Saturday, 5 December 2009

About Supplements

It is so wonderful to have a wide range of supplements to support the health of individuals.
Remember though when you take a supplement – it is to supplement your body with extra nutrients. It is not a replacement for proper nutrition and healthy, balanced eating. Only take a supplement for short periods of time. If you are still experiencing ailments, it is best to turn to a healthcare practitioner to look at underlying causes.

Many people’s diets are inadequately balanced and suffer from varied nutritional deficiencies as a result. These can be helped tremendously by using supplementation while redressing the balance in one’s diet.

How will you know if you have a nutritional deficiency?

You will have signs and symptoms. Every symptom you experience in your body is usually pointing to a problem. But many people seem to think – how on earth would they know if they didn’t get a test?

Try reading up on nutrition. You know, Gillian Mc Keith has a list of ailments which correspond to possible nutrient deficiencies. Read Patrick Holford’s stuff as well. There is a vast multitude of information out there.You can figure it out yourself, rather than spend a fortune on allergy testing.

Factors which prevent absorption of nutrients in the body:


  • Allergies and food intolerances affect the body’s capacity to take in nutrients and make use of them. Also, digestive system disturbances or illnesses affect nutrient absorption. These are topics for another time.



  • Bear in mind, this also affects a person’s ability to make use of vitamin supplements as well as food. Many people are not experiencing the uptake they ideally should from supplements. This means that supplementation will not help as much as anticipated. Addressing assimilation is a fundamental aspect of health and should be done in a therapeutic setting with a qualified healthcare practitioner. There are some risks associated with taking supplements but not being able to absorb them. Not all vitamins and minerals are easily digestible.



  • Some supplements have known side-effects. For example, Iron. If you take iron, try to take Ferrous Gluconate as opposed to Ferrous Sulphate . Take with additional Vitamin C to avoid constipation. I highly recommend Spatone or Salus-Haus Floradix as these brands usually do not cause any trouble.



  • For those who are have assimilation problems, consider Foodstate supplements or Liquid supplements, which are more easily absorbed and have a look at the Schuessler Salts which aid assimilation and balance minerals on a cellular level. Always take your supplement with food and never on an empty stomach. People with Candida, must check that supplements are yeast free. Vegetarians must check supplements are suitable for vegetarians. Follow your own instincts – if you feel unwell, stop taking it. If you feel well again, the supplement is not right for you.



  • Many non-organic vegetables and salads have lesser nutrients due to farming practices. Chemical sprays and fertilisers and non-organic farming affect the goodness of fresh fruit and vegetables. There are many toxins in our environment, the extra stress of which can cause the body to lose nutrients. The recommended daily allowances cited on packaging are based on the body already having adequate levels of nutrients. The RDA’s do not deal with actual nutritional deficiency.This is one reason why you should consider taking a supplement and why food is sometimes not enough.

  • B-Vitamins and Vitamin C are soluble in water. This means if you take too high a daily amount, they will be excreted in your urine which means there is less risk of overdosing on these two in particular. At the same time, be careful of overdoing the amounts you take though, as this puts pressure on your kidneys. When you take B-Vitamins it is best to take them together in a Complex as they are synergistic in nature and work best in combination with each other.


Generally speaking, I am in favour of using a wide variety of supplements to improve health but not in the medium to long-term. People should be aware that even if taking Vitamins helps them with one problem or another, if their problems return once they cease supplementation – there is still something wrong with the way in which their body is functioning. Taking supplements may relieve symptoms but symptoms are a sign and indicator of problems. To mask a problem is to allow it to progress. This should be avoided. Homeopathy works to stimulate the body to function on its own, without help and using its own innate resourcefulness, as the body well knows how to do. All the supplements and herbs in the world cannot replace the body’s own powers.

When my patients do not come to see me because they can manage by themselves without taking remedies – then I know I have done my job well. Life does throw things our way – but we learn to be resilient. Knowledge is power, so education is a significant part of my work.

When dependence ceases – on advice, on remedies, on healing helps from any perceived expert (outside of one’s own knowledge and expertise and one’s own body’s healing powers), then one is free. Free to get on with life, with no anxiety and certainly no need for a remedy or a medicine cabinet.

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