Supplements – how to choose (Part One)

Supplements – can be defined as a ‘preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients such as vitamins, fibre & amino acids that may be missing or not found in sufficient quantities in the diet to provide optimal health’. These can be in the form of pills, capsules, tablets, powder or liquid. These have been around for years in their present form, but of course their origin is from nature, so have actually been here for millions of years – unlike manmade (usually toxic) medicines which have not.

There is of course a place for all types of medicine in this world, the unfortunate fact is that MONEY is more important to many people, (& pharmaceutical companies!) especially the people in power, who decide what YOU the consumer can and cannot be told. This is really a big enough topic for a totally separate blog which I will do at a later date, but I have been shocked by the laws which govern the UK health industry (from the EU) – where the health of the public is clearly NOT top of their agenda. Obesity here is said to worse than Australia, & on a par with America, yet there are no laws restricting advertising of foods/claims made, which clearly are one cause of this obesity. But there are laws which almost totally restrict what one can say about natural health supplements, these are also subject to often ludicrous testing requirements to be able to say anything at all! Pharmaceutical companies do not want the public to be informed/educated about cheaper, effective alternatives to their own products, and I’m afraid appear to have the power to prevent this.

I say always do your own research into what you are taking, if you do see outrageous claims from ANY sector of the health industry, beware. I believe there are basic supplements which should be part of a regular diet, and then depending on your own INDIVIDUAL state of health a whole range of supplements which may well be beneficial. The fact is that MOST peoples diets are far from ideal, many are shocking (just look at obesity levels around the western world), so if you have any health concerns it is worth seeking medical advice either from your GP/Naturopath to see what you may need to take to improve your health.

So what are the top supplements you should consume?…

A good multi – and not a cheap one from the supermarket! Invest in your health wisely, go to a recommended health food store or your local pharmacy, and always check the therapeutic doses. Your diet may be OK generally, but everyday, probably not.

Fish Oil is so good for so many things, people of all ages may benefit from adding these to their supplement regime!. Again check the EPA/DHA levels – this DOES make a difference to their effectiveness so get a QUALITY one, general benefits of fish oil include

Help your skin & vision

Decrease cholesterol levels

Assist with depression, help your mood

May control joint pain, reduce inflamation

Help you focus

last but NOT least, help with weight loss! Australian researchers found that FO combined with exercise & diet was more effective than without. Scientists at the University of Georgia state that FO may assist pre-fat cells converting to actual fat cells causing them to ‘die’ thus lowering overall body fat %.

A good anti-oxidant. You will get these from fruits ,especially berries (acai/maqui in particular) and the benefits are numerous, but essentially they’re good for fighting off the free radicals in your system which damage cells (from toxins in food, the air your breath,stress levels).They promote healthy growth of cells and boost your immune system to keep you healthy.

However apart from general good health, supplements can assist in many specific forms of disease…. but that’s for the next instalment!!

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