Guide to Supplementation (Part 1 of 3)

The supplement industry is rife with misinformation and confusing double speak.

They would have you believe that you can’t survive without supplements!

When that is simply not the case, and over-supplementation can actually have negative health consequences in some instances.

Such as the beta carotene in smokers study which showed that smokers who took supplements that contained between 20 - 30 mg of beta carotene (which can be found in most multivitamins) had an increased incidence of lung cancer!

Or, some people who have over supplemented with protein powder have suffered from kidney failure and they have even been linked to deaths.

I don’t say this to scare you, but to just make you aware that supplementation isn’t without risks.

It should be viewed as a ‘supplement’ to a healthy lifestyle and not some silver bullet that will give you magic weight loss or health outcomes. They didn’t name them supplements for no reason at all lol!

To determine what supplements are right for you, I would always recommend speaking with your treating GP and having a blood test first. 

This can help you identify any potential deficiencies (or excesses) you may have that supplementation may help or hinder. 

This week I am going to be going through general supplements, sports supplements and wellness supplements.

General supplements are ones that you should consider in day to day life, sports supplements are if you need a boost for your athletic performance, and wellness supplements are some that I recommend for specific times when you might be feeling a little out of whack.

So, if you do want to supplement, what are some you should consider?

Today I am going to look at three general supplements that you may need for general health, especially if you are following a plant based diet. 

Note the only supplement I regularly take is B12 and a small amount of protein powder.

I take B12 cause deficiency is no fun. I have had it before and despite a few blood tests, and trips to the Dr it was getting worse, and they didn't realise it was B12 deficiency. It wasn't until later that I learned about active B12 and B12 analogues.  

I also use a small amount of protein powder (up to 1 scoop per day) cause it adds a nice flavour to my morning oats and a bit of body to my smoothies.

So let’s get into general supplements

General Supplements

Vitamin B12

If you follow a vegan plant based diet you would want to consider a B12 supplement, in fact even if you don’t supplementing with B12 can be a good idea.

In our sanitised world we don’t get exposed to B12 (a bacteria) like we used to. Eating food straight from the earth and drinking water from streams and rivers that most likely contained fecal matter used to give us our B12 intake.

Now it is all sanitised.

Animals are given B12 supplementation to ensure their flesh when you eat it contains available amounts.

So why not just take the supplement yourself and live a plant based lifestyle? It is too easy to do a sublingual spray or have a B12 shot.

You can also get some amounts through fortified foods such as plant milks and nutritional yeast, which is enough for some, but not for everyone.

Have your active B12 tested by your Dr to find out your levels. Dr Joel Kahn recommends the MMA test for active B12. This is an important distinction as there are B12 analogues in things like Spirulina and other seaweeds that can bind to receptor sites and block the absorption of usable B12. So your serum B12 levels can look fine, however you can actually be experiencing deficiency. 

If you are looking for a good B12 supplement, you might like to try the Mykind B12 spray - https://amzn.to/2BmBQbK

Vitamin D

If you live somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of sun, it can be worthwhile looking into a vitamin D supplement.

With the use of sunscreens and ‘slip, slop, slap’ to protect from skin cancer we have also seen a rise in the cases of rickets, so it is important to take proper precautions from both sides.

I prefer to have some minimal exposure to the sun a few times per week out of ‘peak’ times. But only you can decide what is right for you and what you feel most comfortable with.

However if you did want to supplement, Mykind have a vitamin D3 supplement - https://amzn.to/2CgKY3b

EPA/DHA

There has been some recent research coming out about the protective benefits of an algae based DHA supplement on brain health and function as we age.

This video by Dr Greger details some great reasons why people should consider a DHA supplement - https://nutritionfacts.org/video/should-vegans-take-dha-to-preserve-brain-function/

Again, it is not necessary but if you have a family history of alzheimer's or this is a concern of yours then you can take a supplement.

Garden of Life have a vegan DHA supplement you might like to check out - https://amzn.to/2ChWDPy

Or this Aurum Oil by ATP Science - https://atpscience.com/product/aurum-oil/

Obviously, these are just three general supplement groups that you may like to consider for overall wellness, your individual needs should be assessed by your doctor or GP. 

You can now access part 2 here - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/guide-to-supplementation-part-2-of-3

In part 2 I cover sports supplementation for those of you who are looking for an 'edge' when it comes to working out. 

If you have any questions at all, let me know in the comments below or post them up in the Facebook group.  

 

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