Here's my approach for myself, my family and my clients. First and foremost, supplements should do just that -- supplement the diet, not fill the gaps for poor eating habits. So whenever possible, it's advisable to get the nutrients you need from a balanced diet. Yet since people live such different lifestyles, there is no one solution for everyone to follow. Each person will need to individualize their supplementation program.
Where do I start? First consider such things as your lifestyle, where and what you eat, your general energy level, and any health problems you are having. If you are suffering from, say, generalized fatigue and low energy, a balanced low dose B vitamin formula might be a good place to start. Buy only the highest quality B vitamins from the health food store. Read the ingredients label. If it reads like the chemists shelf, forget it! Many B vitamins are formulated or derived from coal tar and other unsafe sources. Your body may not chemically know how to break it down and in the long run only add to your general fatigue and distress rather than relieving it. The best B vitamins are made from whole rice bran -- something the body can use and understand.
When starting new supplements try just one thing at a time, and don't take it every single day unless you feel bad when you don't take it. I have people come to the office currently taking as many as 50-75 supplements a day. Now there's nothing wrong with that as long as they know it is working for them. The trouble I see with this is that usually some things are working, others are making them feel worse and they don't know it! When they do figure it out, they toss everything out confused and unsure as to what is the best use of supplements for them. The key is to experiment, one supplement at a time, documenting symptoms along the way -- good or bad.
I also find a lot of people feel better using some kind of balanced mineral supplement before starting vitamin therapy, or in adjunct to vitamin therapy. The soils we grow our vegetables in is very demineralized. Everyone talks about vitamin therapy but very little is said about the lack of minerals in our diet. The human body can go a lot longer on a diet that is deplete of vitamins than one that is deplete of minerals. Truly, mineral supplementation is key to good health. China Chorella and Spirulina are two of the best natural mineral supplementations and I highly recommend them.
If you are confused when you go looking for supplements, ask for help. If you're just feeling a little tired or fatigued, nothing serious, ask at the reputable health food store. If you are ill and fighting a chronic disease you should ask a professional. And lastly, read, read, read! Educating yourself regarding your body and your health is a key to good health.
Till next time, Rebecca.