Supplements. Do you really need them?

· January 6, 2017 · 5 minutes to read

The short answer is yes, but like most things when it comes to the body and nutrition, it depends. If you’re coming from a food background of eating clean (from the land) organic veggies and meats then you’ll need less. If you’re coming a food history of processed convenience food then you’re going to need more. I’m going to start this blog off with why you need supplements, discuss some of the benefits and most importantly what to avoid!

Why you need supplements

First please let me assure you that I do not represent any supplement companies. I do not receive any freebies or reimbursement for mentioning them. I only recommend supplements that I’ve tried or I have researched the company, their practices and their source of ingredients.

So why do you need supplements? You need them to bridge the gap between the nutrient needs of your body and the nutrient value in today’s food. With the mass demand for food production, crops get turned over more and more frequently. Animals are fed lower quality food to fatten them up quicker, the result is less nutrients in the vegetables and meat we consume. So if you think you’re hitting your nutrient demands through food alone you’re wrong.

It’s difficult to determine how much of what nutrients you’re deficient in until you get blood work done. Chances are that you may have to go private to get this done. The NHS takes a more reactive approach than a proactive one when it comes to health. They will only order blood tests for signs and symptoms of disease. Not so much for optimal markers of health. But the NHS is amazing lets not forget that, they do some great things for a lot of people. There are several types of blood test that can be done, so work with a GP or functional medicine doctor to determine what you need testing.

All of your internal organs work to achieve whats know as homoeostasis (internal or metabolic balance), they all communicate with each other. When one organ struggles the others pick up the slack like an amazing team. However, there are a lot of factors that can interrupt the balance and function of internal organs. Lets dig a little deeper.

Internal organ function

Stress can impact the following :- Stomach acid potency, insulin sensitivity (how you get sugar from blood to cells), liver pathway distribution of toxins, thyroid function, nutrient absorption and intestinal wall integrity.

The following table is a quick breakdown of what organ does what and what nutrients they need to work.

Organ Main jobs Nutrients needed
Mouth/chewing Break down food, send signal to brain for what type of food is coming in, then release appropriate hormones to digest food then get nutrients into cell Water, vitamins A-Z, Magnesium, Zinc,
Stomach Breakdown food into smaller pieces ready for absorption through the small intestine HCL, Vinegar, Vits C&E, B-vitamins
Pancreas Release insulin for the transport of sugar from blood to cells multivitamins, calcium, iron, folate, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin B12
Small intestine Absorb nutrients from food and then take across into the blood for use by the cell L-glutamine, multivitamins, prebiotics, probiotics, magnesium, Zinc L-carnatine, Turmeric, ghee, boswelia,
Large intestine To take whats not absorbed in the small intestine and remove it from the body L-glutamine, multivitamins, prebiotics, probiotics, magnesium, Zinc L-carnatine, Turmeric, ghee, boswelia
Thyroid produces hormones which regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development and bone maintenance Zinc, magnesium, vit A, b complex, c, d + e, calcium, iodine, coryceps, rhodiola, ashwaghanda, ginseng, selenium.
Liver Is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions. B2,3,5,6,12, folic acid, glutathione, flavonoids, methionine, cysteine, magnesium, vitamin C, Glycine, taurine, glutamine, choline to name a few.

What this means

As you can see there are recurring supplements that appear for all the functions. Any depletion of these minerals/nutrients will cause a reduction in 1 or more organs performance. Add to this, the stress factor which can deplete B-vitamins (for starters) and then you’re starting a downward spiral. Which starts sub-optimal performance of 1 organ and then over working/potential burn out of another and other and the pattern repeats. This is what starts off the hormonal imbalances, not having enough good quality nutrients to sustain organ function and hormone production.

What the supplements will do is to help restore some of the levels that are not being met with food intake. What supplements will not do however is overrule bad food choice and bad lifestyle choices. You can be taking the best highest quality supplement ever produced. If you’re not managing your stress, food choices and sleep, its good for nothing! I always tell people, you cannot out-train or out-supplement a bad diet and bad sleep.

The Benefits of supplements

Are far too many for me to list here so I’ll list the main ones that clients have reported back to me.

  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Better skin, hair and nails
  • Less bloating
  • Improved mental focus
  • Improved productivity
  • Less inflamed
  • Solid poop (yes my clients and I talk about their poop), actually being able to poop
  • Less fat

These are just some of the benefits from real clients that I deal with. I could rattle off all kind of benefits but ultimately they are just words on a page right now. So I hope that in conjunction with my other blog posts you’ll see that I’m all about being genuine, honest and open.

For me though I always tell people that you can go through body change without supplements. But using them will massively boost your internal organ function. Plus help speed up your results when used CONSISTENTLY and with a good well planned diet.

What to avoid with supplements

As with all things in life you can buy great products and you can buy crap ones. the same deal applies to supplements and how they’re produced and what ingredients go into the manufacture process. This information was taught to me by www.poliquingroup.com who also make supplements and some very high end properly produced ones too.

Be aware and do your best to avoid ingredients on the packet listed as

  • Carbonate
  • Ferrous fumarate
  • Oxide
  • Sulfate
  • dL-aplha Tocopherol
  • D-2
  • Ergocalciferol
  • Hydrogenated oils

Choose instead

  • Taurate
  • Glycinate
  • Arginate
  • Citrate
  • Lysinate

The above is just looking at multivitamins as a supplement, also check if your supplement is good THROUGH expiration. This means that after the expiration will it go toxic? Will it still have the potency? Will it be safe? Check the label to see if the values were at the time of packaging/bottling. Always do your research before consuming supplements, creditable companies with have creditable people on board and will be very transparent about the their practices, manufacturing, ingredients and labelling.

My recommendations to get started

A good quality broad spectrum multivitamin, probiotic, vitamin D with K, Fish oils, magnesium glycinate and zinc. The values I’m not going to put up on here because I don’t know how much you weigh or what you’re aiming to achieve. What I will tell you is that your biggest win will come from eating the right foods, drinking more water and getting out doing a little more exercise. Supplements will just be the extra little thing you do that will speed up your results.

That will do for now, its a massive subject and it needs a lot of time dedicated to getting into the detail each it’s very individualised.

As always ping over any questions you have and I’ll reply back to you personally. Good luck with all your health and fitness goals for 2017.

Much love

Dean.

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