“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.
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 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.