There are some on PaleoHacks that consider taking supplements as a violation of the principals of Paleo in that in todays society we can get all the nutrition we need from our food sources. Is our food supply optimal for our needs and we can get by with what is in our supermarkets? How did that you come to that conclusion?
There are also some that advocate that our food sources do not provide us with all the nutrients we need and assisting nature's food supply is absolutely necessary for optimal health. To come to that conclusion, one must be able to point to the suboptimal aspects of our food suppy. Where did that suboptimal info come from? The Supplement Companies?
When you visit a health food store and you walk the aisles of thousands of brands of different types of supplements, do you pass them by or do you question...do I need any of these to assist my body in building an optimal biochemical thinking machine?
How do you evalutate which supplements, if any, to ingest and who/what influenced you to make that decision? Do you rely on your PCP, other PaleoHacks who seem to know what they are talking about, the clerk in the store, TV advertising, or did you just "hear" that taking such and such vitamin supplement is a good idea?
Which box are you in? Or are you in a box at all when it comes to supplements?. Do you think outside the box and question each and every supplement you take? Or have you reached your decision not to take supplements by thinking outside the box of the supplement world?
What say you, PaleoHackers?
asked byDexter (9948)
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on May 18, 2011
at 05:14 PM
I became interested (or shall we say aware of) supplementation a number of years ago. I first became aware of omega-3 supplementation when I was researching the drug Lovaza for grad school. I became so interested in it that I wrote my master's thesis on omega 3 supplementation. After that point I was introduced to paleo via my chiropractor (franson family chiropractic) and he encouraged me to start crossfitting which I love. Then I started paying more attention to Robb Wolf and Matt Lelonde, etc. I will listen to anyone who consistently, cautiously evaluates and balances published scientific literature. My masters of science is in drug regulatory affairs and health policy and if there is one thing I learned there its that you can prove anything you (or your funding sources) want to through by structuring your study and data evaluation in certain ways. So when the healthy skeptic guys and Robb and Matt can cut through a crap study and disregard it, they earn my trust bit by bit. I came to think supplementation is so important(along with my growing disdain for the impaired medical community) that I quit my job working for a pharmaceutical company and began working for a health education site. Then recently I was hired at a professional whole food supplement co. I am the education coordinator and in charge of new product development (I am pushing for Paleo everything and succeeding so far, getting rid of rice protein stuff, pushing for nightshade and lectin free etc). Personally I see supplementation as much more important for people who are moving away from SAD diets and learning about evolutionary diet styles, and people who are tryin gto heal leaky gut, etc. They should all be detoxing from sugar, grains and diary. Shifting like this leaves gaps for deficiencies. If you've been on board for a while and your diet is totally dialed in, I believe that you can be supplement free and healthy. I look at it more like insurance. I personally supplement with fish oil, probiotics, Vit D (I live in Boston) and occasionally greens products or whole food daily vitamins when I feel like I'm not getting enough veggies or feeling like I might be getting sick (rare). Also iodine occasionally if my menstrual cycle becomes irregular. Also digestive enzymes can be great when eating at someones house or at a restaurant just in case. I won't take a brand that I haven't (or someone I trust hasn't) researched in detail. Or of course, if I developed the product myself I trust it!
on May 18, 2011
at 04:08 PM
I am in the box that believes Paleo should be a guideline rather than a reenactment. The only supplements that I currently take are fish oil and Vitamin D. Fish oil for omega 3 balance, and vitamin D because due to my lifestyle (lots of indoor study time), I feel that I do not get enough sunlight. If I had a great source of wild fresh fish to enjoy on a daily basis and I was able to get a lot of sun, then I would not be taking these supplements.
I think it all depends on each individual's situation and exact diet. Supplementation may be extraneous and unnecessary for some while important for others. As for longevity supplements, I do try to drink a fair amount of green tea, but I don't worry about it and see it as a necessity.
A great site to check out, if you haven't seen it is http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements/
It has a lot of collected information with links to studies placed into a very aesthetically pleasing chart.
on May 18, 2011
at 06:11 PM
Basically I just do whatever Stephen Guyenet, Dr. Harris, Chris Kresser or Robb Wolff recommend. Who am I to question their expertise? Sometimes it gets confusing, like when they disagree. God, I hate when that happens! Then, I just flip a coin. I don't know. I wish the hell I did.
on May 18, 2011
at 05:46 PM
I don't take any supplements at all. My bloodwork all comes back routinely within range and I'm okay with that. After 9 years of daily blood pressure medication and water pills that I was finally able to give up, I don't want to take any extra pills or supplements. I do my best to feed my body what it needs.
on May 18, 2011
at 04:28 PM
I love this question! Pre-paleo I would take supplements upon suggestion of people in the body building community. I rarely gave supplements thought in terms of MY body. Now, I give supplements thought according to not just the physical but mental benefits as well. I'm big on self-tracking and experimentation so I will research what supplements/foods I need based on what is happening in my mind and body. I will do my best to conduct a controlled n=1 experiment over a set period of time then analyze the results and adjust accordingly.
For me, I find it difficult to get everything I need from food alone. I can't always afford the grass-fed beef or highest quality foods. Other times, I stumble on my food intake. Still other times I can't possibly consume the amount of food I need to provide all the exact nutrients I require (I'm a small person). I believe we are far more advanced in many ways than our ancestors and the modern science and thinking has given us opportunities to overcome many problems. Of course, many of our current problems are a result of our declining environment, poor food supply, working conditions and so forth. Nevertheless, I find paleo a great foundation but it does not solve all my nutritional needs. For that, I take supps like magnesium, taurine, vit. D and continue to experiment with others as I learn about them.
on May 19, 2011
at 12:49 PM
Years ago I worked in a Health Food store in Ohio. I would take every new thing that came along: Vitamin E-that's me. Wheat germ that was probably rancid, oat bran by the scoop. All kinds of supplements. Why did I feel so fluish all the time. Fast forward several decades and I've eliminated all supplements except for magnesium citrate which seems to make me sleep better and help with regularity. I was taking fish oil in the form of a paste (Coromega) which I found to be quite agreeable, but find unecessary (my interpretation of Dr. Harris). I started taking Vit D3 and then my hair started to fall out. When I quit the fish oil and D3 no more hair falling out. Cause and effect? I don't know. Full disclosure I started retaking 10 mm of simvastatin because of very high cholesterol levels and because Istarted to have yellow lumpy cholesterol deposits around my eyes. After resuming statin no more deposits. Cholesterol levels still high, but not so much. I know, I know but I'm just talking for myself. I've made this choice and time will tell. I'm going to be 69 tomorrow and have never felt better after 10 months of High Fat moderate carb including sweet potatoes, white rice and white potatoes added in after reading the Jaminets book/blog. No other supplements.
on May 19, 2011
at 05:54 AM
i go with herbal extract powders, teas and tinctures. they are wild or wildcrafted plant foods that contain mineral, antioxidants, amino acids, saponins, etc but no calories.
on May 19, 2011
at 04:57 AM
I've always had the goal of reducing supplements. As I began to get tested for things like vit D in the blood and cortisol and iodine etc. I had to educate myself about what supplements to take and what I could safely stop taking.
Paleo hasn't cured all my ills yet so I still take Vit D, Cod liver oil, magnesium, betaine and vit C. I hope someday to stop with these and I think it will probably happen.
However, I've stopped Calcium, multivitamin, NAC, Melatonin, iron, curcumin, Vandyl Sulfate and a few others I forget so I'm getting there.
on May 19, 2011
at 01:43 AM
I think supplements become more beneficial when you're focusing on performance. I compete in combat sports; when a competition is nearby, I begin taking a Beta-Alanine supplement that I've found helps my endurance. When trying to add muscle, I'll work in a whey hydrosolate+dextrose+bcaa supplement during my lifting sessions. These aren't necessary for health, but they can help you lift heavier, run faster, bike longer, etc.
Are these all strictly 'paleo'? Who cares - it helps me accomplish my goals. Paleo is a great a framework from which to begin your nutrition plan, but that doesn't mean that it can't be improved upon at the margins.
That said, I always have Vit D and fish oil around the house; these are two things that can sometimes be difficult to get enough of on a daily basis.
on June 30, 2011
at 08:26 PM
I actually like this discussion:
Below is an answer I am linking from a previous discussion about. Moringa and Paleo.
To add to the above answer, Moringa is a plant based supplement that contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and plant based proteins.
A great place to order, is Mogomoringa.com, because we use veggie caps instead of soy based gel caps. Again, another thing to look for in a sup when living the paleo lifestyle.
Moringa is kind of a hack in a way, when you are not receiving all the nutrients in a day from food alone.