When Is Supplementation Necessary?

There is no such thing as a silver bullet when it comes to health. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes. However, your body DOES have an amazing ability to heal and recover, sometimes far quicker than you might expect.

Health is a result of meeting the vital requirements of the human body.

 

Plants for example, require sunlight, water, and nutrient-rich soil. If you have a plant with yellow leaves, the most obvious solution would be to simply meet the requirement that is lacking (i.e. more sunlight), and not just paint the leaves green.water

In a similar manner, every human being has certain vital requirements that are essential for optimal health to occur. We need movement, nutrient dense foods, structural integrity and a healthy functioning nervous system, to name a few.

Meeting the nutritional requirements of the body can be hard. There is contradicting information and it’s hard to know what advice to follow.

When it comes to nutrition, it can be boiled down to a simple fact; you need to supply your body’s nutrient requirements in the most efficient way with the least amount of toxicity.

A great first step to ensure you’re getting your body’s nutrient requirements is to increase the amount of foods that are nutrient dense. This includes foods that have protein, fat, vitamins and minerals the body needs. These foods are usually found in nature, NOT in a package. Vegetables, fruits, healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, etc), lean meats (turkey, grass fed beef, chicken, wild salmon and fish), and fermented foods (kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut) are all great choices to meet your body’s requirements.

However, over the past 200 years there has been disruptions in the food supply and its nutrient profile.

Changes that have occurred:

  • Increased reliance on grains and grain products
  • Decline in soil quality (slight decline in nutrient density of foods grown)
  • Increase in exposure of food and environmental toxins
  • Reduction in animal fat consumption

As mentioned we recommend to turn to real food whenever possible to meet your body’s nutrient requirements.

There are instances where your body may not be getting the vital nutrition it needs through food and supplementation is necessary.

 

There are two key 2 Essential Supplements we recommend to make sure your body is getting everything it needs. The best available evidence says most Americans are deficient in the following:

1. Omega 3 Fatty Acidsfish oil

People used to get essential fatty acids from many sources like wild game, seafood, grubs, and insects.  All fatty acids are essential, but it is optimal to have them  within a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio (Omega 3 : Omega 6). Most western cultures are expected to have a ratio of 1:10 and even up to 1:50. The higher the ratio, the more likely inflammation is present in the body which creates an environment ripe for disease.

Supplementing with a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil has been proven to be the best way to re-balance this ratio. It also is helpful to decrease sources of Omega 6 you consume (whole grain bread, vegetable oils, cereal, nuts, etc).

How much do you need?

This largely depends on the supplements you’re taking, but typically 2-4 grams of EPA/DHA per day. Please consult your preferred health provider before beginning supplementation.

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a critical nutrient that is essential in immune function. Vitamin D deficiency can happen for different reasons:

  • Lack of sun exposure (w/o sunscreen)
  • Aging (increased age = decreased capacity to produce Vitamin D)
  • Darker skin tone
  • Excess body fat

In Des Moines, Iowa to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, it takes about 15 minutes of sitting in the sun with as much skin exposed as possible (swimsuit, or shorts and tank top). This is possible to achieve from May through September.

It is hard to obtain enough Vitamin D during October through April, so we recommend Vitamin D supplementation especially during the winter months.

To recap:

  1. Focus on eating real food – fruits, veggies, healthy fat, lean meats, fermented foods (high in probiotics)
  2. Omega 3 supplementation
  3. Vitamin D supplementation September thru April
  4. If your budget allows: a high quality probiotic and multi-vitamin

At Keystone Chiropractic we do NOT recommend every supplement under the sun and only carry the highest quality supplements including Omega 3 and Vitamin D. A bonus is that both of these nutrients are vital in supporting an optimal functioning nervous system.

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1 reply
  1. Chris
    Chris says:

    Dr Megan, you made a believer out of me by following your advice of taking Vitamin D3 during the winter season of low sun exposure. 5000 IU’s a day kept away any upper respiratory illnesses the past two years. I’m currently taking a cold-pressed flaxseed oil supplement (1000mg) which includes 450mg Omega-3 on a regular basis.

    Reply

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