Biohacking wellness with supplements is a smart strategy, but the bulk of your micro and macronutrients should still come from a healthy diet.
If you feel confused about what supplements to take, you are not alone. I know I was unsure about what supplements I should be taking or whether it was worth taking supplements at all. I chose to find clarity by taking a nutrition course and came to the conclusion that supplements will never replace eating a varied balanced diet but as we age or if someone’s diet is really bad, then supplements are a must.
If you want to start biohacking wellness then you need to start looking at your diet and evaluating your lifestyle. I can’t stress how ditching processed food, fast food, sugar ladened food, cutting back on wheat and dairy, and maybe taking that leap to move away from meat and alcohol will massively improve the way you feel. As you progress on your wellness journey you will be amazed at how you can transform the way you feel and the way you look to LOVE the healthier, slimmer, more vibrant, energised, gorgeous YOU!
So look at supplements as a support to your health, but in conjunction with diet and lifestyle as opposed to thinking supplements will protect you so you can just carry on eating and drinking rubbish and loading your body up with toxins. This approach will eventually catch up with you and that’s when your problems will really kick off.
When you start looking for supplements look for ‘bioavailable’ vitamins, minerals and natural supplements so your body can actually absorb them and not just pee them away. Some cheap vitamins are just a waste of money, so invest wisely in YOU and treat it like ‘wellness insurance’ ensuring your body is getting the recommended daily intake of those critical vitamins and minerals you need to support your health and wellness.
There is no doubt that micronutrient deficiencies can damage your health, so the right supplements could help to avoid or improve these deficiencies. You will find that as we get older Vitamin B12 becomes more difficult to absorb and is a common deficiency in the over 60’s, so taking a B12 supplement is likely to be beneficial and may even help to protect against things like Alzheimer’s.
What if you are vegetarian or vegan
If you enjoy a plant-based diet, then animal protein will be absent or very low, so taking a multivitamin and additional supplements like B12 and Omega 3 will certainly be beneficial. You also need to factor in individual diversity, with some people needing more of certain nutrients than others, so if you are worried I absolutely recommend you find a nutritionist to help you balance your nutritional needs.
Don’t gamble with your health, it’s all you’ve got, so if you are feeling ‘under par’ do something about it. Remember, eating a health diet and increasing your anitoxidants is your best defence against chronic disease.
A balanced, natural plant-based diet provides you with thousands of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, but there could be some nutrients that are lacking and these deficiencies are likely to undermine your health, so don’t be complacent. It’s impossible to know if you are getting the optimal amount of vitamins and minerals every day from your diet since absorption efficiency and utilisation of nutrients varies from person to person. But a good-quality multivitamin that is bioavailable is a good insurance as it could bridge the gap to ensure you get adequate amounts of essential micronutrients every day. In reality, the lack of certain vitamins could well increase your risk of minor or major chronic disease and also an increase in antioxidants will help reduce Oxidative Stress, so think about your investment in good supplements as an investment in YOU and the best personal health insurance you can buy.
I will also add that low levels of minerals in our soil and modern commercial farming is depleting the already starved soil (and food) of nutrients. If you can, choose organic produce to ensure you are getting the best opportunity of vitamins and minerals from your food. It has been shown that organic produce contains much higher levels of vitamins and minerals, and for me, it’s part of my ‘health insurance’ strategy so paying a little extra is worth it.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common vitamin deficiencies
I would suggest you look at the list below as a ‘top-up’ to whatever MULTI-VITAMIN you take. Always check the dosage as you might find your multi-vitamin is giving you enough on a daily basis, but, if you are vegetarian/vegan or over 50 then consider adding these supplements to your daily regime.
I have already covered this, but please be wary of the cheap, ‘A-Z’ vitamin and mineral supplements as they will not be bio-available, and cheap multivitamins include inferior forms of minerals that your body just can’t absorb, so in the end, they are just a waste of money.
If you are suffering from health issues please remember most mainstream training for doctors does not include much training on nutrition, so do your own research or chat to a natural health practitioner, who is professionally trained in nutrition (vitamin and mineral therapy), and I’ll say it again, most cheap products on the supermarket shelves really are not worth your time and money.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which means your body doesn’t store it, and you don’t have the ability to make it, so you need to get your vitamin C from your diet. It is not difficult to get enough Vitamin C from your diet but you need to be eating plenty of fruit and vegetables every single day. Why I’ve added Vitamin C to my list is because I was interested in some new research that is suggesting you could consume much higher doses of Vitamin C that are currently recommended. If you are interested in watching more information on this concept The Vitamin Movie is an interesting place to start.
We know that Vitamin C can help to support common colds and reduce the severity of the symptoms for the duration of a cold, but…
Vitamin C has lots of benefits and could lower your risk of heart disease and strokes.
- Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and hence helps in controlling allergies by helping to reduce levels of histamine.
- Vitamin C is a natural cure for common skin problems which is why vitamin C is used in a lot of skin care products as it can help reduce wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. It also helps to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.
- It helps to heal wounds and is essential for the production of collagen, a protein present in connective tissues of the body. Vitamin C speeds up the healing process of minor cuts to deep wounds, broken bones and burns, helping you to recover faster.
- Vitamin C also plays a role in protecting you from stress and protecting the brain and nervous system. You need sufficient levels of vitamin C for the synthesis of stress hormones like adrenaline and nor-adrenaline that give you the fight-or-flight mechanism to combat stress.
- Vitamin C also helps your cholesterol as it plays a crucial role in reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood, boosts the conversion of cholesterol to bile salts, and that makes it easier to eliminate from the body.
- Studies on Vitamin C has shown, that even small doses can help improve dilation of blood vessels for anyone suffering from angina pectoris, congestive heart failure because it improves blood flow.
- Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant, as it scavenges free radicals that can cause damage to the wall of arteries and so increase the risk of heart disease and strokes. It also lowers cholesterol and improves blood flow, which is believed to help in preventing heart diseases.
- Finally, Vitamin C can help regulate sugar levels in diabetics! With lots of food restrictions as a diabetic, they can totally benefit from foods containing vitamin C and supplementation as it helps regulate blood sugar levels and also protects against the complications of diabetes.
3. Vitamin B12
- B12 provides important biological functions such as red blood cell production, nervous system function, and DNA synthesis and it is unique in that it is made only by microorganisms.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a variety of health issues such as anaemia, depression, confusion, fatigue, digestive issues, nerve damage and insufficient B12 levels are now being associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
Who is at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vegans, vegetarians and the elderly who don’t take a B12 supplement are at risk of being deficient as, the ability to absorb B12 decreases with age and much produce is washed and transported long before we eat it, and as our soil contains B12-producing microorganisms most of us are unable to get sufficient B12 from plant foods alone.
It’s reported that about 20 percent of adults over the age of 60 are either low or deficient in B12, so supplementation of vitamin B12 is important for most people and absolutely required for most vegans to achieve the right levels.
4. Vitamin D3
- Vitamin D is important for every cell in the human body, not just for bone health, so it’s an important nutrient to help fight many other diseases, including cancer.
- Vitamin D deficiency is now associated with several cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and autoimmune diseases.
The main source of vitamin D is produced by the skin in response to sunlight, as most foods don’t naturally contain vitamin D. Sun exposure is vital, but if you live in the northern hemisphere, and during the winter months this can be limited. Of course, for many in the southern hemisphere with light skin, the worry of skin damage, ageing, and cancer push everyone to cover up with sunblock reducing levels of Vitamin D again.
There has been groundbreaking nutritional science highlighting how vitamin D regulates several genes and cellular processes relating to cancer progression. In recent years there is growing evidence of the powerful protection provided by vitamin D against common cancers such as breast cancer and in the USA it was found that about 75% of women who were diagnosed were vitamin D deficient. It is suggested that to supplement your diet with vitamin D3 could present a 12 percent lower risk of death from cancer, so making sure your supplement contains Vitamin D is a good choice to achieve adequate vitamin D levels and for extra assurance take Vitamin D3 because of its high biological value, as the most effective form.
5. Omega 3 Fatty Acid
- Omega-3 has many benefits but the main one is HEART health and in an Italian study of 11,324 heart attack survivors, patients who went on to supplement with fish oil resulted in a reduced risk of having another heart attack, stroke, or death.
- Omega-3 regulates and normalises cholesterol triglyceride levels, and compared to a statin, both fish oil, and krill oil are more efficient in doing this.
- There is also evidence that a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) could decrease blood pressure and heart rate in kidney disease patients.
- CoQ10 should also be added to your list of supplements.
There are studies in the USA that have determined that their diet today is low in DHA mainly due to the high consumption of vegetable oils, and trans fats. This limits the benefit from plant foods and displaces omega-3 fats from cell membranes.
You’ve heard this so many times, but processed factory-farmed meats, oils, and trans fats do not supply good fatty fuel to support your general health and more importantly your brain, and crucially for developing children.
Just avoiding these oils and consuming a lot of hemp, chia, flax, walnuts, and leafy greens is probably not going to be enough so if you are eating a plant-based diet you won’t be eating fish, so it’s just impossible to have adequate DHA stores. This is also problematical for pregnant and nursing mothers.
To further complicate things, the fish we eat today is ‘a heavily polluted food’, so should not be eaten too much anyway? The DHA in fish may benefit the brain, but the fatty tissues of fish are proved to be highly contaminated with mercury and other pollutants, which could be toxic to the brain and might well contribute to cardiovascular disease. So the potential effects of mercury on human health and huge declines in wild fish populations since the 1950’s, leaves fish low as a source of DHA.
If you are following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet I would urge you to accept that you are probably not consuming high enough amounts of plant-based omega-3 and in reality, most of the health benefits you get from omega-3 fats are linked to animal-based EPA and DHA fats, not plant-based ALA. These are NOT interchangeable and after ingesting good amounts of EPA and DHA from salmon or krill oil, the fatty acid level in your plasma (blood) stay elevated for three days or so, while the ALA omega-3’s in plant-based foods are rapidly absorbed, peaking a couple of hours after ingestion, and then disappearing within 10 hours. This means that your body uses ALA very differently from EPA and DHA.
Just err on the side of caution, eat a diet that contains ALA from flax, chia, walnuts and leafy greens, but supplement your diet with a good quality Omega-3supplement to top up your EPA and DHA.
Probiotics occur naturally in your gut and play an important role in your overall wellness. Today the importance of your gut is positioned as your second brain so getting your gut sorted will help to keep your body and brain healthy too.
Probiotics not only improve your digestion but they also boost your immune system by keeping bad bacteria in check. The trillions of good bacteria in your gut are essential for good health but can be easily destroyed or overrun by bad bacteria, so our digestive system functions best when aided with a good quality probiotic.
As we age good bacteria decreases and poor diet, pollution and drugs like antibiotics all help to destroy and kill them off too. When numbers decline your system goes right out of balance and you can suffer many symptoms, so to supplement your diet with a probiotic is simple to do and a no-brainer.
Probiotics come from two sources:
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha tea and yoghurt
- Probiotic supplement
If you don’t eat fermented foods every day taking a good quality, broad-spectrum probiotic daily will repopulate your gut with good bacteria to fortify your health and return your digestion to normal. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are the two most common and effective forms of probiotics, and you need between 10 and 30 billion ‘live units’ each day.
7. Nrf2 and Nrf1 Activation to help reduce Oxidative Stress
Oxidative Stress is inevitable as we age and it is also affected by a poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. The whole topic of cellular health is a HOT topic right now so there is lots of research within the field of science and nutrition (nutrigenomics) that is pointing towards Oxidative Stress being a key contributor to many degenerative diseases (see below)
You can help to reduce Oxidative Stress through diet to a certain degree, but as we age our survival genes slow down the production of antioxidants leaving free radicals to damage our cells.
When I came across Protandim Nrf2 Synergizer I got very excited because as far as I can see, this is the only natural supplement that is clinically proven to reduce oxidative stress by an average of 40% in 30 days.
Comprised of natural plant ingredients, Protandim is a patented, science-based formula that has been researched, tested, validated and published by renowned universities and institutes. As a daily food supplement, it activates the Nrf2 pathway to increase your antioxidant production in a totally natural way. This patented antioxidant therapy is way more powerful than any antioxidant-rich food or basic antioxidant supplements. It works by increasing the body’s natural antioxidant protection at that cellular level by inducing a protein called Nrf2 to trigger cells to produce naturally occurring protective antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and the enzymes involved in glutathione synthesis and metabolism. The science and the published peer reviews prove that Protandim will:
- Lower oxidative stress by an average of 40% in 30 days.
- Significantly reduce cellular stress through NRF2 activation.
- Produce enzymes capable of neutralizing more than 1,000,000 free radicals.
- Help regulate survival genes.
- Help the body repair and rejuvenates its own cells.
- The only natural supplement, proven to extend life!
As Protandim is not available at your local health store I thought it might be helpful to provide you with a link to an online shop just in case you see the potential is using Protandim as a daily supplement. Read my post about Oxidative Stress and Protandim and feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions or need help with an order.
To your health and wellness