Taking the right supplements can help to correct nutritional deficiencies, alleviate certain symptoms, prevent the onset of health conditions and boost general health. Yet, with a plethora of supplements, brands, blends and dosages out there, how can you be sure what the right supplements are for your individual health and wellbeing?
With many individuals basing their supplement regime on recommendations from colleagues and friends, or what they have seen in the media, it’s difficult to take a personalised approach. It is, however, important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach with supplements. What works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another. In fact, in certain instances taking the wrong dosage of supplements can be detrimental to our health, pushing our blood levels out of reference ranges and causing further health concerns. Factors such as the environment, genetics, microbiomes, physical build and more can dictate and influence the effect of a supplement on your health.
We caught up with Clarissa Lenherr, nutritional therapist from personalised healthcare service; bioniq LIFE (www.bioniq.co), who has provided her top tips on whether your supplement regime is or isn’t working for you, and the tell-tale signs you need to be looking out for.
Your Targeted Symptoms Have Not Improved: This may seem obvious, but if your symptoms or targeted concerns have not improved since starting your supplement regime, this could be an indicator that you are not taking the right ones for you. However, be mindful that supplements can take a few days, weeks or even months to perform, so don’t quit too early. If your supplement is meant to slow down the development of a disease, or strengthen/rebuild damaged cells or systems, it won’t be fast acting. Healing takes time and so does your body’s adjustment to something new.
Digestive Changes: Listen to your digestive system. If you have noticed digestive changes since starting your regime, you might want to reconsider your selection. If a supplement does not agree with your digestive system, this could impact its absorption and cause disruption. Additionally, high doses of certain supplements can lead to nausea, diarrhoea and constipation. If this happens, try a different supplement or reduce your dosage to see if this helps.
Please note that it can take some time for your digestive system to adjust to new supplements. If this continues for longer than one to two weeks, you should consult a registered healthcare professional.
Your Sleeping Pattern Has Changed: Have your sleeping patterns changed since you started your supplement regime? If the answer is yes, this could be a warning that you need to reconsider your routine. Consuming supplements at the wrong time of day can impact our sleep quality and quantity. For example, taking energy producing B vitamins in the afternoon or evening, can prevent us from becoming tired.
You Have Chosen Low Quality Supplements: Many individuals complain that their supplement regime does not seem to be working for them, in this case, the first question to ask is what the brand is. This is because some supplements come from non-reputable brands, and often what it says on the label is not actually found inside the capsule. So, if you have chosen a low-quality supplement and have noticed no significant improvements, I would recommend switching to a more reputable brand, sticking to the same dose and seeing if you notice any significant changes.
Your Skin Has Broken Out: Some supplements can wreak havoc on skin. For example, Biotin, which is one of the many vitamins that you are supposed to supplement in your body, is commonly associated with acne outbreaks and could be a sign that you are on too high a dose.
The problem with starting a supplement regime from home, or based on what you have read online, is that it is all about trial and error – which can be incredibly time-consuming, expensive, and most of all frustrating and can have adverse effects
So, what is the answer?
Get tested and personalise your approach. Before taking a supplement, you should check whether you actually need that specific vitamin/mineral/herb/combination. A simple way to check for common deficiencies is to have a blood test. Following this, you can obtain advice from a professional on the supplements on the dosing and length of time needed to correct your imbalances. A brand I would highly recommend is bioniq LIFE, who have designed a unique granulated supplement formula, which is personalised based on blood tests, genetics, and microbiome results, ensuring that the combination you are taking is exactly what your body needs in order to optimise your health. With routine testing, bioniq LIFE can track your progress and amend the formula so that your body is receiving exactly what it requires – taking away all the hassle and guesswork (RRP £250 available to buy from www.bioniq.co). In addition to providing a personalised supplement service, you will also have access to consultations with a qualified nutritionist to discuss your progress and general health, as well as a personalised dashboard to see your results and healthcare recommendations.