Do I really Need Supplements?

At Oak Point Health & Vitality Centre our goal is to help our patients naturally reach optimal health. We do that by incorporating acupuncture, massage and other holistic therapies to enhance the body’s function. We believe that we need to educate our patients on how to be part of this journey to optimal health and therefore teach them about healthy nutrition and lifestyle.

Diet comes from the Greek word dieta which means way of living. So, “diet” means a lot more than what we put on our plate, but, for the sake of this blog, I would like to focus on supplementation since I think there is a lot of confusion.

A very common question during the first couple of sessions with our patients is “Do I really need to take supplements?” and the answer is Yes. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Our food is totally different then 100 years ago. Back then, everything was organic, local and fresh. Now we have a lot of “food” that is highly processed and lacks nutrition, things like vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that our body needs not only to stay alive but also to REVERSE DISEASE!
  2. Another reason is that industrial farming has depleted the soil in which our fruits and vegetables grow, causing them to have less of the building blocks (vitamins and minerals) that help our body heal itself. There are 17 minerals that are needed to grow a healthy plant and most fertilizers used by industries have only 3!
  3. Green harvesting is another problem (that’s when the produce is picked off the vine way too early). For example, tomatoes need to be picked when they are deep red and ripe but industry picks them when they are still green. At that point, Mother Nature has not put in all the nutrients that we can get from the fruit/vegetable. So now the fruit/vegetable has even less nutrition because it was grown in a deficient soil & green harvested.
  4. Stress is another reason to supplement. The more stress we encounter (physical, emotional and environmental) the more nutrition we need. A simple example is that people under a lot of stress need more Vitamin C for their adrenal function. When one is deficient in Vitamin C then it can affect the way they deal with stress.

The above are just a few reasons why supplementing is very important when we are trying to improve our health. The next big questions is: “What should I take?”

The true answer to that: It depends! We are all bio-individuals and have different needs, HOWEVER, I believe most of us will benefit from the following foundational nutrients:

  • A good quality MultiVitamin. This is our insurance policy on nutrients that we might not get from our food.
  • Fish oil or Flaxseed oil for their anti-inflammatory affects.
  • Vitamin D; especially for us in the Northeast who don’t get a lot of sun exposure.
  • Probiotic; because everything starts in the gut. 80% of our immune function is said to be in the gut.

Now, not all supplements are created equal. I recently heard a health expert say that Centrum (a popular vitamin brand) has tin and trans fats in it, along with fillers that prevent nutrient absorption. Also, a recent investigation by the New York State Attorney General concluded that 4 out of 5 supplements that were sold in GNC, Walmart, Target and others had no trace of the herb/vitamin they advertised.

Quality is important when it comes to your health. We have done a lot of research to find the best products for us, our family and of course our patients. If you would like recommendations and what to get, feel free to contact us and we will make sure you get the best!

Written by Dimitri Boules LAc, LMT, CPE, CPT