Vitamins & Supplements

Ever tried googling what supplements to take? Or “are supplements safe?” What about, “what are the best supplements?” You’ll come up with TONS of information. How do you wade through all of it? What seems to happen is that you’ll either just decide on some regular multivitamin, or decide to not bother with it at all. Here are some useful tips in deciding what supplements to take.

  1. WHAT ARE VITAMINS ANYWAY? - Think of nutrition as fuel for your body. I need to put in fuel to burn, just like a car. When I don’t have good fuel, my body still wants to work so it uses what it can. Just like a car, if your fuel is bad, it causes damage and faster wear. Meeting all the nutritional needs for you body is a challenge, but very important in order to keep it working as well as possible.

  2. FOOD - The best form of nutrition is through food, but it’s really hard to get everything you need because of lack of time to deal with it all day in order to make sure you eat what your body needs to operate. There is also commonly less nutritional value in food as there once was because of multiple other factors. That being said, you’ll do well for your body if you eat mostly clean, unprocessed, no additives (sugars, preservatives including sodium…), food that is mostly vegetables. You still probably will be missing some things, so, since we’re not all that perfect at eating ideally, move onto the next steps.

  3. VITAMINS - I recommend people stay away from buying supplements over the counter at any store. Mostly because there is only very loose regulation on the supplement industry and many of them don’t have what is claimed on the label. There are also some potentially harmful ingredients in some of them. The form of what’s in the supplement (such as vitamin B) is also important, and many off the shelf ones don’t even have usable forms. When looking for a supplement, I always recommend getting them through a few companies that do all the self-testing and regulation of their products to ensure correct amounts, ingredients that can be absorbed, and usable forms once absorbed. I use a few companies I think do a good job, and you can click here to check them out.

  4. WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC SUPPLEMENTS THAT MIGHT BE HELPFUL FOR ME? - Well, this is a good question that can be addressed only by talking with a healthcare provider who deals with these topics. There are a few things that are useful for most everyone to take, but sometimes testing needs to be done to figure out what is helpful and necessary. An example is vitamin D. This is what our body makes by absorbing sunlight. It doesn’t come from food. When I was studying (I graduated in 2005), you still couldn’t take any form of vitamin D. It was being worked on and now you can take a precursor to vitamin D that will help your body make it. Otherwise, you need 10 minutes of skin exposure to the sun every day to maintain healthy levels. In the winter and in cold climates, people often don’t have this sun exposure, so it’s usually necessary to take vitamin D. This is just an example of what can be helpful for most people.

  5. DO I ABSORB SUPPLEMENTS, OR DO THEY JUST PASS THROUGH MY SYSTEM? - This is a common question people have, and my answer is kind of complex. Referring to question 3 in this list, not all supplements are created equal. If I’m taking something that isn’t able to be absorbed, or the form it’s in isn’t usable, or doesn’t have the right combination of things in it, then it passes right through. You’ll always pass some of it, but studies have shown you can increase levels of vitamins and nutrients with supplements. That is why I really recommend a top level producer.

  6. ARE SUPPLEMENTS SAFE? - While you can take too much of something, don’t jump to many conclusions when you read an article online that says you could be overdosing on vitamin C, or something like that. For the most part, it would be really hard to take too much of something, and even harder to take so much you’d have symptoms. The symptoms can be things like headaches, and are not usually dangerous. Again, I have to reiterate using a quality company when considering supplements.

We’re always available to help you through figuring out what might be useful for you.

Peter Schulz