Choose a Supplement: How Choose Natural Supplement & Why Avoid Synthetic

Most of what we believe is based on the senses. Commercials of supplements therefore respond to a better feeling and a longer life. We read and hear a lot about the benefits of various supplements (vitamins), herbs ( St. John’s wort ) and co-enzymes (such as Q10).

Choose supplement

Most of what we believe is based on the senses. Commercials of supplements therefore respond to a better feeling and a longer life. We read and hear a lot about the benefits of various supplements (vitamins), herbs ( St. John’s wort ) and co-enzymes (such as Q10). Many studies do show effectiveness, but a week later we hear other stories and the benefits are undermined. The ‘other’ stories, that certain vitamins do not work and are even dangerous, can be a sophisticated strategy . Media and pharmacy seem to work together to fill studies on beneficial effects.

Question is not: yes / no, but which

Money makes the world go round, and so in the supplements industry. However, the question should probably not be whether or not it is beneficial for your health to take supplements (the evidence of effectiveness is overwhelming), but the question is rather which one you should or should not choose. A few guidelines before you start choosing is useful, because when you read the advertising brochure you get the impression that you can use them all and that would be a costly affair.

What do you pay attention to when choosing a supplement?

What is the difference in quality between a supplement from different manufacturers
What are the most essential supplements and why
What is the relationship between supplements and nutrition (can a supplement also supplement a sophisticated diet)
Which supplement addresses a wide range of health problems

Why avoid synthetic strict

Vitamins and minerals can be found in various forms. Some are obtained from food (such as vitamin E from vegetable oil and A&D from fish oil). Others are manufactured in laboratories and still get the label ‘natural’, because the initial source was natural. Some are combined with dried foods and herbs and are called whole food.

Supplements regularly use synthetic vitamins A and D. These should be strictly avoided. Even the smallest amount of fat-soluble synthetic vitamins can be toxic. Unfortunately, manufacturers are enriching our diet with synthetic vitamins, including A, D and often we just don’t get it. In this way we unknowingly get too many of these synthetic substances and it is difficult to avoid them.

When studies undermine the positive results of previous studies regarding the effect of supplements and they cite the dangers, they have investigated the synthetic forms. But media and researchers don’t mention this.

Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil (cod liver oil) is a super source of natural vitamins A and D. You can take 1 to 2 tablespoons of this daily. Top quality is the Norwegian cod liver oil (from Carlson Labs).

Vitamin E is another nutrient of which it is important to choose the right form. Synthetic vitamin E has “d, l-alpha” in the name. The mix of ‘d’ and ‘l’ forms are biochemically different from natural vitamin E. Natural vitamin E has “d-alpha” in its name. Just like the synthetic A and D, E also has harmful effects. It is not completely converted and can even disrupt the conversion of E in the liver. The best vitamin E products come as a mix of alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols. An example of this is the product “Unique E” (AC Grace Company), it is virtually the only high-quality vitamin E that is free from soybean oil.

Vitamin C

Almost all vitamin C supplements are made artificially, even though they are mentioned differently. According to the label, a product can be “ascorbic acid from the sago palm”. Dextrose is a type of sugar that does not contain vitamin C, but is extracted from the sago palm and used as the basis of a complex process that synthesizes vitamin C. The label can also claim “vitamin C from most natural sources”. That may be true, but that does not alter the fact that the vitamin C cannot be synthesized. You can also read “with rosehip and acerola.” These 2 ingredients are then used as the basis. But a tablet may contain 40 mg of natural vitamin C and the rest may be synthesized.

The most important point in terms of vitamin C is the buffer process, which involves a mineral (can be magnesium, calcium or potassium) together with ascorbic acid. Buffered C is nicer for the stomach because of the acidity of regular vitamin C. The ‘acidic’ vitamin C can cause gas formation, stomach irritation and farmers. Buffered vitamin C is well absorbed.

Vitamin B.

You can also read on the label of a vitamin B preparation that the vitamin comes from natural sources, such as from yeast. Nonetheless, producers add artificial B vitamins throughout the entire yeast group process. Then they claim “vitamin B from yeast.” Natural vitamin B works well as part of a multivitamin / mineral supplement, such as Thorne Research.

Minerals also come in various forms. They occur in food as part of molecules in which the minerals are found in relation to other substances. Supplements also contain them as complexes and the substances to which they form determine the extent to which the minerals are absorbed and used. Some minerals are actually extracted from food (an example is calcium hydroxyapate), and the composition of others is determined in laboratories. Calcium carbonate is extracted from nature.

Calcium is a widely used supplement and this supplement is also available in various forms. Only calcium hydroxyapate occurs naturally in bones. Extract is extracted from bones at low temperatures, called MCHC calcium. The best comes from cattle from New Zealand (from free-running cattle, pesticide-free) MCHC is a complex component of calcium, phosphorus and the entire spectrum of minerals present in bones. According to many labels, the calcium is “MCHC” or “calcium hydroxyapate.” But if you read well, you will see a second source of calcium, namely dicalcium phosphate. This is a cheap form that is poorly absorbed.

Whole food supplements

Whole food supplements often have a snag. Whole food supplements contain dried foods and herbs (together with fillers and other additives). With some products, vitamins are added to a yeast-containing liquid. As the yeast grows, the vitamins and minerals are included in the cell structure of the yeast. The yeast is then broken in the drying process and the remainder is pressed in tablet form together with herbs, binders and additives. Megafood works this way. Because the yeast takes up a lot of space, these types of products have low potential. The absorption, on the other hand, is excellent. But good absorption together with low potency actually make this type of supplement too expensive. The yeast can also cause hypersensitivity. Not all whole food supplements are produced using yeast. Some contain really dried organic food. It can be compared to eating good organic food, but in small quantities (because the potency is also moderate here).


Strength depends on the quality and method of production and this can vary considerably. The amount in a tablet does not always mean something. Whether pure ingredients are used and how many additives have been used makes up whether or not it is a quality product.


Almost all products contain stearate, allergenic binders, fillers, brighteners (sometimes made from corn) and dyes. The additives have disadvantages, such as reduced absorption. Pharmaceutical Technology published a study that showed that stearate has consequences for absorption. Then there is the chance of an allergic reaction, which may already be the case with small amounts of additives. Lactose can be hidden in fillers. These are some reasons why people experience the adverse effects of supplements. A supplement that is free of additives can prevent you from missing out on the benefits of the product.

Fat-soluble substances

Vitamin A, D, EPA and DHA can be found in butter, cheese, fatty milk (from grass-fed cattle), eggs, organ meats and sea fruit. It is best to take cod liver oil for this (cod liver oil). With most commercial cod liver oil most A and D are removed. High quality cod liver oil is recommended, in which the natural vitamins are abundantly present. Each teaspoon of high-quality oil contains 12,000 IU of vitamin A and 1800 IU of vitamin D, 800 mg of EPA and DHA (from Carlson).


Calcium, magnesium, trace elements (iodine, zinc, selenium and chromium) can be found in fatty raw milk, bone broth, Celtic salt, kelp and dulse . Calcium is best as calcium hydroxyapate. Bones contain magnesium and boron, which work together. Zinc can be taken in the form of zinc aspartate (up to 90 mg per day). Selenium and chromium in the same form (aspartate), and then 200 mg per day. In areas where selenium is deficient in soil, the number of cancer patients is quite high.


Vitamin E, C, coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidin, present in grapefruit, or grapefruit seed extract) and tocotrinols (vitamin E-like substance that enhances the effect of vitamin E) are abundantly present in organ meats such as heart and liver. They can be taken separately or in a multi-supplement. According to many scientists, these substances are crucial. Strangely enough, these types of antioxidants are precisely filmed by the medical order. Vitamin E should be taken in the form of mixed tocopherols (as described above) and the dose can vary from 100 to 1600 IU per day.


Dose can vary from 25 to 600 mg per day. Many people experience increased energy thanks to Q10 and athletes perform better. It lowers blood pressure and is important for heart conditions. Q10 is best absorbed together with fatty acids. In gel form it is also well absorbed, but this contains polysorbate 80 which has adverse effects.

Fiber and enzymes

If there is too little fiber intake, there will be a blockage and a swollen stomach. For fibers you can take broken linseed or psyllium fibers, directly in the morning together with two glasses of water. Bowel movements become healthy again. You get enzymes by eating fermented food, so sauerkraut is an excellent source for enzymes that prevent aging.

Milk thistle

A clean liver ensures a good energy level and a good mood. Milk thistle regenerates the liver and protects the organ from toxins and chemicals. It greatly boosts the health of the liver, damaged livers are also restored.

Food supplements, desirable or wasted money?

“What? Do you use supplements? And do you also advise them to your clients? But you are based on the power of nutrition, don’t you? ”I often hear these kinds of reactions when I explain something about supplements. If there is someone who daily sees the power of honest, unprocessed, varied food, then it is me. Not only with myself, but also with the clients in my practice. If you want to prevent shortages and thereby optimize your health, real food, a healthy environment, exercise and relaxation are the pillars. Yet I also see daily that supplements can give a person’s health a quick and positive turn. At least, good and high-quality supplements.

Nutritional supplements

Where food can solve issues, I will not quickly grab a supplement. Yet our need for nutrients can by no means always be covered by food alone, no matter how healthy you eat. Every day I hear from people that they are almost declared crazy by their environment or regular care provider when they start taking supplements. Someone recently wrote on my Facebook page “If you eat healthily, you don’t have to swallow that mess”. From my 15 years of experience with prescribing supplements I have written this article. I hope it helps you to form your own opinion on this complex topic. Are supplements wasted money or can it actually be worth using them?

Our diet often does not contain all nutrients

Enough vegetables, fruit and iodine sources

Only a small percentage of all US people get enough vegetables, fruit and iodine sources. According to the Food Consumption Survey 2012-2016, the average US person ate around 130 grams of vegetables and 130 grams of fruit in 2016, while the minimum standard is 250 grams of vegetables and 200 grams of fruit. these standards. Adults between 19 and 50 years have the worst score. An estimated 6 million Dutch people have an iodine deficiency, you know iodine .

Many foods are refined

Many foods (white flour, joso salt, white pasta, white rice, white sugar, oils) have been refined: the parts that contain valuable nutrients have been removed. Other processes on food, storage methods, sealing etc. are also at the expense of many nutrients. See here the table from my book ‘Everything revolves around your hormones’ .

The digestion of food costs energy, which must be supplied by minerals and trace elements, among others. Because these nutrients are not in empty food, refined food ultimately extracts energy. Optimal energy production (whether you are healthy or sick) is therefore in fact impossible if you continue to eat mainly refined food.

Refined salt and oils actually belong in the list above. In comparison with, for example, Celtic and Himalayan sea salt, Jozo salt has been stripped of some 84 valuable minerals and trace elements. Oils such as sunflower oil or a lot of industrial olive oil have lost many of their valuable nutrients through deodorization, bleaching, refining and purification.

Industrial processed foods

Many foods are processed industrially. On average we only eat about 3% of our food in raw form. This is at the expense of many valuable nutrients. Certainly vitamins that are very susceptible to heating, light and oxygen, such as the B vitamins.

Vitamin D is always associated with healthy bones. However, it has so many more important tasks in our total hormonal health that a regular check-up would not be wrong. The vitamin D content must be at least 80-100 mmol, certainly in people with diabetes, depression, chronic inflammation or other chronic conditions. Otherwise read the book ‘New light on vitamin D’ by Gert Schuitemake r.

Environmental influences

Environmental influences such as heavy metals and xenoestrogens ensure that our need for nutrients increases. All chemical, synthetic and harmful substances that we receive through our water, respiration or food must be detoxified by our body. This requires a range of nutrients. Nutrients that are not always sufficiently present, but which, if they are present, were actually intended for other important processes in our body. Detailed information on this can be found in Appendix D (Healthy intestines and a healthy liver) of my latest book ‘Everything revolves around your hormones’ .

Vital nutrients are used

Many vital nutrients are used to guide vital processes in our body back in the right direction. For example, a lot of minerals and trace elements are needed if you eat a lot of acidifying food. Your body makes every effort to get your blood basic again and uses basic minerals for this. This is perhaps one of the most plausible explanations why bone loss occurs at an increasingly young age; the minerals that were intended for strong bones are used to combat acidification. In general, your diet should be 80% basic and 20% acidic in order not to disturb the balance.

Regulation of our blood sugar levels

The same also applies to the regulation of our blood sugar levels. There is a lot of food that makes our blood sugar rise too fast and too long. Consider sugars, juices, soft drinks, alcohol, wheat products, corn, potatoes, etc. It is therefore not surprising that measures must constantly be taken to ensure that our blood sugars run smoothly.

Chronic complaints / inflammations

Chronic complaints / inflammations cause a greater need for nutrients. You can actually compare chronic complaints with top sport: our body then needs much more nutrients to perform recovery work than when we are healthy. Certainly if the appetite is also limited by illness, supplementation with supplements is even more important.

People with little vitality, chronic or serious illnesses, such as cancer, are advised not to swallow anything on their own. Instead, consult an expert. Also an online program such as the First Aid for Cancer from the doctor Henk Fransen can help you with responsible use of supplements.

“You are not what you eat, you are what you consume”

“You are not what you eat, you are what you consume” is in my practice the main reason for nutrient deficiencies. Millions of people in the Netherlands take cholesterol, stomach acid inhibitors or other medicines. Moreover, digestive complaints (such as chronic constipation or diarrhea, pancreatic weakness, liver & bile problems or a leaky gut) are a daily inconvenience for many. Then it is not so strange that there are a lot of causes that cause us to not properly break down the nutrients from food, let alone be absorbed into our bloodstream. Only well-digested food (in which stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver and bile play a vital role) can be absorbed in a properly functioning intestine. In any case, eat in such a way that you optimally pamper your digestion. The Poo Doctor, healthy from mouth to butt .

The benefits of supplements

If you read my column ‘Sometimes the key only opens with the last key in the bunch’ , that probably says enough. After 15 years I am still surprised what the right ‘fuels’ from both food and supplements can do with complaints.

The disadvantages of supplements

Are there no disadvantages to using supplements? Certainly. I mention the most important:

1. Chaff with corn when it comes to supplements

There is quite a bit of chaff when it comes to supplements. Usually cheap is also expensive. Inexpensive supplements often contain inorganic minerals that are difficult to absorb (for example, carbonates, phosphates and oxides) and sometimes synthetic forms of vitamins D and E. Also important relationships between substances are by no means always correct with cheap brands. Get good advice if you cannot interpret the labels properly and always choose a solid brand. Also choose a supplement that contains vitamin B6 in the P-5-P form. the Pyridoxine form (used in many (cheaper) supplements) seems to explain the neurological side effects that may result from high vitamin B6 supplementation. (3) Via this link you can in any case visit the website of a professional company.

2. Become your own doctor

Some people become ‘their own doctors’, recover from supplements and continue their lives. As a result, they may mask complaints and not call in professional help on time. So always call in professional help if healthy food, healthy exercise, adequate relaxation and supplements do not bring a clear improvement in your situation.

3. Contraindications and interactions

Sometimes there are contraindications that are unknown to the person taking the supplements. Taking Echinacea every day if you have an autoimmune disorder is not recommended. I also see every day, certainly in people who already use a lot of medicines, that nutritional supplements (especially herbal preparations) and medicines are taken at the same time or with too little time between medication and supplement. This can cause, to say the least, unpleasant consequences. For many more examples, see the article Medications and interactions . Therefore, be well-informed if you want to use herbal preparations / supplements, and certainly if you also use medication or have a serious illness. Also see the above link.

4. Balance even skewer

Sometimes you make the balance even skewer. For example, I regularly see people taking high doses of calcium. If you have a magnesium deficiency at such a moment, you make the balance even skewer: calcium and magnesium must always be in balance with each other. This also applies, for example, to taking extra vitamin B12 if you have a folic acid deficiency. Here too the balance is skewed. You do not run this risk with a multivitamin. It is purely about high doses of 1 substance if you do not know whether you have a deficiency. For example, I also regularly talk to people who take a high-dose iron supplement while they have no iron deficiency. Or a high-dose antioxidant complex for too long: free radicals are harmful in excess, not at normal levels. Swallowing too many antioxidants can be counterproductive. See also the fact

5. Eat healthily

I regularly hear people say that they are going to eat a little more unhealthily, because they believe that they supplement their nutritional needs with a multivitamin. I think that is a big misconception: a supplement can never replace real food. Nutrition consists of much more than the substances that contain supplements, no matter how good it may be to supplement nutrients with a supplement. Without healthy food as the basis , I believe supplements have little or no added value and I will seldom or never recommend them.

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