So whats the scoop with supplements? Are they legit? Do they really work? Where does a person even start?
There are so many supplements on the market from just as many companies. Everything in the supplement isle at your local health foods store or even Walmart can be so confusing and overwhelming. As many of you know, if one random company "claims" to have a new supplement for weight loss, that supplements literally seems to spontaneously combust on the shelves. The problem within the vitamin and supplement industry is their regulation and lack of quality ingredients and even information/education for that matter. Vitamins and supplements are regulated as foods, not drugs. The FDA doesn't evaluate the quality of the supplements or assess their effects on the body. It's imperative to find a high quality and respectable company.
Supplements not Replacements
Carrying over from last week, I do support taking vitamins/minerals and supplements. I think it is extremely hard to incorporate a vastly rich diet that gives our bodies all of the necessary vitamins it needs. One has to be diligent on eating extremely clean, with a source of food from top organic growers of plants and animals. Our main stream diets today are hugely lacking in vitamin and mineral content, not to mention our lifestyles do a number on their convenience. Supplements are just as the word implies, they supplement our dietary needs, they DO NOT replace our diet. As a health care provider, I tell everyone including you, for the purpose of safety of your supplements, you should have a blood draw to see if you are in need of certain vitamins and minerals in your diet.
This post is NOT intended to sell you anything at all, please let me make that clear. I would like to share with you which supplements I personally take and why over the next few weeks. After that, I'll add information on different supplements that I find important for a variety of conditions. I will be honest, I strictly stick to 2 different companies for my supplement suppliers, OrthoMolecular Products and Standard Process. Both of these companies have shown me the most viable research to their products and hold the highest standard of quality for each supplement. The two companies are different in that OrthoMolecular produces products in a bio-molecular form for digestion, and Standard Process solely uses whole foods in their formulations. Both companies hold such high standards for their products that they can only be purchased with a health care license. They produce very specific formulas that are rich in quality, not full of fillers and junk. These products use carriers/specialized ingredients to assure that the body will absorb the supplement to its fullest. When you see a comparison to these products to those on the shelves at your local store, you'll be amazed by the fact that those companies at the local stores can even sell what they are attempting to get out to the consumer.
The SP Detox Protein shake is one of my favorites and a go-to for my protein shakes. I probably use this shake roughly 1-2x/week. It has whopping 17g of plant based protein from completely organic sources. The purpose of this shake is to help eliminate toxins. We face toxins all day everyday in all that we do. I like the peace of mind knowing that I'm doing all I can to help eliminate those unhealthy threats to my body. Side note, the Chai flavor is out of bounds good!
So besides being part of a Detox program, as I mentioned, I use the SP C Detox shake as a supplemental protein shake also. My 2 cents on protein shakes: not everyone needs a protein shake just because they are working out and trying to get into shape. If you are eating enough protein and getting your macoros and more importantly MICROS daily, there is not a need for extra in a shake. In regards to using this shake and other shakes for uses other than Detox, please evaluate if needed. For myself, I know I burn a lot of calories in my training. In order for me not to lose condition, keep my immune system strong, and support my dietary needs, I do incorporate shakes about 4-5 days out of the week or more dependent on activity level.
OrthoMolecular is spot on with their shakes also. This company has gone even further to formulate shakes for different needs. They are the following:
MitoCore: Stimulates mitochondria and recharges cellular energy, strengthens immune function, and increases detoxification.
Calories: 120, Fat 3g, Carbs 7g (fiber 1g/sugars 3g), PROTEIN 15g
InflammaCore: Enhanced G.I. barrier function, mucosal cell regeneration, supports a healthy inflammatory response
Calories: 200, Fat 6g, Carbs 12g (4g fiber/8g sugars), PROTEIN 19g
GlycemaCore: Supports healthy blood sugar levels, increases insulin sensitivity, and improves metabolism plus supports weight management.
Calories: 150, Fat 3.5g, Carbs 17g (12g fiber/sugars 2g), PROTEIN 10g
LifeCore Complete: Clean and diverse blend of plant based protein, supports healthy weight management, and promotes a feeling of fullness plus reduces cravings.
Calories: 210, Fat 7g, Carbs 12g (4g fiber/2g sugars), PROTEIN 20g
My two favorites include the MitrCore and the LifeCore. The fun factor to their supplements are the flavors. The MitoCore has 2 flavors: strawberry and lemon, both are amazingly tasty and a great change from your basic chocolate and vanilla. The LifeCore truly hits the mark when you are super hungry after a tough workout and need to grab a protein rich snack mid-day.
My personal arsenal for supplements. As a soon to be 40yr old athlete, I have spent some time digging to see what supplements can help me function day to day better along with helping me preform and recover on a fitness level. My two most important supplements include OrthoMoleculars OrthoMega and Orthobiotic.
The OrthoMega is the in the top two of the highest quality fish oil I have found. Each gelcap provides 820mg of EPA and DHA as natural triglycerides. Vitamin E and rosemary extract were added to their formula to ensure maximum purity and freshness. This supplement above all is the most important to have on your self. If you have been in the dark about the importance of fish oil in your diet and the many health benefits, I strongly encourage you to do your research.
Second on my list is the OrthoBiotic. I plan to devote another blog post to the massive importance of gut/intestinal health, so I'm not going to linger here for too long. This supplement is a very high quality probiotic. Gut health is directly proportional to health gut bacteria. Low good gut bacteria = lowered ability to absorb nutrients = lowered immune system. Another topic to spend some time researching if you are unfamiliar with gut health and probiotics.
Supplements for the Aging Athlete
As an athlete, the last thing I like to admit while rounding 40 is that I am aging and it hurts...literally. It's true, after our youthful peak in our twenties everything starts to slow down. Those delightful hormones that kept us youthful start to decline. It wasn't until this past couple of years that I really started to feel my age during workouts and especially during recovery. I believe I eat healthy, a lot of whole foods, and I workout regularly. These are sometimes just not enough in my personal opinion. So I will share with you what I like to take on a regular basis to help me feel better and function at where I want to be in my fitness.
My List of OrthoMolecular Supplements for myself, the aging athlete:
CoQ-10: Coenzyme Q-10 is a pro enzyme produced naturally in the body. It plays a critical role in energy (ATP) production, and is one of the most powerful lipid-soluable antioxidants that prevents lipid and mitochondrial DNA oxidation. CoQ10 naturally decreases with age.
DHEA: or dehydroepiandrosterone is a steroid hormone precursor that promotes healthy hormone levels and supports our bodies stress response system. DHEA is an important counterpart to the stress hormone cortisol. It helps provide an inflammatory balance and protection to brain tissues, along with supporting healthy aging, mood regulation, memory, and bone density.
Collogen: This supplement combines hyaluronic acid (HA), Type I collagen, Type II collagen bioactive peptides, mucopolysaccharides, and vitamin C to stimulate collagen regeneration and support joint health. Lifestyle factors and aging reduce the elasticity in tendons and ligaments, which leads to soft tissue and joint discomfort.
MSM: Helps to promote new cells and tissues, naturally supporting soft tissue health and regeneration. Significantly supports connective tissue health and maintains normal inflammatory balance. MSM is a natural compound that provides a high concentration of sulfur. This boosts the body's antioxidant mechanisms, supports detoxification pathways, and strengthens the immune system. MSM naturally decreases with age.
AminoComplex: A blend of all 9 essential amino acids (EAA's) plus the most commonly deficient conditionally essential amino acids that become essential during stress, disease, and poor diet. Optimal amino acid intake is essential for supporting muscle strength, immunity, gastrointestinal health, and neurotransmitter production in the body. Amino acids are simulators of protein synthesis , which is not only a key component of muscle recovery, but also important for muscle maintenance in all age groups. There is a natural and gradual decline of muscle mass beginning around our fourth decade of life.
Chondro-Flx: A combination of glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin C, and bromelain to promote healthy cartilage within our joints. These work together to decrease inflammation, re-hydrate, and increase joint integrity within our bodies.
You are probably looking at all of this wondering how on earth I take all of them in a day. Really, most of them are just once a day, so it really isn't over the top crazy. I will not tell you that I am super disciplined and never miss a supplement, because that would be lying. The two I rely on the most are the CoQ10 and the DHEA. I make the collegen a little easier and sometimes buy it in the powered form, which allows me to put it into my shakes. I do get a lot of my Amino acids in my shakes, so dependent upon my workout week and if I have had my shakes, the AminoComplex is not at the top of my list. The MSM and Chondro-Flx for me are interchangeable, and I base the need on them solely on my workout intensity and recovery.
None of the supplements above that I take are by any means "enhancers". These are all products specifically formulated to work with our bodies already existing chemicals. The supplements for me "fill the gaps" sort-a-speak that are forming with my aging. I'm not ready to slow down because I'm ageing. I am thinking that my 40's just might be my most active years yet!
Why am I so dizzy?
Dr. Chelsea Bachelor
When you were young did you and your siblings ever spin around in a chair until you were so dizzy you couldn’t walk? Everyone would laugh and likely climb right back on to do it again.
However, if this feeling did not fade within the first few seconds, the game would not have been fun for long. Continually experiencing this feeling as an adult is referred to as vertigo.
Vertigo is the intense sensation of the head continuing to move after motion has ended and is often accompanied by feelings of nausea, vomiting, and difficulty in balance.
Our ears serve 2 purposes – hearing and balance. The outer and middle ear is used for hearing while the inner ear helps mostly with balance.
Under normal circumstances, head motion causes the movement of fluid and hair cells in our inner ear, specifically our 3 semi-circular canals, and sends information to the brain so we know where our body is in space. We also have tiny calcium crystals within this organ that move to orient us with gravity and sometimes they become dislodged, falling into the fluid-filled circular canals.
Now when the head shifts, the crystals move within the canals and take longer to stop than the fluid, creating the sensation of continued motion. When the input from the inner ear does not match the movement of the body, the whirling sensation of vertigo occurs. Episodes can continue for as long as 60 seconds at a time while the crystals eventually come to a halt.
Vertigo can occur at any age, but an estimated 40% of individuals 40 years and older will experience an episode sometime in their life, majority of these being women. These symptoms can be very debilitating and often prevent people from working or even getting out of bed. Unfortunately, these sensations can continue for weeks, or even months in some rare cases. While every presentation is not the same, it is widely believed that these dislodged crystals in the inner ear are responsible for recurrent vertigo.
Anti-nausea medications are the most common intervention, however they do not address the cause of the problem.
At the office, we use a maneuver to carefully guide the crystals through the canals with a series of coordinated motions. Returning the crystals to their proper place eliminates symptoms and allows people to return to their lives.
If you or someone you know suffers from vertigo, please know that options exist on reversing the condition.
Nutrient deficiencies exist extensively among many members of the U.S. population. Rich, poor, well, or sick—92 percent of the population is suffering from at least one mineral or vitamin deficiency based on the Dietary Reference Intakes. The entire country is overfed and undernourished. Even if you consume a “perfect” diet, the odds are, something is missing.
The numbers don’t lie. According the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):
It is a well-known fact that processed junk and fast foods have become staples in the American diet. Fresh, nutrient-rich foods are often considered taxing on time and finances, deeming these food choices a luxury rather than the standard at dinner tables throughout the country. Along side of the fast food eruption, the soil of farmland all across the globe is deficient in micronutrients. So really, even if processed junk food and fast food were not a part of the food supply, deficiencies would still be rampant, as soil quality is diminishing at a rapid rate and reducing the nutrient value of produce. Sick, mineral depleted soil grows mineral depleted foods. The animals that we eat are being fed these micronutrient depleted vegetables and wheat. This means that the meat you buy is also far lower in health producing micronutrients than ever before. The bottom line is: “Sick soils mean sick plants, sick animals, and sick people.”
"Hidden Hunger" is a term that was brought about to describe the serious hunger our bodies have for the much needed vitamins and minerals the we are NOT getting. It's not just about third world countries that are starving for lack of food. Our own country is starving for real nutrients in this over processed country we live in. The worst part about all of this, is it effects the children the most! Kids today are not being raised on produce from the back yard or local farmers markets. They aren't eating meat from healthy sources. Fast food and processed freezer meals are feeding our kiddos in this nation. Yes, we are all crazy busy with non-stop activities for our families, but that does not mean they can only crap food. When you start to look a little deeper into the dangers facing our children from a lack of nutrition, you may want to take the time to figure out a little pre-meal-planning for the week. Is it really too much to ask of you to wake up 10 minutes early to put actual meat from a good butcher shop or local farmer into the crockpot? Is it really that hard to was a few fruits and veggies each day for healthy snacks? If you plan ahead, you can make larger quantities of food and have left overs for half of the week. Left overs that are versatile and able to be made into wraps or sandwiches. The meals that you spend a little more time on make a huge difference in the health of your children. Below are examples of common deficiencies in children and the effects they have to their mental and physical development.
I realize that it might not be easier and you are likely to get push back from your child that is used to sugar laden processed food, but keep in mind that you love them and are responsible for their health. They are not mature enough to make good health conscious decisions every day, nor should they have that pressure. There are simple things to change first, for example; instead if a sugary soda or fruit juice, pass them an apple or other high fiber piece of fruit and a bottle of water. Instead of a candy bar, how about a cheese stick? The statistic below are scary, but preventable especially in our own country.
Now going back for a moment, lets look at Macronutrients and Micronutrients. We looked at Macros and few weeks ago to really analyze our dietary intake. As mentioned, it's a GREAT beginning step toward grasping your nutritional needs in regards to calories from Fats, Carbohydrates, and Proteins. Counting Macros helps us know where our caloric intake stands, and gives us the knowledge to make adjustments to our diet to hit our personal goals. Micros on the other hand are not as easy, but honestly more important. As your goals for a healthier lifestyle become more advanced and you are successfully living a healthier lifestyle, it's time to look into your micros. These are the vitamin and mineral levels within your body. The only way to know for certain what your levels are is through a blood test. An local family doctor or laboratory can do a simple blood test for you that will show you your deficiencies if you have any. Many premier athletes have blood tests regularly. When you study your results, eating becomes more centered around your bodies needs nutritionally, and not just for energy (macros). Counting macros is not something you really think about as much because by this time you have a great idea of how much of each macro you are roughly consuming. More thought goes into eating for your micros. The best part about formulating your diet for micros is you are naturally going to eat whole nutritious foods....why?!?!?!?! Because you are not going to increase your low vitamin B12 levels from a snickers bar every day. You may be striving to eat more green leafy veggies for folate, vitamin K, vitamin E, Vitamin K, iron, or magnesium. Perhaps your vitamin C is low and you need more bright colored fruits and veggies. These are just quick examples, there are many charts out there to help you. Side note: please stay away from the "fortified" foods. Much of the nutritional value in "fortified" foods are lost in processing.
Below I'm going to share with you some common charts. For the next few weeks, I would like to get more in depth with each vitamin and mineral, it's purpose, and how to get more of it in a healthy way.
The most common Deficiencies
Typical deficiencies found within these health conditions
Nutrient deficiencies cause by common drugs
Take the next step toward your health and have a blood analysis done. There is truly no harm that can come from a simple blood test, only knowledge to gain.
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Health and Fitness Series
Dr. MJ Wegmann,