As a Chiropractor in Tampa, a lot of people come to me with basic health questions. Especially in today's society when everyone is trying to be healthier. Especially in the neighborhood around my office in Seminole Heights. Because we are so centrally located in Tampa many of my patients, friends, and neighbors often ride their bikes to downtown, Ybor City, and down along Bayshore Drive as well as the local fresh markets. More people are concerned about what they eat, where it came from, and what is in it. More people are just trying to live a naturally healthier lifestyle. So of course supplements are always a topic of discussion when patients come into my office or with friends seeking advice. I have noticed that most people have very strong and opposite opinions of supplements. Some love it and some say they do nothing. Often I find the ones claiming no effect from supplementation weren't always taking them as directed. Now it's not just the taking of the supplement or not taking the supplement; it's that some supplements are higher in quality than others too. Not only is should you be taking the supplement, but make sure you get the supplement from a quality manufacturer. Like with anything you pay for what you get...
There are some things to remember when taking supplements.
Are you micro-overdosing? Micro-overdosing is not taking supplementation following the correct dosing regiment. Instead of taking the supplement 2 or 3 times a day as recommended the patient usually takes 2 or 3 pills at a single time. Some supplements can be taken this way, but some can't. By taking your daily requirement all at once you may exceed the body's ability to absorb the supplement.
Are you accidentally underdosing? Some people are told to they need to increase or get a stronger supplement. So they go get a stronger supplement which has instructions to be taken at least four times daily. What happens is the patient only takes it once a day and is therefore only getting one-quarter the recommended daily dose they were looking for.
Does your supplement require you to take it with food? Some supplements require that they are taken with food so that they can be absorbed by the body. While other supplements do not have this same requirement. It is always best to make sure you know whether or not your supplement should be taken with food or without food. The digestive system is so specific on where and what elements the body will absorb. Remember if the supplement says that it should be taken with food, then take it with food or don't bother taking it because your body won't be able to effectively absorb it. Then I always get the statement, "Well is something better than nothing?" But if that something is doing very little and you're getting nothing out of it then you end up saying that supplements didn't work. It doesn't work if it is not taken properly.
Another reason for supplementation to not be working correctly is inconsistent use. Not taking the supplements in the desired time frame. If you purchase a one month supply of supplements to be taken daily and yet that package lasts you around two months. You weren't consistent. Or you were good about taking that one month supply, but once you ran you waited three weeks before replacing them and starting to take them again.
I have found a majority of the people who claim supplements didn't work are the ones who took supplements that weren't needed. A friend, family member, gym buddy, or just somebody told them this is what I take and it works. And often, when I ask the person why was the person who recommended you take these supplements taking them; they usually don't know. What part of their diet is deficient that they are taking these supplements? That is the question that is never asked or answered in these general recommendations. Dietary supplements are just that to help your body get the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly that you do not get through your personal diet.
In short, always take supplements as directed and always speak to health care provider about your dietary requirements and where you may be having deficiencies. And always ask questions! Ask your doctor why these recommendations.
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