Simon’s Simples: Using Supplements

Using Supplements

It is essential to get a good supply of vitamins and minerals and if you are feeling off-colour its OK to resort to a short course of supplements, especially if you can’t eat much. Your body’s B vitamins and vitamin C need replenishing every day and if you are not able to do this through diet there are multivitamin and mineral supplements available from your pharmacy or health store. Occasionally they can be a useful form of support if you are down. Personally I am using Vitamin D, C and magnesium citrate presently in the cold, dark January in the UK.

As long ago as 1980 the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Dietary Allowances (who established RDA’s or Recommended Daily Allowances in UK) found no scientific evidence for nutritional benefits from vitamins, minerals or trace elements in dosages greater than those supplied by a balanced diet.

But sometimes it is hard to source a ‘balanced’ diet these days. With much of the nutritional content driven from non-organic food and common foods such as salmon polluted with mercury and other toxins it can sometimes be difficult to track down the missing elements you need to procure health, direct from food.

Personally I am pro-supplement use, especially as I getting on a bit now! As with foodstuff, it is important to source your supplements carefully. More and more the pharmaceutical industries are buying into the supplements industries and using their large advertising budgets to persuade us it is better to have expensive urine than to be at risk of ‘getting something’. Don’t forget their primary job is to make money out of you. There are some ethical suppliers and it is worth tracking them down because the product is better.

lots of pills
Big Pharma and the supplements industry

Legislation in the UK states that supplements in shops are not allowed to make any unproven claims as to their efficacy on the labels of their containers – so it is hard to see what the supplements packaged in shops can actually do. They are also being systematically removed from the shelves as new legislation based on ‘Codex Alimentarius’ removes traditional remedies into the prescription zone – ostensibly to ‘protect us’ but in fact to steal choices from people who want to keep their medical sovereignty and accept responsibility for their own bodies.

There is great variability in the quality and content of supplements which is one of the reasons that the powers that be are attempting to regulate them. Good advice is a key to purchasing supplements and fortunately there are some switched on pharmacists who stock a range of alternative medicines in addition to supplying those recommended by more orthodox treatments.

Increasingly, I like to source remedies direct from a natural plant. For example there are increasing products on the market made from the plant ‘Aloe vera’ containing additives such as preservatives and stabilizers. Why not just keep a plant or two on your windowsill and harvest the gel from the leaves as needed? It is always fresh and ready.

Also, with some compounds, plants contain only ‘trace elements’ of what your body might need. You would have to eat bucket-loads for your body to absorb just a small amount. In this situation it is a good idea to supplement for a while, but only on the basis of an informed diagnosis and suitable advice from a qualified practitioner.

The world of food and pharmaceuticals is often driven by money. ‘Every Person is a Patient’ might be an industry catch phrase for ‘Big Pharma’. The simple fact that the human body is a self-healing mechanism, given the chance, is overawed by the ‘wonder of science’ as more and more treatments are found to generate profits for the multinational pharmaceutical industries and their monopolies of supply.

In the US the Federal Drugs Agency, run largely for corporate interests, are experimenting with new legislation. This legislation concerns ‘Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration.’

Real catchy title there, but for the reason, one suspects, of preventing any interest from normal folk! Like ‘Codex Alimentarius’ in Europe – these titles are contrived to prevent most human beings from developing any interest in these legislative changes which effect our basic freedom to make informed choices for ourselves.

Essentially they seek to increase the regulation of food supplements, herbs and juices as drugs. This creates the potential for vegetable juice or healing soup, if offered for a healing modality such as ‘cleansing the liver’ to be classified as a drug. The person recommending such a treatment may be prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license! This is clearly absurd.

We live in dangerous times. Never before has our Earth been so polluted. Never before has there been so much vested interest with the same industrial sources poisoning our food and environment as are offering us ‘treatments’ often with side-effects worse effects than the resulting affliction.

Our food is often stripped of essential nutrition and ‘enhanced’ with toxins to make it look or taste nice. The supplements we might take to replace the missing parts of food are being methodically removed from shop shelves through legislation based on vested interest. Even if we can source food to buy that still has its integrity intact it is often far more expensive than the chemical version, unless of course you grow it yourself or source it from the wild. In some sense – growing or finding your own food is fast becoming a form of rebellion against the system! Gardeners are leading the revolution!

One way through the minefield of misinformation, disinformation and vested interest is a return to careful sourcing of authentic foods. More people than ever in the UK are growing their own food and Farmer’s Markets and Organic Vegetable Box schemes are thriving. Wild food and ‘slow food’ are becoming more popular as the gap between the aware and the unaware continues to widen.

For those of us intent on making good choices for ourselves, our friends and families – and the planet’s health – we have never lived in such interesting times! There are some very challenging times to come!