How to Get the Most From Your Supplements


You may think you’re doing the healthy thing by taking vitamin C every day, but are you really making a difference? More people every day are realizing that following the Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamins and minerals isn’t keeping them healthy. In fact the labels on foods we buy never give us the real picture. First of all, the amount of a vitamin or mineral that is listed is based on published research done 50 years ago with the assumption that the nutritional content of foods then is the same as now. Believe me when I tell you it isn’t. Just look at books such as Bernard Jensen’s Empty Harvest.

Secondly, you cannot base your daily nutritional amounts on the RDA because the Recommended Daily Allowance is just that... an allowance or a portion out of a whole. The RDA was originally developed for the military as a way of determining the minimum required nutrition for soldiers in the field in order to prevent deficiency disease while in battle. It was never designed to promote optimal wellness. In fact, many case studies have shown that the human body requires many times more than the RDA of key vitamin and mineral compounds.

But what has led us beyond our food into supplements is even more incredible. The realization that there is such an incredible difference in the nutrient value of organic vs. conventional foods. So many of my patients ask me if they really have to eat organic? The answer truly is yes, and here’s why. A study at Rutgers University called the Firman E. Baer Report compared an analysis of the variations in mineral content in vegetables between organic and inorganic foods.


Percentage of dry weight

Millequivalents per 100 grams dry weight

Trace Elements parts per million dry matter

Total Ash or Mineral Matter











Snap Beans — organic 10.45 0.36 40.5 60.0 99.7 8.6 7.3 60 227 69 0.26
Snap Beans — inorganic 4.04 0.22 15.5 14.8 29.1 0.0 10 2 10 3 0.00
Cabbage — organic 10.38 0.38 60.0 43.6 148.3 20.4 42 13 94 48 0.15
Cabbage — inorganic 6.12 0.18 17.5 15.6 53.7 0.8 7 2 20 0.4 0.00
Lettuce — organic 24.48 0.43 71.0 49.3 176.5 12.2 37 169 516 60 0.19
Lettuce — inorganic 7.01 0.22 16.0 13.1 53.7 0.0 6 1 9 3 0.00
Tomatoes — organic 14.2 0.35 23.0 59.2 148.3 6.5 36 68 1938 53 0.63
Tomatoes — inorganic 6.07 0.16 4.5 4.5 58.8 0.0 5 1 1 0 0.00
Spinach — organic 28.56 0.52 96.0 203.9 257.0 69.5 88 117 1584 32 0.25
Spinach — inorganic 12.38 0.27 47.5 46.9 84.6 0.8 12 1 19 0.5 0.20

*Column Headings: Phosphorus[P] Calcium [Ca], Magnesium [Mg], Potassium [K],Sodium [Na], Boron [Bn], Manganese [Mn], Iron [Fe], Copper [Cu], Cobalt [Co].

The truth is that conventional foods contain chemicals, pesticides, growth hormones or toxins from our environment. They have to in order for the grower to make money, and growing food is a business. So when we finally start caring about our health and preventing disabling disease, we are generally in our 30’s, 40’s or even 50’s and by that point just changing our diet may not be enough. The years of toxins that we have been exposed to in our food has accumulated in our bodies, and our ability to remove them as well as our digestive efficiency is much less than it was when we were 20. So the real problem is that we don’t have the time to wait for our food to make us healthier because every minute of every day, our bodies and their systems are working for us or against us.

Just look at a "free radical", which threatens even the unstoppable body of James Bond. These chemicals are naturally produced by our bodies every time we use oxygen for energy. Normally we can capture and eliminate these chemicals with the nutrition we get from green foods, but when was the last time you ate spinach? And how much spinach can you possibly eat each day? Given the years of neglect that your body has sustained, you would probably need a truckload of spinach and a pitchfork instead of a dinner fork. If too many of these free radicals build up, they can permanently damage an essential component of our cells known as mitochondria, the energy "power-house" of our body. In a very short time, this can alter our genetic structure by dissolving the protective coating on our chromosomes and change the way our body creates energy, making us tired, burned out and older. So free radicals cause oxidation or "rust" of healthy tissue in the body.

Damage to our genetic structure changes the pattern we use for growth and change.Genetics are like blueprints which present a plan for construction. The outcome can vary from the plan, since each stage is based on the outcome of the previous stage. Our bodies are genetics expressed in our environment, meaning that our experience develops the initial plan. The expression of genes are also polymorphic, in other words, they will express one way in certain situations and under other circumstances can express differently. This is what accounts for people having differing detoxification abilities at a genetic level. Some people can smoke, drink and eat poorly without noticeable effect, while others seem to be sick continually. Nutrition, both macro [the food we eat] and micro[the resulting nutrients] can affect the express ability of a gene’s detoxification ability.

It is not just the food you eat, it is also the micro nutrients that you derive from food that provide essential building materials for the cell. These micro nutrients are what design and define the body. Every cell is capable of meeting the body’s needs. But if the parents are unhealthy, then the cells of the child will be genetically deficient from the beginning. When we work with our clients, we look at the health history of the parents. This approach can point out the most likely nutritional deficiencies that the child will have inherited.

>Now when you realize that most people are also taking prescription drugs, which was not the case in the past, then nutrition takes an even bigger nosedive. What isn’t generally known is that many pharmaceutical drugs can cause an increase in the consumption of certain nutrients, such as potassium when taking diuretics or folic acid for people receiving chemotherapy. It is also a well-known fact that taking antibiotics for any length of time alters the natural flora balance in the intestinal tract leading to vaginal infection and constipation. Most drugs work through the process of inhibition which is essential for crisis management. But in the long term, this can cause a restriction of normal body function, thus suppressing the long-term health of the body.

So this is an even bigger reason to turn to supplemental nutrition. This type of support can help to offset these imbalances that are created by necessary pharmaceuticals. They can also reduce the negative side-effects often experienced while on medication. This can help your body, by allowing you to take the medication for the necessary length of time, while also deriving maximum benefit. It is ludicrous to deny the benefits of pharmaceuticals; however, adding natural supplementation can lessen the liabilities.

So if you are going to add supplements to your life, the best thing to do is to enhance your digestion so you can get the most from your food and your supplements, and then take your supplements in a way that your body can really utilize.

The Helpful Hint List

First choose supplements that are created from food, because food is what your body recognizes. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are isolated parts of the complete vitamin and mineral complexes found in nature, so taking a part is never as good as taking the whole. In order to utilize a part, your body will have to rob your reserves of the missing elements in order to use the isolated part, and often that isolate has been chemically altered in order to patent the formula. So you are often getting a copy that your body can’t even use.

Now a few things to remember:

Optimize your digestion. For instance, do not drink while you eat in order to have the maximum action of your digestive enzymes. Certain foods contain lots of enzymes that aid your digestion. For instance pineapple and strawberries help to break down fat, while papaya, mango and kiwi break down protein. Raisins and prunes are great to break down carbohydrates, while grapes break down excess sugar in the body. Cherries will reduce excess stored calcium and watermelon will reduce excess water retention. Sugars will reduce your digestion of carbohydrates, so it is a good idea not to mix fruits and vegetables in the same meal.

Part of optimal digestion is ensuring that your nutrition is moving through your digestive tract efficiently so that all your digestive enzymes and bacteria can do their job. If constipation is a chronic issue, then your ability to absorb will be compromised and you will experience a large amount of spoilage in the food that is being processed by your body. Once spoiled, your body will simply eliminate it, and that is literally a waste. Including fiber with your diet can really make a difference in your regularity. Digestive enzymes, probiotics and even hydrochloric acid are all digestive aids that can be incredibly helpful as our bodies age.

Optimize your supplements. Take supplements throughout the day to ensure that you have adequate saturation for your cells at all times. Just think of eating one big meal and starving yourself all day.. you won’t function optimally all day. Vitamins are especially important to have all day, since most vitamins are not stored.

Water soluble vitamins such as B’s and C will be excreted in urine when you have excess, so if you urine is bright yellow, you’re taking too much or you are taking a type that you can’t absorb. Water soluble vitamins should be right at the start of the meal with a large glass of water.

Fat soluble vitamins such as D and E should be taken an hour before a meal with a little amount of fat such as cottage cheese, milk or oil. These vitamins can be stored in lipid tissue such as the liver and the skin.

Minerals on the other hand, are stored as long as you are absorbing them correctly. Minerals require a large number of catalysts for proper absorption and utilization, so getting your minerals in a food concentrate source is the best way to ensure this. Chelated minerals are better for people who have malabsorption because they are combined with an amino acid. Heavy minerals such as iodine, copper and zinc especially should be chelated.

Optimize body function. One of the most important aspects to utilizing supplements and achieving optimal levels of nutrition is your circulation. This is the key because the blood is the defining format of health. Your body will cannibalize bones, muscles, organs and glands to keep the nutrient level of the blood at an optimal level. This is why you lose muscle mass when you fast. The blood also is the primary transportation method for all nutrients and body chemicals. Without your blood reaching all areas of the body, then nutrition is useless. Just think of cold hands and feet — less circulation, less nutrition... arthritis waiting to happen.

Reducing stress is another important aspect to optimal body function. When the body is stressed, your function shifts and certain body functions such as digestion are considered a low priority. During this time nutrients from your food will be immediately eliminated in the urine instead of being utilized, so even if you are eating well and taking supplements, it will be money down the drain or the toilet. Stress also prevents healing, restoration and the creation of fresh, new cells and tissues, leaving you with even less to work with.

So make the most of your nutritional choices and you will see lasting results.