are buying cheap supplements – in this case do yourself a favour don’t waste your money!
The supplements I recommend to clients are “beyond organic” (due to the tests thev do), natural and plant based pharmaceutical grade supplements, regulated by the FDA with the same rigor as their pharmaceuticals. For example, this means that a maximum of 2% of the content can be fillers or binding agents. Testing is done on raw material as well as on the finished product and – most companies only batch test but the supplements we use are tested pill by pill and bottle by bottle
I have done a lot of research and will only ever use and recommend products in which I have the utmost confidence. If you want to know more about the supplements I use don’t hesitate to contact me, but this is what you need to be looking out for:
- Most store bought supplements are loaded with binders, fillers, thickening agents and other things you don’t want to be putting in your body – remember the rule about food – it should be natural, organic etc this applies to your supplements as well
- Many companies with very little experience are trying to market dietary supplements
- Over 85% of supplements are made by third party manufacturers
- Most companies are not in charge of their own quality – the same as your food – if you make everything from scratch you are in charge you know what is in your food – so why buy supplements when in reality you have no idea what is in them?
- Does the company have third Party cGMP Certification.
- Potency, Purity, Safety – are the correct actives present in the optimum synergistic amounts? Does it contain the correct ingredients, are you 100% certain the product is not contaminated and safe when ingested?
- Highest potency is not always the best, optimum potency is the key
- are you 100% that all the label claims can be met
- Are the raw materials used pure – free of contaminants such as insects, insect fragments, animal or insect excreta, rocks, sticks, dirt, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead
- Free of cross contamination
- Do they test to parts per trillion – that is one dropper drop in three Olympic size swimming pools
Can you confidently, hand on heart answer all of these questions about the supplements you are taking and / or recommending? If not get these questions answered. Yes, nutraceuticals (pharmaceutical grade supplements) cost more than store bought brands but you will get the results you need. Your health is the most important thing in the world DO NOT compromise that by taking poor quality supplements.
The World Obesity Federation show the UK is spending more than £14 billion annually treating illness caused by excess weight – such as heart disease, diabetes and liver disease. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death. 23 years ago 1 in 50 children had autism now it is 1 in 10 and estimated to rise to 1 in 2. Our life expectancy at birth is 81 years of age, yet health expectancy is 71, which means that the majority of people are living the last 10 years of their life in ill health from a preventable illness.
The simplest and most effective way to increase nutrient intake, help the body to heal itself and to and reduce health care costs is through supplementation. Once you examine the facts, the question is no longer “why supplement?” but rather “why wouldn’t you supplement?” I truly believe that ssupplements can be used by everyone to protect against disease, eliminate deficiencies, prevent future illness, balance the body chemistry and ensure Elite Health in the long term – it’s your insurance policy. You insure your home, your car, your pets why won’t you insure the most precious things you own – your body and your health.
The company I use don’t guess they test, it is one of the reasons I am with them. They conduct over 600 tests and can guarantee the Purity, Potency and Safety of every single supplement that leaves their facility. Would you like to find out more, find out how you can access a FREE no obligation webinar to get more information and start leaving a legacy of health today. Contact us today for more information