I have just come back from a nutrition convention in Las Vegas- the town of enormousness. Enormous hotels, enormous bills, enormous distance between hotels…. The convention was held by the very great Charles Poliquin and one of the questions he himself answered was what are the top five supplements to take. He gave two answers, his top five and the top five generally agreed on by all the top nutritionists in the States. The first supplement, so vital it doesn’t count as number one, is HCl- the acid that should be in the stomach, utterly vital for breaking down protein. Not only is protein essential for good health, many nutrients we need come from the diet attached to a protein, and if not broken from that protein by good levels of stomach acid, the body can’t access that goodness. So if we only take one supplement, that supplement should be HCl. Apart from HCl, here are Charles’ top five:
- Fish oil
- First rate multi vitamin
- Vitamin D3
Here is the nutritionists top 5 (HCl again viewed as so vital it doesn’t have a number):
- Fish oil
- No Agreement.
Pre- and Pro-Biotics.
Apparently the top nutritionists are re-evaluating the importance of taking pro and prebiotics – good gut bacteria. In these days of chlorinated tap water, and people’s love of anti-bacterial soaps and toothpaste, stress, poor diet and anti-biotics, good gut bacteria get decimated and taking pro and prebiotics seems more and more important. Good health and healthy guts go hand in hand. Incidentally, the pro-biotics need to be live, and most commonly available ones died on the way to the shop. And products such as Yakult are nothing like as effective as a properly prepared probiotic.
CoQ10 was a surprise. The body manufactures CoQ10 from its stores of vitamins and minerals and until now, it was thought that this manufacture slowed down after the age of 40. However, it now seems that such is the low nutritional content of our food plus our increasing toxicity, that we all need to take CoQ10, no matter what age. If taking statins, CoQ10 supplementation becomes vital, as the linked blog explains. It has to be taken in the right form, which is oil based with natural Vitamin E for a preservative, as the blog went into. Cheap CoQ10 is a complete waste of money since it will pass through the body quite unnoticed. What does CoQ10 do in the body? It has fame for helping the heart, but it also gets used by the brain, the liver, the kidneys, the nerves, reduces inflammation and helps the body use its fat stores for energy.
Magnesium and zinc.
Called micro nutrients by doctors. However, Poliquin likened these minerals to the rubber on the wheels of an airplane. Yes, the plane is made of metal – and our body calcium and iron, but the wheels of Poliquin’s plane are made of magnesium and zinc. Without these two ‘micro nutrients’, the plane goes nowhere.
The sunshine vitamin, used by every cell in the body. Levels of D3 are chronically low, particularly in the UK and Ireland. Such is the terror of skin cancer, that people slip slop on the sun cream the moment they hit the sun, further lowering their chances of getting a free dose of this vital vitamin. Funnily enough, low levels of vitamin D3 are linked to playing a part in developing various cancers, including skin cancer.
High Quality Multi.
- A high quality multi will not be cheap, costing around £25.
- If the multi does not state what form the nutrients come in, for example, magnesium glycinate, vitamin D3 or copper glycinate, the quality of the ingredients will be cheap and at best unavailable to the body, at worst, harmful.
- Menstruating women, people who lose blood regularly and growing children need a multi containing iron, men and post-menopausal women need an iron free multi.
- Some of the best multis contain a little HCl to help uptake.
- The multis worth taking contain a broad spectrum of nutrients, such as pantethine and molybdenum.