I often have people ask what nutritional supplements they should be taking. Of course, everyone has different needs. Elaine Gottschall believed that if we are eating an assortment of the ‘legal’ foods on the SCD (and were staying 100% legal so the gut could heal) that we would be, for the most part, getting what we needed from our foods.
For years before starting the SCD, I had researched supplements and had tried the therapeutic dosages for our ailments . . . to no avail. Then we learned that damage to the villi inhibits the absorption of nutrients and that supplements often go down the toilet (quite literally) when we do not absorb properly. Since we have a history of heart disease and osteoporosis in our family, and have had malabsorption problems and compromised immune systems for some time, we feel safer adding the following supplements. Now that we’ve healed the intestines, we feel quite confident that the combination of the SCD legal foods plus these supplements will result in good health longer.
Our regimen consists of the following sugar, salt, starch, yeast, milk, wheat, gluten, egg, corn, soy, preservative free supplements:
SCD Multivitamin (SCD approved Freeda Vits from Lucy’s Kitchen*) – 1/2 to 1 per day
Now B-100 Caps – 2 per day (total of 200 mg. of each B vitamin)
Bluebonnet Calcium Citrate (Kay only) – 1 per day (total of 250 mg.)
Now Magnesium Citrate – 2 per day (total of 800 mg.)
Sun Harvest Ultra Citro Cee 500 mg. – 1 per day (total of 500 mg.) or 2-6 during allergy season or if under extra stress
Krill Oil (Omega 3 Fish Oil) – 2 per day (see http://www.mercola.com/products/krill_oil.htm) Or Carlson's Cod Liver Oil Super 1000 mg. - 2-3 per day (total 480 - 720 mg. Omega 3); but only during the winter months when you are not exposed to the sun often.
Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Reserve – 2 per day (total of 1200 mg.) or 6 per day when allergies are bad or if under stress. There are several Kyolics – only this one is SCD legal)
Bluebonnet Ubiquinol (CellularActive CoQ10) – 2 per day (total of 200 mg.)
(Optional) Lyosan Yogurt Acidophilus – 2 or 3 per day (SCD legal probiotics from Lucy’s Kitchen) These are good to take when traveling if you can’t take your homemade lactose-free yogurt with you or to take in addition to the homemade yogurt if having a digestive/intestinal flare.
If under stress, we increase Omega 3, Vit. C and Garlic. All work like natural anti-inflammatories in the body.
I recommend someone new to SCD leave off their supplements (especially herbs since many can cause gastro problems) entirely, and follow the SCD 100% until their digestive and/or intestinal symptoms are virtually gone; then change their supplements to those containing "legal’" ingredients only, and add one at a time (like foods) to make sure they don’t cause digestive/intestinal problems. Herbs often cause problems, complicating the big picture. Remember: It is trial and error (even with the legal foods and supplements) to find what works best for you. If you have questions about foods, additives, herbs, etc., use the Search button at www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info to get Elaine Gottschall’s advice. “If in doubt, leave it out” is a good motto.
I find the more careful we are with the foods and supplements we can control, the less apt we are to have problems from small accidental ingestion of illegals when eating away from home.
*Lucy: www.lucyskitchenshop.com 1 (888) 484-2126
When many people come to the SCD™ they are often already taking a number of supplements and ask whether they are legal on SCD™. We are therefore very grateful to Catherine Tamaro who has compiled the following list of supplement additives. I cannot comment on individual brands of supplement yet because the manufacturers are not telling us everything about the additives in their supplements. Supplements should be kept to a minimum but I recognize that because of mal-absorption issues when people begin the SCD™ that they may be necessary. Once healing has progressed, the aim should be to minimize some supplements. See pages 46 to 49 of my book Breaking the Vicious Cycle.
LEGAL SUPPLEMENT ADDITIVES
ILLEGAL SUPPLEMENT ADDITIVES
Cellulose (also Methyl Cellulose, Microcrystalline Cellulose,
Plant Cellulose, Vegetable Cellulose)
For an in-depth look at vitamins, minerals, and foods, visit www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/index.html
Words of wisdom from Dr. Mercola:
A recent study regarding the safety of vitamin supplements is important because it supports the notion that vitamin supplements are helpful, not harmful.
This is a controversial topic, and I have concluded the answer really is dependent upon the specific circumstances involved with whomever I'm considering recommending them to.
However, I most certainly do not support using supplements as a way to justify poor eating. I firmly believe that whatever supplements you choose to take, there is simply no substitute for healthy eating.
I am also a firm believer in the concept that it's not necessarily the amount of nutrients you ingest that is important. Rather, it's the form of the nutrients, and how much is bio-available, that counts the most.
When discussing supplements, whether or not they are safe, when and how much of them you should take, most people often forget about something that I feel is more important than any single supplement or food you can eat.
I am talking about DIGESTION.
I would be willing to bet that more than half the people out there taking supplements are actually gaining little to no benefit from the nutrients supplied by them.
The reason for this is simple. If your digestive system is not working properly, you aren't absorbing your food and nutrients well.
Unfortunately, most of us have digestive systems that could be working better. Consider the following questions:
- Do you feel bloated after meals?
- Do you get heartburn or reflux?
- Do you experience gas, loose stools or constipation on a fairly regular basis?
- Do you often notice undigested food particles in your stools?
- Do you have less than two to three well-formed bowel movements everyday?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it is extremely likely that your digestive system is not working like it should be.
If that is the case, then whenever you take a supplement, especially one that is not food-based, you are wasting your money.
Seven Tips for Optimizing Your Digestion
1. Eat appropriate quantities. This may seem obvious, but some people just don't realize that they are overeating on a regular basis. I usually recommend that people take a slightly smaller portion than they normally would and wait for 10 minutes after finishing it before going back for seconds. Usually they find they don't need them.
2. Chew your food. Another seemingly obvious one that is very commonly overlooked. At your next meal, try chewing each bite 20-30 times (an optimal amount for good digestion). You will quickly realize how little you chewed before.
3. Avoid eating on the run or if you are emotionally upset in any way. The effects that stress has on your digestive system cannot be overstated. In fact, for a majority of young and middle-aged people, this is often the number one cause of poor digestion.
4. Ensure adequate secretion of your digestive juices. Eating regular meals containing protein, chewing your food well, and eating bitter tasting foods at the beginning of your meal will help stimulate the secretion of hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes, both of which are necessary for good digestion. You may also want to consider drinking a glass of water with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in it five to 10 minutes before you eat.
5. Eat your veggies. Vegetables can provide you with all the fiber you need to help improve bowel function. Another excellent choice for increasing your fiber intake is freshly ground flax seeds. Usually, two to three tablespoons mixed in a smoothie or sprinkled on your food will suffice. Eat your vegetables raw or very lightly steamed to maximize the enzymes that help you digest them properly.
6. Make sure you eat your bugs. Regular consumption of beneficial bacteria is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The best way to do so is by consuming fermented foods or drinks on a daily basis.
7. Exercise, exercise, exercise. Daily movement is essential for proper bowel function and also helps relieve the stress that can wreak havoc on your digestion.
Note: To avoid stomach problems and promote better tolerance, supplements should always be taken earlier, or in the middle of a larger meal. When taken on an empty stomach or after a meal, there is a greater risk of some tablets causing irritation, or eventual erosion of the esophageal sphincter, resulting in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). It is also advisable not to lie down immediately after taking any pills. When taking a very large daily amount of a single nutrient, it is better to split it up into smaller doses to not interfere with the absorption of other nutrients in food or nutrients supplemented at lower amounts.