Welcome back this week for our 8th episode of The Vibrant Health Podcast.
This week Jessica and I dive into the topic what we call ‘Willy Nilly Supplementation’. Should you take supplements? How do you know which ones you should or shouldn’t take? It’s a complex subject quite frankly, but it’s one we hope to give you further clarity and direction on.
Links From This Week’s Episode:
- How Mineral Balancing Fixed My Painful Monthly Cycles
- Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
- How HTMA Has Changed My Life
- How HTMA is Helping Me Manage Stress
- All Articles on HTMA and Mineral Balance
Listen to The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 8
Download The Vibrant Health Podcast Transcript :: Episode 8
Read The Vibrant Health Podcast Transcript :: Episode 8
Jessica: Hi everyone, and welcome to episode eight of the Vibrant Health Podcast. I am Jessica from DeliciousObsessions.com and I’m here with my co-host Lydia of DivineHealthfromtheInsideOut.com.
Today, we want to talk about what we like to call ‘willy-nilly’ supplementation. Essentially, this is randomly going out and grabbing a whole bunch of supplements and just taking a bunch of stuff without really knowing whether or not you need any of that and without understanding what’s going on with your biochemistry before you start supplementing.
We see a lot of this happening. We get a lot of questions about supplements, so we really wanted to tackle this topic today and give you guys some insights on how to know what supplement you need to take for yourself.
Welcome to this episode. And Lydia you want to go ahead and say hi?
Lydia: Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping in and checking out today’s episode on supplementation.
Like Jessica said, it’s a big question mark out there for many people. I’ll post my meals on Facebook and typically I’ll post my breakfast because I have a passion to teach people to not skip their breakfast and eating healthy breakfast. And I usually have my little side dish of supplements in there too. And I’ll get questions where somebody would go, “Oh, what supplements do you take?” because they’re kind of hoping that they can take them too or they want to know what they should take. I refuse to tell anyone because what I need is very different from what they may need.
So let’s talk a little more today about what’s going on with this whole supplement situation. In the real food world, people are supplementing with stuff because they’ve read, “Oh, I need this vitamin for this problem. And so, therefore I should take it,” or, “Oh, you know, everyone says I should take vitamin D because everyone’s insufficient.” So they go out and take all this vitamin D, and this is really haphazard and dangerous actually.
And so, today we want to tap in to this topic and give you some more direction, so you can have some more food for thought when it comes to should you supplement, what you should supplement with, why should you supplement.
Jessica: I think this is a really important topic to cover, because like you, I’m always getting questioned. People know that I have an autoimmune disease, and so people just ask me, “What supplements do you take for autoimmune disease?” I think they are kind of hoping that maybe they can take the same things that I’m taking or maybe I had success with a certain supplement and they want to take the same thing too.
I feel like our culture here in America (and probably elsewhere in the world, I’m not really sure), but at least in America we kind of started viewing supplements almost like we do pharmaceutical drugs. In a way, we see something or we have a health condition or we read an article that x, y and z helps x, y and z. And so we run out and we just start taking it, hoping that it’s going to help our symptoms and be a cure for things.
And really, we have to be more cautious and we have to be a lot wiser about how we supplement and what we supplement with. It’s a very individual need. You can’t just take stuff just because somebody else takes it. You really need to focus on what is going on with your body and what your specific needs are, and then tailor your supplementation around that.
I am really excited to talk about this today because of the questions I get all the time. I love to be able just to educate people more and help them get more benefit out of these supplements too.
Supplements are expensive. I have spent thousands of dollars. I was telling you earlier, there was a period of time in 2012 right after I got my autoimmune diagnosis that I added up all of the supplements. I was working with a couple of different practitioners, so I was getting supplement recommendations from different people. So I was taking everything that was recommended to me and I added everything up and I was taking $300 worth of supplement every month. I was like, “Wow! This is just not sustainable.”
So I just ended up finishing everything that I have and I kind of just stopped everything that I had and I just kind of stopped everything and I didn’t notice any difference honestly when I stopped taking things. That was the indication to me that maybe what I was taking wasn’t even helping me.
So let’s help people not waste money. I want to save money, so I am glad we’re tackling this today.
So I guess probably the first question that comes to people’s mind when we talk about supplementation is, “Why do we even need to supplement in the first place?” If we’re eating the real food, healthy wholesome food diet, is there any need to actually supplement?
Lydia: Yeah, that’s a good question. And the answer is yes, we absolutely do need to supplement. And the reason why is because – well, there are many reasons, but we live in this modern day where our food supply is dwindling in its nutritious value, its nutrients basically.
Number one, our soil has been depleting for quite some time. We can actually see evidence of that and there are studies on this. So the soil is depleting. If you have not been born and raised eating all your food from amazingly nutrient rich soil since the moment you were born and since the moment your mom was born and since the moment her mom was born, you’re going to be missing things.
And the modern diet alone is poor. So even if you changed your way and you are eating real food, did you grow up doing that? Well, I didn’t. I grew up on a processed food diet and my parents ate probably a better diet, but the processed food industry was well on their way, so they did eat a lot of processed food as well, so there’s going to be nutrient deficiencies there.
So here we are, and we have poor food. And then we have a toxic environment. We cannot avoid this, we’ve got chemicals everywhere. Even if you’ve cleaned out your whole home – and I hear this all the time off of clients and they’re like, “Well, I don’t understand why I have aluminum showing up in my hair test. I got rid of my aluminum pots and pans and I got rid of my bad deodorant,” and various other things and they’re confused.
This isn’t exactly a nutrient, but the example is that our environment is so over polluted with these things that we can’t just assume that a couple years of making changes is going to correct it fully, unfortunately.
So no one needs to feel guilty or bad that they are not as healthy as they would like to be. It’s not really anyone’s fault, necessarily. I mean, we can all make better choices of course right? But there’s no reason to beat up ourselves about the fact that we live in this world that is over polluted. So we’ve got toxins at every turn, we’ve got chemicals, pesticides. Our water basically has got that stuff in it too. So it’s really hard to avoid toxicity. That can tax our system.
We live a lifestyle that is excessively busy. We go, go, go, go, go. We don’t eat meals, we skip meals, we eat junk food, we stay up too late, were exposed to EMFs. I mean, the list could go on – not to sound bleak here. Let’s get to the hopeful part here.
So the point is really, we are in a situation where if we want to have good health and we really want to maintain it, but also, many people want to improve or rebuild, you can’t really do that with food alone. So it’s kind of like trying to correct something through food alone. It just doesn’t work because you don’t know what imbalances you have for sure without testing.
So taking the correct supplements really is essential to maintain and improve our health. And we really just can’t rely on eating to be healthy anymore, unfortunately. The essential balance trace minerals in whole food vitamins, they have to be obtained consistently to rebuild. Otherwise, there is really no point in supplementation. And if you’re guessing, “Yeah, that can be it,” sometimes you can find the right thing that you need and sometimes you could be taking something wrong for you. I see that all the time.
So I hope that starts to answer the question a little bit. I mean, I mostly eat a clean diet, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I eat something processed. I will probably take supplements until the day I die. I’m not joking. I just think it’s that important. It’s worth the cost to me. And because I’m testing regularly to see what my body needs, I don’t feel like I’m wasting my money.
Jessica: Yeah, that’s great. That’s a huge thing for me, is not feeling like I’m wasting my money. I think the next thing that I want to talk about is how do you even know what supplements you need to take. I kind of coined a phrase back in November after I started working with you again doing specific testing and getting core mineral balancing protocol in place for myself, for my own means, I call it Supplementation with a Purpose. So from this point on until the day I die, every supplement that I spend money on and I take is going to be for a specific reason that I has been shown on some sort of test. I’m not going to go to stores anymore, Amazon or anything and just buy things because I’ve read an article about it.
I actually pretty much stopped reading articles that say, “Oh, take this for that,” or, “Take that for this,” or, “This has been proven to cure that.” I just don’t even read that stuff anymore because it doesn’t really apply to me and my specific needs. Unless we’re testing regularly and understanding what’s going on at a cellular level in our body, that other stuff doesn’t really matter.
So I like the Supplementation with a Purpose because it saves us money. We’re not just randomly buying stuff that we may or may not get any benefit from. I mean, a lot of us are not going to be taking 50 different supplements for every single meal. My handful of supplements is pretty big right now, but I’m taking a lot of things because that’s what my tests have shown that I need.
Some people may be taking less. And my husband, you’ve got him on a mineral balancing protocol as well, and he’s only taking four capsules of something or four pills with every meal, whereas I’m taking like 11 or 12. So my health was in a much different place than his was.
So that’s really what comes down to it, the individuality of all of this.
So let’s talk a little bit of how you even know what to supplement with, how do you go about figuring that out.
Lydia: Sure, there’s also the compliance factor there, so we have to work with people where they’re at.
Jessica: Very true, very true.
Lydia: So you’ve been doing this for a while. So you’re more willing to throw down a few more things. I guess, generally speaking, we all need a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins and minerals from food. If not in all our soil, it’s not in our food. So we have to supplement. But to know what you specifically need to supplement it is really not a good idea to guess. We can guess at some stuff. There are some things across the board that most people do need. But even within that broad recommendation, there will be variances.
So there is no across the board recommendation like the RDA. The recommended daily allowance of this vitamin and that vitamin, and really, who knows if that’s any good? Because let’s say if you have a severe deficiency of the recommended amount of a specific nutrient, you’re going to need a lot more than what the government is telling you need. Did I just say that? The government?
Jessica: Well the FDA pretty much is the government so…
Lydia: Oh, yeah. Why does the government get to tell me what nutrition is? Anyway, I digress.
So here’s the deal, you know we have to see our own unique biochemistry and there’s a number of ways to do this. Most simple way is through the hair analysis, which you have heard us talk about before, because minerals are really at the core of every health issue and every disease. So lacking minerals, or imbalanced minerals are going to be at the core of everything. And we need to repair that, but it can take some time.
And the truth is we can’t guess. We just can’t guess just because we hear you know, “Oh, everyone needs calcium. Everyone needs calcium.” Well actually, your bones are made of 76 ionizing minerals, not just calcium. That’s what we’ve been taught. We’ve been taught, “Calcium for bones, calcium for bones, calcium for bones.”
Well, if we did that, calcium actually has a very hardening effect. It can harden concrete. So if all you do is take calcium, take calcium, take calcium take calcium, and you don’t take all these other minerals what are you going to do?
Jessica: You’re going to get hard. Your arteries are going to clog and – or hardened, not clog, but harden.
Lydia: Right, and your cells are going to be less permeable and all these problems will ensue.
So this is why it’s really dangerous to listen to broad recommendations without knowing for sure you need that recommendation. Unfortunately today, we don’t have a healthy clean diet, a nutrient dense style like our traditional ancestors may have had better than we do now and we can’t just guess. We really cannot. It’s just not the way it’s going to work anymore, unfortunately.
So when you get a hair assessed – and there are other possible tests out there that can be helpful, but this one is really good starting point. You’re going to kind of get a feel for your deficiencies. And then the cool thing is we can see – let’s say you have sky high calcium (because I just brought it up), I’m going to say to you, “Listen, you need to stop taking calcium for a while, there are other nutrients that will help balance this,” and we can get a really good idea where your body’s at and we know, “Okay, this vitamin has this effect on this type of pattern,” it’s really cool.
So that’s why I won’t tell people what I take supplement wise because they don’t have the same pattern that I do probably. And I don’t know if they do or they don’t. So you know what you need is going to be totally different from what I need.
The other thing is that as you start to add in supplements based on your current biochemistry (which will shift by the way), you may want to keep checking in and not keep taking the same thing. If you keep taking the same thing and it’s not what’s right for what your body’s doing now, you could push things out of whack still too.
So I hate to say it like this because now, people would go, “Oh, crap! Now I have to constantly get checked up and this requires so much more effort.” And really, in a way, it kind of may seem like that, but if you’re able to check in on your own biochemistry regularly and work with somebody, you’re going to save a lot of stress from trying to guess at what you need, you’re going to be able to hone it on specific imbalances, you’re going to be able to watch them and start correcting them and see how your body kind of transitions and make changes as you go.
So for example, I’ll have people who may need something at first. And then we can change things a bit and maybe add some other things.
The truth is, you literally are never going to be able to fix all your imbalances at once. That’s crazy! And when I say imbalances, everyone has them. We’re all deficient in trace minerals. We have a lot of toxic metals. So we’re really imbalanced. If I sat here and tried to fix all the mineral imbalances at one time, you would be taking so many things. It’s just not possible.
So it’s really a good idea to kind of take your time and work on your health in layers and supplement that way.
And I’m really just talking about core nutrients. I’m not talking about you’re going to work with a practitioner on a specific protocol because you have some gut infection or something. I’m not even talking about anything like that. I’m literally talking about your core nutrient needs. Maybe some digestive support (because everyone needs it) and things like that.
So, we’re talking like the bare bones basics like, “What do you need? What kind of multi do you need? What kind of vitamins do you need? What kind of minerals do you need? Should you take a multi mineral supplement? Will that work for everyone?”
Jessica: Yeah. The thing I love about approaching my health in this manner – I’m working with you on the hair test. I have taken two so far and we’ll be sending in my third here on the next week or two.
I’ve talked before about how I got my official autoimmune Hashimoto’s diagnosis in 2012, but I’ve actually been considered hypothyroid since 2007. I may or may not have been autoimmune at that point. I think in 2010, looking back, is really when my autoimmune kicked in. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was having huge swings from hyper to hypo, which is very common for people that have Hashi’s (at least initially, and then, you tend to kind of just slow down).
I can see a change in things – major panic attacks, inability to handle stress, swinging from having a lot of energy to being completely fatigued. I can really see that. And looking back. Hindsight is always 20/20. I wish I had known then what I know now.
But I got really serious about things in 2012. I worked with a bunch of different practitioners and did a bunch of different things. They all helped to a certain point. But then I plateaued. And none of my practitioners ever did a super deep testing on me as far as understanding mineral balances and stuff like that. We were just doing your typical blood test for monitoring and things like that, but we never really look at things at the cellular level, and so I plateaued.
I went for about a year probably trying to feel like, “Well, I guess this is as good as it’s going to get. I’m definitely in a better place than I was, but I’m not feeling fantastic. And I really want to feel fantastic. Well, maybe I won’t ever get to feel fantastic.” So I plateaued and I started feeling a little melancholy about it because I wanted to keep improving, but I didn’t know what to do because I felt like I have exhausted everything that was out there.
And so, the thing I like about doing the hair testing and this specific mineral balancing protocol is right now, I’m doing a test every three months or so and we’re just adjusting things based on what we see on my report pull up from my testing. And what I have been noticing is a lot of really noticeable improvement.
The first thing that improved within a week or two of me even starting my supplement (and it was something that I have never even considered improving) was my painful cycle. I mean, I was getting cramps and pain and PMS that was just horrible. It could be completely debilitating. I had no clue that taking some minerals may improve that. But it improved almost immediately and has maintained. I have maintained that, which has been really exciting.
So I feel like when you’re doing it this way, and you’re doing this really targeted approach that’s specifically based on your needs, you’re most likely going to see results a lot more quickly than you would be if you’re just randomly supplementing with stuff and if you’re not looking at your biochemistry.
So, even though it may feel more like you have to do more stuff and it requires more effort, honestly, I think that you may see results a lot more quickly. And that may keep you feel more motivated and inspired to keep doing what you’re doing.
I think that there’s that fine balance between making sure your head is in the right place for healing and then just doing all of the things – diet and supplementation and all that. So I feel like that at least for me – and I’m in a couple of groups with you and have talked to a lot of people who have also done the focus mineral balancing stuff. They have all seen really, really good results from it because it’s such an individual protocol. You’re really addressing your specific needs. I think that opens up a lot of hope for people.
For the first time, I feel like I’m actually going to get to the root cause of all some of my issues. And maybe I have healed my body to a certain point and plateaued because I wasn’t addressing these underlying imbalances – and I was definitely imbalanced in quite a few areas. And now, I feel actually hopeful that one day, I’m going to feel excellent.
Lydia: Right. So yeah, hair analysis is going to tell your exact mineral status. So some of the things that we can see in the hair analysis, for example, will be all the macros. So we can see calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium. The intracellular level of these and their actual ratios between each other are really important in determining your overall health. We can see things like the effectiveness of someone’s protein digestion or their water and acid base balance, energy production, thyroid function (not the hormones necessarily), adrenal function and so much more.
So the supplementation isn’t just, “Oh, you’re low in calcium. Take more calcium.” It’s not even like that at all (although sometimes that is the case). We are looking at so much more than just, “You’re low in this and you’re high in this.” There’s a lot of information you can find out from a hair test to help do smart supplementation, purposeful supplementation to correct hidden imbalances that we may even know for sure what’s going on.
So a lot of people out there are like, “Oh, I have leaky gut.” “Well, how do you know you have leaky gut?” “Well, I just assume I do.” Okay fine, most people probably do. And they go on this extreme diet protocol, which I don’t have anything against necessarily because I think most people need to clean up their diet pretty dramatically, maybe start to reintroduce, see what triggers them right?
But the truth is, if you only ever do that and you never correct your mineral imbalances, and detox out the heavy metals, are you ever going to correct something like leaky gut? Well no, you’re not. Maybe you’ll get to a point of healing. But what will happen is some of these things don’t get corrected. Could it come back? Maybe, at least the symptoms that are – see what I’m saying? So that is one example.
Because I spent years trying to teach people how to heal their gut, it is a major process. It is taking all these supplements to heal your gut and beyond all these diets to heal your gut. But really, if you’re not fixing the mineral imbalances in the body, you’ve got to remember we need minerals in all these different enzyme binding sites in the body for all these different functions. And if they’re not in there properly and you maybe got a metal in there instead, you’re not going to have the proper function.
Lydia: So, it’s pretty important and pretty specific. It can take some time. So it’s a cool way to go about it. You’re going to get a lot of valuable information about toxic minerals too and then, your heavy metal levels and various trace mineral levels and things like that. It’s really a good way to be specific and purposeful in correcting your biochemistry versus trying to symptom placate now.
So that’s just one way for people to start maybe thinking about it and maybe look into attempting to get this done if they really want to improve their health in the long run.
Jessica: Yeah, I agree. It’s definitely been life changing for me, having that. I’m just tired of guessing. There’s a lot of guesswork that goes into healing. I mean, I have spent hundreds of hours researching and going to different doctors and stuff and trying to figure out how to heal my autoimmune disease. I really feel like this just helps take a lot of the guesswork out and it’s going to move me past that plateau that I have gotten into.
I think we can all do a lot with diet, with just changing our diet and just changing our lifestyle. Usually, the first place that people go if they’re they’re just not feeling well or they get a chronic disease diagnosis or something and they’re kind of alternative minded, the first place that everybody needs to start with is diet. If you do a mineral balancing protocol, but you’re still eating processed food for every meal, then you’re really negating the benefits of your supplementation.
So we can do a lot with diet. People have healed themselves amazingly with just diet and lifestyle changes. That can do wonders for you. But if you find yourself at a point where you really are not making the progress you feel you need to make or you plateaued like I had or you just feel like you have tried all these stuff and nothing’s working, then that’s the time when you really have to commit and start digging a little deeper and understanding what’s going on at the cellular level so you can get in there and really start correcting things.
It’s really exciting to know that my efforts right now are really paying off because I’ve seen the benefit of them rather than guessing. Like I mentioned earlier, I was taking $300 worth of supplements every month, but when I stopped taking them, I didn’t really notice any difference. That’s kind of frustrating, spending all that time and money taking stuff that wasn’t even really helping me.
We’re not saying that diet won’t do wonders for you and my stuff won’t do wonders. They will. Those are the first places that you will need to start. But you really need to look at how you’re supplementing and what you’re supplementing with and understand what is going on at your biochemistry level, so you don’t potentially make things worse for you.
Lydia: Right. You can definitely make things worse. You can definitely do that.
Yeah, I just don’t think people can get enough nutrition from food alone. I think you can go from a standard American processed diet to real food diet and radically change your health quickly and feel a lot of difference and feel like, “Oh, I healed myself” because so much changes and so much improves from just that shift alone for a lot of people.
But I hate to be the bearer of bad news, the absence of a health crisis doesn’t mean you’re healthy fully. You may be healthier than you were before. You may have decent energy to get through your day. You may have nothing that may be blazing neon lights that, “Oh, my gosh! Something is wrong.” But we can look. The cool thing is we can look at the biochemistry and see possible trends and patterns that are leading towards things. You can never correct those kinds of imbalances with food alone.
And it’s also nearly impossible to eat to be healthy. Do you know what I’m saying? Yeah, we can eat real food, but even our real food, it’s not always perfect. A lot of people have digestive issues that they don’t know they still have. Maybe they got better, maybe they went from having acid reflux to going off of gluten and getting rid of alcohol and now they don’t have acid reflux, but they still don’t have adequate stomach acid.
So, you can figure that out from seeing your biochemistry because the majority of people have about 5% – 20% of the intracellular sodium reserves they need for health. Well, if you don’t have enough sodium, you’re not going to be building good quality hydrochloric acid to begin with.
So, I’m kind of being the bearer of bad news. Maybe, I don’t know. I feel like it’s clarifying and helpful even though, at first, some people might be mad at me. I was just that person years ago, I was like, “Oh, I healed my adrenal exhaustion,” because I was really bad. I was bad. I was tanked and on the couch. I could barely function. And then I got to the point where I was functioning and I felt good compared to what I had felt before and then what I found out was I still have plenty of work to do.
Jessica: [inaudible: 00:31:46]
Lydia: In a way, it is sobering to know at first. But it’s like, “Okay! Well, now I have a goal, now I have an understanding. Now I can be purposeful on what I’m doing, and rather than just willy nilly supplementation and guessing.”
So even if you’re supplementing one time per day with the correct supplements that you’ve been recommend in, let’s say, your hair analysis, that’s a 33% improvement.
Lydia: So, some people get overwhelmed. They think perfectionism here and really, there is no such thing. I’m just going to shatter that theory there. We do have to do the best we can, but if we have more direction in our supplementation, it’s just so much more worth your while.
So, that’s just a little aside there. I’ve got to point that out because I think we’re not looking at this deeply enough.
Jessica: I agree.
Lydia: We’re scratching the surface and it is overwhelming for people, so we don’t take a deeper look at it. We can’t survive without certain minerals in right balance in our tissues. We’re eventually going to peter out in some way. So, I hope people will hear that in not a negative way.
Jessica: It’s another kind of mind shift that we have to have towards health and the way that we view things because none of us are coming from a culture of looking at minerals. Most of us probably know (at least most of us in the alternative world or the natural living kind of world) that minerals are important. We should be getting minerals from our food and all that, but we’ve never really been trained as to why they are important and then also understanding how they act in the body, that they are so critical for every cellular function and there are certain balances, there are rations between certain minerals that play a really distinct role in how your body functions as a whole.
So none of us are coming to this from that background and it’s a lot to absorb. A mind shift like this really takes time and you just have to be exposed to the information and just let it sink in and kind of shift out of that.
Our thinking that we currently have now in that we view supplements like, “I go take this to help heal this, to help cure this?” or, “If we take this one supplement because there was this one study on it, then it’s going to fix whatever the issue is.” We’re not looking at the body function as a whole and the role that each thing plays in the body and how the ratios play into one another too.
So, I think this is just another mind shift that our culture has to go through. For me, it’s exciting. I’m tired on working on it. I want to know what’s going to work for me and have a plan and be able to follow it. It really just takes so much of guesswork out of it. I’m tired of guessing. So for me, it’s exciting.
Lydia: The DIY supplementation thing does just not work. Just for example the human body is approximately 72% water and 20% minerals. So, if you weigh 150 lbs., that means you’re carrying around 42 lbs. of minerals in your body (or you should be if you’re completely healthy, which no one is. No offence guys, it’s just true. It really is).
And so, the majority of people are in what we call slow oxidation – a huge amount of people. The majority of people I’ve seen on the hair test are in slow oxidation. What does that mean? That means the way your body is metabolizing food is too slow for your body’s energy needs. And your two main energy glands, your adrenals and thyroid, are on the slower side.
These people have poor protein assimilation and hydrochloric acid production. Hydrochloric acid is what helps you pull your minerals from your food in the first place. So even if you’re eating this mineral rich amazing diet, but you have really poor HCl production, hello? You may not get enough minerals, right?
So that is one simple thing that I can say. Most people have poor digestion partly because we’re missing minerals to begin with to get the minerals that we need to begin with. It’s like this vicious cycle.
So when you’re purposely rebuilding your body through a correct game plan based on your unique biochemistry and you’re choosing the supplements specific to your current needs, you’re going to get so much further and you’re going to get more results that way. You’re going to have purpose and actually obtain some minerals.
There’s also the fact (I think Jessica just mentioned this) that if you take certain vitamins for years and years and years just because you think you’re supposed to, but you never know for sure.
For example, some people may take zinc. They’ll say, “Oh, I read I should take zinc.” I had a client once and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me sharing this because I know her, she’s cool. She’s did a really high dose zinc for a while.
And this is a common mistake. People do this with a lot of other things too. She took really high dose zinc for a while. Well, if you take zinc indefinitely in high amounts, you can get like 15 to 20 different diseases because zinc will lower your sodium, it will lower your cadmium, it will lower your copper, it will raise your potassium. Zinc antagonizes copper. So if you take too much zinc, and you’re antagonizing copper, you’re going to be in a deficiency of copper. And honestly we need copper, not a lot, but we need it for energy. I have so many people who have this issue with low copper.
Any mineral can be harmful or dangerous if it’s taken in excess. And in order to know what minerals and certain vitamins your body needs, you just have to know for sure. I mean, you can hear the recommended daily allowance from the little chart they have for vitamin, whatever is this, and usually, it’s kind of on the lower side. But what if that’s not the amount you need? What if you need less? What if you shouldn’t have it right now for some reason because you have an imbalance that would worsen? Or what if you need more?
So if you’re really truly seeking to improve your health and not just guess, you really need to know for sure. And sometimes, people think of supplements like money. They’re like, “Oh, some is good, but more is better.” And that is just not true. It’s not true. It’s really all about balance. You don’t want to go out there and take every single nutrient and one big kitchen sink multi either because you may not need a specific nutrient that is in it or could exacerbate a problem you currently have. So it’s really tough. It’s tough.
And then some people use supplements to deal with symptoms versus to rebuild their health. That’s a whole other can of worms too.
Jessica: Right, those are great points. So in light of all of these, are there any supplements that just the general population should be taking? Or does everybody need to do testing to understand what they need to take and they shouldn’t take anything unless they have the testing done.
Lydia: I’ll talk about a couple that I think are safe, but even within that there are going to be people who may have trouble for various reasons. So for one thing, magnesium, that’s a pretty safe mineral for most people to take because number one, we need it for pretty much every function in our body. It’s so important, right? It’s so difficult to get in the modern diet. We’re just not getting enough on our soil. And we have a busy lifestyle, so people are burning through it like crazy, right? Stress, you know all the stuff. So people are burning through their magnesium, they are not really storing it.
So most people don’t have adequate stores of magnesium to begin with, and they are not getting enough. So what happens? They’re really depleted. Magnesium’s important for your heart health. So with that in mind, it’s like “Okay, everyone can stand to take a little magnesium,” at least take a little as a small insurance policy.
The problem is, though you may need a different form than I need of magnesium. That’s what I work with my clients on, helping them find a form and the amount. And there are also other things like certain forms of magnesium will cause a bowel purging effect. There’s a lot to know.
So, if you don’t mind being a guinea pig on yourself and causing problems, by all means, go out there, guess, play around, take supplements and do what you want. But I’m just going to say, there are just so many things that can come up if you’re not educated on all this. And who has time to know everything about all the possible issues? It takes a lot of time to really find out all thia information and it can be really frustrating.
So magnesium is a good one. I would say, maybe a broad general recommendation for most people that could tolerate this, maybe something like Magnesium glycinate.
Again, I’m going to disclaim, if you take it and it makes you feel wonky, you might need a different form, so I can’t say it’s a perfect fit for everyone.
Jessica: I’m glad you brought that up because there are gazillion different forms of every mineral. I think that people – that’s something I didn’t even realize really until I started working with you. I never really paid any attention to the minerals that I was taking and what form they were in. I didn’t understand that different forms can react differently for different people.
So I’m glad you brought that up because I don’t think people realize that. Even I didn’t realize that there are so many different forms of certain minerals.
Lydia: So they’re just going to grab a bottle, “Oh, my God! I need to take magnesium. Here, let me grab the cheapest one.” Usually, the cheapest ones are pretty crappy, by the way.
And two, we have to know, “Okay, well, just taking magnesium, there are nutrients that are synergistic with magnesium.” So there’s that too. You can take all this magnesium and maybe you’re not getting the synergistic nutrients, so your body may not be assimilating it fully.
So, there’s a lot to know and there’s a lot to think about. You could be out there supplementing and not really getting anywhere with it because there’s a lot more that you’re not aware of.
So another one (and I think that were going to do a whole podcast on this) is whole food vitamin C. We all need it. Some people will get a fair amount in their diet if they’re eating some raw fruits and things like that. They’re purposefully trying to get whole food vitamin C in daily, every day, absolutely every single day. We can’t store this vitamin, so we can’t build it up. We have to eat it every single day and we can’t make it ourselves either.
So we want to get whole food vitamin C. We don’t want the fake stuff. We don’t want ascorbic acid, but that’s a whole other podcast.
So if you’re here listening and you know about vitamin C, you want to make sure that you’re getting a whole food vitamin C. Even within that, let’s say, you get a whole C supplement and you start taking it in addition to your diet, well, some people actually do react. There are people that do. So that’s when it’s like, “Now what? Why am I reacting?” That’s when you want to work with someone who understand that better because there could be something else at play.
And then you might say, “Oh, well, I can’t take vitamin C. It doesn’t work for me.” But then, you’re not getting good quality vitamin C in your diet, but you need it. So again, this is a whole other conundrum that comes along with this whole supplementation process.
Some people may think, “Oh, you’re just saying that because that’s what you do for a living.” Well, you know what? I’m still learning too as I go and I am so grateful that I have the time to study this and to learn this because I am trying to help my family get healthy. I am working on this with each individual in my family on their unique supplement protocol and it has been amazingly helpful.
And so yes, I do this for a living, but I also live what I do. So I hope that I don’t sound like I’m trying to sell you on something here. There are a lot of people out there who are now studying nutrition and minerals and vitamins and there are people who are making these correlations. You can find someone, you can work with them and get help because it is a lot to know – unless you quit your job and go learn it yourself.
Jessica: I know. I’m thankful. I always tell people that it is worth having a team to help you on your health journey because you will get overwhelmed, you will get frustrated. Having people who can do it for you, in a way – like you still have to put in effort, you have to be the one that eats well and manages your lifestyle and does your supplementation, but you have someone who does this for a living, they have the time to research and read the studies and understand everything that goes on in the body and you can rely on them to help you with this. You don’t have to do it. It takes a lot of that burden and that stress and that overwhelm off.
I just tell people find a practitioner. And sometimes you have to go through a few practitioners before you find somebody that you mesh with. It’s really important to find someone that you feel comfortable with, who you feel supports you and understands you. If you don’t have that good feeling in your gut about that practitioner, then they’re not a good fit for you and ultimately they may not be able to help you as much as someone you really resonate with.
So I say, interview practitioners, find someone that resonates with you. Don’t be afraid to have a whole team of people helping you along your health journey. It’s totally worth it.
Lydia: It is. And I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been doing this for years. And even when I first started out, I was still doing some guesswork. And now, I feel like I stay very focused. It’s great because I’m like, “Okay, here are the supplements I need for right now. I’m done. That’s it. That’s good. We’re just going to stay focused on this.”
I’m not like, “Oh, I heard this antioxidant product that so-and-so is taking is good. I should take that too” and you kind of get in this little rut of like, “Well, gee…” and you’re trying really hard to cover all the bases, but you’re still guessing. You’re a little bit anxious about what you’re doing because you just don’t know for sure.
And so what will happen is I will have clients that will show me, they tell me what they’re taking. A lot of people are taking a lot of stuff. I’ll look at their list. I’ll ask, “Okay, what’s this for? What’s that for?” and they’re like, “Well, I don’t really take it every day.” I’m like, “Oh, okay” and they’re like, “I just don’t even know if I’m supposed to be.” So they don’t feel confident to take it daily like they should because they’re just not sure. I see that all the time.
The other thing I see is someone says, “Well, I live in a northern state and I need to take a lot of vitamin D,” so they take 5000 IU of vitamin D every single day for like six months or longer. But yet, they’ve never tested, ever, not once to see if they really need it. And what they don’t know is that it’s a fat soluble vitamin. And so, what they’re not currently using is getting stored in the fat tissue and it’s going to have an effect.
So this is the kind of stuff that when you’re guessing, it really causes – number one, it can cause a detriment to your health in the stress and anxiety of it all because you’re just like, “I’m not really sure.” You’re spending money and you’re just like, “Argh!” Or you’re taking something because you just read something somewhere and you really don’t know what you’re doing. That’s called haphazard supplementation.
Jessica: And you could be exacerbating your health condition or possibly creating new health issues right?
Lydia: Right, but you don’t believe that you are because everyone says that, “This is what I have to have” and so, you’re in denial. I see this all the time. It’s like, “Dude, hold on. Let’s look at your hair test right now and let me explain to you why this is a problem because no one’s probably told you this before.”
Nutrients and minerals, they all work synergistically together and we have to understand how they work together. Rather than just pick one nutrient out of the multitudes of nutrients out there and say, “Oh, I need this one.”
Lydia: You know what I mean? It’s unfortunate that this is where we’re at. It really is. You can kind of grieve about this a little bit, everyone because it’s kind of a pain in the butt. But it is where we’re at. We are degenerating from generation to generation. Even though my kids have grown up mostly on real food in my home, they still have imbalances because I had imbalances and they are just not assimilating everything that they should, and that is really just how it is.
But once you notice and you understand this, you can move forward and you can work through this and you can really get somewhere and you can feel confident in that. So there’s bad news, but then there’s good news
Jessica: I agree, totally agree. Awesome! I think we can go ahead and wrap up. We can talk about supplements all day. Boy, this could be like a six hour long podcast, but we are trying to keep the podcast a little bit shorter since we know that people have a lot to do and they don’t necessarily have an hour, an hour and a half or two hours to sit down and listen to a podcast on one topic.
So, we want to really get into the nitty gritty of our topic and address each thing in a shorter amount. We can always come back at a later day and do follow ups on things.
So if you have questions about any of the podcasts up to this point, if you have questions about this podcast or about supplementation or anything that we’ve talked about, make sure you leave a comment down on our blog post or if you’re watching this on YouTube. You can even send us emails through our site and talk to us that way. We are always happy to discuss things and help point you in the right direction.
We know that a lot of times the information that we present in the podcast maybe a little bit overwhelming or confusing if you’re new to all of this. We’re definitely here to help. We want to help people live healthier, happier lives and do it a little bit easier than if they had to do it all on their own. So it’s kind of our goal for this.
So any final thoughts on willy nilly supplementation, Lydia?
Lydia: I will tell you two of my favorite books. So you guys out there who are the DIYers and the researchers can actually do a little reading. Now, this isn’t going to tell you exactly what you need to supplement with, but it will help you understand this relationship between the nutrients and a little bit more about what we talked about today.
One of them is called Trace Elements and Other Essential Nutrients. It’s by Dr. David Watts. He is actually the director for Trace Elements Lab. He works with hair tissue mineral analysis. So you don’t have to just hear it from me. It’s an excellent book if you want to learn more about the synergistic relationships between minerals.
So those are two really great books if you like to read and you want to learn more and understand more of why hair analysis in specific is really useful for purposeful supplementation. Those two books would be excellent reading material for you.
Thanks so much for listening. And I hope if you check those books out that you let me know what you think about it. We will be back soon with our next episode for you.
Jessica: Absolutely! Have a great day, guys. Make sure you check that out. We’ll have the links to anything that we discussed in here and we’ll have links to the book that Lydia recommended as well. So make sure you check that out in the video description below or in the blog post or wherever you’re listening to this.
We will be back next week. I think next week, we are actually talking about proper exercise for people who are in adrenal fatigue and adrenal stress. So make sure you come back and check that out. We will talk to you guys again this week. Have a great day everyone.
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