RECOMMENDED DAILY SUPPLEMENTS TO CREATE SUFFICIENCY FOR HEALTH
There are several key supplements which we are advisable for everyone to take. Here they are, and the reasons for this are mentioned below (note that there are higher dosages for your first month to help correct deficiencies and the maintenance dose after that to maintain sufficiency of these essential nutrients)
Why are supplements necessary?
I will start by saying that 10,000 years ago we clearly didn’t require any supplements and our ancestors obviously never took any. We would have received all of the nutrients that we required in sufficient amounts from our hunting and gathering efforts as well as our natural exposure to the sun. These days, however, our environment and daily routines have changed significantly and to the point that dietary supplements are very useful and necessary intervention in wellness.
There are some things that we just cannot get from our diet anymore, even if we are following the Wake-Up Wellness primal nutrition plan to perfection. In other words, there are supplements that are required to give our cells all of the essential nutrients that they require to survive and thrive.
What follows is not an exhaustive list of supplements that you could take, but this is an excellent conservative start that will help to correct the primary imbalances that are seen in modern man.
Before we get into the detail, the first thing to know about this topic is that not all supplements are created equal. You need to know what you are doing before heading out and spending your hard earned cash. There is a potential minefield to navigate your way through and not only is it possible to waste your money but also there is the potential to cause yourself harm from consuming the wrong products. That is why I believe that the fewer supplements you take, the better and that it is wise only to take the ones that are necessary to correct deficiencies and help your cells to function optimally. You should also only buy supplements from respected suppliers and not simply the cheapest supplier on the high street or internet.
The rest of the nutrients that you need will be found in abundance in the best form possible; whole foods from nature. The richer and varied your diet, the closer you stick to the Innate Diet plan the closer you will get to supercharging your nutrient intake.
Omega 3 Fish Oils
There are now over 2000 quality research studies demonstrating the importance of fish oil in the human diet. Omega 3 is essential for every
aspect of health is the vital nutrient for your brain and nervous system and makes up the cell walls of every cell in your body. So it’s important stuff.
The best evidence out there says that we need around 1000mg of EPA/DHA per day. Eating fish and meat these days alone will not give you enough of these essential oils, so the fact is that we need to supplement our diets – every day. Remember that to be healthy our cells constantly need a pure and sufficient supply of nutrients. There is never a time when it is OK to go without omega 3 in your diet, just like there is never a time when it is ok to leave out water. Every nutrient has a vital and on-going role to play, from birth to death.
Fish oil is probably the best available source of omega 3 (EPA/DHA) occurring in nature. Clearly, it would be best to get that from eating fish, but by now we all know the problems with eating too much fish. Our oceans have become polluted to the extent that the large predatory fish (that are the most popular eating fish) bioaccumulate heavy metal toxins leaving many species a dangerous to eat. The smaller whitebait fish like mackerel, herring, sild, sardines and anchovies are all loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, and these are safe o eat. However, most people cannot eat enough of these to achieve a sufficient level of omega 3 fats in their diet. It is worth noting that farmed fish (most salmon is farmed) are fed an unnatural diet consisting of grains, and as such, they don’t naturally produce omega 3 fats and rather become riddled with unhealthy omega 6. fatty acids instead. The same problem happens with intensively farmed animals like chicken, pork, and beef. These animals are fed on grains and as such do not have any naturally occurring omega 3 fats and instead become a potent source of the unhealthy omega 6 fats. Armed with this knowledge, it is highly advisable to avoid eating farmed fish or intensively farmed supermarket meats. Wild game meats and grass fed beef and lamb do have some omega 3 content, and it is advisable to eat these.
Given the problems with our food chain and the chronic deficiencies that most people have to get enough omega 3 in our diets, it is a good idea to take a supplement (even if you are eating lots of small bait fish and wild grass fed meats).
However not all fish oils are created equal. The process of manufacturing the oil is difficult as omega 3 is unstable and easily oxidised and made hazardous to consume and useless in function. There is also the important issue of finding a brand that uses healthy organic fish fed on a natural diet and then filtering out the inevitable toxins from the oil to ensure that it is completely safe for human consumption. The way the oil it is packaged and stored is also critical to ensure that it remains fresh and stable. As you can see from the short list above that, there are probably many avenues for cost cutting, and so I would urge you to avoid buying the cheapest product you can find.
The brand that I recommend is Nordic Oil. It comes from Norway and is one of the cleanest, purest and most cost effective brands that you can purchase in Europe. It has also been studied in university trials for its purity and effectiveness and assessed for purity by independent third parties, so in short, I trust this one.
There are two options with Nordic Oil:
You can either take the liquid form – 2 teaspoons twice per day with food for the first month and then 1 tsp per day ongoing after that as a maintenance dose. This product must be stored in the fridge once opened and thrown away after three months, even if there is some left. This oil is flavoured with natural lemon and does not leave you with any fishy after taste.
Or the capsule form – 4 capsules per day for the first month and then two capsules after that. Do NOT store the capsules in the fridge.
Fish oil is best taken midway through your evening meal.
The oil is the same with both options, the only difference being that the capsules are slightly more expensive.
Another option is Krill Oil, which is a potent form of EPA/DHA made from Krill. The benefits here are that the capsules are smaller and you don’t need to take as much because they are more potent. They also contain astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant (this is what gives it the red colour). Krill oil is often more expensive than fish oil.
Omega 3 and Vegetarians
Unfortunately, it is not possible to get all of the right forms of EPA and DHA from nuts and seeds. Our bodies will produce a small quantity of it from flax seeds but not enough to meet our needs. So this raises an important question…if we cannot get the right fats from a vegetarian diet can vegetarians be healthy?
Well, this is always a sensitive topic, but I will start by saying that from an ethical point of view I commend vegetarians for standing up for their beliefs and for protecting animal welfare across the planet. I was a vegetarian for almost one year after being appalled by the way our food chain is managed. However from a health perspective and understanding of the physiology and science of health then it is indefensible. There is ample evidence that humans began to evolve into a higher order species the moment that they began consuming meat and putting omega 3 fats into the human ecosystem. We need ample amounts of animal protein and fat sources to be truly healthy. Over the years there have been studies that have shown consumption of animal meats to be deleterious to good health. However, these studies were flawed because they studied people who ate supermarket meat, unhealthy grain fed, omega 6 laden meat. So I believe it is common sense no matter which angle you approach it from that humans are omnivores, we are designed to eat the full spectrum, and meat/fish/fats are critical components of our makeup.
If you are vegetarian, I don’t wish to convert you overnight with one paragraph of writing, but I do urge to think about your personal health goals. The science is clear now if you don’t get the essential fatty acid balance right there is a good chance that you will develop inflammation and stressed adapted physiology. Over time, this may lead to more chronic and severe health problems.
It is worth knowing that there are ethically farmed meat products that are widely available these days and humans just would not have evolved without hunting and killing animals. It is in your genes. Perhaps our energies would be better placed promoting ethical farming and animal welfare practices?
In the meantime a couple of options you may want to consider so that you can begin to put the balance of fats in your body right.
Udo’s Choice Oil – Is a blend of various vegetable oils that does provide a source of omega 3 and omega 6. This is not perfect but its a start and at least you will ensure a consistent supply of some omega 3. This is also a fantastic oil to use as a base for salad dressings.
Krill oil is another potential option for vegetarians. It is a more useful and potent form for your cells to make use of, than the vegetable based oils. If you are serious about restoring health and recognise the importance of omega 3 fatty acids in achieving this, then Krill oil is a great option. The capsules are small. They don’t taste of fish. They are the largest biomass on earth. There is more krill in the oceans than anything else, so they are in no danger of being overfished or exposed to cruel intensive farming methods. And remember – if your ancestors hadn’t eaten animal products, you wouldn’t be here now!
Vitamin D is a hormone. It is manufactured in your skin under the influence of UV radiation from the sun. Vitamin D3 is essential for the normal functioning of the human ecosystem, and deficiency in it has now been linked to a multitude of chronic illnesses. Deficiency in D3 is now commonplace because we spend so much of our time indoors, and if we do go into the sun, we cover up and use suncream. Even if you do get regular sun exposure, the strength of the sun in the UK is not sufficient enough for your skin to manufacture all the vitamin D that you require.
We do also get vitamin D3 from some food sources like eggs, liver, cheese and cod liver oil. However, the levels consumed fall short of our requirements.
The net result of these factors is that there is a pandemic of Vitamin D3 deficiency and it this represents a major environmental stressor. To correct this, we have two options:
1) Get more sun exposure – 90% skin exposure for 10-20 minutes daily is recommended. If you cannot do this (likely to be you if you live in the UK) then option 2 is necessary:
2) Take a good quality supplement.
Since Vitamin D3 plays such an important role in overall health, it is wise to have your levels measured on a blood test. It is possible to overdose on Vitamin D (as it is with any supplement) so it is a good idea to monitor the effects of your supplementation and guide the dose based upon your known current levels.
The dosage advice given above represents the currently best known general quantities for people with minimal sun exposure.
It is interesting to note that you are more bacteria than you are human! You have roughly ten times more bacteria in you and on you than you have cells. That equates to around 1.5 – 2kg in weight of bacteria. Quite amazing.
These bacteria form an important symbiotic relationship with us. They support your health in many ways, including helping with detoxification, manufacturing vitamins and short chain fatty acids, maintaining the health of the gut lining, keeping the bad bacteria away, and forming around 70% of your immune system. They are critical to health.
A lesser known benefit of gut bacteria is that they support a healthy gut-brain hormonal axis. Your enteric nervous system (the nerves that supply your digestive tract) are like your second brain, a lot of hormones are manufactured in the gut, and these are critical to balancing moods and behaviour. For a more in-depth discussion on the importance of gut health see the brilliant book: Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride).
There are many ways in which our natural flora get harmed these days, but perhaps the biggest problem is the way that we produce our food. Mass produced foods are often grown in nutrient deficient food and sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, it is then often picked early and irradiated to ‘kill’ bad bacteria. We also consume foods laced with preservatives, alcohol, antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen) all of which are harmful to your natural gut flora. The net effect of all of this is that we now consume less than one millionth of the amount of probiotic bacteria than our ancestors would have consumed and there is no doubt that our health suffers negatively because of this.
Probiotics are an essential nutrient because we cannot manufacture them in our bodies, we have to get them from our environment. Since our food chain and immediate surroundings, these days is so sterile compared to innate genetic needs we have no choice but to supplement, every day, with a high-quality probiotic supplement.
How to choose a good quality probiotic supplement
There are a lot of poor versions of probiotics supplements available these days. Firstly the yoghurt type probiotic drinks are probably the worst form of probiotic to consume. These contain a lot of sugar and preservatives and likely do more harm than good (products like Yakult or Actimal for example).
When we consider what type of probiotic to take we need to think about where we would have got our good bacteria from 10 to 12,000 years ago when our genes were being formed. Our innate genetic intelligence is expecting a probiotic flora that we had around that time. This is why many of the products available today are poor sources because they are often grown in dairy, wheat or soy environments. These type of bacteria were not available to us during the time that our genes formed and as such are not suitable for providing our innate genetic blueprint with what it requires to create health.
This means that we need to find dairy free, soy free and wheat free suppliers of probiotics.
Another important consideration is that probiotics should be broad spectrum – meaning that they contain multiple different strains of bacteria that are suitable for…you guessed it, the human ecosystem, not a bovine ecosystem.
The final consideration is that a probiotic supplement should be high potency, meaning that each capsule should contain bacteria numbered in the billions. This ensures that you will get a sufficient amount of them to adequately colonise your gut.
So here it is in summary:
Probiotic supplements should be chosen because they meet the following criteria:
- Dairy, grain and soy free
- Contain multiple strains of bacteria (usually 8-12 different species)
- High potency (bacteria numbered in the billions per capsule)
The best time of day to take probiotic supplements is first thing in the morning upon rising with a glass of water.
Finally, because our bacteria are in a constant state of turnover, we need to constantly replenish the stock. That means that probiotic supplements are best taken by everybody, every day, for life.
Ask your chiropractor for instructions and recipes on how you can make natural home-made fermented products (like Kombucha, Coconut Kefir and Sour Kraut) to help get even more healthy bacteria back into your system.
Or upgrade to our Wake Up Wellness Home Study program for the complete understanding of the mindsets, skillsets and systems of living the ultimate wellness lifestyle.