Dietary supplements have become an integral part of our lives these days. Whether tablets, capsules, pills or dragees – externally they can hardly be distinguished from real medicines.
In terms of their ingredients, too, they can sometimes hardly be distinguished from real medicines. But what exactly is the difference between dietary supplements and medication?
From a purely legal point of view, food supplements are considered food. However, they do not look like food and come in the correct dose form.
Dietary supplements are not medicines. They serve to remedy deficits in the short term and to supplement the daily diet if this is necessary.
Are supplements even necessary?
It depends. In order to simply prevent, without having the corresponding blood values determined in advance, rather not. In this case, you can do more harm than good.
Because the human vitamin and mineral balance is a very complex and, above all, balanced system, which only works well if the relationship to each other is balanced.
If, for example, zinc is added as a dietary supplement, the copper level will drop over time. You think you are doing something good for yourself and in the end the opposite is the case, because a copper deficiency is to be taken seriously and causes very unpleasant symptoms.
For this reason, dietary supplements should not be underestimated and should really only be taken after an appropriate diagnosis.
Healthy people who eat a conscious and balanced diet do not normally need any dietary supplements. However, if there are specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies, then appropriate substitution is indicated.
A good example would be the disease HPU / KPU . In this disease, the body excretes large amounts of vitamin B6 , manganese and zinc. In such a case, the artificial supplement is not only useful but absolutely necessary.
But people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis often suffer from severe nutrient deficiencies without even knowing it, since a whole blood mineral analysis is not covered by statutory health insurance and is therefore not instructed by the treating doctor.
Hashimoto patients usually lack iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin D , vitamin B6 and B12.
These deficiencies are often responsible for a variety of symptoms, but are often wrongly attributed to inadequate thyroid control with thyroid hormones. For this reason, in my opinion, an analysis of the minerals, vitamins and trace elements is essential.
Dietary supplements can be a sensible solution, especially in the case of an unbalanced diet, which may also be very high in sugar, and in the case of intestinal absorption disorders (malabsorption). However, the causes of the deficiency should be found and treated as soon as possible.
Fruits and veggies aren’t what they used to be
However, one of the main causes of vitamin and nutrient deficiencies is the inferior quality of the food we eat today. Apart from the sugar, wheat and gluten battle of the food manufacturers, which will sooner or later make every intestine ill and thus inevitably lead to malabsorption, it is the meanwhile very low nutrient concentration in fruit and vegetables that leads to nutrient deficiency.
Current studies clearly show that our fruit and vegetables are no longer as rich in vitamins and nutrients as we are always told. The vital substance content has changed extremely downwards in the last 50 years. In comparison, the vitamin A content in apples is only 60% and the vitamin C content is 40%.
The vitamin C content in peppers is only 70%. The calcium content in potatoes is a staggering 30%. The sad leader of this list of horrors is the vitamin B6 content in bananas. This is now a ridiculous 5%.
Reasons for the low nutrient density
Nowadays, fruit and vegetables are usually harvested when they are unripe, so that they can at least optically ripen further on the long transport routes using UV radiation or other aids. As a result, the formation of nutrients is stopped at the time of harvest.
Due to the irradiation, long storage and transport times, the already low nutrient content continues to fall. Unfortunately, what is left doesn’t really have much to do with the fruit and vegetables that we know from “before”.
But pesticides and fertilizers also contribute to the fact that today’s fruit and vegetables are no longer as healthy as they should be. The soils can no longer recover adequately as farmers are under constant pressure to provide non-stop supplies.
The fields are now permanently planted and thus lose many nutrients, which can no longer arrive in the plant and result in low-quality food.
Why do I take dietary supplements?
Due to the already low nutrient density in our fruit and vegetables, this should actually be enough to answer this question. But due to my intestinal problems, I already absorb nutrients very poorly and therefore have some deficits.
Unfortunately, if vitamins and minerals are no longer properly absorbed through food, there is hardly any way other than through dietary supplements or infusions.
In addition, there is the HPU / KPU . Unfortunately, vitamin B6, zinc and manganese have been mandatory since the diagnosis. For example, I wasn’t aware for a long time that my white spots under my fingernails indicate a zinc deficiency and not a calcium deficiency, as is often wrongly conveyed.
I was only able to completely eliminate these spots after about 6 months of constant zinc intake.
Due to my leaky gut, it is also essential to take NEM’s. The L-glutamine and butyrates are particularly worth mentioning here.
Both play a very important role in building a healthy intestinal mucosa and would not be available to the extent required through nutrition, which is why I have to help with supplements.