Supplementation – good or bad?

I have always been an advocate of supplements. Click on this link My Recipe for coping with ME to see the list of supplements that I use to help my ME/CFS symptoms.

But what isn’t considered is that supplements should be viewed in the same way as medicines.

Omega 3 – fish oils can thin the blood
Garlic – can thin the blood
Asprin a painkiller – can thin the blood
So one should be cautious when taking these. This means that if you find yourself bleeding easily, (nose bleeds, mouth etc) consider the supplements you are taking and ask yourself if you are taking too many bloodthinning ones. Reduce the dose or take only the omega oils or garlic and don’t take or reduce the dose when taking asprin.

This is just two supplements.

Then there is the herb St John’s Wort which should never be taking in conjunction with other medication as one counteracts the other or can even enhance the other.

Chamomile – gentle sweet chamomile – relaxing. A muscle relaxant so be careful the following day when operating machinery. A friend of mine who has arthritis and is on strong medication reacts very badly to chamomile when taken as a tea-bag in hot water.

The essential oil of Rosemary is another pet worry of mine. The oil of rosemary is stimulating and inparticular can stimulate blood flow. So in someone who has a propensity to bleed heavily during their periods should avoid the oil of rosemary for two weeks of the month. And yet the oil of rosemary is found in hair products and toiletries. It is astounding! There is no doubt that the stimulating properties of the oil of rosemary will condition the hair but should the hair products carry a healthy warning? Or is there not enough to do any harm and if that is so, then there is not enough to condition the hair.

We seem to have a culture that if it is natural it must be good for you. Not so. Be warned natural supplements may be gentler in the body than medication but they are still potent. They still have an effect and they can still do harm as well as good.

However as far as statistics go, supplementation has never been blamed for ill-health or death, the same cannot be said for medication. So does that make supplementation safer? I can’t answer that one.

Our bodies need the substances of plants to maintain and nourish us. We either get these substances from the plants or from the animals that eat the plants. But it is not as simple as that, if we ate just animals we would be missing out on vital elements. And if we ate only plants we would be missing out on the vital substances that animals give us. We are omnivores which means our body’s design is to eat both plants and animals. In this way the food we eat feeds are bodies and keeps us healthy.
So what has gone wrong with this system when we get ill? Science tells us that certain illnesses are missing certain nutrients. For example: Scurvy – Vitamin C, Rickets – Vitamin D, BeriBeri – Vitamin B1. And so on. So it is thought that if you replace the missing nutrient you will be well.

I think, and this is just a layperson’s thoughts, that the body will not recognise just one element for instance Vitamin C. It will only recognise that element in the form it is grown in for example, a lemon, kiwi or orange. Or it may work in the body if that person is consuming elements in another form that the isolated Vitamin C can recognise and work with. It has now been shown that vitamin C works better in the body with rutin and other bioflavanoids which I think proves my argument. Scurvy was cured by eating lemons, not isolated Vitamin C. BeriBeri was cured by eating the whole grain of rice, not isolated Vitamin B1.

So back to the question: What has gone wrong with the body system when we get ill?

I think that most ills and diseases are to do with the way food is cultivated, grown, cut, picked, stored, processed and manufactured. Other diseases are to do with the stress involved in our lives where we do not rest and take enough good food in to compensate or recuperate. And then others are congenital and to do with the genes we have inherited.

What is the answer? Seek professional advice when needing medicine or supplements. I notice now that some GPs are presribing certain herbal supplements. St John’s Wort, Evening Primrose, Aloe Vera, Gingko Biloba and Milk thistle to name one or two. I am not aware that the GPs I am thinking of who have prescribed these items are qualified herbalists, nutritionists or aromatherapists. So I would be wary of such advice and seek the advice of a professional qualified in their field.

Supplements and medicine play their part and we are a much better world with both. Medicines are for the short sharp help in an emergency situation. Supplements can take over when the body is getting better with a total lifestyle change to fresh air, fresh water, good food and a little exercise and a total avoidance of the naughty foods like white bread, white rice and white sugar!

I often wonder why I have ME/CFS a disease that no-one understands. I used to take a high potency Vitamin B complex supplement which did help despite the controversy around at the time about too high doses of Vitamin B6. Years ago the government wanted to ban high doses of Vitamin B6. Now I have a disease that appears to affect the nerves. Did the Vitamin B complex cause this? How could it?

I think it is because my body got used to the high easily available dose of Vitamin B6, then when that availability stopped it didn’t know where to look for it. It had ‘forgotten’ its normal route because it had been made so available in the supplement form. Is this why I am ill? If so, why not supplement B6? I would but my body is so ill it cannot tolerate certain foods and one is the substances that Vitamin B6 is generally made from.

This is just a little theory of mine and hopefully I am quite wrong. But I just wonder.

I am not suggesting that we should stop taking supplements I am suggesting that the food we eat needs improving going for wholegrains, fresh veg and fruit, fresh meat and fish and then look at supplements that may be needed.

It is interesting that scurvy did not exist before sailors were denied a healthy diet. BeriBeri was the rich man’s disease because they took the kernal off the rice and rice was a staple part of their diet in India.
Arthritis and diabetes are a more modern set of diseases, so what is lacking that could be causing that? Fish oils and seed oils? Did these diseases become fashionable with the introduction of margarine?

Fish oils and seed oils help balance hormones in the body. Margarine is a totally unnatural fat and actually unbalances hormones in the body.

What I am saying in my clumsy way is that when something is wrong in our bodies we do not always need to put things in to cure the disease but take things out and restructure our life styles to a more healthy form starting with good food.

One thought on “Supplementation – good or bad?

  1. I guess that Supplements are a good thing as specially in this time, people don’t eat balanced diet, but our body requires so many vitamins and other stuff. So to fulfill that needs, supplements are good.

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