how come i need supplements?
How come I need supplements? This question comes up all the time.
Because people can have a high demand for nutrients, they can have a low supply of nutrients. Demand minus Supply equals Life Experience. This can be small, or it can be dramatic. The difference between the demand and the supply can really set us up for the nutrient gap.
Stress, genetics, lifestyle choices and toxicity are some of the examples that set up a high demand. Nutrient poor food, maldigestion, malabsorption, topsoil erosion, modern high-intensity farming, drug depletion are some of the examples that can create a low supply of nutrients.
Research shows that more than 90% of Americans fall short in providing the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) or Adequate Intake (AI) for nutrients.
Many follow RDA recommendations. However RDA is not the optimal health promoting baseline. It’s actually the bare minimum that the US government recommends in order to avoid certain deficiency diseases like scurvy or Ricketts.
Even with that low obstacle for nutrients, we’re still falling short.
There is a big difference between deficiency, insufficiency, and missed opportunity. We need ample amount of nutrients to run our biochemistry and to optimally function.
A 2003 USDA study showed that:
- 37% of Americans don’t get enough of vitamin C
- 75% of Americans are insufficient in Zinc
- 40% don’t get enough of Iron
- At least 2/3 of Americans are truly deficient in Magnesium and many more have insufficiency
Even those who eat whole, natural foods increasingly in our culture are struggling with nutrient sufficiency, because the natural foods that we eat, unfortunately, have less and less nutrition. Here is a statistical comparison between nowaday nutrient values to year 1975:
- apples have 41% less vitamin A
- bell peppers have 31% less vitamin C
- watercress has 81% less iron
- Broccoli has 50% less Vitamin C and 50% less Calcium
- Collard greens have 60% less Potassium and 85% less Magnesium
- Cauliflower has 48% less Vitamin B1 and 47% less Vitamin B2
Food was extremely nutritious back then. We are losing nutrition in our food. This is one of the most powerful reasons to consider supplementation, even when we’re eating whole, natural food.
There are different dynamics that come into play as we age
We naturally have greater levels of oxidative stress which doesn’t even have to be from major inflammatory concerns. But just the process of living, day to day cellular metabolism generates oxidative stress, which builds up as we age and becomes a major source of aging. And because of that our glands’ reserves, capabilities tend to fall off.
As we get older our thyroids don’t work as well, we don’t have as much stomach acid, our brains don’t work as well. All of the body’s cells start to struggle a bit because of free radical damage. As a result, on many levels unfortunately, we need more nutrition, not less as we age, and yet our body is less and less able to bring it on board. And this is yet another reason why there is a dramatic difference between a sufficient level and optimal levels and why supplements can be a powerful bridge to a better health and healing.
Not all Supplements are made equal
Now when we have reviewed as to why supplements maybe beneficial, I would like to share some tips on how to choose a great quality supplements that are going to make a difference, that are safe and bioavailable.
First of all I would recommend to look for the following official quality verification standards on the supplement labels:
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) – this is a guideline that provides a system of processes, procedures and documentation to assure a product has the identity, strength, composition, quality and purity that appear on its label.
Non-GMO Verified – Ensure no GMOs included in product ingredients.
Look for the supplements that do not contain fillers, binders, and additives like sugar alcohols, or citric acid. Last two can promote gas and bloating on some sensitive individuals. Avoid tablets. Many supplements on the market are made from inexpensive nutrient forms that we cannot absorb well. Many people don’t realize that most of the supplement lines are owned by megacorporations. Do you think that they care about quality? So far, they have always cared about profit.
High quality supplements come in a capsule. They contain bioavailable ingredients that enhance and maximize absorption. For example, minerals naturally come into the body via food chelated (meaning attached) to amino acids. Hence high quality mineral supplements are made in the chelated form, for example zinc bisglycinate or magnesium lysine glycerinate chelate.
High quality supplements also should contain bioactive forms of the ingredients. When we ingest nutrients via food, they are broken down in the body. The form of a specific nutrient may be different than the form that the body actually is going to convert it to down the stream and actually use. For example B6, pyrodoxine has to be converted to Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate or B12 to methylcobalamin to have a biochemical effect. There are different circumstances (which is a different topic) as to why some people may not be able to convert the nutrient into the final, active form. If someone struggles with the conversion, that can set that person up for imbalances and dysfunctions. Therefore bioactive supplements help to supply the body with the final, active forms of the ingredients.
High quality supplement manufacturers guarantee strict temperature and humidity control during manufacturing, storage and handling.
As a Functional Medicine coach I have an access to a high quality, nutraceutical grade supplements.
They have helped me to overcome my personal health problems. I only recommend the products that I have tried to assure efficacy and safety as I naturally want the best for myself and my clients.
They are bioavailable, bioactive, free of fillers, binders, additives and toxic ingredients.
All of our formulas meet or exceed cGMP Quality Standards and are manufactured and stored in the temperature and humidity regulated facility. Made in the USA.
THEY DO NOT CONTAIN:
Wheat, gluten, soy, animal or dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, or artificial preservatives.
My passion is to get to the root causes of imbalances. I love investigative work. As a kid I used to love to read Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle and I wanted to become a detective. I guess my dream came true in some sense:)
If you are experiencing fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, bloating, GI symptoms, low thyroid function, skin problems that you can not resolve or any other dysfunctions, I would be honored to be your guide in helping to optimize your health through functional medicine lens and revealing as well as getting to the root causes of your unique body’s imbalances.