Dietary Supplements – Are they worth it?
Did you know that all pharmaceutical drugs originate from plants or microbes.
For example, aspirin comes from Willow bark.
Not all Supplements are created equal – here’s why?
Quality dietary supplements can be very effective in helping with issues such as arthritis, digestive health, hormonal balancing, immune support, aging and cognitive function.
But make sure you do your homework first before you buy. Check out how and where they are made and are there clinical trials behind the product.
A product that says scientifically tested means it was tested in the lab and the results extrapolated – So there is a big difference between scientifically tested and clinically trialed.
To do a clinical trial a company must first prove to an independent ethics committee the safety and good quality manufacturing of the product, so this alone already means the product has been properly reviewed by independent professionals.
Timing and compatibility – How to make supplements work for you
Following is a classic example of how supplements can be damaging to each other.
When you take and how you take a dietary supplement is critical to their efficacy. For instance, if you take Phloe (kiwifruit digestive enzymes) and Kyolic (garlic) together they inhibit (obstruct) each other.
This is because garlic contains Allicin a protease (digests proteins) inhibitor, which blocks viral replication but also inhibits digestive enzymes (proteases).
So for them both to work, you need to take Phloe or any digestive enzyme before a meal and take Kyolic or garlic during or after a meal.
Getting the most from your supplements – What to check for
Always check for the synergistic benefits (as well as for any potential interference) to get the most from your supplements.
Supplements can truly complement each other – here’s how.
Take an antioxidant such as grape seed extract with an omega 3 and it increases the bioavailability and potency of the grape seed extract.
Why MORE is not necessarily better
Vitamins and minerals can be beneficial at times of stress such as pregnancy and illness, but generally, they should not be required on a long-term basis if you are consuming a healthy diet.
Your body only needs a certain amount of vitamins every day, so if you take more than you need all that happens is that the vitamins end up being excreted from your body never used.
Damage control – Vitamins can also be toxic if the recommended dose is exceeded, for example, Vitamin A at high doses can cause liver damage. So the continuous use of vitamins means that your body adapts, and no longer uses the vitamins optimally.
So always stick to the recommended dose of vitamins, and preferably use food as your main source of vitamins and minerals.
How do I know that my dietary supplement or my skincare is working?
To be approved as a drug a pharmaceutical drug generally needs to have a clinical benefit within 24 hours, preferably sooner.
But dietary supplements, when you have clinically tested them, take 3 weeks for the full benefits to be seen. This is because dietary supplements work on issues that are not based on a single chemical reaction, but rather complex issues such as the gut microflora, cellular damage due to oxidative stress, premature aging of cells, cognitive function.
It’s the same with skin – Similarly, with the skin, it takes 3 weeks for the new skin cells to come through.
So if you want to know whether your dietary supplement or plant-based skincare is truly benefitting you, check after three weeks. It will also take three weeks for the benefits to wear off.
A balance of supplements and diet – Now you know the tricks for best value
So supplements do work and can be beneficial to your health when taken correctly, but for general well-being, nothing beats a healthy well-balanced diet packed with fruits and vegetables.
One more trick – the reason why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy is that the olive oil, with a dash of garlic, works in synergy with the flavonoids and lycopenes in the tomatoes to increase bioavailability (absorption) and potency.