Do you need supplements?
Updated: Jan 28
“Should I take supplements?” This is a question I get asked a lot.
The short answer is: it depends.
With 1000s of supplements available in a range of outlets, and headlines about the new wonder nutrient, it can be bewildering to know what to believe and where to start. And when you’re struggling with fatigue, it’s even more important to ensure you’re getting the right amounts of the nutrients you need for energy production.
Although I take a “food first” approach, nutritional supplements may be beneficial to increase nutrients in the short term whilst dietary changes and improvements to digestive function are made so that food sources can be digested and absorbed. Whilst testing nutrient status is the best way to ascertain current nutrient levels, a thorough analysis of someone's food diary, symptoms and health history may indicate potential deficiencies. Testing for levels of vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate and iron - deficiencies of which may all be related to fatigue - is a good start.
The following questions also need to asked when considering supplementation:
Do you take prescription medications?
Prescription medications may deplete a range of nutrients, many of which are vital for energy. This is something I check with all of my clients when we start working together, so any depletions can be addressed with dietary changes or targeted supplementation. Some medications also deplete melatonin, the hormone which plays a crucial role in getting us ready for sleep. Please do not stop or reduce any prescription medications without speaking to your doctor.
Which type of a particular supplement is right for you?
Often there are many types of an individual nutrient, for instance, there are at least 10 different types of magnesium and 4 types of vitamin B12. Some supplements contain active versions of the nutrients, others the inactive version, and some forms are better absorbed than others.
What form is right for you?
Supplements are available in numerous forms including liquids, capsules, sprays, powders and tablets, and which is right for you may vary.
Liquids and sprays may be recommended if there are any digestive issues as they are taken under the tongue (liquids) or sprayed into the cheek to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive tract.
Capsules and powders are ideal for very sensitive people as the amount can be introduced and increased very slowly. Capsules and powders can also be added to foods such as smoothies and porridge for those who dislike or cannot take tablets, and some powders can be mixed with water.
Tablets are the most common form and sometimes the most cost effective. They’re portable too, but may contain extra ingredients such as binders and fillers to which some people may be sensitive.
It's important to remember that we're all unique and nutrient requirements can vary from person to person as well as at different life stages, so a personalised approach with a qualified practitioner is recommended.
If you're interested in ensuring your nutrients levels are optimal for energy production, why not book a FREE discovery call to discover how nutritional therapy may help?
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The content on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.