Updated: Oct 5, 2020
The supplement industry is a multi-million-pound industry and there are lots of companies trying to persuade you that their product is the best one to take.
I am often asked about taking supplements and, as everyone is unique, it’s not something I will answer with the exception of vitamin D throughout the winter months here in the UK. The NICE guidelines recommend that everyone in the UK should take Vitamin D supplements during the winter as it’s not possible to get enough from the sun. It is important to mention here though that you do need to get your levels checked first through a Nutritional Therapist or GP so that you know how much you should be taking.
Also, ideally we should be getting all the nutrition from food that we need by eating a balanced diet based on whole foods to keep us healthy and, whilst it is not always possible, it is a very good starting point. Magnesium, a good example, is found in green leafy vegetables but due to modern day farming the soil is often depleted and therefore this is a mineral that people can commonly find themselves to be deficient in. Magnesium is an important mineral with over 300 biochemical reactions in the body from nerve, muscle and energy production through to regulating blood pressure and the metabolism of many other minerals.
Supplements can be very effective at accelerating your improvements to your health from the outset and enhancing micro nutrient intake but, as the name suggests, they are supplements to be taken in addition to good sound nutrition. Taking supplements as a way of improving a poor diet is not something I would ever encourage.
So, back to this multi-million-pound industry. There are so many retail outlets and brands out there that often it is hard to know what to choose when looking for a supplement without the help of a Nutritional Therapist. High street shops will often stock supplements which contain excipients such as magnesium stearate, fillers, binders, artificial ingredients. They can have low therapeutic dosages so in fact can often not to do the job you are led to believe.
Caution needs to be taken when taking supplements as they can interact with medication causing side effects and it is possible to cause toxicity of nutrients if you don’t take the correct dosages. Also, some medications deplete the body of nutrients, so it is a good idea to get some advice if you are taking supplements in order to keep you in good health. If you don’t seek advice on supplementation it may be that you are not addressing the underlying health issues and may be taking the wrong product, at the wrong time (some supplements are better with food, others away from meals) in the wrong form and an incorrect dosage.
In clinic, the supplements that I recommend are reputable brands which ensure that clients take the appropriate therapeutic dose and in the most bioavailable form to achieve maximum absorption, assimilation and utilisation within the body.
If you would like to know more about supplements or have a health concern and would benefit from a nutritional consultation then please do get in touch here.