1.12.17

We’ve raided the medicine cabinets of health coach, Summer Sanders, model Crosby Tailor, and so many more. We’re always impressed by what we find and learn a lot! Here’s a glimpse inside holistic nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque‘s wellness stash spot, supplements, herbs and “soil-based” stuff included. Use her guide to assess your own routine, pair with a healthy diet and you’ll be on a fast track to feeling amazing.

We love a quick fix. If a bottle of vitamin D can provide defense against a long list of diseases, including diabetes, cancer, depression or even the common cold, we order it. But there’s a catch to supplementing blindly. Many of the studies you hear about are observational (not a controlled setting against a placebo) and the majority of people taking supplements are already healthy and active. On top of that, synthetic isolated nutrients come with a list of serious side effects, including toxicity symptoms like nausea, stroke, vomiting and heart attack.

Questions to ask yourself when ordering supplements:
– Where is it coming from?
– Does it work? Am I taking the right form?
– Is this bio-available in my body?
– Does it oxidize or go rancid?
– Do I methylate properly?

Omega-3 pills can oxidize, too much vitamin D can be toxic and folic acid is not folate. Most women (especially pregnant women) take folic acid not folate without realizing folic acid is not naturally found in food, doesn’t cross the placenta and the conversion of folic acid to folate is minimal at best. Folate is a B vitamin naturally occurring in leafy greens and fermented foods. It is also highly bioavailable in your body because of the enzymes, synergistic co-factors and organic mineral activators present during digestion. The beauty of whole foods is that vitamins and antioxidants work synergistically to prevent toxicity while providing our body with necessary vitamins and minerals.

Unfortunately due to poor quality food, depleted soils and lack of sunlight your clean eating efforts might not be doing the trick. The best way to determine if you are suffering from a deficiency is to get your blood tested with a functional medicine doctor and then continue to track your levels to prevent toxicity. Another option is to supplement with high a quality multivitamin to compliment your nutrition or pick a few of the most important (most deficient) supplements that work synergistically together to prevent decline such as omega 3, vitamin D/K2, B vitamins and magnesium.

Multivitamin:

Ritual is a new kind of health brand that believes in simplicity, traceability and ingredients that work best in the body. A couple weeks ago, they launched their reinvented daily vitamin for women that provides nine essential ingredients women need including omega 3, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, B12, folate, boron, iron, magnesium and vitamin E. Each ingredient is the in its most effective (vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy- and dairy-free) forms that actually work in the body – nothing more, nothing less. They’re clear about how and from where they source our ingredients, which is ground breaking because they’re the only vitamin brand with a transparent and traceable supply chain.

Vitamin D/K2:

More than 100 million Americans are deficient in vitamin D, every cell in the body has a receptor for vitamin D and it has the ability to affect up to 2000 genes. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin responsible for immune regulation, absorption of calcium and phosphorus, maintenance of healthy bones and protection against multiple diseases cancer, Type 1 diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and the flu. Further, in 2007 scientists uncovered that vitamin K2 was the key to bone health because it facilitates the integration of absorbed calcium into your bone matrix instead of soft tissue.

Omega 3:

Due to large doses of industrial seed oils, most of which are almost exclusively omega 6, Americans now have an average inflammatory ratio of 15:1 (omega 6:omega3) instead of the ideal 1:1 ratio. The chronic inflammation this causes can be healed by lowering our consumption of seed oils like safflower, sunflower, soy, corn, cottonseed and canola while increasing our consumption of omega 3 from algae (algal) or fish.

Note: Most vegetable sources are the short chain omega-3 fatty, ALA and LA, which need to be converted to EPA and DHA. For reference, less than 5% of ALA gets converted to EPA, and less than 1% of ALA is converted to DHA, so if you are dowsing yourself in flax oil, this is an example of the wrong form. To help balance your omega ratio consider a single serving fresh bottle of cod liver oil in a dark bottle to prevent oxidation. (Ritual is algal based and the vitamin E present in capsule prevents oxidation.)

Magnesium:

Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood-glucose control and blood pressure regulation. It is also required for the synthesis of DNA and RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione responsible for boosting our immune system and fighting inflammation. Sadly, common diseases can impair our ability to absorb and retain magnesium in the body. IBS, Crohn’s disease, gluten-sensitivity and regional enteritis can lead to magnesium depletion over time due to fat and mineral malabsorption and diabetes, alcoholism and age all come with more frequent urination and the excretion of this vital nutrient. Looking to supplement? Oxygenated magnesium, is not only absorbed faster, but it also has other important advantages, such as better oxygenation and alkalization, over simple elemental magnesium.

B Vitamins:

The B vitamin family consists of B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin) and B12. Known for their effect on cellular energy, each B vitamin has a different specific function like reducing inflammation, supporting hormonal function, supporting nerve and heart health and maintaining a healthy metabolism and digestive system. Each deficiency comes with its own symptoms but for B vitamins, they can life altering, for example, a B12 deficiency can cause extreme fatigue, anemia, numbness and tingling, a B6 deficiency can cause depression and confusion and a deficiency in niacin can cause nausea and abdominal cramps. Supplementing with a complex B vitamin can help keep levels up, and the right form is important.

Soil-Based Probiotics:

80 percent of our immune system is located in our gut; our microbiota (gut flora) is responsible for the secretion of regulatory T cells, IgG and IgA and the production of butyrate, vitamin K2 and vitamin B12. Unfortunately, our symbiotic ecosystem can be broken down by a number of influences including antibiotics, stress, sugar and chemicals. By consuming probiotic containing foods like sauerkraut and kimchi and supplementing with probiotics we can continue to support the delicate balance that influences our mood and skin, not just our digestion.

Prescript Assist soil-based organisms are not only extremely shelf stable and heat resistant but they are designed to be resilient against stomach acid, ensuring that the capsule of 29 strains of soil-based bacteria reaches its intended destination intact. Most importantly, bacteria cultured in soil (not dairy) is a natural process that mimics the introduction of bacteria from chemical- and pesticide-free produce sans refrigeration (from field to mouth).

Rhodiola:

Rhodiola is an adaptogen that restores your normal physiological response to stress, protects against stress-induced depression and modulates the immune system. However, this herb is growing in popularity because of numerous studies showing its system-wide efficacy to promote homeostasis in the body. Rhodiola is shown to prevent stress-induced heart attacks;  promote new cardiac blood-vessel growth after a heart attack; and beauty benefits include restoring the liver’s natural antioxidant stores, stimulating an appropriate immune response to inflammation. Most recently, it has been linked to weight loss (albeit from the reduction in stress!).

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 


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  1. I just started taking a calcium, magnesium and zinc supplement along with Vitamin D and Rhodiola a couple weeks ago. So cool to see and learn even more about what I am taking via this article!

    Kathleen Mason | 01.12.2017 | Reply


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