All About Supplements

Common SupplementsFirst and foremost, this article is for education purposes only. I am not prescribing any supplements to you. I am educating you on the benefits of the most common supplements that are generally not contra-indicated with most medications. Please speak to your Doctor before taking any supplement.

5 Most Common Supplements:

   1.   Omega 3Essential Fatty acids (EFAs) :

The body cannot make this, so it must be obtained from food or supplements.

Important for cholesterol transport and oxidation.

Controls the flow of nutrients in and out of cells.

Modulates the inflammatory response.

Caution with this supplement as it can interact with blood thinners, check with your pharmacist or doctor.

   2.   Probiotics

Probiotic bacteria must be consumed daily.

The most important varieties are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.

Sugar and an excess or simple starches (like white bread) encourage the spread of unhealthy intestinal microorganisms.

Human studies show that regular use of probiotic foods or supplements can aid the digestion of foods, treat diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome just to name a few.

   3.   Digestive Enzymes

These are instrumental in breaking down the food we eat so that it can pass through the digestive tract into the bloodstream to be converted to energy.

Lack of digestive enzymes, and food enzymes located in raw foods, can lead to digestive disturbances, bloating, gas, excessive body fat, and many other health problems.

   4.   Multi Vitamin

A multi vitamin works with a healthy diet, not to replace it, it acts as an insurance policy against possible deficiencies.

It provides all of the known vitamins and minerals and serves as a foundation.

   5.   Vitamin D

This is known as the sunshine vitamin, it has a dual role as a vitamin and a hormone, our body can produce it through the simple action of sunlight on the skin. Half an hour of sun exposure per day provides what we need, also egg yolks, liver, fish and cod liver oil.

It increases calcium absorption and phosphorous and regulates the calcification and mineralization of the bones.

Remember, if your digestion is not optimal, you will not be absorbing the nutrients in your food or your supplements.

    3 Basic Steps to Good Digestion:

   1.   Thoroughly chew your food

   2.   Eat slowly, this allows your body time recognize that you are eating

   3.   Drink only small amounts of room temperature water, or nothing at all while you are eating, too much liquid will stop the digestion process and can lead to bloating

Consider this, when you wake up in the morning your stomach feels flat…is it the same when you go to bed at night?

Daily Allowance of Supplements

RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)

RDA is on the right hand side of all food labels.

It is based on the person having a 2000 calorie a day diet.

This is then broken down into caloric amounts for each macronutrient and the percentage given is based on that.

Example the RDA for carbohydrates is between 45-75% of your daily calories. So if you ate 2000 calories per day, 45% of that would be 900 calories of carb per day. If the product had 45g of carb per serving that would give you a 5% RDA – What would happen if you consumed 45g of carb 4 times per day (3 meals and a snack)? FAT FAT FAT

ODA (Optimal Daily Allowance)

Represents a new reference level beyond the RDA.

The amounts are higher and have beneficial disease preventative effects.

ODA are frequently used in research studies and commonly practiced among nutritionally minded professionals.

Choosing a Quality Supplement

(The following info is from the Health Canada Website.)

All natural health products (NHPs) sold in Canada are subject to the Natural Health Products Regulations, which came into force on January 1, 2004, NHPs are defined as:

  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Herbal remedies
  • Homeopathic medicines
  • Traditional medicines such as traditional Chinese medicines
  • Probiotics
  • Other products like amino acids and essential fatty acids

To be legally sold in Canada, all natural health products must have a product licence, and the Canadian sites that manufacture, package, label and import these products must have site licences.

To get product and site licenses specific labeling and packaging requirements must be met, good manufacturing practices must be followed and proper safety and efficacy evidence must be provided.

Once Health Canada has assessed a product and decided it is safe, effective and of high quality, it issues a product licence along with an eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM), which must appear on the label. This number lets you know that the product has been reviewed and approved by Health Canada.

Because Health Canada has not yet evaluated all natural health products currently on the market, products with exemption numbers can also legally be sold in Canada. The exemption number will be listed on the product label in the form EN-XXXXXX.

These products have not been fully evaluated by Health Canada, but have gone through an initial assessment to make sure that information supporting their safety, quality and efficacy has been provided, and that specific safety criteria have been met. This will allow Canadians access to the full range of NHPs they are used to while Health Canada continues to fully assess each product.


Follow the RDA for any supplements you choose to add to your diet. (Check with your doctor, or other professional, before adding anything you are uncertain of.)

Choose quality products, they may be more expensive upfront, but in the long run are more effective meaning your money is not wasted.

Ensure your digestion is working properly so that you are truly getting the most from your supplements.

And always see what foods you may be able to add, or switch up, in your daily diet. Whole food options are always a great choice!