There is a lot of confusion around the subject of supplements. To learn more about what supplements are best for you join Katie and me for this discussion.
1. Why is there so much confusion around supplements
a. Conflicting, mis-quoted, or poor quality research– we must dig into the data!
i. Vitamin E, alpha-d-tocopherol in isolation vs in combination with d-
ii. Beta-Carotene: smokers (accelerated DNA damage) vs non-smokers,
heavy alcohol drinkers (hepatotoxicity).
b. Each person is unique and we have to put the data into the context of the
complex person in front of us!
2. My friend’s trainer/friend/family member recommended x, should I take it also?
3. How do I know if a supplement is working or I’m taking a supplement and I don’t notice
a. DOSE and TYPE matter! E.g. Magnesium glycinate, threonate, citrate, oxide
b. Loading period: glucosamine + Chondroitin – 6 months until we see results.
4. Can’t I just get everything through my diet?
a. Food-system and growing inconsistencies
b. High toxic burden
c. Inconsistent dietary patterns or limited diversity
5. Can I just take X and eat what I want? NO! You cannot out-supplement a bad diet!
a. Progressions: add Turmeric, Ginger, Black pepper for general anti-inflammatory
properties. Dealing with acute or chronic inflammation? Consider supplemental
curcumin + BioPerine (both are active ingredients of turmeric & black pepper) at
therapeutic dose. Again, we must consider the unique individual. Curcumin has
blood-sugar lowering properties. High doses may be contraindicated in certain
Three main questions (and sub-questions) to ask yourself when thinking about supplements:
1. What is the goal/desired outcome you hope to gain from the supplement?
a. Is this for general wellness or targeted nutritional therapy?
b. What is the health status of the person and are there any contraindications?
2. What is the appropriate type of supplement?
a. Does the form of the supplement match the indicated use? Examples
Magnesium, Curcumin, or zinc.
b. Is this the most effective supplement to reach the desired outcome from
c. Are there additional co-factors or considerations that need to be taken into
3. Is the dose and timeline for supplementation adequate to meet the desired outcome?
a. E.g. fish oil, Glucosamine + Chondroitin, and Vitamin C.
Guidelines for Supplementation:
1. Diet first! You cannot out supplement a bad diet.
2. Not all supplements are created equal
3. Dose matters
4. Consult a licensed professional