Articles, Medical medium

3 common mistakes people make when taking food supplements

Food supplements have been with us for a long time – you could say millennia. But 21. Technological advances in the 21st century have given us the opportunity to market more food supplements than ever before and to invent new forms and ways of administering them. The world of food supplements has grown huge and contains many conflicting opinions and habits. In order to successfully navigate the many possibilities and risks, it is good to be aware of how to recognise and avoid common mistakes related to food supplements.

food supplements with food

Common mistake No 1

Supplements taken at the same time as fatty foods

Fat prevents nutrients from moving freely around our bodies and being absorbed well. Many people don’t realise that this is something they should be paying attention to, which is why they don’t know how to time their supplementation properly – that is, not in close proximity to eating fatty or overly protein-rich foods.

Eating fatty foods prevents nutrients from circulating in the blood and entering cells. Again, glucose is crucial for the transport of nutrients. According to Anthony William (author of the ‘Medicine Media’ series of books), nothing can move in and out of a cell without glucose.

So it’s a good idea to take supplements with glucose, such as banana or honey (some products, such as Vimergy supplements, already have glycerol added for this reason). Even potatoes have enough suitable glucose. Fatty foods – including nuts, coconut, plant-based milks, etc. – should be consumed separately from supplements. Supplements are also absorbed with fat, but the process is disrupted and the benefit of the supplement is certainly not maximised.

Suggestion: take supplements in the morning before eating fatty foods. (If you drink cider juice, 30 minutes after drinking the cider juice). Another good option is to take supplements in the evening before going to bed, ideally 1-2 hours after the last fatty meal.

Some supplements, such as EPA/DHA (vegan omega-3) and vitamin D-3, also contain fat and are fat soluble. So these are exceptions. However, most supplements work best when there are no distractions in the form of fats, and when there is plenty of fructose in the blood.

the composition of food supplements

Common mistake no. 2

No tracking of the form of the micronutrients in the food supplement

There is also a lot of confusion about the form of nutrients. There is a lot of confusing and contradictory information out there, and if someone recommends that you start taking vitamin B-12, it’s very legitimate to ask: which one? Which brand? Which of the thousands of different options is the most effective, cleanest and of the highest quality?

Which vitamin B-12 should I take?

Measuring B-12 levels is a fairly common thing to do when getting a blood test. If it happens to be low, it is certainly recommended to start taking more. It is usually recommended that you simply pick a product from the pharmacy, without paying much attention to the form and quality – as long as it says B-12 on the package and contains the right amount of vitamin B-12.

But if you want to take a more informed approach, know that the best absorbed form of B-12 is a mixture of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.

So next time you buy a food supplement, read the packaging or leaflet to find out what form of the nutrient is used. Here are a few more examples of forms that are thriving and working:

  • for B-12 – a mixture of methyl and adenosylcobalamin
  • for zinc – liquid zinc sulphate
  • For magnesium – magnesium glycinate. Magnesium malate and some magnesium taurate are also suitable, but magnesium citrate is again not recommended.
  • Folic acid/folate/B9 – The best absorbed form is methyl folate or 5-MTHF. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate that is not usable by the body until it has been converted by the liver into methyl folate.

Tip: Next time you buy a food supplement, read the product information and make sure that the micronutrient it contains is in a form that is easily digestible. If you don’t know which form is best for you, we recommend you consult your doctor or look in the Medical Media books.

alcohol-containing food supplements

Common mistake No 3

Tinctures containing alcohol are consumed

Alcoholic tinctures have historically played an important role. A couple of hundred years ago, when modern technology was not available, this was one of the few ways to make good-quality tinctures.

With all due respect to folk medicine and the wisdom of their ancestors – they did and did according to their times. But the fact that it was done does not necessarily mean that it did us the maximum good. At the time, it seemed to be a step more for survival. Freeze-drying technology and other modern clean production methods had not yet been found.

Today, we already know the effects of alcohol on the body. The first reason we recommend avoiding it in tinctures and supplements is that alcohol – even in small amounts – is very damaging to our liver health. Alcohol makes our livers sluggish and damages liver cells, reducing the liver’s ability to synthesise vitamins and minerals. All of the more than 2,000 chemical functions that the liver carries out are impaired.

Another thing to know is that alcohol neutralises the effect of the food supplement. So, if you take an alcohol-based tincture, the food additive in it will have no effect on your body. Instead of nutrients, the liver simply gets mild alcohol poisoning.

And the last reason is that corn-based alcohol is commonly used in the food and pharmaceutical industry – this corn is very likely to be GMO or GMO contaminated corn(by the way – the same goes for citric acid, which is produced from GMO corn).

Recommendation: if you are looking for remedies, take a close look at the product label. Look for alcohol-free supplements. Make sure the product does not contain alcohol, often listed as ethanol.

Carelessly manufactured food supplements give the whole world of food supplements a bad name

Let’s say you buy a food supplement on a friend’s recommendation. For example, a friend has recommended that you take zinc, which is thought to be good for helping your body fight viruses. But you no longer have any additional information about which zinc to take – you stand in front of the supplement counter in a shop or pharmacy, wondering which one to choose. You can’t figure out what form of zinc you should choose, so you end up picking up some zinc capsules without paying attention to whether they contain alcohol, citric acid or other unnecessary chemical additives.

The worst case scenario is that you get a few setbacks – diarrhoea or feeling unwell – from taking the supplement. In the best case, you simply don’t feel any health effects, positive or negative.

Anyway, you have not found a solution to your problem and you conclude that supplements are pointless, don’t work and are just a waste of money.Unfortunately, situations like this happen all too often and make people constantly sceptical about supplements. It’s a shame, because a high quality, pure food supplement can have incredibly beneficial effects on your body!

Hopefully, the next time you’re looking for or taking a supplement, you’ll be a little more aware of the potential pitfalls that prevent you from getting the most out of it. It’s entirely possible that you already knew these bottlenecks – in which case repetition is the mother of wisdom.


Medical media Anthony William’s books and website

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only; it is not medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If health problems occur, a doctor or health professional should be consulted. If you would like to use alternative or new medicines to support your health, please discuss this information with your doctor. Bring her a book and discuss whether and how therapeutic foods and supplements could be used in her recovery.

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