Best Supplements

We seem to live in an era where there is a pill for this and another pill for that. Everyone wants the quick fix. I was recently having dinner with some high profile doctors and hospital executives where we discussed the idea that when individuals see a doctor they expect medicine… a pill or such…  instead of the advice of eating antioxidant rich foods or getting more quality sleep to heal an issue. It is like a treatment has to incorporate medication instead of a long-term action that would cure the problem.

The discussion of medication conjured the question of appropriate health supplementation. The market is saturated with thousands of health supplements and herbs all touting miracle benefits. How true are these claims? Well considering that the supplement industry is generally unregulated and that a recent study found that only 1 of 3 actually contained the active ingredient it’s very hard to know what’s good and what’s not.

In the recent Dr Oz supplement scandal the associate director of the Federal Trade Commission, Mary Koelbel Engle, testified that “the weight-loss industry is an area where consumers are particularly vulnerable to fraud”. Most supplements are all marketing and hype. After claiming supplements that appeared on his show were a “magic weight loss cure for all body types” or “miracle” supplement, Dr Oz quick acknowledged his statements as “flowery” and that he recognised “they don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact”.

In the ideal world we would get all the nutrients we require from our food. However, the modern diet often leads to small deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals. These deficiencies can slow your metabolism and impair your ability to burn fat – among other things.

Industrial farming techniques are stripping our food of nutrients. According to a recent report from University of Texas researchers found that levels of calcium, riboflavin, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and protein in vegetables and fruits have significantly declined since 1950. In addition to this, increased consumption of processed foods, rising levels of pollution and increased stressful lifestyles put an even greater demand for our bodies to consume good quality nutrients. The plain fact that society is eating more “food-like” substances rather than “real” food is a major contributor to the continued increase in chronic disease rates across the world.

Supplements should always be thought of as a support system for a healthy diet. We must first consume a well balance and healthy diet. However, these days, it’s even more essential that we support a healthy diet with the right supplements. Along with following a healthy and balanced diet, adding specific supplements will ensure that you’ll be able to function as a peak performer.

Essential supplements:

Omega 3

We generally need to rebalance the ratio between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Due to all the vegetable oil and poor quality grain feed, chemically laden animal products consumed in the diet. The benefits of Omega-3 are vast and includes; reduces pain and inflammation, better brain function, improved memory, recall, fights depression, protection from heart attack and stroke, reduction of menstrual pain, and many more. The best impact is that it turns off the fat storing mechanisms and turns on the fat burning mechanisms. When purchasing an Omega-3 supplement check the ingredient list to ensure it is free of carrier oils like soy.

 

Multivitamin

As I have already discussed the modern diet often leads to small deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals. Dr Mercola states “I feel it is absolutely critical for the future generations that all young men and women consider a high quality multivitamin”. However, like most supplements on the market, choosing a good one is difficult… some many products and so many companies. Good brands are not available in Vietnam, so if you are not supplementing right now even synthetic brands like Centrum represent a step in the right direction. I have seen the brand GoodHealth available, which is a decent choice.

Super Greens

Most people’s diets are lacking in vegetable consumption. A super green drink provides all the micronutrients the body needs – many of which help lose fat either directly or indirectly. Good quality Greens drinks have shown to increase the antioxidant status of the body, improve pH, lower stress hormones, and more.

 

Not all Supplements are made equal! Most people think all supplements are natural. This is not the case at all. Most vitamin and mineral dietary supplements are synthetically produced. We believe most isolated synthetic vitamins are chemically and structurally different from those found in foods and may not have the same effect in the human body.

 

Here are some general guidelines to help you select a high-quality dietary supplement:

  1. It should be as close as possible to it’s natural (whole food) form
  2. What certifications or industry standards for quality control has the product undergone? Look for ISO 9001, ISO 17025, and Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) certifications

 

Be an informed consumer and if in doubt talk to a health professional who does not have a vested interest in any product or supplement brand.