Are Nutritional Supplements Effective? These Surprising Facts

They circulate under the pretense of science and experience. They do the exact opposite of helping you make better health decisions. They make it more difficult.These false stories ignore the volumes of research as well as thousands of years worth of human healing techniques using food, herbs, and minerals.

What are the fallacies I am referring to?

An editorial published in The Annals Of Internal Medicine December 2013, entitled “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Your Money on and Mineral Supplements”, concluded:We believe the case is closed. Supplementing well-nourished adults’ diets with most mineral and vitamin supplements has no clear benefits, and may even be harmful. These vitamins should not ever be used to prevent chronic diseases. Enough is enough. “[1]

Here’s the problem… Let me be clear: I agree that we should pay attention to the results of the studies the authors referenced when they reached their conclusion. This editorial is based on several recent studies. These studies highlight important reasons why nutritional supplements fail in certain situations.

However, They’re wrong in every other way.

These studies are a reminder of the errors doctors and people make when using supplements. Supplements don’t work if people use poor quality supplements or the wrong supplements for the wrong reasons.Contrary to this, hundreds of people who have consulted me as a physician have found that choosing the right supplement for your right health concern will reap the benefits.

Make informed choices.

It would be impossible to summarize the 40 years of experience I have in recommending supplements for my patients in one article. However, I can give you some guidelines to help you make better decisions when using supplements. These are the things you should be looking out for to make sure that your nutritional supplements work.

The right amount of nutrition

The editorial team used three studies to support their argument. They found that multivitamins didn’t reduce the risk of developing brain problems, heart attacks or other health issues in older adults.

This surprised me not.

Multivitamins are unable to provide all the nutrition you need without addressing a particular health issue. They often contain nutrients that you don’t need, depending on what you eat.

Multivitamins, for example, contain only 400 IU of vitamin D. However, holistic doctors consider this a small amount to raise your blood levels.

My patients have blood tests done to determine their vitamin D levels. I then recommend supplements as appropriate. To help them reach healthy levels of vitamin D, I recommend at minimum 1000 IU and sometimes up to 5000IU.

Multivitamins are a good starting point for nutrition. It is not strategic intervention that makes a real difference.

This brings me to the next issue…

Find the Best Nutritional Supplements for Your Needs

Vitamin A supplementation may have worked for someone else, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will for you. You might eat lots winter squash and chlorella rich in vitamin B3. Supplements are not necessary.

Supplementation is not for everyone.

Supplementation is most effective when it is tailored to your specific health issues, eating habits, lifestyle, and genetic makeup. Start with you, with your problems and your strengths. Studies that did not include nutritional deficiencies in order to evaluate the effectiveness of supplements might have yielded less meaningful results.

Multivitamins are also less effective because of this. Higher quality multivitamins may provide a better nutritional foundation. They do not offer the kind of strategic nutrition that has been proven to make a significant difference in specific health issues.

It doesn’t really matter how much of a supplement you take, if this is not addressed, you will not get the results you want.

Select Natural Supplements

Synthetic vitamins are not only less effective but can also be dangerous. The Annals of Internal Medicine editorial staff correctly noted that some studies have shown that vitamin A supplementation can actually increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

You don’t need to be concerned if you can get beta carotene, the precursor of vitamin A found in whole foods and chlorella, then you shouldn’t worry. Your body converts only the beta-carotene that it requires and then gets rid of the rest.

It is difficult to replicate natural substances in a laboratory. Although we may be doing a good job, several studies on vitamin A and E have shown that synthetic vitamins can cause disruptions in the way your body uses nutrition.

Even if you do it naturally, you need to be aware of the next criterion…

Quality is a Priority

Do you really think that wilted spinach left in your fridge for two weeks will provide you with the same nutrition as fresh spinach from your garden? It’s not true!

Hence, why assume that all supplements ingredients are the same quality?

They may be natural ingredients. But natural doesn’t necessarily mean quality.

Many manufacturers use ingredients that your body doesn’t need or have low concentrations of active compounds. This is a problem with multivitamins. You can almost guarantee that the multivitamins you choose will not be absorbed by your body and provide limited benefits if you buy one at random from your local pharmacy. Calcium citrate, which is found in multivitamins and calcium supplements, is easier for your body to absorb and break down than calcium carbonate. [2]

The quality of botanical supplements is heavily dependent on the way they were sourced. If eleuthero roots are harvested during winter, when the plant stores most of its energy, you will get a higher concentration of active ingredients, eleutherosides. However, not all eleuthero producers harvest at the right time. This results in a wide range of potency for eleuthero supplement products.

However, even if a supplement is of the highest quality, it will rarely be as effective as an extract or isolated ingredient.

Whole Foods Make the Best Nutritional Supplements

We’ve found some uses for isolated vitamins and plant compound… and while I may suggest to my patients that they use certain extracts of vitamins or isolated vitamins, when it comes right down to it, nothing beats food’s complex chemistry for providing the best nutrition.

Foods contain a variety of nutrients that work together to nourish your body in complex ways. It’s like a orchestra with many players. We often miss out on powerful health benefits by trying to isolate nutrients.

Scientists have discovered that some isolated compounds (eleutherosides) can increase immune health, such as when it comes to eleuthero. However, they found that no eleutheroside was as effective in strengthening your immune system as whole eleuthero. [3]

3 Tips for Finding Nutritional Supplements that Work

I’ve seen hundreds of people regain their health through the use of nutritional supplements. As a doctor, I know that this highly publicized editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine could cause great harm. The authors have taken away the health options that could make a difference by pointing to unrepresentative, poorly designed studies in order to condemn nutritional supplements.

However, I understand that there is a need to better understand how to select and use supplements.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Do your research. Ask questions and look beyond the headlines. Find out the answers to all of my questions. Find out more about your health concern, the nutrient that you are considering and the company that makes these supplements.
  2. If in doubt, consult a professional such as a holistic doctor. We keep up to date with research as part of our professional work. We also have years of experience to help us understand how supplements work in each case. A holistic doctor can help determine the quality of a supplement. They can also help you determine if the supplement is right for you.
  3. You should only use supplements that have passed rigorous quality inspections. Emerson Ecologics, for example, has high standards regarding the quality of their supplements to make it easier for practitioners like myself to make informed decisions. You will not be able to purchase from them without a recommendation from your doctor. However, you can rest assured that the supplements they sell are thoroughly vetted.

Be a Master: Learn the Best Supplements for You

To use supplements effectively, the most important thing is to get to know yourself. Learn about your body to understand how supplements work.

Remember: Studies are important. However, they only provide a glimpse of reality. This may not be true for your biochemistry.

This means that you know more than any researcher or doctor what supplements work for you. It comes down to this: no one can do a better job than you in deciding which nutritional supplements are best for you.

Professionals like me are there to offer guidance and advice. However, you must be an expert in your own health.

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