a millennials guide on how to supplement properly

Lets talk supps!

*this information is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.

 

Okay so my iHerb order arrived, and I got so excited I legit was like “I NEED TO WRITE A BLOG ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW” and so here we are, impulsive af.

 

This song has nothing really to do with supplements, but hey I’m obsessed with it currently and I suppose I have wild thoughts about my magnesium? (come to mumma)

 

For the sake of the blog “supplements” in this context, we’re just going to be talking in regards to vitamins and minerals. Think pills and potions (could’ve used Nicki Minaj’s song but nah ha).

 

So, lets jump into it, supplementation is exactly that – supplementing an amazing diet to fix/help nutritional deficiencies. The supplement market is maaassssive, in Australia alone the dietary supplement / complementary medicine market generated 4.7 billion dollars in 2016…  (fun fact pow pow). And like everything, not all supplements are made equal, no no no. So if you’re needing to supplement (for reasons we’ll go into) make sure you’re getting reputable brands, with the right forms of the vitamins / minerals you and your body needs and can absorb, and so you don’t waste moolah / just have fluro pee.

 

As you know, the entire essence of how I educate and consult is that everyone is different, and not everyone needs the same diet, or, supplements. Like I personally have low iron (vegan problems 101), and train heaps, and am always running around, I’m like inspector gadget. So I take an iron supp, a stress-b complex, magnesium and multifood by ATP science daily. And I cycle others on and off depending on what my bodies doing and the time of year, e.g vitamin D during winter.

 

I feel you should only supplement ONCE YOU’VE HAD A BLOOD TEST, and gotten your results and have spoken to your health practitioner (as most doctors suck, it’s a pimped out system and unless you’ve got a long term relationship with your doctor, than they usually just treat you like a stray dog, soz not soz haha).

 

So get your bloods tested, I’ve created an infographic (cute hey) about common signs and symptoms of deficiencies and associated vitamins and minerals. It gets tricky, because sometimes your symptoms might be masking what the actual deficiency is, hence why blood work is the A+ way to suss out what’s going on inside. An example is you might have low energy, is it a low B12, or B6? Or folate? They all mask each other, or are you having shit sleep? Do you need magnesium? Do you have low iron? Is your gut microbiome imbalanced? Is stress eating all your B vitamins and magnesium? (you get the idea). So before you self diagnose and waste your money, let them take yo blood and take your printed out results to your health practitioner (or me) and go from there :)

 

If our results come in, and they’re low then yay we can go about sourcing the correct supplement to help boost us back into the optimal range, in which we then consume a nutrient dense diet to make sure we don’t fall back down. Which is the whole point of supps, like food is #1.

 

LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE AND MEDICINE BE THY FOOD

– Hippocrates

aka the badass godfather of modern medicine. You want to be consuming your vitamins and mineral aka micronutrients through food, BECAUSE MOTHER NATURE IS WAY BETTER THAN US. Like she’s created all these foods for us to eat to make us healthy and thrive, and then we come along with our synthetic bacteria and test tubes and try to copy her and compress it into a pill. The foods we eat have the perfect ratios, forms, with all the cofactors and everything, hence why I personally, don’t count macro’s. Because what bout your micro’s? ain’t no body counting that and making sure they’re getting their daily intake of folate, zinc, selenium etc from foods, so that their body can utilise dem macros. Anyways, you get the message.  Food rules supreme / FREAM (food rules everything around me? Or tf?)

 

The issue we all need to accept is that due to the way conventional foods been produced, the soils are devoid of the micronutrients, hence the produce we consume is also lacking these nutrients. Like we’re not going to get adequate iron from spinach, you’d have to eat crazy amounts, and then there’s the phytates within spinach that even blocks iron (I know right). The same goes for red meat, to get the amount of iron we’re recommended RDI: 18mg, we’d need to eat 500g of meat every day… which is so unsustainable and unhealthy (shout out to Dr Libby Weaver @drlibby for that fun fact). So hence why we need to assess which supplements are ideal for us to obtain optimum health.

 

If you’re eating a broad, rainbow like diet of mostly plants foods, then your key nutrients will be taken care of, again, organic/local produce that’s obtained utilising sustainable farming methods is ideal. And I know organic's more expensive, but here’s the key thing: consumers hold the power. The more we buy and support local farmers and organic farmers who are utilising sustainable farming methods, the more mainstream it will become, governments will subsidise the cost of organic sustainable farming methods (naively & ideally), and the lower the price will go. And then ideally in my perfect world, we all eat organic like we used to, and it’s the only way, because no one wants to consume pesticides or fungicides or nutrient poor foods, or give that to their children. As long as we all try, like Frank Ocean says, to make better, more informed food choices, us as the consumers are able to bring about change to better the globe and our health.  

 

So lets be smart with supplementation, it’s a tool to help you, not like a reliable source of nutrients. Common reasons for deficiencies and the need for supplementation will include; inadequate diet (low in fresh veggies and fruits, high in processed foods), periods of stress/chronic stress; zap your B vitamins and magnesium, high volumes of training, eating styles; vegan, vegetarian, keto, genetic polymorphisms e.g MTHFR gene (a legit gene), being pregnant, when we’re sick or recovering, and legit a bunch of others.

 

So supplements also have different forms, and depending on their forms they can go down different pathways and be utilised by the body in different systems. Also, not all forms are bioavailable in the body, meaning you will literally just pee it out as it’s not effective at binding to its receptor in the bod.

GOOD’ly absorbed forms:

·      ascorbates

·      citrates

·      fumurates

·      glycinates

·      malates

·      picolinates

·      tartrates

POORLY absorbed forms:

·      oxides

·      carbonates

·      sulfates

·      phosphates (except when in a coenzyme form)

OK’ly absorbed forms: 

·      aminoates

·      chelates

·      gluconates

 

 

 

 

Here’s some common key micronutrients and associated symptoms of deficiencies & some cool boosters (snaps for me and my infographic)

 

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Back to supps, I personally use Thorne and ATP Science’s Multifood, Bioceuticals, Orthoplex, Metagenics, NowFoods, and yeah!

 

So moral of the story is; food #1, if you think you might have a deficiency / low stores; get a blood test, get your results, work with your health practitioner and supplement effectively

 

- E x