Can Dietary Supplements be effective? Are they even necessary?
Over the years I have must have spent thousands on Dietary Supplements in a quest to ‘feel better’; ‘have more energy’; ‘prevent disease’ or sometimes just to try out before recommending to my clients because whenever you read what certain nutrients can do for you it appears that you really need it – and of course, you do! BUT and it really is a big but, do you need a pill or supplement or might you already be getting enough in your food? My qualification is in Nutritional Medicine – using food and supplements to improve medical conditions. I read research papers all the time and follow developments in the field of nutrition, the microbiome and epigenetics ( the way food influences our genes) and it appears that even with a healthy, varied diet we are highly unlikely to achieve optimum nutrition. The World Health Organisation, UNICEF, The Soil Association and Government Research constantly confirms this. Most of us are not in a position to grow all our own organic fruit and vegetables and buy only organic meat, fish and eggs and with mineral depleted soil and increasing amounts of processed food in our diets we fall far short of what our bodies require to cope with our children’s healthy development or our modern lifestyles. Even if we can buy a huge variety of fruits and vegetables from around the World most will have been picked before they are ripe, sprayed, irradiated or travelled for weeks before getting to us – loosing their nutrients along the way.
I live in a terraced house with a patio garden and I try to grow some food in pots with organic compost and seaweed based organic fertiliser and I choose things that I love to eat and that will produce an ongoing crop throughout summer. Strawberries, perpetual spinach, courgettes, cherry tomatoes, dwarf runner beans, peppers, chillies and Mooli are this years choices for freshly picked favourites. As I have access to a Farmers Market every 2 weeks I can top up with seasonal produce when it is cheap and I buy organic meat and fish from a company that delivers to my door. That way I feel I am buying the best food that I can afford whilst also doing the best I can for the environment and this is very important to me.
When it comes to Dietary Supplements I buy far less than I used to but as a family we have Autoimmune disease problems and food allergies that add to our nutritional needs. Priority for me are plant based minerals as they are so important to every aspect of nutrition, good cellular oxidation, energy production, enzymes and vitamin absorption and utilisation therefore using a good, natural salt like Celtic sea salt is important. Then for other supplements I would choose FOOD STATE or plant derived wherever possible. To illustrate why this is so important I will compare just a few common nutrients.
Vitamin C from the whole fruit comes with naturally occurring phytochemicals and bioflavinoids that work together as a very effective antioxidant and free radical scavenger – over 260 times more effective (Cornell University study) than isolated Ascorbic acid. ‘Natural’ Ascorbic Acid Vitamin C is made by fermenting sugar into sorbitol and then adding acetone (as in nail varnish remover) to create Ascorbic Acid. That is one reason why it makes a brilliant treatment for constipation because take a dose of about 3 grams and the body just chucks it out by speeding up the emptying of the bowels.
Vitamin E as a natural, plant derived, oil is called d-alpha-tocopherol or mixed tocopherols (the most biologically active forms) and the synthetic form is dl-tocopherol is derived from petroleum products and is only about 12% as effective as natural Vitamin E in the body.
Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 in their bio-active forms – 5-methyletrahydrofolate, (folate) and methylcobalamin are essential nutrients but recent study has shown that people with a different gene mutation to the MTHMR gene (frequently those with Autoimmune disease) cannot utilise the artificial forms and that these can build up and become toxic in the body.
So if you need a Dietary Supplement look for plant derived and Food State wherever possible. Here are a few companies that specialise in this area.
- Natures Own UK Food State vitamins and minerals recommended by The Bristol Cancer Help Centre.
- Cytoplan UK several supplements and Cytoplex Multi and Euro Gold Multi
- Food State.com USA Broccoli to deliver Folate, Cabbage for Vitamin K1 and fermented organic brown rice for full spectrum Vitamin B are good examples
- Life Extension Global Bio-active Folate and Vitamin B12 and other quality supplements
- Simply Naturals for Sizzling Minerals for 75 certified plant minerals and Krill Oil plus Pet Supplements.
Then I have a few interesting Dietary Supplements that are a leading trend in combinations of nutrients that work well together for helping with complex problems like Adrenal fatigue and immune support and Cancer.
- Solgar HY-C is 600 mgs of Vitamin C with Bioflavinoids Rutin and Hesperidin know to aid in a healthy Cardiovascular system. from Rosehip powder, kelp, alfalfa, acerola extract, parsley and watercress.
- BioCare AD206 with B6, Niacin and Pantothenic Acid, Siberian Ginseng, Licorice and Chromium
- Epigenetic Labs 7M an immune defense product from Dr. Daniel Nuzum based on seaweed and multiple mushroom extracts
- Nutricell D3 and K1, Iodine, Coenzyme Q10 and Astaxanthin for energy levels, hormone health, bone strength, immune function and heart health.
- Turmeric and Black Pepper from any good source for relief of inflammation and cell protection.
So, in conclusion
- Go for the best and freshest food that you can and make sure that your digestive system is working well with a daily Probiotic and Vitamin D3 supplement.
- Make sure you are getting all the plant minerals that are absolutely essential for your health and longevity.
- Also add a Digestive enzyme if you think you are not Digesting your food properly, especially the good fats.
- Then if you still feel that your health could benefit from extra Dietary Supplements search for the good ones, the most effective ones, the ones derived from plants and foods and not from rocks or petrochemicals.