A dietary supplement is any product that is intended to supplement the diet and that contains at least one of these ingredients: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, metabolites, or a combination of these ingredients. If you choose to take a dietary supplement, read the supplement label carefully. The label will show how much of a specific vitamin, mineral, botanical, or other is in each dietary supplement. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition developed regulations for manufacturers in order to help consumers make informed choices when choosing dietary supplements. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their supplements’ facts label and ingredient list are accurate, that the dietary ingredients are safe, and that the content matches the amount declared on the label.

Members regularly ask about supplementation to optimise their health and fitness, and why it is we don’t get these nutrients from our food, particularly if we are eating whole fresh foods based on Paleo prescription. Julianne Taylor suggested this article from The Healthy Skeptic blog. In this article they talk about when to supplement and how to do it wisely.

Supplementation is a huge scientific area and this article points out the intricate interrelatedness between constituents. The combination of these factors and our unique personal variables makes supplementation and nutrition extremely individual. For members convenience we do stock a selection of essentials from the Go Healthy Vitamin & Mineral range and MusclePharm – FDA approved supplements.

We personally take a high quality comprehensive dietary supplement (which covers those mentioned in above article) as well as a high quality Omega 3 concentrate, Vitamin D and  a Probiotic.  I also take glucosamine and chondroitin to aid my knee health and mild arthritis in my hips.  The probiotic is recommended to supplement beneficial gut bacteria – this is a whole other scientific conversation in itself.  If you are interested to know more about the importance of gut flora in the digestion of food and development of our immune system – knock yourself out and visit Mark’s Daily Apple, although I seriously recommend you prepare yourself for a lengthy session if you do!  We also take magnesium and zinc to aid muscle and nervous system recovery and restful sleep. Zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 when combined before bed will encourage anabolism – positive growth and repair by increasing natural testosterone levels in men and women.

Enjoy the read, and as always – please share to blog comments if you have any great recipes you’ve tried this week, or shopping venues to suggest to other members for high quality foods.


[box]Here’s some additional information about what must be on a dietary supplement label:

A descriptive name of the product stating that it is a supplement. The name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor. A list of each ingredient contained in the product, listed in the order of predominance by common name or proprietary blend. Ingredients not listed on the facts panel must appear in the other ingredient statement beneath the panel. The net contents of the product. The manufacturer’s suggested serving size. There are no rules that limit a serving size or the amount of a nutrient in any form of dietary supplements. Information on nutrients when they are present in significant levels, such as vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and sodium, and the percentage Daily Value (% DV) where a reference has been established–this is similar to the nutrients listed in the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels. The Daily Value is essentially the same as the DRI (RDA or AI). All other dietary ingredients present in the product, including botanicals and amino acids–those for which no Daily Value has been established. [/box]

Botanicals Common in High-Potency Supplements:

Common herbal supplements are sometimes found in the formulation of high-potency or a health-benefit specific multivitamin and mineral supplement. Some herbs are used as specifics and are taken for brief periods or only when symptoms are present. Some herbs are used as tonics and are taken long term, sometimes with short breaks in between. For more information on using herbs and their health benefits, read about them from a reliable source and then discuss them with your health practitioner.

Become informed!