Hello Empowered YOU! I trust you have taken up the gauntlet of empowerment for your best YOU after our time together in the last post.
Supplementation is a hot topic and booming business today. I often get asked questions about supplementing.
- Should I take supplements?
- Should I supplement a specific micro-nutrient?
“Those are great questions!” I respond. It depends on many factors unique to you – since each one of us is a uniquely created and designed individual with unique life experiences.
Did you know that the “food pyramid” was created by the Swedish back in 1972 when food prices were high and they were attempting to help guide the Swedish people to make cost-effective and somewhat nutritious choices with their food budgets. Somehow it migrated to the US as a guideline for eating in the early 90’s. Interestingly, in the same year we find the first genetically engineered tomato. Hmmm…
As manufacturing has increased over the past several decades, so have toxins in our soil and equally as deficient are nutrients remaining in soil. Here is a quote from Scientific American that I found intriguing:
“The Organic Consumers Association cites several other studies with similar findings: A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent. A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal,found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent. Yet another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.”
So, generally answering question one, “Should I take supplements?”, my answer is, probably so. Not only do we have evidence to support the position that our food sources may not be as nutrient-rich as they used to be, we also are likely not eating at home and cooking our own meals very often. For these two reasons alone, it is safe to say that most individuals can benefit from supplementing their micro-nutrient needs.
Before I answer the second question, allow me to insert the “WHY-factor.” Why does it matter if my foods don’t contain the same micro-nutrients? Well…micro-nutrients are the basic fuels of your 72 trillion cells that have millions of jobs to do in your body every second of every day! Most folks can understand analogies of a car. If you don’t put gas or oil in your car…it won’t run very long! Same with our bodies, except they are slightly more forgiving and flexible than our cars.
Now, to answer the second question of “Which supplementation should I take for specific micro-nutrients?” That’s my favorite answer…the one YOUR body NEEDS…at the genetic level (based on TheCodeOfYOU!) Science has come such a long way since mapping the human genome some sixteen years ago, and we know so much more about how our cells and DNA function. We no longer must settle for guessing or trying to match our friend, neighbor, or co-worker’s supplement basket. We can very easily know exactly what our cells need from a quick and painless cheek swab. As of this writing, PubMed.gov has over 20,000 articles pertaining to genes and nutrition. I’d say we are officially in a new era of truly personalized wellness and I’m so excited to be on the cutting edge! This article is not the place for me to share with you the exciting things I’ve been a part of with individuals in their wellness journey…but it is certainly thrilling, empowering, and very hopeful!
In addition to using supplementation that is customized for you, equally as important is the quality of the supplement. There are several “grades” of supplements available:
- Feed or Agricultural Grade: You guessed it…those available for animals/livestock. Not the one for you!
- Nutritional Grade: That one sounds great! Right? Not really, but sadly, this is the common grade that is sold in local stores and used in cosmetics. The challenge with these is that they are not often in the form that benefits your body. So, it can be really expensive “pee!” Some don’t even contain what’s on the label.
- Medical Grade: This is definitely a step up from Nutritional Grade, but may not meet the highest standards. Sometimes, pre-natal vitamins fall into this category.
- Pharmaceutical Grade: Here’s the winner! Pharmaceutical Grade products must exceed 99% purity (natural sources) and contain no binders, fillers, perservatives, dyes, or unknown substances. They are also molecularly exact to those that you read about which are involved in “clinical trials.” Your body knows how to use these!
So, there you have it…in summary:
- Yes, you likely need supplementation.
- WHAT you need depends on you, so choose the one that’s formulated for your body and your DNA.
- Choose pharmaceutical grade first, and medical grade second. Pharmaceutical grade supplement is “bioavailable” (easily used by your body) and pure! No more wasted money down the toilet (literally!)
If you have questions about your supplementation needs – I’d love to help!
To your best you!
your Next Generation Nutrition Coach