Controversies and confusion surround supplements. As part of the goal to help you become your own authority in health, I talked about the two perspectives that will help you decide whether you should take supplements. I also talked about the reasons why they say supplements are bad and why they’re wrong.
In this third part of the supplement blog series, I’m going to talk about why they’re amazing and how they can help you.
1. Fill nutritional gaps.
Dr. Mark Hyman, Director of Functional Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic says, "Even with a perfect diet, the combination of many things, including our depleted soils, the storage and transportation of our food, genetic alterations of traditional heirloom species, and the increased stress in nutritional demands resulting from a toxic environment make it impossible for us to get the vitamins and minerals we need solely from the foods we eat."
Because of various factors, it is simply not possible for us to get all the nutrients we need from food every single day. Supplements can be a great way to address those nutritional gaps.
2. Protect from genetic susceptibilities.
Each of us respond differently to nutrition. Nutrigenomics, an emerging science, studies how genes and nutrition interact with each other. Through this study, it is now possible for people to find out their genetic variants and risks for vitamin deficiencies. Some people for example, may be predisposed to having low vitamin D or vitamin C levels because of their genetic variants. This would be a situation where you may need more vitamin D or vitamin C than someone who doesn’t have your genetic variants. Those who have the F5 gene may benefit from vitamin E supplementation to reduce the risk of serious blood clots.
If you are interested to get your personalized nutrition report and find out your genetic predispositions, schedule a call with me. We can get the lab tests to check your risk variants and confirm if you’re low in a nutrient. We can then go through each of the results and I will guide you in making diet and supplement changes based on these.
3. Protect against nutrient deficiencies when taking medications.
Some medications put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies. Taking statins can lower levels of CoQ10, an antioxidant. Taking CoQ10 has also been associated with reducing statin-associated muscle symptoms. 
People who are taking proton pump inhibitors for gastrointestinal conditions are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency as these hinder B12 absorption. Supplementing in this case might help keep your B12 levels adequate.
4. Help improve health conditions.
Supplements can be beneficial for various health conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis responds to fish oil. Vitamin C and zinc reduce cold duration and severity of symptoms.
If you want to get more information on the nutrients that would benefit specific diseases, I recommend Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt’s Food and Nutrients in Disease Management. The Oregon Health Science Institute also offers recommendations and tips for taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
5. Boost wellness and performance.
Supplements can boost health and wellness. An athlete may benefit from creatine or protein supplementation.
The bottom line is you should have a reason for taking supplements. Become your own authority by learning more about your health and understanding the supplements that can potentially benefit you. Only then can you make the right choice when deciding to take supplements.