Let me start by being very clear. Health does NOT come from a bottle.
No matter how compelling the advertising or convincing the stories, there are no magic pills or super potions that can make you healthy. In fact, there are not even super foods…just super YOU!
The only purpose of food is to fulfill the nutrients needs of your body resulting in optimal function and performance, just as it was designed to do.
The best source for all your nutritional requirements comes from real food. Whether it is macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) or micronutrients (vitamins & minerals), you are always better off fulfilling those needs through real food.
What happens when our availability of certain nutrients is limited to disruption in our supply?
When is it appropriate to supplement?
How do you know which supplements you need and which ones are a waste of your money?
We will get to those questions in a moment but let’s first address the root question:
What dictates our body’s requirements for certain nutrients over others?
The short answer is: TIME.
Well, time + evolutionary pressures. To keep it simple, what we consider nutrient requirements today have been determined by the foods we have become very well adapted to over a long period of time.
Since those nutrients have been part of our diet for so long, our bodies have come to expect them. Some have become so important to the body that it literally cannot function properly without those nutrients. Hence, these are termed ‘essential’. There are essential amino acids (proteins), essential fatty acids (fats), and essential minerals.
The purpose of eating is simply to fulfill all of the body’s nutrient requirements in the most efficient way possible with the least amount of toxicity. This principle is at the foundation of all recommendations when it comes to Eating By Design™.
Starting with the Agriculture Revolution about 10 thousand years ago, followed by the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago and now the Technological Revolution of the past 50 years, there have been some key disruptions in our food supply affecting our ability to easily meet our requirements with real food.
- An increased reliance on grains and grain products.
- A decrease in the diversity of plant species consumed.
- A decline in soil diversity and quality (and consequent decline in the nutrient density of food).
- An increase in exposure to food and environmental toxins.
- A dramatic reduction of animal fat consumption
- The overuse of antibiotics, birth control and other medications (damaging the gut and liver).
Not to mention an increase in chronic stress which has a dramatic effect on all aspects of function.
All have contributed to a significant disruption in both our food supply and its nutrient profile. For this reason we recommend ‘3 Essentials’ to make sure your body is getting everything it needs.
The 3 ESSENTIAL Supplements You Almost Certainly Need To Be Healthy
We call these ‘essential’ because based on the best available science, pretty much every North American is deficient in these 3 things.
NOTE… it is possible to get enough of these nutrients from eating good quality real food and having enough sun exposure, but it will be very difficult at best.
NOTE…The nutritional supplements marketplace is an over-populated, under-regulated industry and quality varies widely, despite what their marketing tells you. Fortunately, we have done the heavy lifting for you and taken the guesswork out of the equation. You can rest assured that every product we recommend is the best source per price possible.
1. OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
Historically, we obtained our essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9), from dietary sources of wild game, seafood, and less appetizing sources like grubs and insects. While all 3 Omegas are essential, what our body evolved to expect is ~ 1:1 to 1:2 ratio between omega 3 and 6. This allows your cells to work in an optimal state.
Our modern grain-fed food supply, complete with refined vegetable oils rich in omega 6, has completely altered the critical balance of omega 3:6 in our modern diet. Most North Americans today have anywhere from 1:10 up to 1:50 in favor of omega 6’s. This means for every unit of omega 3 in the body there are 20-50 times the number of omega 6’s.
This drives the body towards a systemic pro-inflammatory state. Since we know that systemic inflammation sits at the root of almost all chronic health problems, this is a big deal.
Supplementing your diet with pure, pharmaceutical-grade fish oils has proven the best way to re-balance this all-important ratio. Be sure to reel in the omega 6 consumption and start the process of eating By Design™. A restored ratio, not just more omega 3, is the key.
If you are looking for a vegetarian option, stay away from flax. It is not a good source of omega 3 for a handful of reasons. Ask one of our Doctors for the best sources.
How much do you need?
We recommend 2-4 grams of total EPA/DHA per day.
If you are Eating By Design™, you may require less to maintain your omega 3:6 ratio in balance. We strongly recommend a liquid dose but capsules will work too, as long as you don’t mind the inconvenience of choking down a big handful of capsules.
What we recommend: PurePharma O3.
2. VITAMIN D SATURATION
Getting adequate vitamin D is essential for your health. With over 3000 binding sites for Vitamin D in every cell, we are clearly designed to spend time in the sun supplying our body with the rays that aid in the production of this vital pro-hormone.
Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles rarely allow for such regular sun exposure, especially in northern climates. Getting the minimum 20min/day with at least 70% skin exposure to sunlight in the middle of the February Freeze is pretty tough!
On top of this, except for fatty ocean fish, there is very little Vitamin D in any commonly consumed By Design approved foods.
How much do you need?
The best way to know how much Vitamin D you need is to first determine your current blood levels of Vitamin D. For optimization, your blood Vitamin D levels should be between 35-50 ng/mL for adults and children. Unfortunately, most of us fall seriously short.
Children under the age of one can begin with 1000 IU, increasing 25 IU/lb of body weight until reaching the adult dosage. Some people may need more for a period of time, but typically 4000-6000 IU/day will maintain your levels in an adequate range for normal physiological function.
What we recommend: PurePharma D3
When it comes to vitamin D supplements, absorption is the key factor. In nature, vitamin D always comes packaged in fat (i.e. fat soluble vitamin) so it makes sense to take a supplement made in the same way.
Although this isn’t a nutrient per se, these little guys are essential to both your digestion AND your immune system.
You’ve probably heard about the fact that you have more bacterial cells in (and on) your body than you have human cells?
Well, a lot of those bacteria live in your gut and they perform a tonne of important functions – many of which we’re still learning about.
Historically, we would have developed a healthy gut flora (another way of saying the good bacteria) starting with a natural birthing process. As we age, we would have been exposed to bacteria in the environment – from other animals, the foods we ate and the dirt we played in.
The problem today is that we don’t eat dirt; we wash everything. Additionally, we kill off many of our healthy bacteria with poor nutrition, prescription drugs, anti-bacterial products and highly stressful lifestyles. For these reasons, it is wise to take a probiotic supplement.
How much do you need?
We recommend you begin taking a broad-spectrum probiotic, 10-30 billion CFU/day.
What we recommend: PurePharma Synbiotics SB3
Human Micro Flora (HMF) are human derived strains of bacteria which adhere better to our digestive tract and work faster than other non-human derived probiotics such as those grown from dairy or animal strains.
What about all the others?
If you are eating a truly ‘By Design’ diet you do not need to be concerned about supplementing with additional nutrients.
However, if your diet has been less-than-optimal or you are dealing with a specific health problem, you may require further therapeutic supplementation. Speak with your health care practitioner to determine what’s best for you.
This Definitive Guide to Life By Design Essential Supplements will give you a foundation for what you really need to know about the supplements we recommend and why.