Why Taking Supplements is a Good Idea

Even if you ate impeccably – you ate all organic meats, fruits and vegetables in the right amounts, right proportions and at the right times – you would still need to take a supplement for your body to get all of the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

The fact is that the state of the world today requires you to take a supplement. The over farming of our land has severely depleted our soil. So there are less nutrients available in the soil, which means there are less nutrients going into the fruits and vegetables we buy in the market. The artificial fortification of our food supply doesn’t help either.

The nutrient value of our food supply now is quite simply not what it used to be. That is why it is so important for you to supplement your diet to make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to be as healthy as you want it to be.

So what do you look for in a good, quality multi-vitamin? The most important thing to consider in selecting a multi-vitamin is the “bio-availability” of the nutrients it contains. Bio-available nutrients come in forms that your body is able to absorb easily. This means that what is in the supplement, your body can use.

I remember in one of the radiology courses I took, the doctor put up an abdominal film and asked us what we saw. We all saw that something shouldn’t have been in that person’s abdomen. So we started down our differential diagnosis list as we were trained. A tumor? Too regular a border. A cyst of some kind? Too opaque, too dense. Maybe it was a belt buckle or top button on a pair of jeans they forgot to take off before the x-ray was taken? No, didn’t have the same shape.

The shape actually looked like it could be bullet! Was it a bullet? No, the doctor assured us it wasn’t a bullet but we were on the right track, he said. It turned out that it was a multi-vitamin that was on its way through this person’s lower intestines to be expelled – a multivitamin!

Would it surprise you to hear that most of the $10 bottles of one-a-day vitamin supplements are made of materials that are so cheap that the body cannot even assimilate them? Take calcium for example. This is a mineral that has been marketed very intensely in the supplement industry. But the majority of the calcium that is found in the cheaper supplements comes in the form of calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is the same substance that makes up your common chalk that teachers use in the classroom. Imagine swallowing a piece of chalk and trying to get your daily recommended allowance of calcium from it. The truth is you can’t.

The substance calcium carbonate is not very “bio-available” for our body, which means although there is calcium in the product, our body cannot absorb it easily so most of it passes right through us. This is why that multi-vitamin appeared intact that x-ray. By contrast, your body much more easily absorbs calcium citrate, so you body gets most of what is in your supplement if it is in this form.

But supplements that have bio-available nutrients are naturally going to be more expensive. So instead of buying that cheap, one-a-day vitamin at Costco, save your money for one that you will actually get some health benefit from. You may spend $40-50 to even $100/month for a good multi-vitamin and it is one of the best health insurance purchases you can make. It will give your body the nutrients it doesn’t get from your diet to repair and replace each of your cells in the best way possible.

Your DNA can be thought of like the blueprint of a house and your cells are like the workers that are continually rebuilding and repairing that house (of course, in this analogy, this house is your body). If your cells don’t have the proper building materials, the quality of your body’s renovation will suffer. Then your health will suffer.

At the bare minimum, your basic supplementation should include:

1) A high quality multi-vitamin. The supplement should contain the bioavailable forms of a wide range of the vitamins and minerals you need – especially calcium, potassium and magnesium.

2) Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids. Fish oils have been shown to have beneficial effects on many things such as insulin metabolism, lowering triglyceride counts, blood clotting and easing tension in clogged arteries.

3) Vitamin D3. It plays role in cardiovascular, bone and immune system health, as well as in the healing of chronic injuries and general mood and emotional health.

Work with your health care provider to get the proper blood testing to set up a supplementation plan and get product recommendations that are optimal for you.

*Exerpted from the Being Well Lifestyles Home Study Course by Dr. Jay Warren.

Drawing on over two decades of experience as a hands-on holistic practitioner, Dr. Jay Warren is a primary healthcare provider and licensed chiropractor in the San Diego area. He has spent tens of thousands of clinical hours helping his patients achieve their optimal health potential through holistic approaches bolstered by years of personal experimentation, education and research. Dr. Jay creates customized plans integrating exercise, nutrition and stress management strategies to overcome a myriad of health challenges. For more information, email drjay@drjaywarren.com or visit www.DrJayWarren.com.

About the Author

Dr. Jay Warren has been a prenatal and pediatric chiropractor for 17 years. He is also the Wellness Care Coordinator at the CAP Wellness Center in San Diego, CA where 90% of his practice is pregnant or postpartum women and babies under one year old. Dr. Jay is a proud member of the ICPA and APPPAH (the Association or Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health) and the host of the podcast “Healthy Births, Happy Babies” in iTunes. His online program, “Connecting with Baby” guides pregnant women through processes to strengthen maternal bonding for a happier pregnancy, gentler birth and easier post-partum experience. Dr. Jay is also the proud father of his 3 year old son, Niko who keeps him very busy (and happy) outside of the office.