What Supplements Do You Take?

Clients and students often ask me what type of vitamin and mineral supplements I take.

It’s simple… I don’t take any.

But, I used to take a lot!

Before taking charge of my health, I spent thousands of dollars buying vitamin and mineral supplements to help make up for my dietary deficiencies and lack of knowledge about good nutrition.

The supplement industry is a BIG industry and is making millions (probably more like billions) of dollars annually, catering to folks like you and me who are concerned about health.  I used to believe supplementation could help heal my ailments and make up for my lack of proper nourishment and/or understanding of food.

Boy, was I mistaken!

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, antioxidant vitamins increased a person’s risk of dying by up to 16 percent.  The University of Washington found that vitamin E elevates lung cancer risk, and researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that men who took more than one multivitamin daily had higher rates of prostate cancer.[1]

According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, below is a list of popular supplements and their toxic effects:[2]

SUPPLEMENT POTENTIAL TOXIC EFFECTS
Vitamin A Hepatoxicity (liver damage), increased risk of hip fracture
Beta carotene Increased risk of lung cancer, yellowing of skin, diarrhea, arthralgias (arthritis)
Vitamin C Diarrhea, gastric upset
Vitamin D Calcification of the soft tissue
Vitamin E Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, blurred vision
Vitamin B6 Sensory neuropathy, ataxia (lack of coordination and muscle movements)
Vitamin B3 Vasodilation, gastrointestinal upset, hyperglycemia

These are just a few of the more common supplements and their toxic side effects when taken in excess.

Anything taken excessively it going to accumulate and be problematic for the body.

I encourage my clients to use supplements as exactly that… a supplement to an already healthy and balanced diet. Meaning, they rely on food first, and then supplement when they feel they need it.

There are many delicious ways to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

For example Mussels contain Vitamin B12, Zinc, Selenium, Omega 3’s, and they are delicious. And, sweet potatoes are rich in Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E.

So, the question you need to ask yourself is, “Would I rather eat a handful of hard coated supplements, or enjoy something delicious?”

Steamed Mussels with Mirin & Baked Sweet Potato Fries


[1] http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/are-vitamins-really-that-good-for-you-/article46647.html

[2] http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/169/1/47/T127

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