YOUR BASIC SUPPLEMENT REQIREMENTS
Yes, I have 50+ bottles of nutritional supplements. The word supplement means just that, a supplement to a healthy diet. Yes, I understand that selecting, preparing, and actually eating real food is a chore. This chore requires learning what nutrition is, and be willing to dedicate some time to caring for our health.
Our higher power has a strange way of doing things. I diagnosed myself as a Type 1 Diabetic, which means I am not producing Insulin. I thought I could beat it after losing 20 pounds of FAT. No, someone wanted me to cook, AND take supplements.
Here is the basic list of supplements most should consider taking:
- Multivitamin with or without Iron (depending on your lab studies of Iron levels)
- Multiminerals, there are 22 minerals, which does not mean you need 22 bottles of minerals. I take OsteoMins AM (the trace minerals), and Cal/Mag
- Fish Oils, which are pharmaceutical grade and molecularly distilled — WITH Tocotrienols (contains alpha, beta, gamma, and delta Vit. E) – please read separate section regarding Why You Need Fish Oils and Eat Fat to Lose Fat
- Probiotics (must have billions of units) — because 70% of your immune system is in your gut, and 85% of the bugs in there should be the good ones
- Antioxidants (see separate section regarding antioxidants)
Of course, there are exceptions for special situations. For example, someone with elevated liver enzymes requires Milk Thistle, Methionine, Inositol, Choline, and other lipotrophics (liver cleansers). Many have something called NASH (non alcoholic steatohepatitis) which creates elevated liver enzymes. These people are not alcoholics, do not have hepatitis, and have a fatty liver demonstrated on Ultrasound. Perhaps they live on a golf course, or work in a toxic environment, or experienced boot camp exposure to mustard gas, etc. The healing comes when we figure what caused the elevated liver enzymes, and normalize them. Others have taken the birth control pill for decades, and require liver cleansing in order to get their Thyroid and Testosterone to work optimally — their Sex Hormone Binding Globulin blood tests are high.
Then their are the status post chemotherapy/radiation patients. Thier liver, pancreas, gut flora, and colonic cells would benefit from regeneration. This was actually taught at a Thomas Jefferson Integrative Cancer Medical Conference I attended years ago. These patients require more supplementation for a while.
Integrative physicians know how to regenerate chaos, restore health. Most do not need the forty bottles of supplements they bring.
When the NIH did a sample of l5 bottles of Garlic, bottle one had 100% of what it said it had in it, and bottle 15 had none. There are thousands upons thousands of supplements available.
In Germany the most PRESCRIBED Rx is Ginkgo Biloba (which dilates the cerebral arteries).
There are 19 antioxidants, which does not mean you need 19 bottles of stuff. These l9 antioxidants work together like a symphonic orchestra, gobbling our free radicals.
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble which means they are stored in your liver. The fat soluble vitamins also require some fat in your tummy in order to be absorbed.
There is a lot of controversy about Vitamin A toxicity. I have a patient with cystic acne who could only be treated successfully in the past with Accutane. This patient now has beautiful skin with incredibly high doses of Vitamin A, and frequent blood monitoring of Vitamin A levels. This patient also takes Fish Oils and Zinc which helps keep skin beautiful. However, this should be done only under the supervision of an Integrative Physician. Symptoms of Vitamin A toxicity are easy to acknowledge, and the symptoms disappear when the Vitamin A is lowered, or discontinued. Vitamin A is important for the immune system.
The other antioxidants are water soluble which means they are absorbed by your tissues, and the remainder is dispensed in the toillette.
There is much controversy regarding whether patients should discontinue Antioxidants when they have Chemotherapy — which is an oxidant. To reach concensus on this issue will take decades. Most issues in medicine require decades for most to agree.
I do take issue with taking one antioxidant like Vitamin C. Dr. Linus Pauling took meteoric doses of one Antioxidant, Vitamin C. This is not a good idea biochemically and there is scientific literature to support this.
WHY YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED FISH OILS EVERY DAY
Your brain is 60% fat. The only way you can get this fat is to take fish oils which contain EPA/DHA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid/Docosahexanoic Acid). I knew you wanted to know those big words, hereafter called EPA/DHA. Basically EPA is for your body and works as a POWERFUL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, and DHA is for my favorite organ – the brain. ONLY DHA CAN STIMULATE THE GROWTH OF NERVE CELLS. Good Fish Oil contains both EPA/DHA, but must be Pharmaceutical Grade and Molecularly Distilled to have the toxins removed from our fish. So the multi-level marketing stuff, and the cheap stuff is USUALLY not a good idea.
Eating fish is another controversial topic. And I understand when my patients are totally flummoxed about what to eat.
Physicians are telling pregnant women not to eat fish whilst gestating. This is because fish contains Mercury (another controversial topic), Polychlorinated Biphenols, DDT, and Diogin (active ingredient in Agent Orange) – all are highly toxic. Everything we dump in our oceans gets into our fish.
During the last three months of pregnancy, the babie’s brain cells are being created at a rate of more than 250,000 cells per MINUTE. But these brain cells are created only if the Mother takes enough DHA. After birth, the Mother’s blood level of DHA drops dramatically, and nursing Moms need to supplement so their babies brains and eyes develop optimally.
I wonder if any of us should be ingesting very much fish. I eat fish to be polite if I am on a dinner date or at a party. But I don’t actually buy fish and prepare it for meals.
Some of my Vegans will not take Fish Oils. This is a real problem. They will take Flax Oil. Think of a stream of traffic lights which take you to your destination – which, of course, is EPA/DHA. Flax Oil is many, many traffic lights before your destination. I shall spare you the biochemistry.
OK, here is a little biochemistry. Flax Oil is a short chain omega 3 fatty acid and contains ALA (alpha linolenic acid). It is a very laborious process for the body to convert ALA to DHA (the brain fat). One would need to consume 30 grams of ALA to make one gram of EPA and one tenth of a gram of DHA (the brain fat). For optimal brain function, I take 10-16 caps of Fish Oil which is 5000-8000 grams of EPA/DHA.
We developed a prefrontal neocortex (brain) when our ancestors began eating shellfish from the lakeshore that was rich in algae-derived fats. Fats have the power to radically improve or impair our intelligence. The prefrontal neocortex of our brains allows us to reason, have impulse control, concentrate, have forethought regarding our actions, etc. Trying to have a healthy brain with DHA is like trying to build a house without a foundation.
Some of my patients ask me about farm raised fish. Farmed factory raised fish was developed to rid the toxins in our fish. These fish turned out to be far inferior in taste and color, so coloring agents were added. Then there is the issue of using less expensive soybean oil, not fish oil or algae, as a fat source. This type of fat contains AA (Arachidonic Acid), another big word. When you think of AA, think inflammation. Aspirin decreases AA, that is how Aspirin works, by decreasing inflammation.
When you take fish oil, please take one GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid) per week, and take Fish Oil with a quality Vitamin E (not just alpha tocopherols).
This is the bottom line of why you need to take Fish Oils
- Increases the good kind of LDL (the puffy kind is good, the skinny kind is bad, have your Physician order VAP Lipid Profile)
- Decreases Triglycerides (bad fats)
- DHA is needed to maintain brain function
- The brains of Alzheimer’s patients contain 30% less DHA than brains of healthy people
- DHA helps your body make neurotransmitters (brain chemicals like Serotoin, Dopamine, etc.)
- EPA is necessary for improved blood flow and decreased inflammation
- Thins blood and prevents restenosis (closing of an artery after angioplasty), prevents blood clots
- Necessary for cells in retina (eyes) to transmit images to the brain – the eye is the servant to the brain
- Brain needs fish oils to produce energy
- Control virtually every function in the human body
- Reduces pain, via mechanism of reducing inflammation
- Enhances Immune System via decreasing Cytokines (which are immune markers showing inflammation)
Fat doesn’t make you fat, high Insulin from overeating does. Dr. Atkins was right about the sugar/carbohydrate thing. That is why people lost weight. When you eat quality protein, quality fat, and mild to moderate amounts of carbohydrate, and rethink portions – this obesity epidemic will self-correct. And you won’t be hungry.
There is much to learn about our most valuable asset — our physical and emotional health. Very little else matters, unless we and our loved ones have health.