Today I’m reblogging a segment from Sally Cronin’s Health Magazine at her Smorgasbord Invitation. Sally is a certified nutritionist among MANY other talents, and in this article she goes through the instruction of sharing the awareness about where it’s best to purchase natural supplements, the importance of understanding what you are taking, and caveats and conflictions with possible other medications.
Smorgasbord Health Column – Supplements – Absorbing the nutrients, avoiding the additives by Sally Cronin
I frequently get asked about taking supplements and when and how to take. In this post I am looking at the use of supplements, the ingredients you should avoid and which ones are more easily absorbed by the body.
My research into absorption of supplements goes back to my days of running my diet advisory clinic and health food shop twenty-two years ago here in Ireland. I noticed that herbal remedies in tincture form appeared to work more effectively than their tablet format, and as a consequence I usually suggested that customers and clients use the tincture or liquid form whenever it was available, and if not move to capsules. The capsules were easy to break apart and mix with water, rather than have to crush tablets which was recommended if hard to swallow or digest.
Roll forward a few years when I was taking care of my mother who was on several medications (all tablets) to keep age related problems under control. She was 92 and had developed early stages of congestive heart failure. She had a pacemaker but she was now largely inactive, getting picky about eating and reluctant to drink fluids (except for banana milkshakes and black coffee). Her digestive system was unable to absorb her medications in tablet form and after changing to liquid or capsule forms showed a marked improvement in a number of physical symptoms. This was confirmed when diuretic pills she was taking stopped working and she needed an intravenous diuretic to clear the build up of fluid.
Methods of improving the absorption of pills and tablets has improved in recent years but there are also new ways to take your supplements that increase that process significantly.
I have taken supplements in one form or another when needed since my 20s, so for 47 years. However, I moved any supplements I take when possible, to oral sprays via the inside of my cheek or under my tongue for quick absorption into the bloodstream. I was taking a cross section of separate nutrients but now find that a multi-vitamin spray, with additional Vitamin D in the winter months sufficient. I also use an oral spray for Turmeric which seems to have been effective against my usual joint pain in the wet Irish winters and is hopefully maintaining my immune system. I cannot say definitively that they work, only that I find they do so for me.
Why do we need to take supplements?
I would love to be able to tell you, that eating a healthy and varied diet provides you with all the essential vitamins you need, but I would be misleading you.
Good nutrition does begin with food, but today there is no guarantee that the food you are consuming, contains the same level of nutrients that it did 50 years ago or even 20 years ago. In some areas of the world, the soil we grow the food in is becoming depleted, and this results in less nutritious food.
For the younger generation with a very active lifestyle combined with heavy work schedules or parenthood, taking a booster dose of nutrients is probably necessary.
Also, as we age, we absorb food differently as I mentioned earlier, and this can impact the amount of nutrition we are obtaining. Once you become less active, you are likely to reduce your food intake, further restricting your ability to consume enough to provide all the nutrients you need.
Once you are in your mid-60s both men and women lose their hormonal protective elements. We need to maintain our organ health, including our brains and also bone density to prevent age related physical and mental decline. This requires maintaining a balance of healthy fats, moderate intake of whole grains and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, and this can become hard to achieve.
Here is a summary of the nutrients we need to be healthy and the foods you need to consume. However, despite eating these foods, it is usually necessary to take some form of supplementation. to maintain healthy levels across the nutritional spectrum. Smorgasbord Health Column -Shopping list by food and by nutrient . . . please continue reading.