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The Low Down on Dietary Supplements_Final

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>> Welcome back. In this lecture, we're going to explore the role of dietary supplements as part of a healthy lifestyle and how to approach this topic in your health coaching practice. Have you ever taken a supplement? Considering that supplements are $132.8 billion industry worldwide, chances are you or someone you know takes a supplement or two. Even though it's outside your scope of practice as a Health Coach to prescribe or recommend dosages of supplements to your clients, it's helpful to have a general working knowledge of supplements so that you can educate and support your clients. Let's explore why this is. More often than not, your clients will either be on a supplement have taken one or will be interested in taking one, they're bound to come up in conversation. Your role as a Health Coach is to support optimal health through diet and lifestyle. While supplements are not a substitute for healthy eating, they're valuable for supporting clients with limited diets or nutrient deficiencies. They can also be helpful for detoxification and repair of the body. As a Health Coach, you're an advocate for your client's wellness. At times, this can involve educating your clients about certain supplements. The line in the sand when it comes to scope of practice is that you should be providing general information about supplements for your clients to bring to their doctors, not telling them what to take or how much. Now this may seem over the top when it comes to some supplements. Your clients may be thinking "Why do I need my doctor's approval to take a vitamin? I can go to any grocery store and buy it myself." But here is the thing, many supplements, even some as seemingly as harmless as vitamins or probiotics, can have negative effects on some people. If they have certain medical conditions or are on any medications that can produce an adverse interaction, dosages can also vary based on individual characteristics and needs. So for example, probiotics are often not advised to be taken by people with compromised immune systems such as people with cancer. And vitamin D can be toxic if regularly taken in excessive dosages. You're not a doctor unless you also went to medical school. So you're not expected to know about dosages and interactions. It's always advised to play it safe and leave this stuff to the medical professionals. So for example, instead of telling your client you should take magnesium twice a day, you can say something like "I've seen many clients like yourself benefit from taking magnesium, but whether it's safe to take and how much is an individual thing. Can you call your doctor to enquire about this before we meet again next week?" The bottom line is that it's helpful to know what different supplements do and how to distinguish between high and low quality supplements. You can share this type of information with your clients just to get it clear of personal recommendations and dosages, and make it clear that they need to check with their doctors before taking anything. Keeping all that in mind, let's take a look at what supplements are and the various ways that they can support a healthy lifestyle, generally speaking. The FDA defines dietary supplements as products that add nutritional value. Supplements are used to support health and vitality by helping the body receive adequate nutrient levels. They can also be used for short-term support of specific bodily functions. For example, magnesium can support a healthy bowel movements and zinc can support a healthy immune system. Supplements contain one or any combination of the following substances, vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, supplemental protein or carbohydrates, fiber, and concentrates, metabolites, constituents, or extracts. FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering conventional foods and drug products. As defined by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act or DSHEA for short, supplements may contain vitamins, minerals, herbs or botanicals, amino acids, and any extracts from metabolites of these dietary ingredients. So dietary supplements come in many forms including tablets, capsules, powders, and even gummies, but what we see is the end product of a complex production process. There are a variety of ways that supplements can be produced. The three main types we'll highlight in this lecture are synthetics, whole food supplements, and fermentations. Let's take a look at how each of these are made. So one, a supplement can be produced synthetically. Synthetic supplements are made in a lab, many of these mimic the compounds found in nature. These are known as synthetic isolates. Isolates are nutrients that have been separated from whole foods through processing. Synthetic isolates are created in a lab to mirror these compounds. And synthetics are the most common type of supplement on the market but the most debated. There are divided expert opinions on whether an isolate can be used by the body in the same exact way that a whole food can. And synthetic vitamins tend to be less bioavailable than whole foods and shouldn't serve as a replacement for the real thing. However, a synthetic vitamin can provide larger quantities of an isolated vitamin or mineral that a person may be lacking as only small amounts are found naturally in whole foods. So for people with the vitamin deficiencies, it's an effective way to get their levels into an adequate range. Vitamin C is a great example. Acerbic acid, often sold vitamin C can be synthetically created, yet, it's chemically identical to the vitamin C found in an orange. If an individual is deficient in vitamin C, they can take a vitamin to get a high dosage without having to eat an entire bowl of oranges or drink a gallon of juice. So two, whole food supplements contain vitamins that occur naturally in food botanicals and minerals from the earth. Unlike isolates, supplements that contain whole foods are just like they're found in nature. So think of powdered greens, these are whole foods that are just dehydrated and ground to a fine powder. These supplements are great for maintaining health, especially when it's difficult to get enough servings of whole foods in the diet. And three, another way supplements can be produced is by fermentation. Fermentation can make ingredients in certain foods bioavailable or active. And the fermentation process also creates metabolites. Metabolites are the byproducts of fermentation by bacteria and these metabolites are often vitamins, amino acids, and other nutrients found in supplements. Just like in our bodies, the bacteria can break down food and create nutrients. Again, this mirrors the process that occurs in your body when bacteria extract nutrients from the food in your digestive tract and create all types of byproducts. This same process can be implemented in a lab to create vitamins for us to consume and supplement for them. Pretty cool, huh? However, we're starting to discover that it matters what we feed those bacteria, just like it matters what we feed the animals we eat. This leaves a lot of room for poor quality products. Another potential problem with this process is that some companies are genetically engineering the bacteria to ferment vitamins at higher levels and at a cheaper cost. In general, be cautious of any vitamins that come in a bargain price. Cutting costs might windup costing you in other ways. Now let's discuss some reasons why clients may seek out supplements and when they might be useful. To exemplify, let me introduce you to my friend Sharon. Sharon has been a vegan for 25 years. She visits a naturopath doctor regularly and gets her blood tested. For years, she has been taking many supplements and for years, her blood work always came back perfect. Sharon is also in her 60s. One day, Sharon got tired of taking all these supplements. She had started questioning if they were really doing anything. She didn't necessarily feel them. So she decided to do an experiment. She made the decision to go off all the supplements for a year. At her next blood test, her naturopath looked at her and said, "Sharon, what happened? You were my model patient. Now all your vitamin and mineral levels are tanking." Sharon explained her experiment and the naturopath said, "I see. Well, here is why you need supplements. Our soil is depleted of nutrients, pesticides have been shown to leach minerals from our food, and generally speaking our microbiomes are in poor shape. Plus, you're a vegan, so it's harder for you to get all your nutrients as it is. That's why you need supplements." Now this is only one doctor's opinion. But Sharon's naturopath raised some important things to consider. Let's explore the points she made. So one, our soil is depleted. It's true that the vitamin content in food isn't as high as it once was. According to a study at The University of Texas, our modern farming practices have depleted our produce of 6 of the 13 nutrients that were tested. This points the idea that the way we're growing our crops today, modifying them for more beneficial traits may not be so beneficial. The way to reverse this process seems to be through taking better care of our soil and paying attention to how our food is grown. We can improve the nutrients in the soil by returning to previous farming practices of rotating crops. Pesticides leach minerals from our food. The thought here is that pesticides like glyphosate prevent plants from taking up nutrients from the soil by blocking certain metabolic pathways. These pesticides are also chelators, meaning they leach minerals out of the soil limiting the amount available to plants. This is another potential hazard of our modern farming practices as we don't know how pesticides affect the nutritional value of the food we eat. Additional research still needs to be conducted to understand whether pesticides have a significant impact on our food's nutritional content. Number three, the third point Sharon's naturopath made is that the average microbiome is compromised. This is a two-fold problem. First, this hampers our ability to extract extra nutrients from our food, and two, this can limit the number of vitamin producing bacteria in our internal pharmacy, the gut, another byproduct of our modern lifestyle. Number four, here is another point worth discussing. As a vegan, Sharon is on a limited diet. People who are on any type of limited diet for whatever the reason may need to supplement in order to get the full spectrum of nutrients in proper amounts. Now this isn't up to you as a Health Coach to determine, but it's something that you can certainly help enforce. You can help your clients eat the most nourishing foods possible in ways that make sense for them. If their doctor prescribes any supplements, you can help them stay accountable to the directions. Here is another thing to consider. It's not just our food that's lacking. These days we often drink water that's either stripped of nutrients or has nutrients added back in. Our water isn't up to par to say the least. It also has been shown that non-organic foods have less antioxidants than organic food. For people who eat conventional foods, this means they aren't eating the most nutrient dense foods possible. However, this doesn't necessarily mean you should go out and invest in a bunch of supplements. If given the choice between buying organic food or an expensive supplement, choose the food. This is especially true for animal products. The quality of meat, for example, reflects the quality of what the animals are being fed. Supplements can also do more than provide nutrients. Botanical supplements can help our bodies detox and they can support optimal functioning. Milk thistle is an herbal supplement targeted to support liver detoxification. In times of stress or high toxin exposure, supplements can be another option to help balance out our system. For example, adaptogen herbs can help modulate stress. Any supplement that delivers nutrients supports the absorption of nutrients, modulates stress, and promotes optimal functioning, supports gut health. But what about supplements that directly support gut health? This is something clients often want to know about. So let's take a quick look at the top supplements that promote a healthy gut. One, when digestion is poor, practitioners often recommend digestive supplements, including digestive enzymes and digestive bitters. Bitters are the herbal alternative to digestive enzymes. So two, when stomach acid is low, practitioners may recommend HCL. Supplemental HCL should be taken with pepsin and should be avoided by individuals who have ulcers. Three, probiotics and prebiotics are commonly taken to support a healthy microbiome and rebuild or diversify bacteria. L-glutamine is commonly recommended by doctors to support and repair the gut lining. And magnesium and mucilaginous, herbs, like slippery elm and marshmallow root are often used to support healthy bowel movements. That was a lot of great information, so let's do a recap. In this lecture, we went over the three basic ways that supplements are made. There are synthetic supplements or isolates, natural supplements, and byproducts of fermentation. Synthetic vitamins makeup the majority of the market but also receive the most criticism. There are numerous reasons to consider taking supplements. Reasons include the depletion of minerals in our soil due to modern farming practices and pesticide use. The average microbiome is compromised. Limited diets can make it difficult to take in the full range of nutrients. Much of our water supply is mineral deficient. Conventional foods tend to have less antioxidants than their organic counterparts. And supplements can help with detoxification, stress, and optimal functioning. Clients should always consult with a medical professional to verify for supplement is safe for them and what their recommended dosage is. Everyone is unique and we all react to supplements differently. Supplements can have reactions with certain medications or medical conditions, so make sure your clients inform their doctors of any supplements they may be taking and play it safe by staying with in your scope of practice. This means it's okay to provide general education about lements but avoid recommending that a client take a supplement or discussing dosages. The most common supplements for gut health include digestive enzymes and bitters, HCL, prebiotics, probiotics, L-glutamine, and magnesium. Have you ever taken any herbs to support the health of your gut? Did you notice a difference? Let us know in the Facebook group and keep the conversation going, until next time.

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 51 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Mar 29, 2018

The Low Down on Dietary Supplements_Final

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