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Supplement Overload

 

 Are you depending on your shoe box of supplements to get you through each day? Do you have a time sheet to tell you how much and how many of over five supplements to consume but forget even why or what you are taking? Supplement junkies, THIS is for you! So many strive to reach ultimate health by consuming supplements, thinking its going to fix all of their problems or make them loose weight... yadada, but the truth: taking so many pills isn’t going to get you anywhere. Just because you read or saw a commercial for a supplement for an issue or ailment doesn’t mean that supplement is the correct dose or even right for you. As a consumer, the majority are always looking for a quick fix, a resolution to make them look better, feel better, live longer, be faster and stronger.

 

Many get so wrapped up in taking a supplement for everything, you get lost in it and its like an addiction! Your on this bandwagon of thinking you will never be healthy if you dont take all of your supplements. We forget how amazing the human body is and has way better repair skills than we give it credit for. Your body is smart and when you intoxicate it with too much of anything it will find a way to expel it. Symptoms of supplement toxicity  are, but not limited to: diarrhea, kidney stones, iron toxicity, kidney mal-function, nausea, cramping and gastrointestinal distress. The last thing you need is to be distressing your body further or in a different way than the reason you began taking so many supplements in the first place.

 

The supplement industry is a billion dollar industry with excellent marketing strategy, similar to that of meat and dairy, big agriculture or the cigarette campaigns through the 70’s & 80’s. In the end, the reality is…it’s all about the dough. These companies will spend millions to prove that there is enough evidence that their product works and they will go to lengths to find an angle to market to the public. Most of these studies are conducted in house, which means that a team of scientists are hired or even staffed to find scientific evidence so that the product or nutrient they are manufacturing is marketable. Instead of focusing on a holistic, synergistic approach, the supplement industry has singled out nutrients and broken them down to sell and they always find a way to make you think that it’s exactly what you need. There are so many nutrients, some we don’t even know yet, but the isolation of individual nutrients gives them a never-ending supplement emporium! Aside from individualization come the collide of bonding vitamins, minerals in small amounts along with derivatives of food and herbs and many animal products.  Companies make neutraceutical blends and mush a bunch of nutrients together, like a multi vitamin for example, and have even categorized this down to certain ailments. People tend to continue to take supplements that they think they are benefiting from, but really see no effect at all. I ask this often in a consultation and 98% of the time my clients can identify what a certain supplement is doing for them, and can rarely remember why they even began taking it besides that they saw somewhere that it was good for them. A big part of my clinical visits are simply sorting through tons and tons of supplements!

 

One marketing strategy that has continued to haunt me is when I see a gorgeous picture of vibrant whole foods as a tag bubble with a funnel into an ingredient list with a gazillion other nutrients on the label. This tactic fools so many into thinking they are getting the best out of whole foods, real foods and their nutrient density. The common mindset:  There is so much produce and nutrients in this that it must be good for me, right? This tactic blown up out of proportion and works so well not only on consumers, but doctors, dietitians and wellness coaches. When you understand the science and have seen the studies and evidence on supplements compared to real foods, there is no comparison, food will win the nutrition forefront every time.

The problem with supplements is that they are not in their natural form, as they are in food. In a lab, nutrients are broken up and stabilized…. which means they are processed. There are very few nutrients, vitamins or minerals that contain maximum potency and effectiveness outside of their natural state. I call this dead food and dead supplements. The human body is designed to consume real foods and utilize nutrients to sustain life and optimum health, it’s a symbiotic relationship. In a world of processed foods and supplements, we are tricked into thinking that popping pills is the answer. The key to long lasting and a healthy life is so much more simple that we make it: real foods, living foods and consuming them in their natural form. The enzymes and nutrients within foods that have not been processed or broken down for shelf life are the ultimate key to balance and health. You will never get the longevity or health that you seek without implementing real, fresh foods as the focus. This means for many, a lifestyle change, typically a really BIG one. This is where I have lost so many clients, because they are not ready to make the change or take on the challenge for themselves or even their families, but really, if you do not have your health, what do you have? Where will that life lead? Many visits have resulted in me having to utilize my supplement recommendations and yes, there are some that are helpful and can work, but I would much rather give you the key to a healthier lifestyle and nutrition knowledge based around real, whole foods that lasts a lifetime.

 

 

 

 

A complaint I hear a lot that its too expensive and it takes too much time in a day to eat fresh food, but I see clients spending thousands per month on supplements and processed foods because its faster, easier and according to media and marketing, it works! The doctor’s visits continue and there is no resolution to the root of the ailments or problems but a mask applied in the form of a drug prescription or a supplement recommendation and life goes on and the hamster wheel continues. 

The reason I pursue nutrition is to heal people and educate those who do not know the shear and awesome power of whole foods. My main goal as a Nutritionist is to make sure you have the tools and knowledge to consume the right foods, feel amazing and really nourish your body so that after some guidance and maybe a series of visits that you will be empowered and have a strong enough foundation to not have to come and see me ever again. 

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Chellsey Latham, DNOM, NC, Nutritionist

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