The following article was written by Grace Rivas, BHSc Nat. Practitioner, Nutritional & Herbal Medicine, Functional Medicine & Holistic Health – https://www.gracerivas.com/
The Pros & Cons of taking supplements…
With the desire to attain good health, the ready availability of nutraceuticals and many online influencers promoting supplements, this self-prescribing trend has become dangerously popular, consequently with an increase in health issues such as hypervitaminosis caused by self-prescribing nutritional and herbal supplements.
We know that certain diets are restrictive, we also know that modern agriculture has negatively impacted the quality of our soils, so by looking at these factors alone, it would make complete sense to start taking nutritional supplements.
We also know that many people take supplements to prevent disease, to complement a poor diet or to enhance physical performance.
It is important to understand that many nutritional supplements are not natural, they are synthetic forms attached to carrier molecules to increase absorption, often containing non listed ingredients called excipients, some of dubious nature.
It is vital to understand that herbs, vitamins, minerals have the capacity to positively or negatively interact with each other and with other medications.
To prevent toxicity, our bodies have the ability to downregulate nutrient receptors, nutrients can be inhibited by competitive absorption, nutrients can enhance or inhibit each other, other medications, and can hinder your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from foods, and become toxic if not being monitored correctly.
A widely spread myth is that more is better, and so taking the high strength doses may also increase the risk of liver and kidney and peripheral nerve damage.
It’s important to understand that supplements are not dietary substitutes, and so a wholesome diet consisting of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and meats should provide a balanced amount of nutrients required for good health.
So ideally one should eat organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes and free-range organic eggs and dairy, wild caught fish and grass fed meats.
There are times when we would benefit from taking supplements in order to replenish deficiencies or provide support against specific health problems.
Herbal extracts are potent remedies with the capacity to restore hormone balance, improve sleep, support the nervous system, reduce allergies and much more.
Supplements can help you restore good health when taken in accordance to your individual needs, at the right dose and time frame for therapeutic action.
One should always consult a qualified Naturopathic – Nutritionist Practitioner who has the knowledge and expertise to assess your capacity to digest, absorb and metabolize your nutrients.