Nutritional supplements are becoming increasingly popular. And for very good reasons. But supplements vary widely in quality. And you don’t just have to worry about the nutritional content of the supplement you are taking. Some nutritional supplements can be harmful to your health.
Nutritional supplements are a great idea in theory. Few people eat well enough to supply all the nutrients needed for health and vitality. Even those people who do eat very well, may still be deficient in nutrients. The modern food production system tends to produce food that looks great, but is nutrient poor.
Food producers tend to chase after the maximum return for their investment. Food retailers tend to buy the cheapest food they can. Fresh food is easily spoiled, so is often picked well before ripe and then kept in cold storage until needed. Nutrients are depleted in storage.
These common, modern practices do nothing to encourage the production of nutrient dense food.
A lack of essential nutrition leads to all manner of illnesses. It also leads to a constant hunger, frequently resulting in weight gain. Few GPs are aware of the importance of good, nutritious food. It just is not part of their training. Yet most illness can be reversed with proper nutrition.
The most common nutritional supplements on the market are made in a laboratory. They are synthetic. This is the cheapest method of production. But, your body has no idea what to do with a synthetic ‘food’.
Synthetic ‘nutrients’ are always in isolation. Vitamin B and magnesium are the common ones, but there are few that escape this process.
Food is complex and science still understands little of its complexity. But that doesn’t stop unscrupulous marketeers from cashing in on your vulnerability. The reality is that all nutrients interdepend on each other. You cannot take one on its own and get any benefit. Your body is simply not wired to deal with them.
At best, the supplement will be excreted, resulting to expensive bowel movements. At worse, and this is far more common, the ‘nutrients’ hang up in parts of the body, where they have no business to be, doing mischief.
Ann, one of my patients, also sees a naturopath. Ann suffers with fatigue and memory loss. Her naturopath had prescribed vitamin B and magnesium for her. I asked her to check the label of the supplements, to see where they came from. It is quite easy. A synthetic and isolated supplement will list the ingredients for what they are – vitamin Bs and a magnesium salt.
When Ann discovered this is exactly what she was taking, I suggested to her that this may be part of her problem. To find out if this was true, I suggested that she stops taking them for a few weeks and see what happens.
In a little over a week, Ann contacted me to say how much better she felt. Both her energy and her memory had significantly improved.
Supplements should always be in the form of wholefood supplements. Those that come from superfoods. Only then can you be sure that you are getting the nutrition that your body knows what to do with. Perhaps the richest source is blue green algae. But here too, there are various qualities.
In my opinion, the best wholefood supplement,in terms of the quality of the source of the product, the ethical harvesting, the least harmful processing and the packaging, is this particular blue green algae.
When you check the ingredients on this supplement, it simply states blue green algae.
NB. Most naturopaths are aware of the problem with isolated and synthetic supplements. But it’s always a good idea to check what you have been given.