About 15 years ago, it became popular in the U.S. to start using supplements to enhance our health and prevent disease. In the last 3-ish years and counting, we have hit an even deeper trend in the supplement world using the words holistic, preventative, curative and more.
Have you ever stopped to think that maybe your supplements are actually hurting you?
This may seem odd coming from a Naturopathic Doctor, but hear me out! Think of all the supplements you have around your house. What is the general theme with your supplements? Do you have ten bottles of anti-oxidants? Five bottles for natural pain relief? Every herb that is suppose to support pregnancy? Several bottles for weight loss? Detox? What is your medicine cabinet theme?
Now ask yourself,
1. Quality: Where did I purchase these supplements? Who funds the company that I purchased these supplements from? Is there any labeling on the bottle that says Good Manufacturing Process, Derived from 100% organic material (not natural- the word natural doesn’t mean anything- it’s a marketing ploy), pharmaceutical grade nutraceuticals, tested quarterly with public and private assays?
2. Purpose/Function: Who advised me on the purpose (or Mode Of Action) of these supplements? What was the claim on their efficacy (how well they work)?
3. Adviser: Who advised me to take these supplements and what is their level of education around natural physiology (how the body works), the use of the supplement and any contra-indications?
These are all very important questions.
Further more, I find it important to ask yourself or a Naturopathic Doctor, “do I really need to take 10 different bottles of similar supplements for one issue? Is there a more efficient way to target my imbalance? What is the root cause (the deeper reason) as to why I am having this imbalance in the first place? And for those who think you have an easy answer like “I was in a car accident 10 years ago, so I will just be living with pain for the rest of my life”, “my paretns were over weight so genetically I will be to”, “I’ve had chronic UTI and yeast infections for years, it’s just part of who I am”… WRONG! There is a deeper reason as to why your body has not yet fully rehabilitated and you are not living FREE.
What I’ve been seeing a lot of is patients taking more supplements then the body needs or knows what to do with. You may think, “the body will pee out what it doesn’t need”, but this is not true. In your body within every cell you have an inside the cell space (intracellular space) and an outside the cell space (extracellular space). When you ingest supplements, the cell will take exactly what it needs (the physiological dose) and the rest will remain in the extracellular space until the liver, kidneys, lungs and bowels can excrete it. Problem is, when there is extra material in the extracelllular space, it creates cellular congestion. This actually leads to the body’s cells to working LESS- EFFICIENTLY and can prevent having the ultimate results you are looking for. It can even cause a level of toxicity.
In addition, if you are NOT using high quality supplements, you could actually be adding in extra poisons, chemicals and even heavy metals into the body that can lead to autism, Alzheimer’s and other serious conditions.
Further more, it is important to have an highly trained Doctor or practitioner who understands both how the body works in addition to the effect different supplements (herbs, minerals, vitamins, homeopathy, amino acids, ect) are having on the body and what the appropriate dosage, combination, length of time and results you should be expecting.