# Taking Supplements?

## Taking Supplements?

It is important to educate yourself about what you’ll be putting into your body and supplements are no different than anything else.   You want to be consuming supplements that are nutritionally balanced and you can absorb fully. Lastly, understand that no supplement alone will help you achieve the level of health you desire.  You will have to make lifestyle and behavior changes and take supplements in order to achieve your best health.

Four supplements everyone needs to stay healthy

●        Multivitamin

●        Vitamin D

●        Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

●        Probiotics

Multivitamins

Natural vs Synthetic Vitamins

Natural or whole food supplements refer to products containing the total complex of micro-nutrients (enzymes, trace minerals, etc.) just as they are found in nature.  Our bodies have evolved along with these foods to properly absorb and utilized their nutrients.  Synthetic vitamins lack the cofactors found in nature and often times are not as well absorbed or tolerated.  For instance have you ever taken a multivitamin or b-complex on an empty stomach and felt sick?  Also synthetic vitamins can come from dubious sources. Coal tar is the source of many synthetic B vitamins. Coal tar is not a food, and research confirms that it does not work as well in our bodies as natural sources of B vitamins, such as nutritional yeast or wheat germ.  The other problem is that by taking large amounts of isolated vitamins, we are sometimes getting “massive” doses of some vitamins, but not enough of others.  While in the short term we may feel “more energized” over time, nutritional imbalances developed leading to often serious health problems.

What to Look For

Whole-Food based supplements typically will list vitamins as being a citrate, gluconate, vegetable culture etc.. These terms mean that the vitamin was derived from a plant or mineral source and chelated, Greek for chewed, or predigested for easy asimilation by the body.  Here is an example of what to look for when searching for a Whole-Food based product:

Vitamin A (as natural mixed carotenoids). . . . . . . . .  .5,000 IU

Vitamin C (as calcium and magnesium ascorbate) 120mg

Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 400 IU

Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopheryl acetate) . . . . . . . . . 30 IU

Vitamin K (as phytonadione) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 mcg

Thiamin (B1) (as cocarboxylase) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 mg

Riboflavin (B2) (as riboflavin-5-phosphate) . . . . . . . . 11 mg

Niacin (as niacinamide) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 mg

Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal-5-phosphate) . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 mg

Folate (as folic acid). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 400 mcg

Vitamin B12 (as resin bound cobalamin) . . . . . . . . . . 100 mcg

Biotin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .300 mcg

Pantothenic Acid (as calcium pantothenate). . . . . . . . 100 mg

Calcium (as calcium citrate and ascorbate) . . . . . . . . 40 mg

Magnesium (as citrate, ascorbate and gluconate). . . 40 mg

Zinc (as zinc gluconate) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 mg

Selenium (from vegetable culture) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 mcg

Copper (as copper gluconate) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 mg

Manganese (as manganese gluconate) . . . . . . . . . . .  5 mg

Chromium (from vegetable culture) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 mcg

Potassium (as potassium chloride). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 mg

Vanadium (from vegetable culture) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 mcg

Inositol. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . 35 mg

L-Lysine HCI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .40 mg

Catalase (from vegetable culture) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 mcg

Examples of good quality multivitamin brands:

Pioneer Nutritional, Rainbow Light, Biotics Research, Standard Process and Thorne. Some of these are available at the clinic, New Seasons, Whole Foods or online.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D3 Supports good mood, healthy bones, decreases pain, protects against, colds flus and cancer. Technically not a “vitamin,” D3 is actually a secosteroid hormone that targets over 2000 genes (about 10% of the human genome) in the human body. Current researchhas implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more. In the Northwest we get very little real sun exposure and subsequently very little Vitamin D conversion in our skin.  Of the thousands of people we have tested for vitamin D most are deficient. Supplementation is cheap and easy.

Check with your health care provider for correct dosage.  For much more information and research on Vitamin D see: vitamindcouncil.org

Fish Oil and Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

Balanced consumption of EFA’s supports normal hormone and nervous system function and decreases inflammation. Excellent sources include nuts and fish.  For chronic health conditions supplementation of extra EFA’s is recommended.  Most EFA supplements, while tested by USP, Consumer labs and Consumer Reports for contaminants and oxidation upon opening, are not tested for long-term peroxide levels.   Oxidized oils lead to increased inflammation and oxidative stress in the body which can lead to a variety of diseases.  If you get fish burps from your fish oil chances are it has oxidized or the EFAs are not correctly balanced for your body.  We recommend InnovixLabs Triple Strength capsules which are similar in strength and quality to prescription Lovaza  and for liquid Barlean’s brand fish oil.    For more information go to omega-research.com

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are intestinal bacteria that, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteriaimprove digestionboost immune function, and increase resistance to infection.People with flourishing intestinal colonies of beneficial bacteria are better equipped to fight the growth of disease-causing bacteria. In a double-blind trial probiotics significantly enhance various aspects of immune function in a group of older people. Regular ingestion of probiotic bacteria helps prevent vaginal yeast infections.Research concluded that use of acidophilus can prevent yeast infections. Diarrhea flushes probiotics out of the gastrointestinal tract, leaving the body vulnerable to opportunistic infections. Replenishing probiotics with supplements helps prevent new infectionsProbiotics can prevent and reduce the severity of “traveler’s diarrhea”. Probiotic use during and after antibiotic use prevents up to 50% of infections occurring after antibiotic use. Beneficial bacteria present in yogurt has been used as a folk remedy for thousands of years.  However, some (particularly frozen) yogurts do not contain any live bacteria. The best locally is Nancy’s.

Supplements in capsule are a convenient and effective way of ingesting probiotics.  We recommend Jarro-Dophilus EPS, for adults, Yum Yum Dophilus rasberry chewables for kids and Fem Dophilus for female yeast infection.  They are manufactured by Institut Rosell-Lallemand, the worlds leading producer and researcher of probiotics.