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Not all supplements are created equal

Supplement use is a $35 billion dollar industry with no significant decline in sight.

Day 16: Make supplements a part of a bigger plan

Taking supplements and/or vitamins in theory is a lot easier than putting in the hard work to change nutrition behaviors. I get that and I understand the attraction. I'm not entirely against supplement use; but, there always needs to be a purpose to taking them, with evidence to back it up. Lastly, it cannot cause harm. Whole foods are by far the best mode of nutrient absorption and utilization. In saying that, there are a few supplements that are worth taking as supplements (not meal replacers) worth mentioning here.

I spoke in the last post about the gut biome and the negative effects carnitine found in red meat has on destroying the biome. Gut bacteria produces Trimethylamine (TMA) that converts to Trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) in the liver, which is what negatively affects our health. If there is Diindolylmethane or DIM present, this conversion can be blocked. That is a wonderful thing. DIM is found in cruciferous vegetables; however, you can also take it as a supplement. Functional doctors have been known to recommend this as well. Most importantly, there are no known side effects, aka, no harm is done by taking DIM.

IThe other supplement surging in popularity is collagen peptides. Collagen peptides are from bovine (therefore, not vegan) and have some solid evidence supporting its role in hair, skin, and nail health. Since collagen is responsible for keeping skin elastic and supporting the health of our tissues and cells, this is not a bad supplement to get ahold of. Of course, quality matters, so there should be a certain amount of due diligence obtained before buying the first one you see on the shelf. The added 10g of protein per scoop certainly doesn't hurt either! In fact, collagen, combined with Vitamin C has been utilized in athletes who have had tendon-related injuries, further illustrating its place in the market.

As always, this post is only meant to be educational. Supplements should always be taken as part of a bigger picture and discussed with your health care team before consuming to make sure they are right for you. And, of course, we use a team approach to our functional health and wellness. If you are interested in getting a complete assessment to see where your baseline is, please click below.

Jen Pfeilfer, MS, APD

Dr. Thomas R. Schneider, Medical Director

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