Lifestyle

Nutritionists Approved Supplement Guide – Hint, Less Is More!

Who doesn’t love a quick fix? Instant gratification sells — especially in the healthcare industry. We’re in a constant state of clicks and purchases, tempted by endless lists of beauty potions, superfood powders, and tinctures. Of course, in the hope, they will protect against a wide range of health conditions. For health professionals and enthusiasts alike, the supplement routine is practically a resume builder. But here’s the takeaway: more is not necessarily better. In fact, dietary supplements just means – supplements. Eat a complete and balanced diet Candlestick give you most of the nutrients your body needs. At any rate, you may be wondering what supplements you really need. Today, we’re diving into a simple add-on tutorial. No frills, just the basics.

Featured image provided by Lizzy Mathis

What is a dietary supplement?

Let’s start here. A dietary supplement is an umbrella term. It includes everything from vitamins and minerals to plants and herbs, enzymes, etc. For the most part, a supplement is considered an individual vitamin, mineral, or multivitamin. And if you walk down the smoothie aisle at your local wellness store, you’ll find supplements come in many forms. This includes tablets, capsules, gummies, and powders. Supplements are also packaged into drinks and energy bars. In general, popular supplements include calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, probiotics, and fish oil. On the herbal side, you’ll find teas and other products with chamomile, mint, and echinacea.

Purpose of dietary supplement

At the end of the day, supplements are no substitute for a healthy and balanced diet. And unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements are not allowed to be marketed for the purpose of treating, diagnosing, preventing or curing disease. Knowing this, be wary of supplements that cause illness, such as “reducing high cholesterol” or “treating heart disease.” Claims like these are for prescription drugs, not supplements. In our basic supplement guide below, each supplement has a specific purpose and has been quality tested.

Safety, efficacy and quality of supplements

Surprisingly, the FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplements — for safety and effectiveness — before they are marketed. Rather, manufacturers and distributors are responsible for this. They make sure their products are safe before they go to the market. Seems like a bit of a loophole, doesn’t it? Here’s a note: If a supplement contains a new ingredient, the manufacturer must notify the FDA. In that case, the FDA will review (not necessarily approve!) the new ingredient for safety, but it won’t be effective.

In terms of quality, this also falls on the manufacturers. They guarantee their products are pure. Meaning, they are free of contaminants or impurities. Furthermore, supplements must be correctly labeled, in accordance with the applicable Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and labeling. That being said, the FDA will get involved if there’s a serious problem with supplements. They reserve the right to take supplements off the market, due to safety or false/misleading claims.

Risks of taking supplements

As with drugs and over-the-counter drugs, there are risks to taking supplements. Many supplements contain active ingredients with powerful biological effects. Depending on usage, this can make them unsafe. For example, the following actions can lead to harmful consequences:

  • Taking supplements without telling your healthcare provider
  • Additional combinations
  • Taking supplements with medications (whether prescription or over-the-counter)
  • Substitute supplements for prescription medications, especially before, during, and after surgery
  • Excessive consumption of certain supplements, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, or iron
  • Taking supplements during pregnancy and lactation

Remember that each person needs different nutrients, so please consult your healthcare provider before changing your supplement routine.

Do you need to take supplements?

Million dollar question. It is important to understand that we are all biological individuals. Meaning, we all have unique nutritional needs – including supplements. While supplements are marketed in abundance, not everyone needs them. Some people don’t need vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements. They can maintain adequate amounts of essential nutrients by eating a healthy, balanced diet. However, keep in mind that there is a difference between “reference range” and “optimal range”. When possible, optimal is ideal. As a result, supplements can be incredibly helpful to not only fill gaps in your diet, but also help you reach optimal levels. Our additional instructions are here to do both.

3 things to consider before taking a new supplement

Whether you’re eyeing new supplements or you’ve already taken a few, here’s how to make sure you’re getting the best results for your money:

  1. Have you been diagnosed with a deficiency (iron, vitamin D, etc.) What does your blood work report? In essence, make sure what you’re using is targeted. Instead of wasting your money on unnecessary supplements, get your healthcare provider’s stamp of approval first. In the context of nutritional counseling, additional guidance by an expert is key.
  2. Just because a supplement comes from a “natural” food store doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. As noted above, look for specific labels and do your research. Be wary if you are currently taking other prescription or over-the-counter medications.
  3. Know how many supplements you have to take. A common misconception about supplements is that if a vitamin or mineral is good for you, increasing your intake can provide additional health benefits. This is not the case. For example, too much vitamin D can actually weaken bones, and biotin – a popular supplement to improve skin, nails and hair – can affect test results when taken at high levels.

When to Take Your Daily Supplements

This depends, of course! Some supplements are more time-of-day specific, so you can research individual recommendations for them. However, most are generally flexible. It’s important that you choose a time when you know you can be consistent. As for the empty stomach and food debate – some vitamins are fat soluble and some are water soluble. Fat-soluble substances, such as vitamin D, should be combined with a fat source. Some vitamins only need to be combined with water, like B vitamins and vitamin C. Personally, I like to take my probiotics right after I wake up. I take the rest of my supplement in the morning with breakfast, along with a glass of water. However, I take magnesium at night.

Simple additional instructions

Eat a well-rounded diet Candlestick give you most of the nutrients your body needs. However, it is nearly impossible for us to eat perfectly balanced foods all the time. And unfortunately, the typical standard American diet doesn’t have most of the key nutrients our bodies need for optimal health. Therefore, it can be a challenge for us to get everything we need from just our diets – let’s eat well! Here is a simple supplement guide for beginners as well as health enthusiasts.

Vitamin D / K2

More than 100 million Americans are vitamin D deficient. And every cell in the body has a vitamin D receptor. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin responsible for immune regulation and absorption of calcium and phosphorus. , maintain healthy bones and protect against many diseases, cancers, and more. Ideally, vitamin K2 should be taken along with vitamin D, as vitamin K2 is key to bone health. It helps ensure vitamin D reaches your bones.

Vitamin B

At CS, we love our B vitamins. The B vitamin family includes B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), and B12. Each of the B vitamins has a different function: reducing inflammation, supporting hormonal function, supporting nerve and heart health, and maintaining a healthy metabolism and digestive system. In particular, B12 supplements are important for plant-based people. Low levels of B12 can cause extreme fatigue, anemia, paralysis and more. B-complex supplements may help maintain levels.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)

Because of the high doses of industrial seed oils, most of which are almost exclusively omega 6, Americans now have an average inflammation ratio of 15:1 (omega-6:omega-3) instead of the ideal ratio. Myth 1: 1. Safflower, sunflower, soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola oils are causing chronic inflammation. To combat this, it is helpful to get your omega-3s from algae or fish. The best omega-3s come from fish oils, like cod liver oil. Unfortunately, plant sources are the short-chain omega-3 fatty acids, ALA and LA. They need to be converted to EPA and DHA (what you get from fish oil supplements). For reference, less than 5% of ALA is converted to EPA and less than 1% of ALA is converted to DHA. Dosimetry everything with flaxseed oil is not the same as using high quality fish oil.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body. This includes protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood sugar control, and blood pressure regulation. It is also required for DNA and RNA synthesis and is responsible for strengthening our immune system and fighting inflammation.

Probiotics

Last but not least, consider adding a spore-forming probiotic to your supplement routine (especially if you don’t eat fermented foods, dairy, etc.). About 80% of our immune system is located in our gut. Its health support is key. Unfortunately, the fragile ecology of our gut can be disrupted by a number of influences – antibiotics, stress, sugar and chemicals. By consuming probiotic-rich foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi, along with taking a probiotic supplement, you can support digestion, mood, skin, and overall health.

A final note — tell your healthcare provider (including your dentist!) about any dietary supplements you’re taking. They can help you determine which supplements, if any, might be of value to you.

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