On April 6th a group of women gathered at Loft Cycle Club, Toronto’s newest spin + sculpt studio on the Danforth, for a spin class followed by an informational session on supplements with Dr. Hilary Chambers, ND. I don’t know about you but understanding the ins and outs of supplements can be overwhelming. You can watch TV shows, listen to your circle of friends, or follow influencers on social media and get confused about what information is correct. Without having a trusted AND educated source to seek advice from, you are left trying to figure it out for yourself. Although I don’t have all of the information myself, I have done my best to summarize some of the key points I learned from Dr. Hilary.
Everyone is a unique individual. No two people are alike and they shouldn’t be treated as such. Relying on lab testing can help you determine the actual levels of nutrients and minerals existing within your body and help guide you in choosing the right supplements for your needs and deficiencies.
Be aware of all-in-one and gummy like products. These products can contain such low doses of nutrients and sugars and fillers (for the gummies) that you aren’t being as effective as you might think.
Read the labels! This can go for things like protein powders and other products. As mentioned above, there can be fillers, sugars, and additives that can be doing more harm than good. Get products with correct doses to get the benefits from them.
What are your protein and iron levels like? Hair, skin, and nail supplements promote the increase of biotin when in reality that is less important. We should be identifying if we have low levels of iron and protein and work on that instead. Iron and protein levels play an important factor in the growth of our hair, skin, and nails, and should not be overlooked because of the advertising and marketing of products containing biotin.
Kombucha isn’t as exciting as it seems. The research shows that there is no actual benefit to consuming it. If you enjoy it, drink it. However, if you have digestion/gut issues it could be doing more harm than good by adding more yeast into your body.
What else are you taking? Supplements can interact with one another as well as medication you are taking. Always consult a doctor before taking anything as you do not want the benefits of your other medications to be interfered with. For example, sleeping supplements can interact with the birth control pill. The best thing is to be upfront about everything you are taking with your health care practitioner so you can make the most informed choices regarding your supplement usage.
I hope that at the very least my findings can help you navigate the world of supplements with a more open mind and awareness to make informed decisions. These are just a few of the main points I felt were important to share. I am definitely no expert and I strongly advise you to seek out professional advice from Dr. Hilary herself, or your own naturopathic or family doctor.
Yours in self-discovery,