Are supplements necessary? We hear the question all the time. There’s a lot of public controversy lately about synthetic vitamins and whether or not the body can actually absorb their nutrients. But does that mean we should stop taking pills for nutrition altogether? We don’t think so. We’re big advocates of whole food form supplements and herbs and wanted to ask a few in-depth questions of one of the new brands coming to market who plans to shake up the way we supplement altogether.
We asked the founder of the innovative new supplement company, Ritual, Kat Schneider a few direct questions about supplementation. New brands like Ritual are reframing our ideas about which supplements are necessary and helping consumers get clear about which nutrients their bodies may be lacking if they’re relying on diet alone.
Q: Are supplements necessary? We think so, but can you explain why for the skeptics’ sake?
A: First of all, turns out it’s pretty hard to eat a healthy diet all of the time. Nobody gets the daily value — the recommended daily amount (RDA) of essential vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins — every day and all the time. Less than 5% of the population get the daily value and those are usually people who take a supplement. Getting that out of your diet is virtually impossible. A healthy diet may be good enough to prevent a nutrient deficiency disease — say, scurvy — but it’s not enough nutrition for your best health.
Along that same line, even though you receive essential vitamins and nutrients from foods you eat, there are still gaps that need to be filled. For example, over 90% of women are deficient in D3 and over 70% of women are deficient in omega 3s and magnesium. Taking a high-quality vitamin supplement, with the right forms of each nutrient, can help bring women to optimal health and fill the nutritional gaps they are not getting from their diets alone.
Many people have tried other vitamins but don’t feel the effects right away, so they don’t believe it is working and stop taking them, not realizing the effects get better over time. Vitamins, taken over the long-term, can be help improve bone, heart and brain health, even aid in anti-aging. Balance is very important, and studies show supplements work better the longer they are taken (see study: Block G. Nutr J 2007;6:30).
Q: Can you talk about 3 separate essential vitamins and their relation to prevention?
A: Women are often told that they need an A-Z list of essential vitamins daily, but we’ve conducted months of research through government-funded data and studies to discover which vitamins women are not getting enough of in their diet alone. It turns out that there are really only nine. The three ingredients we include for prevention are vitamin D3, vitamin K2 MK7 and boron:
Vitamin D3: for maintaining bone, brain, heart and immune health. Ritual uses lichen instead of sheep’s wool lanolin D3.
Vitamin K2 MK7: for bone and heart health that nothing else can replace. We use pure non-soy MK7 instead of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone).
Boron: works with vitamin D and magnesium to help reduce need for calcium for bone, joint and heart health. We use calcium fructoborate, a food-form boron, instead of sodium borate.
Q: What are three essential vitamins related to mood, energy and daily well-being?
A: Vitamin D3 for mood. Not having enough vitamin D or sunlight leads to feeling less than great. We make sure women are getting enough to feel their best. Deficiencies or low intakes of iron and/or magnesium can make women feel tired and find it harder to exercise. We fill the gap to help women get enough iron and magnesium to stay energetic. For daily well-being you can’t beat omega 3s. They help keep everything healthy, especially your brain, immune system and circulation. We provide a 100% vegetarian omega-3 DHA and EPA oil from microalgae.
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.