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Do you really need nutritional supplements?

MANY PEOPLE ASK me whether or not they need nutritional supplements if they eat a healthy diet. I would like to bring some light to this issue and outline what my views on supplements are.

I will start by saying that in a perfect world, no one would need supplements. But given the stress of our modern life, the poor quality of our food supply, and the high load of toxins on our brains and bodies, most of us may need additional support to provide the basic daily supply of the raw materials for all our enzymes and body processes to perform at an optimal level as designed.

I would say the majority of us don’t get and do not have enough of the basic nutrients to create optimal health. The foods we eat no longer contain the nutrient levels you require for optimal health for many reasons. Crops are raised in soil where nutrients have been depleted. Plants are treated with pesticides and other chemicals so they no longer have to fight to live, which further diminish their nutrient levels and their disease fighting properties (not to mention the toxic exposure you receive from such chemicals). Animals are reared in pens or zero grazed and fed foods rich in growth hormones, antibiotics and other substances that compromise the nutritional quality. Food storage in fridges and food preparation using extreme temperatures further reduces nutritional quality.

To complicate this further all of us are exposed to hazardous toxins and chemicals that poison our bodies, we live with too much stress, we don’t sleep enough, we don’t exercise enough, and we are inflamed making the nutritional demands on our bodies even heavier. Those with chronic illnesses are in even worse shape.

Ultimately, we find that people are not only unable to get what they need through diet but are also being exposed to harmful substances that need to be eliminated or that need to have their harmful effects reduced.

I have even conducted tests in people that show that they have nutritional or other deficiencies. For example out over 100 people tested for their vitamin D levels, only 2 people had adequate levels and the rest had mild to severe deficiencies.

I honestly think that the question should no longer be if you need a nutritional supplement, but rather but how much you need to be optimally healthy!

In today’s world everyone needs a basic multivitamin and mineral supplement. The research is overwhelming on this point. My own experience as a medical doctor has revealed information that corresponds to what the research tells us. I have tested for vitamin D in many of my clients and more than 95 percent have a significant deficiency. Correcting these and other unknown deficiencies make people feel better, improve their mood, mental sharpness and memory as well as help people to have more energy, resolve chronic health complaints or conditions and even lose weight. Taking supplements also helps prevent disease.

Additional supplements may help people with specific imbalances or provide added support for certain times in our life cycle where needs for some nutrients are increased—during pregnancy for example.

When considering supplements, make sure to consider the following factors:

  • Supplements should not be seen as a substitute to making healthy choices. They are meant to supplement an already existing healthy lifestyle. Supplements are exactly as the word specifies. They are supplements and not substitutes. Many people see them as something that they can use as an alternative to exercise, healthy eating or to provide some desired result like weight loss

  • It is advisable to purchase supplements from people who have a background in nutrition, who have some training in their use or who are qualified wellness or medical practitioners.

  • We should evaluate each supplement for its merit and not discount it simply because the person selling it will make a profit or is part of a direct selling company. The truth is these companies like Swissgarde, Forever living etc. that sell these supplements have really good products although unfortunately they may be marketed and sold by people who do not have adequate knowledge or training.

  • Not all supplements are Created Equally. It is important to find safe, high-quality, and effective nutritional supplement products. Be aware that all brands are not created equally. Quality is up to the manufacturer. Certain companies are more careful about quality, sourcing of raw materials, etc. When choosing supplements it is important that you choose quality products. You would not use bad oil for your car.

  • Do not focus on price. Focus on quality as pointed out above. Cheap supplements tend to have poor quality materials or manufacturing processes. But expensive doesn’t also mean better quality.

Finding the best products to support health can be a difficult task. The lack of adequate regulations, the extremely large number of products on the market, and the large variations in quality all create realistic challenges for anyone trying to find the right supplement.

I’m often asked: “what supplements should someone take?” In my opinion you should take the following supplements at least 3 months in a year:

  • An omega-3 oil supplement rich in DHA. I recommend Krill oil for the source of omega 3.

  • A vitamin D supplement.

  • A probiotic

  • A good multivitamin that includes vitamins C and E, as well as selenium, zinc and magnesium

The basic vitamin recommendations outlined above include nutrients that form the backbone for proper optimal biological function, robust health, and healthy aging. Some individuals may have additional nutritional needs, but this regimen will provide most people with all the essential raw materials the body needs to function properly.

While I do not officially endorse or have any financial relationship with any supplement companies, at Wellcare we have taken particular interest in sourcing the highest quality supplements.

If you would like to source nutritional supplements, please consider the points above or you can contact our office to help you source the best possible supplements.

Wishing you health and happiness.

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