Are supplements doing you more harm than good?

I have just caught an advert on the television for a children’s multi-vitamin that caused me to pause, think for a few moments and then look up the ingredients. This is a topic I have been turning a blind eye to for quite a while because it is fraught with controversy. However, as an advocate for good health, I think it is time to speak out!

Our heart strings get a big tug at the sight of a couple of cuddly, cubby healthy babies gurgling away together. Who wouldn’t want this for their own child?

But I wasn’t impressed with what was in this product that we are encouraged to give to our tiny tots as a safeguard against nutritional deficiencies. This contained zinc, copper, calcium, folic acid, iodine and selenium to name a few. Does your baby really need all this?

It’s not only supplements for children that cause me concern but those for adults also. I urge you to make sure you need what is in your supplements before you take them. To know whether they are in fact doing what they are intended to do, you need to have a blood test after a few months to see what difference if any they have made.

I also encourage you to check your products carefully before you purchase them. Some synthetic forms of supplements can be detrimental to health, particularly if we have genetic variations we don’t know about.

Simplifying Supplements

To keep this really simple, my recommendation is don’t buy any Vitamin/Mineral product that contains folic acid – the cheap synthetic version of Folate. An article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2007 reported a randomised controlled trial of nearly 1,000 people conducted over a three year period uncovered that supplementing with folic acid (1 mg/d) literally showed an increased risk of advanced cancer (multiple adenomas).

According to an article published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurology & Psychiatry, folic acid side effects can include:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Epilepsy
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Lack of focus
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Emotional ups and downs

I know, pregnant mothers are prescribed folic acid. I will put my reputation on the line and say this is very poor practice and a methylated form of Folate should be used instead. If you want to learn more, check out the work of Dr Ben Lynch.

Along with the negative effects of folic acid supplementation, I have also seen problems supplementing with the synthetic B12 vitamin Cynocobalamin instead of one of the methylated versions of B12. There are four different kinds of B12 supplements, so you need to know what you are trying to achieve when using these.

Other problems I see are multi-vitamin/minerals that contain various combinations of iron, iodine, zinc, copper, calcium and Vitamin D3. Many of these, work in synergy with each other and synthetic supplemental forms can upset the delicate balance inside our bodies. Iron overload is a common problem with very negative consequences for your health. Iron and Vitamin D should never be supplemented without testing first, and rechecking after a few months.

I can only keep recommending that you “test and don’t guess” to determine if you need supplements or whether your money is better spent on eating real food.

If you’re ready to know which supplements are best for you, book your 1 hour consultation with Susan today.

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