3 TIERS FOR THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENT PLAN
The world of nutritional supplements is sheer chaos, and at times even bordering on irresponsible given the volume of poor quality products on the market. But you don’t have to be confused, lost or even duped by not having the right plan in place. Someexperienced advice from LifeWorks Integrative Health and a little strategy can give you the direction you need.
Our supplement tiers will guide you through three crucial stages to developing a supplement plan that works. Our three tiers lay the foundation, personalize to prevent disease and the optimize to get the very best from your body.
The first tier is the Foundation which are nutrients essential for everyone. Because of the stress levels, inadequate nutrition, depleted soil quality, and environmental toxins, just eating your vegetables just isn’t enough anymore. The middle tier is the Personalized level. This is specific to your medical history and personal needs. The final tier is the Optimization level. This is where you “level up” to really take your health to an optimal level.
The Foundation Tier:
As with anything that lasts, your supplement plan needs a sturdy foundation. These supplements support the everyday life processes such as cellular energy, growth, repair and regeneration. This is a supplement regimen that anyone can take and only in situation of acute illness or acute flare up of chronic illness is this regimen not appropriate for any adult as a starting point. Slightly modified versions of this Foundation Level are also very beneficial for the rapid, stressful development of teenage and young adult years. Most people are familiar with the components of this level, but not everyone is using effective quality and dosing of these types of products. And for an added bonus, we’re giving you the In2Great “top picks” for what specific products we would generally use for a Foundation level. These are all available at the LifeWorks online store.
- 1. Ideally dosed multivitamin/mineral – Top Pick: ActivNutrients by Xymogen or Physician’s Daily by Researched Nutritionals
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Top pick: Omega Pure 900 EC by Xymogen
- Probiotics – Top pick: ProbioMax Daily DF by Xymogen or Prescript Assist Pro by Researched Nutritionals
- Vitamin D with K2 – Top pick: K2-D3 5000 by Xymogen
- Antioxidant/inflammation support – Top pick: Oraxinol by Xymogen
The Personalized Tier:
The middle tier is about you. Whether it is your family history of chronic disease, cancer, preventing aging, or training for endurance sports, this level address who you are and what you do in life. This level is designed to prevent disease. This level cannot be reached by grabbing every catchy label or luring marketing off the shelf (or online) at the health food store. This is where the relationship with an experienced functional medicine practitioner is essential. At In2Great, this personalized level is determined by three main data sets:
- Personal and family history medical intake questions
In-depth discussion regarding your past health (from birth) to your current status as well as health goals
- Laboratory testing
- Personal and family history
Each person has experienced different health challenges in their life. Even prior to being born, the health challenges of your relatives have affected your health. You may have a history of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimers disease or diabetes in your family and although they may have not touched you yet, it is important to take a proactive approach to turning the tide of health challenges in your history to set you (and your children) on a different course. Sometimes even family medical histories need a “course correction” and being proactive in disease prevention can change the types of health challenges that continue to be based from generation to generation. Even if you already have children, the lifestyle and examples you set for them can in large part determine if they will fall into the same familial patterns or develop new patterns for a better future.
The intake information used to address this section of your personalized plan includes questions pertaining to major organ systems such as:
– Cardiovascular system: heart and blood vessels
– Nervous system: brain and nerves
– Muscular system
– Digestive system: stomach, liver and intestines
– Endocrine system: pancreas, glands, and hormones
– Immune system: thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes
– Skeletal system: bones and joints
– Respiratory system: lungs, sinuses, and bronchial passages
– Urinary system: kidneys and bladder
Overviewing these system includes questions related to how you are doing with metabolism, ears/nose/throat, and mental health/mood. When past problems, current issues, and potential problems are identified, a clear path to protecting yourself can be developed.
Simply filling out forms about your history does not give the whole picture of who you are and what support you need. Two people may have almost the same medical issues, but that does not at all give a clear picture of that person. Through discussion related to your personal and family history, the full picture of you develops. This is a unique and a deficiency in modern medicine in some ways created by the typical payment structures for medical care. It takes time and energy for both the practitioner and the patient, but it is at the crux of why a functional medicine approach can bring breakthrough and results in your health that other medical models have not been able to accomplish. This discussion can last up to two hours because we truly want the full picture.
The final part of developing your personalized supplement level is what we call “looking under the hood.” It is not responsible to develop a supplement plan only based on symptoms since one symptom can actually have multiple root causes. Laboratory data helps to focus in on underlying imbalances.
Recommended tests can help identify imbalances in areas like:
– nutrient deficiencies
– omega 3-fatty acid deficiency
– levels of toxicity in your body
– level of oxidative stress (cell breakdown) your body is under
– food allergies making you sick and/or causing inflammation
– hormone imbalances (including thyroid)
– gut flora imbalances
The combination of medical/history, in-depth discussion and laboratory data is how medicine “gets personal” and you get the vitality and future you want. Anyone can recommend a huge quantity of supplements to address every possible deficit, but not everyone can streamline an efficient, effective, targeted regimen that is specifically for what only you need.
The final stage is optimization. These are not supplements to prevent or treat chronic disease. These are the “above and beyond” options most commonly related to anti-aging. These are nutrients shown to support good gene expression to keep your cells doing exactly what they were designed to do for many many more years. This plan is structured intentionally so your foundational/survival needs will always be met, your disease prevention needs next, and your anti-aging goals last.
Choosing Quality Supplements:
The sheer quantity of nutritional supplement products and companies on the market suggests there is money to be made in the industry by producing cheap products. There are countless reports each year of supplements not containing the amount of an ingredient that is listed, the product being falsely labeled or even re-labeled with a similar, but more cheaply produced product. Because of issues like this, In2Great is relentless and passionate about the integrity of the supplements we carry in our office and online store. Nutrition supplements are incredibly effective when used correctly.
Companies producing quality products utilize these elements of quality control:
cGMP stands for currently good manufacturing practices and it is a status a company can obtain voluntarily to assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities. These are the types of organizations that will are trusted to provide high standards of cGMP certification including ongoing testing and oversight: Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International).
Bioavailable Raw Ingredients
The raw ingredients used to develop a supplement is the cornerstone of developing a high quality product. Building a house out of balsa wood vs plywood will result in two very different end products. One example of raw ingredient sourcing is in B12 supplements. Many people need supplemental levels of B12 for energy metabolism, mood, detoxification, and many other reasons. Poor quality supplements will use the cyanocobalamin form. Since B12 needs a “carrier” to get it where it needs to go, a cyanide molecule is an inexpensive way to do this. However, once the cobalamin is cleaved off the cyanide by the body in digestion/absorption process, the body then has to discard of a cyanide molecule which adds a toxin to the body and unnecessarily burdens the detoxification pathways which are often already deficient in someone who is needing B12 supplementation. A more appropriate way to deliver the cobalamin molecule is with a methyl group instead of the cyano group. When the methyl group is cleaved off by the body making the cobalamin available for use, the methyl group is recycled by the body which actually supports stronger detoxification by the body. Win/Win!
Always look for an expiration date. Some nutrients such as calcium maintain their potency for several years, but B vitamins and vitamin C have a shorter shelf life. Although FDA does not require expiration dates, quality companies don’t want people using their products if they will not be effective and care about the safety and efficacy of the industry, so they will have expiration dates on their products.
Label Red Flags
Look for sugar, artificial coloring and flavorings, preservatives, and additives on the label. Good manufacturing doesn’t need a lot of extra filler to get the product produced. Some examples are hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, carrageenan, and titanium dioxide.
Whether you utilized the experience of our team, use our online store for quality supplement choices, or do it all on your own, keep know your health will make great strides by keeping supplement pyramid principles in focus.