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Supplements! Are they worth it?

Going by the amount of supplements I have then I would say so!! 🤓

I've studied both clinical nutrition and nutritional therapy and I do support the use of supplements. and there are lots of studies that acknowledge the therapeutic role they can have.

I think when I answer these questions however, they often raise more questions but the most important thing here is that supplements need to be personalised and are not a cure all! They are designed to supplement diet and lifestyle and work with the body to enhance your own physiology.

Some examples of why we might be deficient and require supplementation;

1. Over farming, pesticide, fungicide and herbicide use can deplete soil of nutrients. The nutrient density of our food has dropped dramatically in the last 40 - 60 years, and some common deficiencies in the UK due to this include selenium, magnesium and zinc.

2. How animals are reared changes the composition in meat and lowers omega 3s for example. A lot of people also dislike oily fish, a major source of essential fatty acids.

3. Many nutrients such as B Vitamins, vitamin c and folic acid are destroyed in food processing and cooking, as well as the time it takes to get the food from harvesting to our plate.

These are just a very few practical reasons before we even mention the individual person, their current level of health, underlying imbalances, level of stress they are under, and genetics.

4. The health of the digestive tract and medication, antacids and PPIs for example, impact the break down and absorption of nutrients. One example - Zinc, which is needed for the production of stomach acid and enzymes, deficiencies of which are very common in the UK. One of the things I see all the time in clinic is people in this vicious cycle of zinc deficiency, poor stomach acid and enzyme production. Hence meaning poor digestion and the absorption of nutrients.

5. Long term medication use depletes essential nutrients. Something as common as paracetamol depletes glutathione one of the body’s most important antioxidants. Metformin a common diabetic drug depletes B12. Statins deplete Coq10 responsible for the conversion of energy within the body, and a powerful antioxidant.

6. Antibiotic use - the gut flora produces vitamins such as vitamin K and B vitamins. Destroying this beneficial microflora removes the ability to produce these important nutrients.

7. There are also genetic and gene mutations that increase an individuals need for certain nutrients like vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Folate, and antioxidants like glutathione.

I have to continually supplement vitamin D as I have a Vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene mutation leading to an inability to process and transfer vitamin D around the body. If you want to find out your genetics susceptibilities you can do so here.

So you can see its never as simple as yes or no, as it very much depends on the individual.

Hope that helps somewhat!

Julie x

Of course, if you would like to discuss supplementation requirements, or how personalised nutrition can help you be sure to get in touch here.

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