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What to Expect from Supplements

07/03/2015

Do you know what it means to be truly healthy – mind, body and spirit? I meet hundreds of people all across the county every year and I would guess that only a small percentage of them could honestly say “yes” to this question. Most Americans have some chronic health concern or nutrient deficiency, but are so deep in their unhealthy lifestyle they have lost hope that things could be better.

There is no need to be tired all the time, or get every cold that passes through the office, or suffer from chronic indigestion, sinus problems, arthritic aches and pains, or any of the other problems most people experience. The right supplements can correct nutrients deficiencies as well as treat many common problems as effectively as drugs, resulting in true, vibrant, rewarding health. But what to expect from supplementation can still be a mystery to many people, so I’d like to explore it here.

 Why You Need to Supplement

Most of our foods are woefully short of nutrients. Even if you try to make healthy choices, you’re still not getting what you need, because depleted soils have lost much of their mineral content, and many of the fruits and vegetables that are commercially available at the grocery stores are developed and cultivated for eye-appeal , shelf-life, and shipping – not nutrient value.

Along with that, many supplements simply provide the recommended daily intake (RDI) of nutrients. But what most consumers do not realize is that the RDI is the minimum set to prevent actual deficiencies – not the optimal level to provide vibrant health.

Iodine is a case in point. Most people don’t get the iodine they really need for thyroid function and cancer prevention, only the base amount needed to prevent goiter. And even though there is iodine added to some table salt, the fact that many people have cut down on salt at home means or switched to healthier natural salts means that their iodine intake is even lower. Last but not least, there are many toxic compounds that compete with iodine—things like fluoride, chlorine and bromine.

Plus, we have to consider that many people aren’t getting even two servings of fruits and vegetables into their daily regimen, much less their “daily 5”. With our drive-thru food culture, it’s very unlikely that most people are even getting close to the required nutrients we need for good health.

So the idea that you’ll get the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes you need for a healthy heart, a sound mind, proper digestion, or pain relief from diet alone has become sadly outdated. That’s why – in addition to a healthy diet – you need to supplement.

What to Expect from Supplementation:

First, I’d like to point out something that will probably sound obvious, but needs to be stated anyway. Supplements are supplemental to your diet and exercise regimen. They are not replacements for them.

They won’t make up for a lifetime of bad habits, nor are they going to make you suddenly thin if you keep eating doughnuts for breakfast and avoiding exercise. You can’t undo the damage of decades in a week to 10 days. You won’t lose 30 lbs. in 30 days with no effort.

A mistake some folks make is adopting a “pharmaceutical mentality” about supplements. Unfortunately, when people take prescription drugs, they expect same-day results. Also, they often think that the new drug will be enough to cure or control their disease. So they continue to eat poorly and gain weight or have heartburn, or they keep eating refined sugar and flour and have problems with blood sugar, for example.

In contrast, most supplements take time to work. I would say the average, in most studies, is about 8 weeks, but it can be more or less depending on the health problem, the study design, and the potency of the extract or ingredient. Also, the longer you use it, often the better the results. Natural interventions work with your body, so that means you need to reduce some of your bad habits and turn your course in the direction of health, not further disease.

There are some supplements – concentrated, bio-typed oils for sinus congestion and pain-relieving ingredients like high-absorption curcumin and boswellia that can provide immediately noticeable effects, but these are in the minority. Many health concerns will simply take a little longer to heal. Some examples include hair and skin problems, mood, anxiety, depression, ligament and tendon damage, bone density improvements, and yeast or other chronic infections.

I have to point out, though, that some people notice a lift in their mood almost immediately after using a high-quality multivitamin. That’s because they have been so deficient in their nutrient intake that their body and mind are practically leaping for joy at receiving the very ingredients they have been waiting for.

But again, in many cases, the results from herbal extracts and other nutrients weren’t noted by researchers until at least a month into a given study. It takes time for natural ingredients to turn around some of the damage that has occurred over a lifetime.

So expect results from quality supplements – but not always immediately. One of the biggest mistakes I see with people trying natural medicines is stopping too soon!

Things to Look For:

Many times, “you get what you pay for” is very true when it comes to purchasing supplements. There are plenty of cheaply produced formulas out there, and many of them simply don’t work because the quality of their material is either not very high, or it simply isn’t provided in the therapeutic and clinically-studied amounts that can do any real good. Or, sometimes it’s a combination of both.

But it’s also important not be taken in by faddish statements about supplements, either.

Some companies market their products to be superior because they do not contain "fillers and binders." These substances are more correctly called "excipients." Excipients are those ingredients in a product that do not play a therapeutic role. Excipients are used to either protect the key ingredients, or help them work better. Some protect key nutrients from light exposure and degradation, or antioxidants that help to resist oxidative reactions. Others help the product resist moisture, or other stressors that might reduce the product's efficacy. Some are included to make the products easier to swallow, so they do not stick in the throat. Still others assure that the tablet or capsule disintegrates after ingestion in an optimal time span. Therefore, excipients are tools to be used judiciously to create effective products.

 

That said, there are problematic excipients. There are excipients that are synthetic chemicals, derived from petrochemicals, etc. that responsible companies do not include in any of their products because they have concerns regarding these materials’ impact on health. The best products are created not only to contain a specific amount of nutrients, but to ensure that these nutrients are delivered in full potency to the person ingesting them.

 

So you’ll need to educate yourself, and ask questions at your health food store. It’s a much better source for supplements than generic “big box” stores, because health food stores have a mission in mind: to help people live better naturally. Many of the products you’re likely to find at discount stores were created with the idea of making money – not providing the real ingredients you need at levels that matter.

 

Take a look at St. John’s wort, for example. Although the herb had been studied for quite some time, it exploded in popularity in the 1990s, so much so, that it looked like the marketplace might actually run out of it.

 

Bear in mind that only extracts from the aerial parts of the plant are effective. However, this didn’t stop some manufacturers from making powder from the roots or stems, filling capsules, and selling it as “St. John’s wort.”

Factually, they were being honest. It was St. John’s wort.  That is legal. It just wasn’t the part of the plant that had compounds to relieve depression!

Now imagine being the person who starts using such a supplement that doesn’t really work. You’re probably not likely to give supplements another chance, which could mean missing out on something truly life-saving.  In that case, the most expensive supplement is the one that doesn’t work.

Don’t be afraid to contact the companies that make these supplements. Talk to someone there who can answer your questions about their ingredients, interactions, and clinical research. The best supplement companies will be happy to form a relationship with their customers. In my own experience – both working behind the counter at a health food store and formulating products – I can tell you that these conversations mean a lot. It’s great to talk with people whose lives have truly been changed for the better by following a path to vibrant, natural health.

Make Wise Choices and You’ll Feel Great!

I firmly believe that supplementing with the right ingredients can make a huge difference in your life. I also know that supplementation needs to be a part of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes a diet rich in proteins, fruits, and vegetables, and regular, effective, and enjoyable exercise. With just a little research on your own, and building a relationship with your favorite health food store or a natural health practitioner, you’ll find the best nutrient formulations that will help you live the way you’ve always wanted.

We have a limited range of Terry's EuroPharma products available on suppersupps.com.

 

About Terry Lemerond
Terry Lemerond is a natural health pioneer with over 40 years of experience. He has owned health food stores, founded dietary supplement companies, formulated over 400 products, and was the first to introduce glucosamine sulfate, IP-6, standardized Ginkgo biloba, and other award-winning products to the U.S. natural products market. Terry is a published author and appears on radio, television, and is a frequent guest speaker nationwide. This energy and zeal are simply part of Terry’s mission — as it has been since the beginning of his career—to improve the health of America.



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Terry Lemerond is a natural health pioneer with over 40 years of experience. He has owned health food stores, founded dietary supplement companies, formulated over 400 products, and was the first to introduce glucosamine sulfate, IP-6, standardized Ginkgo biloba, and other award-winning products to the U.S. natural products market. Terry is a published author and appears on radio, television, and is a frequent guest speaker nationwide. This energy and zeal are simply part of Terry’s mission — as it has been since the beginning of his career—to improve the health of America.



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