Do you jump out of bed each day, take a supplement and think this is the key to keeping you healthy?
Do you take a supplement to correct your poor eating habits, chronic stress and lifestyle choices?
Have you ever stopped to think that this habit could actually be doing you more harm than good?
Some supplements can be very effective in helping us to heal from nutritional deficiencies, BUT using them long term is not going to fix the ‘root cause’ as to why you are deficient in the first place. They can help to rectify an imbalance in our body, but they can ALSO cause imbalances in the body too.
A balanced healthy diet should always provide the foundation of human nutrition. The body communicates with food and it knows what to do with the vitamins and minerals in a food. It has been doing this for millions of years.
The majority of the supplements on the market are made from synthetic vitamins and minerals. They do not function in the body like whole foods or 100% food based supplements do.
Let’s take a look at Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), for example. Ascorbic acid is a synthetic substance often made from GMO corn or wheat. It is a highly processed product made into a single nutrient, vitamin C. If we look at an orange in contrast, that is also high in vitamin C. We know that vitamin C in an orange has 9 co-vitamins and many other nutrients and enzymes that help us to utilize the benefits of this vitamin C within our body. Synthetic vitamin C taken alone, has to steal the co- factors from somewhere else in the body in order for it to be utilized!! It’s kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The FDA even states on their website: “Many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations and hurt or complicate your health. For example, the following actions could lead to harmful – even life-threatening – consequences.” That in itself is a very big eye opener……
Did you know that B1 supplements are made from derivatives of coal tar? That B6 is made from formaldehyde, HCL acid, and petroleum ester? Or that B12 is produced from fermented cyanide and cobalt to create cyanocobalamin? I could go on and on…..
I have a passion for Biochemistry, which often leads me down rabbit holes to work out the downstream consequences of taking certain synthetic supplements. I now very very rarely recommend their use!
Did you also know that the “Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the authority to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed“? While some dietary supplements are well understood and established, others definitely need further study.
I believe taking random supplements is not a good idea. As Cyndi O’meara states, “Isolated supplements are never found in nature alone, they are always found in nature with other macro and micro nutrients”. Mother nature is so wise!
Taking a random supplement to enhance your well-being without any clinical reason, is like shooting in the dark. You see something moving, you shoot there, you might hit something or you might not. Dietary supplements can be helpful, harmful or just a plain waste of money, depending on product quality, usage and actual need.
As practitioners we can watch for specific symptoms and undergo certain tests to determine if clients are deficient in key nutrients. Sources for these nutrients are found in the foods we eat, as well as in scientifically proven safe nutritional FOOD supplements.
There are many reasons why we can become nutrient deficient (I’ll save this for another post). Unfortunately, there isn’t any magic pill. Getting back into the kitchen and nourishing your body with wholesome real food, implementing stress reduction strategies and healthy lifestyle habits is the secret to long term ongoing health.