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The Truth About Supplements: Separating Hype from Reality

Let's talk about supplements. Why not? Isn't EVERYONE talking about supplements these days? You're not wrong. And all that chatter can feel overwhelming. Are you wondering if you really need them? Or if you are taking too many? Maybe you're questioning whether you are even taking the right ones. Well, fear not! We're here to ignore the hype and marketing madness to get to the heart of the matter: How do you figure out which supplements your body truly needs (if any), and where do you find them?

First, let's talk about how this multi-BILLION dollar industry got its start.

In the 1800s, scientists discovered ways to remove germs and bacteria from food by sterilizing it. Since sanitation left much to be desired, this was a great boon to health. Until the deficiencies started showing up because the cleaning processes depleted many nutrients. To solve this new problem, science found a way to isolate just vitamins and minerals to fill the nutrient gaps caused by sterilization. Today's food system faces new challenges, like mass production and the use of pesticides, leading to compromised nutrient content in our produce. So, the supplement industry took off. Just look at the vitamin aisle in any drugstore... It's big, it's loaded to the top, and none of it is cheap!

But ... do you really need ANYTHING from that aisle?

That's the big question, right? Many of us have a stash of supplements somewhere. Maybe a doctor suggested them, or maybe you saw an amazing video with just one secret ingredient a day. We get it. Our question is: Have you ever stopped and evaluated your body's needs? What's good for one person might be exactly wrong for the next.

Supplementing without understanding our individual requirements is a crap-shoot at best. Lab tests and professional advice play a crucial role in determining what your body truly needs. Holistic coaches can help you learn what your body is telling you. Combining the two often leads to the best results.

Why hire a nutrition coach when your doctor is running labs? To get the bigger picture and cover the things lab work doesn't.

Take magnesium, for example. It's a vital mineral, involved in numerous biochemical reactions in our bodies. And yet, surprisingly, there isn't a single test that can accurately determine if you have a magnesium deficiency, let alone pinpoint the specific form of magnesium you need. Finding someone who can help you learn to read the signals and heal your gut can significantly impact your overall health.

Vitamins can be broadly classified into fat-soluble and water-soluble categories. While water-soluble vitamins can be taken as insurance without many repercussions, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) stored in fat cells can be trickier to handle. Blindly taking high doses of fat-soluble vitamins without tracking levels can lead to problems, such as vitamin D toxicity.

These over-the-counter pills, taken in excess, can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and even kidney problems. If you need to take VitD, please do. Just follow dosing recommendations or your doctor's orders.

Supplementation remains important in coping with the modern diet, but it's essential to be mindful and focus on quality and individual needs. Testing your vitamin levels regularly and adapting supplementation based on the seasons and your diet can ensure you're getting the right nutrients. Consider buying local produce from farmers who might not be certified organic but grow food naturally and organically.

It's all a matter of making the most beneficial choices for YOUR body. Supplement companies sell PRODUCTS, not health. YOUR health journey is uniquely yours.

Understanding your body's needs and signals is vital. Opt for good input and, when you need them, affordable, high-quality supplements. And, really, prioritize your gut health.

After all, a happy tummy equals a happy body and brain.

So, let's make informed choices, follow science, and take charge of our health to lead well-balanced and vibrant lives!



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