The Big 6 – Nutritional Supplements for Maximum Health
Regular chiropractic adjustments optimize the brains communication to and from the rest of the body (including all cells, glands, organs, etc). By having an optimized functioning nervous system, our body can digest, absorb, and assimilate the nutrition we receive from diet and supplements. I recommend supplements, dietary and nutritional changes to maximize the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are required for an ailing body system to repair and heal — and then to hold the body at its best.
In general, there are many factors that support the need for nutrition and added supplementation— and not just for someone who literally was fighting for his life, but for overall health and wellness for even the so called ‘healthy person’.
To begin, the current level of the minerals and vitamins in our soils has become so depleted. Modern agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows (protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins B2, B6, C, and E) (Dec 2004, Journal of the American college of Nutrition, Dec 2004, D. Davis). This, in big part, is due to the fact that herbicides and pesticides are so abundantly used. Also, GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds are now seemingly the mainstream in our marketplace of food choices. These ‘modified’ foods are simply not natural to our body requirements, and it is absolutely imperative to ideally eat organic and supplement organic, as best possible, to bring ‘real’ nutrition into our body to be utilized not only for repair of ‘faulty’ tissues and cells but also to maintain optimum health.
Secondly, the fact that we live in an ever more toxic environment, supplementation is not just a ‘good idea’ but actually is crucial for providing the body the required boost it needs to fight our constant exposure to preservatives and additives in our foods and cosmetics, heavy metals contamination, hydrocarbon emissions, pesticides/herbicides usage, water contamination and electromagnetic pollution (computers, cell phones etc.)
Thirdly, the typical North American diet choices is in itself disease causing. The sky rocketing obesity rates and diabetes affliction due, in part, to the incredible high sugar and bad (trans) fat indulgences and the artificial ‘everything’ (sweeteners, colors, dyes, preservatives, additives) is of utmost important to eliminate from our diets to have any success in getting control of your health. The erroneous education and subsequent poor decisions for consumption of the ‘super size me’ fast food and trans fat industry is playing havoc on our health. Even the Canada food guide, in my opinion, needs a total revision as the high carbohydrate; low fat diet is outdated and harmful to our well being. In fact, our body requires LOTS of fat in our diets – BUT good fats like fish, flax, avocado, olive oil, nut (omega 3, 9) and not bad fats like commercially baked goods, packaged snack foods, fried foods from restaurants, and margarine (trans fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated).
In summary, what we really need to be striving for is not to just avoid deficiencies but to increase our supplement and nutrient intake to literally protect us from the exposure and consumptions of the toxins and poor lifestyle choices listed previously and to make ‘smart’ choices for our health. This stated, the following supplement recommendations are for therapeutic healing, protection and maintenance of optimum health, and not for just avoiding deficiencies.
The basics of my ‘protocols’ for supplementation for the typical North Americans lifestyle is as follows:
For general Health and Wellness: The Big 6 – Nutritional Supplements for Maximum Health
1. Multivitamin and Mineral
I recommend a high potency and high quality multivitamin and mineral. Why? Simply because studies reveal that up to 91% of individuals do not meet the recommended dietary allowances for each vitamin and mineral on a daily basis.
Factors such as stress, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars and starches, exercise, medications, and exposure to free radicals (sunlight, cigarette smoke, nitrates in food, air pollution, etc.…) continue to deplete our bodies of vitamin and minerals. To fight back, many experts suggest that in addition to a healthy diet, individuals should boost their antioxidant, B vitamin and bone support nutrient status through use of supplementation with a high potency multiple vitamin and mineral.
Many studies suggest that individuals who supplement their diet with specified levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals beyond what food alone can provide, show a decrease risk of certain cancers, heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, cataracts, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, and premature aging
(source: Meschino Optimal Living program).
General adult dosage: There are lots of products to choose from. Make sure that there is therapeutic dosage of ingredients and quality sources of the ingredients. (no colors, dyes, preservative, additives). My recommendation is All in One Multivitamin and Mineral (by Adeeva) . Take 2 caplets 2x per day with food.
Children dosage: Recommendation is Progressive or Genestra MultiVitamin for Kids as directed.
Probiotics (good bacteria) are dietary supplements of beneficial bacteria such as acidophilus and lactobacillus, etc. Studies show that a deficiency of these healthy bacteria can lead to an overgrowth of opportunistic pathogens (yeast, virus, bacterial, molds, parasites) resulting in a compromised immune system. Imbalances of friendly bacteria may result in severe abdominal discomfort, extreme fatigue, and yeast overgrowth, including sugar craving.
Supplementation with probiotics compete with disease causing microorganism in the gastrointestinal tract and help crowd out unwanted bacteria by repopulating the gastrointestinal tract, particularly after the use of antibiotics, steroids, oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapy. Probiotics may boost the immune system and are indicated for flu’s and colds, fungal infections/candidiasis, gastrointestinal disorders, and auto-immune diseases.
Probiotics are essential for the manufacturing of numerous B vitamins (niacin, folic acid and Vitamin B6, biotin), and also produce lactase which can kill harmful bacteria by changing the acid/alkaline balance thereby improving digestive tract functions, and assist to eliminate yeast infections.
Probiotics also play a role in ‘’The Gut-Brain Connection’’. The Expression ‘’ I just have a gut feeling about…’’ or the reason why when we have emotional distress and our intestinal tract gets ‘’upset’’ can be explained by this gut-brain connection. Neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in highest concentrations in our intestines, not our brain. So, proper dietary choices, including high potency healthy probiotics, are critical to keeping both the intestinal tract healthy and emotional well being at a state of optimum.
(source: Seroyal Canada, Chris Kessler-Take Back Your Health)
General adult dosage: 60-100 billion units probiotics per day of a professional grade, multiple strain formulation (minimum of 5 strains), for acute crisis (immune system compromise /dysfunction) for 1-2 months to re-inoculate proper bowel flora (bacteria) then reduction to a dosage of 15-30 billion units per day for maintenance.
Children dosage: 6-12 years 30-50 billion units per day. 2-6 years 15-25 billion units per day. Under 2 years of age consult your health provider.
3. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s)- especially omega 3 and 9
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are considered good or healthy fats. And as their name suggests, they are essential and must be consumed regularly in our diet as the body cannot produce or make them. They are ‘essential’ as they are required for health and protection from sickness. Without these essential nutrients proper health is impossible and illness is inevitable.
Fat has gotten an erroneous rap over the last several decades. To clarify– fats can be viewed as: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The good fats are absolutely essential for health and protection from illnesses. These are the EFA’s –especially Omega 3- fish oil, flax oil, and omega 9- olive oil, coconut oil, avocado.
The bad fats are those fats, that when over consumed, can promote obesity, heart disease, and other illnesses. These bad fats primarily are the saturated fats from farm-raised animals that are fed grains such as corn and soy (omega 6).
The ugly fats are the unnatural human made fats. These fats are literally toxic and sadly they are found in almost all junk foods. So, look at the label of the food you are considering purchasing and check for these killer fats. Anything with trans, hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated, or fractionated fat or oil should be avoided like the plague!!
The good fats, EFA’s, are some of the most essential nutrients for human health ever identified. EFAs are the components of cellular membranes and nerve cells and are needed on a second by second basis by most tissue activities in the body.
Conclusive scientific evidence indicates that the Western diet is dangerously deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids (especially fish oil). Research shows that omega 3 fatty acid deficiency is a common causal factor in pandemic levels of illness and suffering. Lack of EFAs have been linked to severe illnesses throughout life such as: development, learning and behavioral problems such as ADHD; breast, colon, and prostate cancers, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, depression, skin disorders, digestive disorders, osteoporosis, and alzheimer’s, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions such as eczema, asthma, and another degenerative illnesses.
(source: Dr. J Chestnut- Innate Choice)
After reading the list above, it becomes clear how truly ‘’essential’’ EFA’s are for both optimizing health and wellness and to treat deficiencies.
General adult dosage: There are many sources of omega 3’s on retailers’ shelves. I recommend that the EFA you consider is devoid of heavy metal contaminants. Personally and professionally, I recommend a natural, triple molecularly distilled, ultra purified omega 3 fish oil called Omega Sufficiency (by Innate Choice). Each 1 tsp (or 5 capsules) provides 720- 825 mg of EPA and 480-550mg of DHA omega 3 essential fatty acid. Therapeutic dosage for dis-ease is 1 tsp (5 capsules) twice daily with food, and healthy maintenance dosage is 1 tsp daily with food.
4. Plant based Digestive Enzymes:
William Donald Kelley in his book, “ One Answer for Cancer’’, wrote, ‘‘if you want to buy cancer insurance, don’t buy an insurance policy, buy enzymes.’’
Enzymes are stated to be a protein molecule that has a specific function in the body from digesting food to repairing muscles and bone. Enzymes regulate the metabolism of proteins, fats, lactose (milk sugar), sucrose (refined table sugar), starches, and carbohydrates.
Enzymes are needed for every chemical action and reaction in the body. Cooking essentially destroys food enzymes at 188 degrees Fahrenheit, thus modern methods of food preparation leave food devoid of digestive enzyme activity. Processed foods and microwaving foods destroys many of the food enzymes as well. Vitamins, minerals, and fiber are non-functional without enzymes. Assimilation as well as detoxification are dependent on enzymes.
In short enzymes are the ‘’spark plug ‘’ needed for life. There is not a process in the body that is not enzyme dependent. Life is impossible without enzymes, (source: Dr. John Brimhall,- Nutri -West Nutrition).
General adult dosage: 1 capsule plant digestive enzyme before each and every meal (3-6x/day).
5. Adrenal Glands and The Stress Response
One of the biggest challenges that we are faced with today is — STRESS !!
Work deadlines, multi-tasking the daily activities with our kids’ school, homework, extra curricular activities, financial shortcomings, personal or family health issues, ill perceived time for personal exercise commitment, poor dietary choices… the list could go on endlessly.
Ever notice though how some individuals respond to acute stress crisis and day-to-day stress with grace and ease whereas others just seem to ‘meltdown’ or ‘blowup’. This stress response is in large part due to the role of the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys. One of the primary functions of these glands is to release hormones in response to when your brain registers a threat (whether actual or perceived) — whether it’s physical, mental or emotional. The perceived stress triggers the release adrenaline hormones to help you react to the threat (the fight-or-flight response), rushing blood to your brain, heart and muscles, and slowing bodily functions such as digestion, immune system response and other functions not necessary for immediate survival. This stress response can be life saving in acute crisis, for instance if you are attempting escape from a burning building. However, when the body perceives stress over a prolonged period of time, this exposure can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue and eventual adrenal exhaustion. This, in part, is due a hormone called cortisol.
Cortisol is released in response to fear or stress by the adrenal glands as part of the fight-or-flight mechanism. Cortisol is also known as The Stress Hormone. Cortisol puts your body in a state of constant ‘alarm’, which can burn out your adrenal glands, stress numerous body systems, lower life expectancy, and cause you to age more rapidly. (Psychology Today: Cortisol: The stress hormone)
According to James Wilson (author of “ Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome), adrenal fatigue is estimated to affect around 80 percent of people in the world. Chronic stress and lifestyle affect the body’s ability to recuperate from physical, mental or emotional stress. Symptoms include: anxiety, trouble concentrating, racing thoughts, moodiness and irritability, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, body aches, inflammation, decreased libido, increased allergies, cravings for sugar, and weight gain.
According to Dr. Josh Axe (Steps to healing Adrenal Fatigue), there are many natural ways to treat and support your adrenal function. Natural supplements, cofactors, and herbs can recharge your adrenal glands, helping you to respond to stress. Some of these include: glandulars (bovine adrenal, thymus, spleen), co-factors (vitamins, C, B2, B3, B6,zinc, iodine, chromium) and the herbs ginseng, ashwaganda, astragalus, licorice root, holy basil, some mushrooms and rhodiola. But the most important key to restoring your adrenal function is to heed your mind and stress needs. Pay attention to your body:
- Rest when you feel tired as much as possible.
- Sleep 8–10 hours a night.
- Avoid staying up late and stay on a regular sleep cycle — ideally, in bed before 10 p.m.
- Laugh and do something fun every day.
- Minimize work and relational stress.
- Eat on a regular food cycle, and reduce your caffeine and sugar addiction.
- Exercise (even moderate exercise and walking can help).
- Avoid negative people and self-talk.
- Take time for yourself (do something relaxing).
- Seek counsel or support for any traumatic experiences.
Let’s talk about “self-talk” for a moment. Our bodies are made to heal. However, the words we say have a great impact on our body and our ability to heal. Regardless of what diet and supplements you take, your environment is one of the most important components.
So, be kind to yourself. Try to avoid saying negative things about yourself and others. It’s important to choose to be around positive people and stay positive about yourself as well.
General adult dosage: There are numerous supplements for adrenal fatigue but I recommend the glandular formulation called DSF (De-Stress-Formula) by Nutri-West (1-2 tablets in morning, and 1-2 tablets at lunch), or the herbal formulations called Serenagen or Adraset (by Metagenics) 2 tablets 2-3 times per day.
Genestra Nutrition states that a high potency, broad spectrum, caffeine-free Greens formula high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and digestive enzymes formulation is needed for proper detoxification and optimum nutritional status. This can be attained with a formulation containing vegetable and fruit extracts, nutrients, and antioxidants to ensure optimal nutritional status.
Greens supplements are not a replacement for eating fruits and vegetables and, if you’re already eating 8 – 10 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, supplementary is probably not necessary. The additional antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals won’t provide drastically much more of a benefit compared to the fruits and vegetables you’re currently consuming. However, if you eat a typical North American diet (trans fats, sugar, wheat, dairy, alcohol, fast foods, etc and only a small amount of fruits and green leafy veggies), then a greens supplement can be a beneficial addition to your supplement regimen.
Our body, when healthy, is designed to maintain homeostasis. Our body’s capability to maintain acid-base balance, or pH balance, is no exception. An unbalanced pH may lead to poor bone health and excessive cortisol, which can lead to a host of disrupted body functions. Grains, dairy, and protein are acidic. Eating more alkaline foods, like fruits and vegetables, is a good idea to restore a more optimized pH.
Phytogreens (Progressive Nutritional Therapy) lists as some of the health benefits of consuming greens as: supports liver function; detoxifies the body; cleanses the colon; increases energy and renews mental clarity; strengthens immune system; support cardiovascular health; boosts metabolism; improves digestion; promotes clear healthy skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
General Adult dosage: There are many Greens product on the market, my suggestion is for a product that is natural and organic, devoid of artificial sweeteners and has a list of product ingredients AND quanities of ingredients on the label. Mix 1 scoop of Greens powder in water or juice and drink 1x per day.