Do you estimate your daily intake of a nutraceutical before buying supplements?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 14, 2011 at 12:16 AM

I read on another forum that zinc L-carnosine is good for repairing gut lining and healing leaky-gut. There's some scientific evidence for this so I went ahead and bought some.

Just now, replying to this paleohacks question, I realized that every day I'm eating in the ballpark of 1000 mg to 2000 mg of carnosine, whereas the supplement is a measly 37.5 mg to 75 mg per day depending on whether I take one or two capsules. When cooked, I may lose 30% of the carnosine of the meat, but that's still providing a lot more carnosine than is found in the supplement. So now I'm feeling pretty silly: I should have checked my daily intake of this stuff before buying a supplement. How often do we go along with the hype instead of doing a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation to see if it even makes sense for us? I feel this is especially important since a lot of the research is done with people eating quite a different diet than those of us eating paleo. How much of the nutrient are we already getting, and would the additional intake help, hurt, or be negligible?

When you hear about a supplement you might want to take, do you check how much you're getting in your daily diet, and whether its use is supported by any research, before you buy?

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on December 14, 2011
at 01:17 AM

In a word, yes.

I try to stay aware of how my typical day-to-day and week-to-week menus provide nutrients. If I am eating natural sources of a particular nutrient, I don't usually worry about whether it's a guaranteed 100% either. I tend to assume that if I need more of one of my regular foods I'll find myself hungry for it.

At one point, I realized my unprocessed salt wasn't providing me with iodine so I started sprinkling a little kelp powder on my leafy salads. When I started drinking water kefir and eating yogurt, I considered whether I should continue D3 and K2, etc.

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