Written by Carla Alpert
Supplements are always a hot topic.
Are they necessary? Which ones do I take? Which brand? How many? How often?
Truth be told, vitamin deficiencies can lead to a wide range of problems from weight issues, and organ malfunctions, to fatigue and depression. I had my own experience with this. I'll save the full story for another time, but let's just say it had something to do with my MTHFR mutation, leaky gut, my reliance on antacids, and a depletion of B vitamins.
The best way to get sufficient vitamin intake is from whole organic foods. But sometimes that is not always easy because of depletion of our soils, GMO and processed foods, as well as an epidemic with Leaky Gut, which causes mal-digestion and mal-absorption. So even if you ARE eating the freshest, whole organic foods, you might not be absorbing the vitamins and nutrients necessary to thrive.
This is where supplementation can be effective, although the same principal holds true if your gut is not absorbing well. You can be supplementing with the best quality products but absorption becomes the issue. For some people with a compromised gut, IV vitamin therapy can be extremely helpful in rebuilding deficiencies, until your gut is healed. This is best done under the supervision of a functional doctor, to be sure you are given what your body specifically needs, as well as high quality infusions.
If you are generally healthy and in need of getting some extra servings of specific vitamins in your diet—in addition to the organic whole foods you're consuming—the reality is that all supplements are truly not created equal.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic, many vitamins found in your local drugstore or vitamin store are not worth taking for the following reasons:
They are made cheaply and are poorly absorbed or used in the body
The dosage on the label may not match the dose in the pill
They are made with additives, colors, fillers and allergens
Raw materials may not be tested for toxins
The factory in which the product is manufactured may not have regulation standards
When choosing supplements, you might need guidance from a health consultant or professional. A few brands I prefer are Metagenics, Thorne Research, Designs For Health, Pure, and Garden of Life that can all be found online, and Blue Bonnet which can be purchased at Whole Foods.
If you need help tailoring your supplements to your personal needs, contact me for a free consultation.