Are you wasting your money on supplements?
Jan 20, 2020
I see a lot of patients who bring in a box full of supplements when I first meet with them. Most seem very proud and even tell me "I don't understand why I'm sick, I live a healthy lifestyle" while staring at their Costco sized box of supplements.
When I ask them why they started to take the first bottle they say "oh this one is for my high cholesterol." Then the next bottle "oh this one is for my diabetes, I saw on a TV program that this helps to lower blood sugar."
Then they turn to me and ask "do they actually work?"
Now don't get me wrong, as natural medicine practitioner, I'm all in on nutritional supplements! (well most of them) But I see a lot of people like this who may be just wasting their money because they're jumping ahead of the game.
Here are some concepts to understand:
- Most vitamins/minerals work in conjunction with other vitamins and minerals in their natural state (aka food form). When synthesized in the lab, you may get the "active" ingredient, but you're missing out on the whole picture. It's like going to a concert and only hearing the guitar while missing out on the rest of the band. You can make the song out, but it's just not the same without the rest of the band playing.
- Supplements can support proper physiological function and help dysfunction, but the disease process goes beyond dysfunction. (the machinery is actually broken during the disease process. It's like trying to use a can opener that's missing a part, versus a can opener that just needs a little more oil to help the gears turn better).
- We don't really know the source and form of the supplements they're using in the study such as dissolution & bioavailability. I'd like to assume that they're using the best form...hopefully.
Here's the low down...
Supplements need to be used as a secondary approach to proper DIET & LIFESTYLE.
Building an optimal body is much like building a house. Think of supplements like nails and screws. It's foolish to try and build a house out of just nails and screws. Diet & Lifestyle are the wood frame and walls. The nails and screws function better when the frame and walls are being utilized! Therefore, we always need to look at diet and lifestyle! And those needs will be specific for each individual...and it will also change as your physiology changes.
Your body needs a good array of MACRONUTRIENTS (fats/proteins/carbohydrates) along with MICRONUTRIENTS (vitamins/minerals/enzymes) and water, air, movement, and sunshine.
So supplements are useless when you think it's the magic bullet, but it's not useless when used in conjunction with a proper lifestyle fit for your body.
And most importantly, if your GUT is trashed, then you're most likely not even absorbing those nutrients found in the supplements. So yes, it is expensive pee!
Here are the things you MUST do to maintain a healthy body or regain a healthy body
- Eat an abundance of good fats
- The body needs 2 essential fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) & linoleic acid (omega-6)
- omega-3's like cold-water fish contain high amounts of DHA in the proper "position" (SN-2) that the body needs. Plant-based foods that contain DHA are in the SN-1 and SN-3 position. This isn't useful for the body.
- Eat & digest quality proteins
- The body needs 9 essential amino acids: phenylalanine, valine, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, methionine, histidine, leucine, & lysine. (PVT TIM HLL)
- Don't overcook your proteins! Slow cooking like stewing or braising are great methods
- Get grass-fed meats more than grain-fed meats
- As you get older, you may need to aid your digestion of proteins. I find that most of my patients lack hydrochloric acid and aren't breaking down the proteins they're eating. This is usually due to elevated stress in their lives and also mineral deficiencies. You need adequate protein for proper immune function and overall structural support (collagen anyone?)
- Eat complex carbohydrates in moderation
- There are no essential carbohydrates. It's been a myth that's been perpetuated saying that we need a higher level of carbohydrate intake. Higher levels have caused a massive insulin overload on the body. And then you couple that with the amount of blue light we're being exposed to, you begin to see why diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise due to the desensitization of the insulin receptors!
- The body can take fatty acids and amino acids and turn them into glucose
- The other aspect is that most of the carbohydrates we're consuming are high glycemic and high insulinogenic. Plus it's not prepared properly to remove the antinutrients. Gluten is one that everyone recognizes.
- Make sure that your carbohydrates are grown locally and in season.
- Keep fruit intake to a minimum. Treat it like a dessert!
- Eating these great foods are secondary to an optimally functioning gut. If you're not digesting these foods, the nutrients won't get absorbed and you'll most likely start to react improperly treating these foods as allergens. Therefore you need to start with restoring & aiding proper gut function. I go through a detailed process to get your gut back into order in my Total Gut Restore program
- Maintain proper pH balance systemically.
- Find a good multi-vitamin/multi-mineral to fill in the holes of your diet
- everyone lacks proper nutrient levels, even if you're eating "well" or "clean"
- One of the best sources, what's called nature's multivitamin is organ meats. But most of us, myself included, haven't adapted our palates to consuming liver, kidney, spleen, etc. There are organ-based multis out on the market. I like the ones from Ancestral Supplements.
- Get & remain hydrated
- Drink 1 Liter of clean water for every 50 lbs of body weight to increase and maintain proper hydration
- Best choice is fresh spring water
- Second best choice is filtered & purified water. I've tested a bunch of filters on the market and I like the system created by AquaTru. They filter the water and also purify it removing all the pesticides, fluoride, sediment, essentially leaving you with just water. See what I do to enhance water in this post
- Get your body moving,
- this includes simple things like walking, standing instead of sitting, and anything to keep your body in motion
- most importantly getting adjusted by a competent Chiropractor.
- Air & Sunshine.
- Practice proper breathing (Hara breathing)
- You may want to also invest in an airfilter. Air quality within your house can be way more than metropolitan air pollution!
- Get some sun for Vitamin D and to offset the high amounts of blue light you're constantly being exposed
- If you live in an area that doesn't have enough sunlight, make sure you're taking a Vitamin D supplement.
Now that you've got the basics down...
You can start to look into supplementation. In the next post, I'll go over what to look for in a supplement.
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