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Let’s Talk Supplements





As I said in my most recent Facebook Live presentation, the topic of supplements is like diving headfirst into a rabbit warren. Not a rabbit hole, nope, a full-on warren. So in this talk, we touched on:


Vitamin D3/Magnesium/Curcumin/Omega 3’s/B12/Probiotics


The highlights?

Before listening to blanket generalizations or promises offered by products on offer, keep in mind that we are each truly unique based on:

· Any health conditions

· Lifestyle factors

· Heredity

Therefore it is important to pay careful attention to the quality of the supplement—from start to finish—as well as to how you feel before you begin taking it. My recommendation is to start with a low dosage and go slowly as you increase it to a supportive level.

We cannot out-supplement a diet that’s not working for us, but we can shift things in our favour as we figure out how to improve things.


Our first supplement under discussion today: D3 is more of a hormone than a vitamin! It is crucial for healthy immunity, bones, thyroid, and it seriously reduces cancer and Covid risk. Our bodies make it when we have sunlight on our skin and cholesterol in our cells.

Boom.

A recent study was done that found a causal relationship between receiving vitamin D3 supplementation and avoiding ICU treatment for patients with Covid-19.

I recommend that clients have a D3 level of at least 40 ng with a goal of 60-80. Because it is almost impossible to get enough sun directly on our skin, I personally like to supplement daily with DK drops. I prefer a formulation with K to further support my bone health. And the drops are hella easy to use.

A caveat—many foods are “fortified” with vitamin D. But. The cheaper form, more synthetic form, of D2 is near impossible for the body to assimilate, so watch out for that. In orange juice, almond milk…Iyiyi. Nice idea. But.

The magic of the body is that it all works together. You’ll hear me use the word synergy a lot. What we do to one part of the body ultimately affects the whole organism—which is why supplementation is such a rabbit warren.

And why I, as a Nutritional Therapist and Transformational Coach, focused on digestion and anxiety, can be found ranting about personal care products (another topic is brewing…)!

Speaking of.


Magnesium. We can absorb it through the skin in Epsom salt baths. Boom. Relaxing and nourishing for the mind, the body, the spirit. A triple win. A triple threat for the taking on of your dreams.

Magnesium is known as the “stress” mineral. And minerals are known as the spark plugs of the body—the minerals fire up and things get going.

When we are deficient in magnesium we can experience heart palpitations, sleep problems, cramping, headaches, depression, and on and on.

If you find that you are drinking your requisite amount of water and continue to feel thirsty it may be a magnesium deficiency.

Boom.

Supplemental magnesium is helpful for constipation (in the citrate form), for hangovers, for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to compensate for depletion due to alcohol, and birth control pills, and to support folks dealing with fibromyalgia. Try it. It’s tough to get enough from our green leafy vegetables these days because the soil tends to be compromised. I suggest forms other than citrate—unless you need support in that area—such as glycinate or gluconate. That’s a whole ‘nother leg of the warren, to be honest.


Curcumin, found in the spice, turmeric, is a powerful anti-oxidant. As are cinnamon, cloves, berries, many veggies, and ginger! Eat them in your food for the win-win and yum-yum. Anti-oxidants are search and destroy molecules which scavenge the “free radical” molecules in the body that are hell-bent on ageing us, inflaming our joints--basically contributing to All The Diseases. Free radicals have their place—we produce them ourselves—but we get to create harmony with them by allowing the anti-ox molecules to flourish. Taking supplemental curcumin and eating turmeric certainly support that. Studies are showing curcumin is a beast against arthritis and diabetes. Check out GreenMedInfo.


B12 is one of the many B vitamins which we need to keep us energized. It is also supportive of mental health, nerve health, and skin health. It may help with trigeminal neuropathy. Woot. In order to assimilate it properly, we get to be sure we have enough stomach acid (yet another leg of the warren!). This goes back to the whole organism working together—rather miraculously, to be honest—and also to my mantra that We Are What We Absorb.

I personally use a B12 lozenge in the methylcobalamin form to break up the monotony of swallowing pills and because this is better absorbed by most folks than the, cheaper, cyanocobalamin, form.

A healthy gut makes B vitamins—that’s one of many things the bacteria in our guts do: make B vitamins, so it’s easy to be deficient if our digestion is off—and there’s no danger of getting too much as these are water-soluble…meaning we pee them out if we have a surplus.

As I am typing this up, I realise the warren is alive and well. Each one of these supplements deserves its own blog. Suffice it to say, we are scratching the surface here and I want to give us enough information to be getting on with—but not so much as to overwhelm.


Let me know your thoughts!


Omega 3’s are essential. We do not make them in-house, so we get to invite them onboard through our diet—eat fatty fish 2-3 times weekly—or supplementation. Sourcing is tremendously important as what the fish is swimming in, and how it is processed, greatly impacts the quality of the oil going into your good body. No shortcuts!

Pills are generally large, but easy to swallow, and some of the liquid formulas are actually tasty. Well, I quite enjoy them, anyway. Ha. My husband would tell you I enjoy a lot of things he thinks are odd—including kombucha and kimchi—so take my “tasty” with a grain of salt.

Omega-3’s are crucial for mental health, nerves, joints…hmm, sounds like the benefits for all the other supplements. What gives with that?

Synergy. One organism…everything is connected. Tweak this and that. Harmony with all the components.

And begin with the beginning? Begin with a solid gut microbiome. Begin with a good probiotic if fermented foods are not in your wheelhouse or if your body needs both for a time.


Probiotics are definitely a whole couple of legs of a rabbit warren. So many kinds. So many…bacteria. Our guts have 2-3 pounds of bacteria in them. Easy to see why they’d get out of harmony. Antibiotics. Electromagnetic radiation. Chemicals in our foods. So we’ve figured out to keep the gut bugs happy by continuously inoculating ourselves with the ones we want to grow and defeat the ones we want fewer of. All in harmony. The bugs themselves are neutral.

I lean towards spore probiotics because they are contained in a shell which doesn’t open until the buggies are in the gut where they belong. Then they uncurl, and help sort out whatever mayhem is being wrought. Your standard probiotics with their trillion gazillion CFU’s per capsule honestly confuse me. They are not designed to withstand the heat, the acid, the oxygen of the outside world, let alone the digestive tract. How many of those gazillion trillion make it down to the gut alive? Some. Fantastic. How many? And there are strains now which purport to withstand the stresses of getting to the gut. I haven’t dived into them yet. So, it comes back to what works for you. What works for the individual gut we are talking about.

Like I said—a whole ‘nother rabbit warren. Yeah, not even a leg, a whole ‘nother warren.

Let me know if this has been helpful. Let me know if you would like more posts on supplements—or a deeper post on one in particular.


I am here to serve you.


Speaking of, I have access to professional grade supplements which I stand behind—and use myself. I am happy to speak with you about sharing these resources if you are interested--but this is not meant as a sales pitch.

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DISCLAIMER: The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Helen Gardiner-Parks is not a licensed medical professional, dietitian, or nutritionist.  Seek the advice of a physician or qualified health provider with questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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