Supplements – Where do I start?
Have you ever been so overwhelmed with the sheer number of opinions on supplements, all backed by this doctor or that scientist, that you wished there was just one pill you could take and move on with your day? Or a super powerful shake… that would be nice. “Drink this shake and never worry about what to eat again.” That sounds good until you remember there are over 7,000 types of apples and I want to try all of them! I suppose growing up in the state of Washington fueled my love for apples. The internal conflict rages on.
In this article I want to touch on supplementation.
Making sure we are getting the correct nutrition can be a challenge. Even getting access to quality foods can be tough is certain areas. So how do we make up for these nutritional deficiencies? Are supplements the answer? This is a pretty hot topic currently. Some say to supplement others say there is no discernible value. So, what’s the deal?
Before we get too far into this, I have to preface this entire thing. I will not be speaking for or against supplementation. What I want to talk about is, what other people are saying about them and throw out some time-tested wisdom about eating whole food. Keep in mind that I am not a supplementologiest. If that’s even a thing. So, just to be clear, before starting or stopping any supplements, talk your healthcare provider.
Decade-long supplements study offers interesting insight
Now that that is out of the way. What are people saying about supplements? A recent decade-long observational study of more than 30,000 people found no discernible benefit from taking supplements. But other studies suggest that vitamins are great for filling in nutritional gaps. Both of these are stances are backed by doctors and scientist. Understanding the science of supplementation is complicated. It sounds simple “if you are not getting enough vitamin C in your diet, add a supplement.” But, is it really that easy? Well, there are a lot of factors like supplement source, quality and your personal needs. This is a major reason to involve your healthcare provider.
Where do supplements come from?
Let’s start with source. I will try to keep this pretty simple. Supplements can come from two major sources: Laboratories or Food. Some supplements are synthetic or artificial. Take vitamin C for example. When I think of vitamin C I think of oranges. Some vitamin C supplements may even have an orange on the bottle and taste just like an orange. But, did you know that a lot of the vitamin C on your grocery store shelf, is made in a lab? That’s right, you may have heard of ascorbic acid. So where does that come from? Well, this is where it gets kind of strange.
According to an article in The Healthy Home Economist, the majority comes from GMO corn and it is processed with chemicals like acetone. (The next time you need to remove your nail polish instead of nail polish remover (acetone) try a vitamin C tablet.) All joking aside this is a little scary. So, what about vitamin C from whole foods? Many fruits and vegetables have vitamin C and this can be extracted naturally. Most vitamins from food are said to absorb better into your body. Going organic here is also another big bonus to reduce our toxic load.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I love long-term population studies. It is hard to argue with time tested and proven methods. When something stands the test of time, I feel much more confident in the fact that it will keep providing the same results. There is something to be said, when an entire population, eating a similar diet, experiences the same health benefits or issues. Long-term population studies prove things that have been around for a long time. That sounds like a pretty obvious statement and maybe you see where I am going with this. We really won’t know the long-term impact of synthetic supplementation verses supplements from food for some time. But here is something that has been around for a long time. Good old-fashioned whole foods.
Food – Micronutrients working together
Did you know there are some big benefits from getting your micronutrients from food? Many times, companies will talk about their special formula for maximum absorption. But this is nothing new; fruits and vegetables have many compounds already in them to increase bioavailability. Vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids and other micronutrients interact with our digestion in a synergistic way. Pretty cool, right? So, what’s the problem, just eat your fruits and veggies… right? well, it would be wonderful to get as much of our micronutrients from food and take full advantage each specific fruit or vegetables unique combination of compounds. But, the problem goes back to access to quality whole foods and, unfortunately, time.We live in a fast-paced world and prepping whole food meals takes time. So, we are now back to filling nutritional gaps.
So, what to do? This is up to you and your healthcare professional. But consider this, at your next visit, you may want to ask about whole food supplements verses synthetic and ways to incorporate more, good old fashioned, whole foods into your life. Look at the source of your food, how is it grown and what micronutrients is it providing.
Here at Haelan Products we are proud to offer good, clean, time-tested food. Haelan 951 is not a supplement it is FDA classified as a food. It takes 25 lbs of our unique species of nutritious whole organic soybeans – grown under the strict standards – to produce one powerful 8 oz beverage. By taking what is already built into the whole soybean we see a synergistic effect that increases bioavaibility and produces noticeable results. If you’re looking for general wellness or an immune boost, consider Haelan 951, a powerful immunonutrition beverage.