Two Supplements You Should Be Taking
By Bill Bolster / December 02, 2016
Before I give my recommendations, I understand there are more than two beneficial supplements which can improve health. However, it’s unrealistic to expect people to take six or seven supplements and spend half their car payment on nutritional supplements, because that’s what it would cost. These two supplements alone will likely cost you in the neighborhood of $50-$75 per month. Sure, selenium, fish oil, whey protein, and a multivitamin are great options, but be prepared to pay up. Not to mention, the previously mentioned supplements can be obtained in sufficient quantities with proper diet. For that reason I give the recommendation for these two supplements. Not only for their numerous health benefits, but because it’s difficult to obtain these compounds in our diets.
If you want to gain insight into your health, look to your gut (no I don’t mean your belly). I’m talking about your digestive tract. An unhealthy digestive tract leads to a slew of problems such as: SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), seasonal allergies, fatigue, acne, lowered immune system functioning, leaky gut syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease among many other conditions. Without proper bacteria within the digestive tract, most of the nutrients you are consuming throughout your diet aren’t being absorbed, and are going to waste. Yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha are good sources of probiotics, but there aren’t enough bacteria in any of these foods to truly make a difference. That leaves you with the option of a probiotic supplement. Picking the right supplement is IMPORTANT. The supplement industry is basically the Wild West. There are very little regulations by the FDA, so choosing a reputable product is a must.
So how do we spot a good probiotic supplement?
- Look for the following strains of bacteria. Your supplement should contain at least 3 of these bacteria strains
L. acidophilus – This is the most important bacterium. It colonizes on the walls of the small intestine and helps with nutrient absorption.
B.lactis – This bacteria helps reduce toxins and also helps with nutrient absorption.
B. bifidum – This bacteria is important in the digestion of dairy, and is also vital to the breakdown of complex carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. (very important!!)
L. fermentum – Lastly, lactobacillus fermentum, an important bacterium that maintains a healthy level of gut bacteria.
- Make sure there is a visible expiration date and the product is packaged properly. Probiotics should be in a bottle that cannot be exposed directly to sunlight.
- Lastly, the delivery system. In order for a probiotic to be effective, the bacteria must reach the small intestine. A probiotic supplement that dies passing through the stomach, or on the shelf for that matter, does nothing for you. Don’t be fooled into believing “better” probiotics must be refrigerated. They don’t. In fact, more sophisticated delivery systems allow your supplement to be kept at room temperature with an increased likelihood of reaching the small intestine.
- Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Colon Care
- Standard Process ProSynBiotic
Vitamin D is best known as the “sunshine vitamin”, because of its production when we are exposed to sunlight. 90% of our Vitamin D is produced through sun exposure, compared to the 10% obtained in our diet. With that being said, it’s particularly important to get our vitamin d through diet and supplementation during this time of year, when sunlight is essentially unavailable for the next 6 months.
So why is Vitamin D so important?
For starters, Vitamin D is integral in the production of strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D is required to help us absorb calcium from our food, giving the building blocks for bone formation. It’s no coincidence Vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis goes hand-in-hand. Vitamin D is necessary for many of the processes taking place in the body. It’s actually considered a hormone because the body can produce it on it’s own. Vitamin d deficiency has been associated with an assortment of conditions. It’s estimated 77% of individuals are vitamin d deficient in the United States, and over 1 billion worldwide, so chances are you’re deficient.
Here is a list of conditions associated with Vitamin D deficiency:
- Hair loss
- Arthralgia (general achiness and pain)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Heart disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
When supplementing Vitamin D, do so with other sources of fat. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and must be ingested with other fats in order for absorption to take place. Whole eggs (another good source of dietary vitamin d), nuts, avocado, and dark chocolate are good sources of fats that can be utilized when ingesting your vitamin d supplement.
Garden of Life Raw D3 5,000IU
-Enjoy. Remember, the key to supplementation is consistency. Take your supplements every day. Vitamin D should be taken with other fats, and your probiotic should be taken on an empty stomach (upon waking is best, about 30 minutes before you eat) to ensure implantation into the small intestine.