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Do You Need Supplements?

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The supplement industry is one the largest and fastest growing industries. We all know the importance of eating a healthy diet, that good nutrition is key to the functioning of our metabolism and biochemistry, but a common question people ask is "If I eat a healthy diet, do I need to take supplements?".

 

What are Supplements?

 

Firstly, let's discuss what supplements are. Supplements are just that - supplements. They are a further addition to your diet and should not be used to replace meals or good nutrition.

 

Supplements are used as a matter of convenience and as a precaution, see it as an insurance policy. Taking a supplement can help people who have a busy schedule, who may not always eat the right food or who is in a rush.

 

Do you Need Supplements?

 

Now that we have discussed what supplements are, do you need them? Can you get all the nutrition you need from food?

 

Yes, you can reap the benefits that all supplements would offer just from food. However, increasing new evidence is showing even though your diet may be made up of healthy and nutrient dense whole foods, it is likely that your body is missing or is depleted of a nutrient, which may not be entirely your fault.

 




Research has found large-scale deficiencies of nutrients in our population, even in those who follow a whole food diet. It is suggested that even people who eat five daily servings of fruits and vegetables may not get enough of certain vitamins for optimum health. Nutrient deficiencies include omega-3 fats, vitamin D, zinc, magnesium folate, and iron.

 

There are various reasons why your body is depleted of a certain nutrient or nutrients. Here are 5 possible reasons.

 

Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies

 

Chronic Stress. Our adrenal glands are stimulated when we are stressed and this leads to an increase in the secretion of hormones that causes nutrients to become depleted.

 

High sugar and processed/junk food diets. Refined sugar (pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods) provides the body with no nutritional content but also causes the body to excrete vitamins and minerals.

 

Lack of sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is a prevalent condition and the major cause for it is a lack of sun exposure and the sun is the major source of Vitamin D. There are very few foods that naturally contain vitamin D.

 

Depleted soils. Industrial farming and hybridization techniques, in turn, results in the animals and vegetables we eat to have fewer nutrients.

 

Environmental Toxins. Research has found that environmental toxins are possible causes for many chronic diseases as a result of these toxins depleting the body's nutrients.

 

Often people become confused about the area of supplements. They question their value and benefit due to a whirlwind of media coverage and backlash that they have received. It is understandable, one minute this supplement is great and it will help prevent this illness and then the next minute the media is saying it is bad and it will cause this illness.

 

But the problem is that these studies treat nutrients as drugs, and they are not. All nutrients work as a team and therefore studies cannot examine the effect of the one on the body. Too much of anything will cause an illness. A healthy diet requires balance and moderation.

 

Are there any Supplements to take for PCOS?

 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an endocrine disorder, in which hormones are imbalanced. Women with PCOS produce high levels of androgens.

Research has found that women with PCOS are deficient in certain nutrients, such as; Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, magnesium. Furthermore, Inositol is another nutrient in which many women with PCOS lack. Research suggests that women with PCOS struggle to convert food into MYO or DCI, or it may be we excrete too much DCI and are unable to replace it quickly enough.

 

Women with PCOS suffer from inflammation, as a result of insulin resistance and a hormone imbalance. Therefore, supplementing with omega 3 can help reduce inflammation. Research has found that omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) not only stop inflammation but also treats inflammation already present in the body.

 

What Supplements Do I take?

OvasitolBag-72dpi

Ovasitol is a 100% pure inositol powder and is a combination of Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro Inositol. Each packet provides 2000 mg of myo-inositol and 50 mg of D-chiro-inositol, in the body's normal ratio of 40 to 1. Furthermore, recent studies have shown taking a combination of both Myo-Inositol and D-chiro Inositol in the body’s naturally occurring ratio is more beneficial than taking either alone. Research has identified that inositol can improve insulin sensitivity and ovulatory function in women who suffer from PCOS.

 

Magnesium is required for the growth and maintenance of bones, for the synthesis of DNA. In addition, magnesium assists in the functioning of nerves, muscles, heart and kidneys.

Our bodies become depleted of magnesium when we are stressed, magnesium calms your nervous system and prevents excessive cortisol. Our body burns through magnesium because it helps support our adrenal glands, which get exhausted when making cortisol.

 

Magnesium is involved in the manufacture of steroid hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. Also, without enough magnesium, vitamin D cannot do its job

 

Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties, it is required for the production of many cells in our body and for growth and repair of tissues in the body.

 

Vitamin D - Living in a country that doesn't have much sun, supplementing with vitamin D is important.

 

Bottom Line

 

None of this is to say that supplements are necessary and that you cannot get all of your nutrients, vitamins and minerals, from your diet. However, taking into consideration research indicating the epidemic of nutrient deficiencies and the possible causes for them, a simple and convenient supplement doesn't seem too bad or harmless. As mentioned above, a supplement is just a that. People often use supplements as an insurance policy.

 

Sources

Calton, JB. (2010). Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency in popular diet plans. Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition. 7: 24. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2905334/ . [Accessed 9 March 2017].

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (2016). Many with migraines have vitamin deficiencies, says study. Available from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160610140645.htm . [Accessed 9 March 2017].

Ghosh, A. (2010). Endocrine, metabolic, nutritional, and toxic disorders leading to dementia. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3039161/ . [Accessed 9 March 2017].

Holick, MF and Chen, TC. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. American Society for Clinical Nutrition. 87(4) 1080-1086. Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/4/1080S.full . [Accessed 9 March 2017].

Maroon JC and Bost JW. (2006). Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surgical Neurology. 65(4):326-31. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16531187 . [Accessed 9 March 2017].

Simopoulos AP. (2002). Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 21(6):495-505. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12480795 . [Accessed 9 March 2017].

Staff, NP and Windebank, AJ. (2014). Peripheral Neuropathy Due to Vitamin Deficiency, Toxins, and Medications. American Academy of Neurology. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4208100/ . [Accessed 9 March 2017].

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