In the past few months I’ve made a couple of observations. Firstly, health and wellness has been identified as a ‘trending’ industry. One that big food, big pharma and network marketing giants are closing in on with dollar signs for eyeballs. Heck, as I write this, I’m about to board a flight from Melbourne and you know what hit me as I turned out of airport security into the airport lounge area? A massive neon sign that read ‘health and wellness’ above a bunch of poor quality vitamins, wedged between the confectionery and alcohol stands. Continue reading Cutting the Crap
Following are some important points about supplementation with vitamins, minerals and herbs.
Firstly, a large part of my degree was focused around the prescription of specific and therapeutically dosed supplements for relevant conditions and situations. I do feel strongly that the prescription of high quality and appropriately dosed nutritional medicine supplements can bring someone’s health to a whole new level and furthermore, that this is important in chronic or acute situations. Hence I do have a relatively large dispensary in my clinic.
I feel that those who really understand nutritional biochemistry –
that we really are the sum of the nutrients we take in – may have some understanding of how powerful the right supplement prescriptions can be.
However, there are some key considerations to keep in mind…
Quality: consider the quality of your supplementation. Look for fillers, if the supplement is vegan or vegetarian friendly it is likely to have less ‘crap’ in it. Some cheap supplements have been featured in the media as they may be up to 50% filers. On this note, I generally do not recommend purchasing supplements in supermarkets…. for the most part. Supplementation given on script from a chemist, nutritionist, naturopath or some other health professional will generally be of the highest quality and only available with a valid prescription.
Dosage: do you understand how much you are taking? Do you know what the therapeutic dosage is? Are you taking enough to have benefits? Or are you taking too much? This can be a complex question and its best to consult a practitioner if you truly aren’t confident with this.
Form: many supplements are available in different ‘forms.’ Oxides, citrates, picolinates, chelates, activated, methylated etc. All of these will absorb at different rates, having different bio availability in the body. In general, cheaper supplements often contain forms that the body can not absorb, meaning they are merely expensive urine.
Prescription drugs: Are you also taking pharmaceutical medication? Then don’t supplement unless you know its safe alongside the drugs you are taking! Speak to your GP. Some supplements can be easily purchased such as St John’s Wort and yet they interact and contraindicate with a whole heap of drugs….
Day to day nutrition and lifestyle: are you also paying attention to the food you are putting into your mouth, moving your body and engaging in appropriate self care to minimize stress as much as possible? These are the foundations of health. Don’t throw a pile of pills on top of a lifestyle that consists of take-away foods and sedentary living. And eating well does not mean you necessarily have to cook everything yourself; good nutrition is accessible to incredibly time poor people too. It’s your choice.
Many new clients that I see are taking between 5-15 supplements at a time that they are ‘self prescribing’ and purchasing at random from health food shops and supermarkets. As we work through this list I ask the inevitable questions including ‘why exactly are you taking this?’ and ‘do you know if you are getting any therapeutic benefit from this’ and ‘how long are you planning on taking this for?’ Generally, the client responds with ‘well I just heard that this was good for you so I started taking it.’
I think supplementation is an incredibly important consideration for many people, including:
-Athletes: due to the rapid turnover of B vitamins, zinc, magnesium in particular as they churn over energy cycles at a much higher rate than those that aren’t athletic
-Those experiencing mental health complications (under guidance so as not to interfere with any medication)
-Those with gut issues (for repairing the gut lining and encouraging healthy gut flora restoration)
-For those in high demand ‘jobs’ which might include being the sole carer to young children or paid work that demands many hours and brain power (to assist with stress management and compensate for an increased need for nutrition)
-Pregnant and lactating women and both women and men preconception
-Those recovering from weight loss surgery
There are other situations too. But these are just some examples.
Bottom line. Have a plan. Have an understanding. Be safe.
That’s right. It’s not bread. I’m talking about those loaves you buy in the supermarket for $2 a pop. I hate to be the messenger of bad news. You see, each week when I sit in front of new clients, I get the same feedback – ‘bread seems to make me bloated and give me wind.’ Sure, some of these clients have genuine issues with gluten and wheat, but many…. could simply benefit from addressing quality rather than giving it away entirely. Continue reading I Can’t Believe it’s Not Bread!
This may sound like a very ‘specific’ blog post and that’s because it is. It’s inspired by a few recent client cases who share similar pathology results, namely sub-optimal thyroid performance, compromised iron levels and undesirable cholesterol profiles. The relationship between these 3 markers is actually intertwined. Fixing one can not be done completely without fixing the others, so let’s take a ‘whole-istic’ look at how they interrelate. Continue reading Thyroid, Iron and Cardiovascular Health
Polycystic ovarian syndrome affects 1 in 5 women making it one of the most common hormonal conditions experienced by females (1). Its consequences can appear alarming and many women may feel quite hopeless as far as managing the condition is concerned. However, its highly responsive to nutritional intervention and here’s why: Continue reading PCOS and Diet
Happy New Year
And welcome to 2017.
I spent the holiday period decompressing and considering my pathway forward for 2017. Over the break, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of conflicting nutritional advice that popped up on my social media feed from others in the health industry ranging from personal trainers, weekender nutritionists and right through to PhD qualified industry leaders. Continue reading 2017: reversing Australia’s health crisis
I see a wide variety of clients with different needs, lifestyles and conditions and obviously I encounter many different eating styles and patterns along the way. Whether someone chooses to eat meat and animal products or not is none of my business. My job is to make sure that whatever path they choose, they do this as healthily as possible. I see healthy vegetarians. I see healthy omnivores. But I do encounter unhealthy versions of both as well. This post is about addressing some of the more common issues on a vegetarian / vegan diet in an effort to help combat some of these errors so that long term chronic health problems can be avoided. Continue reading Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: getting it right.
Reflux and Stomach Acid: what you need to know
Let’s talk about reflux or more specifically Gastro Oesophageal reflux disorder (GORD) as I am seeing it increasingly in clinic. If you ever taste acid in your mouth after you eat or you experience burning in the chest portion of your digestive tract this is what I am referring to as reflux. It is a serious condition. Not only does it disrupt quality of life, it can cause irreversible damage to the lining of the oesophegas. Basically, it can ‘burn’ the digestive tract and lead to ulcers and structural changes in the mucous lining. This is not intended to frighten, it’s merely an invitation to be proactive about treatment. Because I know a lot of people put it down to just a normal part of life. But if things are working well, we shouldn’t be dealing with heartburn after every meal. Continue reading Reflux – in defense of stomach acid
I know I bang on about metabolism testing with the team at JupiterHealth, but here are three reasons why I love it:
- It’s a test that gives us access to heaps of data that relates to your metabolism and your fitness and training ability*. When interpreted by professionals who understand every aspect of it, you can use the data in so many ways to improve your body composition, your performance and fitness, but above all else your health overall.
Disclaimer: I am not claiming to be an ‘expert’ in mental health by sharing the below article with you. I do however, have a strong interest in the nutritional biochemistry concerning neurotransmitters and neurochemicals that relate directly with mental health. Nutrition plays a very significant role in the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain and the gut and this needs to be integrated into treatment. This is a perrsonal story and if it benefits 1 person, its worth sharing. Mental health is a topic we can’t talk about enough – we need to keep the conversation alive. Please share this with anyone whom you think may benefit or relate to the discussion below. Continue reading Nutrition, Mental Health and Functional Pathology Testing