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Paleo-Specific Supplements--Why??

Answered on March 28, 2014
Created March 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM

I tried the Plant-Based diet about 1.5 years ago and I felt it was a "success," although because I'd never tried any other clean eating plan before I had no frame of reference. I did notice that there seemed to be a need for supplementing, heavy supplementing if people were on it a long time. To me this was a red flag. If a diet is truly "primal" (as the plant based people would say theirs is) then why the need for supplementing? Something like iron hasn't been depleted from the soil, I'd argue. The need for heavy supplementing was probably the main reason I quit "vegan-ing." It just didn't make sense.

By the same token I am looking at the supplementing for Paleo. within 6 days I had to supplement Magnesium because I was going down fast. It worked and I'm moving along smoothly. But I am wondering about some of the supplements recommended. How many of these are recommended for all Western diet followers (SAD eaters) and what is Paleo-specific?

Bottom line for me is that if anything is Paleo specific then--uh oh...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 28, 2014
at 11:43 AM

She's a spammer, a personable spammer though.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on March 25, 2014
at 01:22 PM

This is quite the random list of food.

If you're going to have nuts listed, I would at least have the best nuts on there like walnuts / brazil nuts / almonds / macadamia. (Cashewnuts aren't even nuts.) Blackberries next to Mango? One of those is low GI and full of antioxidants, while the other is high GI and full of sugar.. you're missing all the good fruits like goji and blueberries, or figs / cherries. Why not make use of whole chickens / more nutritious meats / varied seafood with omega 3.

I'd feel better recommending meat + veggies. Where's the veg on your plan?

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on March 25, 2014
at 02:05 AM

I'm a fan of Mg. I take a combo of Mg oxide, citrate, and chelated glycinate, with the occasional Mg sulfate added to my bath.

I wouldn't be surprised if the sudden change to a lower amount of sodium combined with the higher amount of potassium doesn't mess up Mg for some people going into the diet.

The diet is also often combo'd with exercise, where Mg can be depleted.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 25, 2014
at 02:00 AM

I'm convinced that somehow I wound up low on Mg since that Natural Calm supplement really helped. Maybe it was because I was in the midst of transitioning from SAD to Paleo.. I really needed something and I went from insomnia, irritable, foggy to so much better in just one day. I'm staying on Mg for the time being!

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on March 25, 2014
at 12:16 AM

Ah, good to know. High protein british back bacon? (I go through a ton of that stuff.)

I'm seeing nuts / seeds / beans among the best sources for B1, where some nuts + black beans + pork would get you there in a meal or so (though, that's a lot of protein.)

Perhaps the B1 RA is set a little high.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on March 24, 2014
at 02:31 PM

B1 seems to be found mostly in the protein of pork, not so much the fat. Bacon has considerably less than just straight pork. Not sure about the plant protein thing, only one I can think of is legumes.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 24, 2014
at 01:27 PM

That sounds solid, @raydawg. My concern has been that others who've been on the paleo talk about supplementing. I would hope that shouldn't have to be the case.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 24, 2014
at 10:57 AM

Food is the best supplement.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on March 24, 2014
at 10:47 AM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14985216

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15726909 (the only good grain is a fermented grain.)

Spring water from Adobe Springs has 110 mg/L of magnesium, where you would get 300mg in your drinking water + whatever your skin could absorb bathing. Bottled water has around 0-1mg/L of magnesium.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on March 24, 2014
at 10:41 AM

An easy paleo solution would be to eat more bacon and switch out some of your animal protein for plant protein and you would hit 100% DV for b1 before dinner. (Although, I too find my B1 a little on the low side.)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on March 24, 2014
at 10:35 AM

A paleo diet is for a group of people willing to change everything they eat against the grain of society (and even some modern research) for health benefits. So, when you're looking at paleo recommendations, you're looking at recommendations for people seeking the optimal toppings to throw on what they consider is the optimal diet and not patches for holes in the diet itself. Mg you shouldn't need to eat if it's in your water, it absorbs straight into your skin. (The problem is water is generally filtered and chlorinated.)

Phytates bind Mg, so wheat wouldn't be your best source.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on March 23, 2014
at 08:49 PM

As a personal anecdote, I found that I get very little thiamin in my diet, which may not be an issue if I was eating grains as they're fortified with thiamine. But an easy paleo solution would simply be to supplement...as that's how I would be getting it on SAD anyways, just the company would be prescribing my dose or the argueably more preferable route which ended up being including more pork in my diet. Granted there are other ways which I could have corrected the issue.

Supplement for what you eat, not what other people eat and certainly not for an obscure 'paleo diet' generic.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on March 23, 2014
at 08:45 PM

It's my understanding that all supplement suggestions are either generic or geared at a very specific diet. For example the '30 bannanas a day' diet may have very specific supplement requirement, because there isn't really variety within the diet. 'Paleo' on the other hand is so vague that there is no special supplements for it unless you specify exactly what type of paleo diet you're eating. Paleo can vary anywhere from, don't even think about a carb, to being so liberal as to include sprouted legumes and grains in significant quantities.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 23, 2014
at 06:25 PM

I know I'm re-stating what you said but just to be sure: are you saying that in your experience there aren't any supplements that are strongly Paleo recommended?I seem to find that every Paleo site/discussion has recommendations,the one that got me was the "Magnesium is found in wheat so Paleo people need to supplement." Since I went SO low on Magnesium (guessing by the symptoms the rapid recovery from the supplement)it seemed accurate.I'd be THRILLED to discover that the recommendations are just"general"and not Paleo-centric! I want that to be the case!

Thank you for your expertise!

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on March 23, 2014
at 05:34 PM

Not because it will help you...more because it won't hurt you. There are also various claims about megadosing vitamin C which makes people err on the side of 'more' rather than 'less', and because it doesn't hurt you, why not? ^^

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on March 23, 2014
at 05:32 PM

Again...If you eat foods with plenty of K2 then you don't need to supplement. Ofcourse most of us don't. Magnesium you could probably get enough of if you ate massive quantities of greens...but again, most of us don't. Vitamin C is unique as people don't seem to have a good idea of what people 'need' and it doesn't seem to have much of a limit as far as supplementation goes. For example one could supplement 250mg 3x a day and be happy with 1000% the RDI, or you can find people online supplementing up to 20G per day.

So yea... maybe vitamin C as a universal supplenmt.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 23, 2014
at 05:13 PM

The depleted soil is something of concern for sure, but that would suggest (accurately) that everyone needs to supplement certain things. My question is more specific to Paleo. It seems as Magnesium, K2, Vitamin C are things suggested across the board to be supplemented doing Paleo. Am I interpreting this incorrectly?

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5 Answers

0
Be803dcde63e3cf5e21cc121097b8158

on March 28, 2014
at 02:10 PM

Almost none of us are eating a true paleo diet of wild plants, wild animals and unfiltered water. Plus all the dirt, micro-organisms and insects we go out of our way to avoid.

A supermarket paleo diet -- which is what most of us are eating -- is designed to offer the best nutrition with modern, often inferior, resources.

Most paleo authors I've read recognize the shortcomings of this approach. Thus, the recommendation to supplement.

0
A709635907662a2fff5c97c01e41afaa

on March 25, 2014
at 01:22 PM

in addition to the comments above, the nutritional quality of a lot of food has reduced with mass, cheap farming growing the same veg with less nutrition. I think spinach has something like 10% of the iron it would have had a hundred years ago.

The main thing is to experiment and ensure you're getting enough micronutrients, vitamins etc for you.

0
Medium avatar

on March 25, 2014
at 12:39 PM

I would like to recommend a diet plan that every type of user can follow:

Paleo Diet Meats:

1) Poultry

2) Pork

3) Bacon

4) Chicken Thigh

5) Chicken Legs

6) Steak

7) Lamb Rack

8) Lobsters

Paleo Diet Nuts:

1) Pine Nuts

2) Pumpkin Seeds

3) Sunflowers seeds

4) Cashewnuts

Paleo Diet Fruits:

1) Apple

2) Blackberries

3) Mango

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on March 25, 2014
at 01:22 PM

This is quite the random list of food.

If you're going to have nuts listed, I would at least have the best nuts on there like walnuts / brazil nuts / almonds / macadamia. (Cashewnuts aren't even nuts.) Blackberries next to Mango? One of those is low GI and full of antioxidants, while the other is high GI and full of sugar.. you're missing all the good fruits like goji and blueberries, or figs / cherries. Why not make use of whole chickens / more nutritious meats / varied seafood with omega 3.

I'd feel better recommending meat + veggies. Where's the veg on your plan?

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on March 24, 2014
at 10:23 AM

Eat lots of dark chocolate, leafy greens for magnesium. Egg yolks and liver for K2. And get plenty of sun for D3. Cucumbers and a few bananas for potassium. Broccoli, Kale, or kiwi for C. Problem solved.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 24, 2014
at 10:57 AM

Food is the best supplement.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 24, 2014
at 01:27 PM

That sounds solid, @raydawg. My concern has been that others who've been on the paleo talk about supplementing. I would hope that shouldn't have to be the case.

0
7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on March 23, 2014
at 04:51 PM

The 'paleo-diet' isn't a day by day diet, there are many different ways of practicing. Someone eating fish 3x a week paleo may not need to supplement, someone who eats fish once a month may need to. So saying 'paleo people should supplement X' is to me a bad idea. Best to figure out what you don't get in your diet, either via some internet calculator or by blood tests, or both then go from there.

That being said there are a few things a large majority of people may not get 'enough' of, I say 'enough' because you surely won't die if you don't supplement magnesium...but it may provide benefits to do so. To me the 'essentials' paleo or not seem to be, D, A, Magnesium, K2, C and maybe potassium? But then again if you eat a lot of fermented food you may not need k2...or if you live far south you may not need D...or i f you eat liver frequently you may not need A...ect.

In theory if you are surgical enough with your eating you won't need to supplement...sadly most people don't like eating fish,nato,beef liver and tons of greens - to make up for the depleted soil - and getting in the sun a lot on a regular basis. (Some of those things may not even be an option for many.)

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 23, 2014
at 05:13 PM

The depleted soil is something of concern for sure, but that would suggest (accurately) that everyone needs to supplement certain things. My question is more specific to Paleo. It seems as Magnesium, K2, Vitamin C are things suggested across the board to be supplemented doing Paleo. Am I interpreting this incorrectly?

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9

(0)

on March 23, 2014
at 06:25 PM

I know I'm re-stating what you said but just to be sure: are you saying that in your experience there aren't any supplements that are strongly Paleo recommended?I seem to find that every Paleo site/discussion has recommendations,the one that got me was the "Magnesium is found in wheat so Paleo people need to supplement." Since I went SO low on Magnesium (guessing by the symptoms the rapid recovery from the supplement)it seemed accurate.I'd be THRILLED to discover that the recommendations are just"general"and not Paleo-centric! I want that to be the case!

Thank you for your expertise!

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