Monthly Archive May 2018

Can we be too healthy?

“I use vitamin C 3x daily, vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin D, B-complex, a multivitamin, fish oil capsules, melatonin, chlorella, coenzyme Q10, Floradix, garlic extract and of course a probiotic.

The client in front of me shook it out of her sleeve without any effort. ‘

Right. “Ma’am, can you repeat that?

The whole song followed quickly again and this time it was supplemented with macaque powder, goji berries and Echinae in case of a cold.

Well, that’s quite a list. Do you use it on someone’s advice?

The woman gave a negative answer. No, she had found out all by herself. Yes, a few were on the advice of a friend, and perhaps a few on the advice of her osteopath. Oh yes, and the Q10 on the advice of the drugstore.

Good. And can you explain how you got there…?’.

Via, via, via, we’re taking more and more pills. Why?

Is this lady the rule or the exception at my surgery? Certainly not the latter, that is not the first thing I would like to say. However, in my opinion – and this is also reflected in the sales figures – people are starting to use more and more food supplements. Sometimes on the advice of a counsellor and regularly on the advice of a saleswoman or under the influence of advertising. Many times more often on the advice of an acquaintance of an acquaintance and a vague friend of whom it had helped so much to get rid of her low back pain and at the same time her fear of heights.

Why do we prefer to listen to a vague acquaintance and not to a doctor?

The question is whether the use of dietary supplements is good or bad. And you will agree with me that there is no ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to that. Whether something is good for someone depends on many, many factors. Does anyone work out above average? Has anyone been ill or has anyone been ill? Does someone have a reduced resistance? Does someone have specific complaints? Does someone have a certain shortage of something? In many cases the first step is to consult a doctor instead of a girlfriend or drugstore, but that is by the way.

Food supplements, isn’t the drug worse than the ailment?

Personally, I have strong doubts about the extent to which – sometimes extremely high doses – of food supplements are used and the ease with which they can be sold. Isn’t it true that the body itself is capable of much more than we think? Do we have to fight every bacterium, every sniff, every cough and every muscle ache? Would that make us live longer? Are we less likely to become ill? Or should we look straight in the mirror and seriously ask ourselves whether the remedy is not worse than the ailment? After all, certain triggers and stimuli make our body stronger. And now we are going to fight all these stimuli artificially. Yes, because we really can’t use a cold.

Enriching nutrition

I agree to some extent with those who claim that our food no longer contains the nutrients it contained 50 years ago, and that therefore we may need to supplement certain nutrients in the form of supplements. At the same time, I believe that good seasonal and well-sourced products still contain a lot of nutrients. It is not for nothing that food is available, and the usefulness and safety of many of the food supplements that are sold with little or no justification can therefore be questioned.

Wanting to be too (easily) healthy is counterproductive.

Recent studies show that, for example, large amounts of antioxidants (such as vitamins C, E and other substances) administered in artificial form harm rather than benefit the immune system function. The form in which these nutrients should actually come to us (vegetables, fruit, etc) does not have that effect. In my opinion it is a) wiser and b) much cheaper to first go back to basics and eat good food, good products and then consult a real expert when it comes to supplement use. Wanting to be too healthy is probably counterproductive.