Are you one of the growing numbers of Americans who are recognizing the need to supplement your nutrient intake? Have you explored how to take them for best effect?
I do meet people that believe supplements are unnecessary. These have often accepted the media reports that vitamins don’t work, or questioning whether the FDA has approved them. I won’t take the time in this newsletter to fully refute these positions. Suffice it to say, the media was reporting on studies that were done using synthetic vitamins. The body doesn’t recognize or use synthetic vitamins well. Bioavailable forms are absorbed and provide benefits.
When you have determined that your body needs a supplement, and you have chosen a quality form, there may still be some questions regarding how and when to take them. Let me offer some tips ….
Some are taken with meals
Most supplements are best taken with meals. This would include minerals and fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K. These cannot be absorbed without fat (the fortified skim milk you may be drinking offers you no benefit for this reason). If you find that you have issues with nausea when you take supplements, you should first verify that your supplements are not synthetic and then take them with food.
You may be one who finds it hard to swallow pills or capsules with liquid. In this case, I recommend that you try popping one in your mouth just before you swallow a bit of food. That has worked for some of my clients.
If you are taking Vitamin B12 you will need a strong level of stomach acid. Taking acid-reducing or PPI medications will limit the absorption of even a quality methylated supplement. I suggest a sublinqual form of B12 supplement. And if you would like to talk about how you can break free from those meds altogether, reach out and we can chat.
Digestive support in the form of digestive enzymes or Betaine HCl with Pepsin is best taken in the middle of your meal, with as small amount of liquid as possible.
Some are best on an empty stomach
Not all supplements are effectively used by the body in combination with food. Herbal supplements often work best when taken away separate from food. Likewise, if you are taking amino acid supplements (creatine, glutamine, glycine, arginine, leucine, lysine, for example), they are best taken on an empty stomach. That would be either 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after you eat.
I also recommend taking probiotics on an empty stomach so that the bacteria is not used to digest your food. We want those little buggers work their magic in your small intestine rather than on your food. But you can aid their effect by including raw vegetables in the meal before you take probiotics. The insoluble fiber in the veggies will provide a meal for the bacteria and help them work for your benefit.
Nutritional supplements should never take the place of fueling your body with real food in a variety of colors and macronutrients. Yet you can supplement your nutrient intake to fill the gaps and boost the individual nutrients that your body needs as building blocks for function.
Don’t excuse your symptoms as the result of growing old or the effects of a diagnosed disease. Instead, consider those symptoms to be your body’s cries for help and begin to explore the root cause. By taking a proactive approach, you can support your body’s ability to heal, and I’m available to help!