• Stacy Seslowsky

10 Things You Need to Know About Taking Supplements

Vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other types of supplements may have a life-

changing and even a life-saving impact. Supplements may offer therapeutic

effects and when taken appropriately, the long-term side effects of

pharmaceutical drugs can possibly be avoided. However, there is a lot people do not know...

1. Synthetically Produced: Aside from very few supplement manufacturers who extract nutrients directly from food, virtually ALL supplements sold on the market are synthetically made in a lab. Though synthetic supplements are advertised as having the same chemical composition as nutrients found in food, the shape of the molecules and

their effects on the body may be very different.

2. Potentially Harmful Additives:Binders, fillers, dyes, and sometimes even pesticides and heavy metals are used. These chemicals are often hidden in “other” or “inactive” ingredients and the consumer is unaware. The types and levels of these ingredients will

determine their potential harm and taking several supplements each day might

compound the problem.

3. Questionable Claims: We all want to believe that these vitamins “support the immune system, boost energy, strengthen bones, reduce inflammation, suppress appetite, and regulate hormones”, but unfortunately, these claims are often unsubstantiated.

4. Third-Party Tested: Some supplements do not even contain the ingredients listed on the label. Please verify that your supplements are being third-party tested to verify that the ingredients are pure and at the levels listed on the ingredient list. Do not assume

that your supplement is accurately labeled simply because the brand name is


5. Isolated Nutrients at Enormous Doses: Vitamins and minerals never occur naturally in isolation. They coexist and work synergistically. It is sometimes difficult to predict the effects of supplementing with one or two isolated nutrients at doses that are significantly higher than the level at which they occur naturally.

6. Nutrients Compete

Did you know that...

  • Calcium supplementation can decrease your ability to absorb magnesium (amineral that is essential for every single action in your body that requires energy)?

  • Supplementing with Omega-3 effects the ability of vitamin E to exert its antioxidant effects?

  • Zinc and copper compete with each other? They are both involved with the immune system, metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and so many more BUT, they must be at a specific balanced level in the body.

My point is that you are unaware of the imbalance you may cause by

supplementing with a few chosen nutrients.

7. Individuality: Your genetic makeup and environmental exposure are unique. Nutrients that have been demonstrated in studies or in some people to have one effect, may impact you in a very different way.

8. Bioavailability: Your body may not be capable of absorbing a vitamin or mineral in the form it is being ingested and thus, it is a waste of money. Or, your body may absorb too much of the nutrient and unwanted effects can occur.

9. Underlying Cause: Some nutrients may appear to be low on blood tests and supplementation may seem appropriate. But, let’s take iron as an example. Did you know that certain harmful bacteria and viruses feed on iron for their survival? In choosing to ingest an iron supplement, you can worsen and prolong an underlying infection.

10. Most importantly: I have personally seen amazing benefits from the use of high-quality nutrient supplementation, but I firmly recommend that you consult a well-trained clinician for appropriate recommendations.

Your clinician should:

  • Assess the underlying issues that you are experiencing

  • Recommend appropriate dosing, form, and a brand that uses third-party testing to verify purity and accuracy of ingredient

  • Be able to share research with evidence of the clinical outcome you hope to achieve

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