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Supplementation.. Friend of Foe?
- Have you ever wondered whether the supplements you take are actually contributing to your health or harming you?
- Do you tend to buy supplements from the chemist or supermarket and wonder about the quality of these products?
- Do you suspect you’re not absorbing them well?
- Are you confused as to what to take or if you really need to take anything at all?
Most of our clients come in with a whole range of different supplements they are already taking. They may have purchased online, at chemists or picked things up at the supermarket in an attempt to better their health. Whilst some of these products may be helping them, most of the time a lot of the products chosen contain forms of nutrients that are hard to absorb or cause gastric irritation.
Whilst it may be appealing to grab products off the shelf (especially when they are heavily discounted), it may be doing you more harm than good as some of the fillers, binders and poorly absorbable nutrients may be counter productive to the health outcomes you are trying to achieve.
So, let me save you some money, time and your health too…
- Stay away from supplements in the super market/ discount supplements or chemists
- Ensure your case history has been taken and high quality practitioner products are prescribed by a registered naturopath or nutritionist
- Ensure your supplements are free from chemical excipients, fillers, binders, artificial flavours and colours, gluten, dairy and soy
- Minerals ending in “oxide”, “fumurate” and “carbonate” are poorly absorbed and may cause gastric irritation
- Ensure the levels of nutrients are matched to your needs (this needs to be assessed by your naturopathic practitioner). Often it will seem that a product is really high in a nutrient but the amount of the actual active ingredient is really low. E.g. the product may say
- 1,000mg of magnesium oxide
- Equiv to 50mg elemental magnesium
- In this case you may think you’re getting 1,000mg of magnesium but really you are only getting 50mg and it’s in a poorly absorbable form (oxide)
- If you are trying for a baby, pregnant or breastfeeding, your supplement must meet all the nutritional demands for these times. Some of the most popular pre-natal brands on the market have great advertisement and following, however they are very low in key nutrients required, are missing key nutrients and are not in the best forms for absorption and utilisation.
- Ensure fish oil products are from a sustainable (preferably line caught) source, pure, filtered and tested for heavy metal & toxin contamination. Ask the fish oil brand for a certificate of analysis so you can see the levels yourself. If they can’t provide this, run a mile.
- Consider and investigate your digestive health. Are you able to break down and absorb supplements properly? Low stomach acid, insufficient pancreatic enzymes, food sensitivities, celiac disease and intestinal dysbiosis (bacterial/parasitic overgrowth) may be inhibiting the absorption of many nutrients.
- Which probiotic is right for you? Certain strains have been shown to benefit different conditions. The quality of the brand is of utmost importance.
- Speak to your practitioner about which B vitamins are best for you. Your methylation pathways may need to be tested to ensure that you can process basic forms of B vitamins or if methylated forms need to be used.
- Have your nutritional status properly assessed by a naturopath. There are many signs and symptoms of nutrient deficiencies as well as tests to determine your levels. Your diet should be taken into account as well as any other factors that may increase your nutritional demands. This is tailor made nutrition which can save you a lot of money in the long term, as well as protect and improve your health.
For a limited time we are offering a Supplement Assessment Consultation– a 30 minute consult whereby Lauren will assess your nutritional status, diet, nutrient requirements & current supplements. Your investment is only $85! Click here to book your assessment online today.
By Lauren Campbell (Naturopath, BHSc Nat.)
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