Supplement Smart – Synergistic blends or Flying Solo?
The current vitamin logic states: if the body needs small amounts of vitamins to function, surely the body will perform even better if given more. However, is more really a good thing?
However, it is important to remember that using the “need-a-little-so-take-a-lot” philosophy has not turned out so well with food, alcohol, medications or vices.
While individual nutrients do have a mild effect on enhancing immunity, supplementing a multivitamin and mineral has been demonstrated to offer significant health benefits.
This is because, of the 45 currently known essential nutrients, most have interactions with other nutrients and can be said to work in synergy.
Knowing this, it would be unrealistic to exclude one nutrient, or to prescribe one nutrient for the treatment of disease. For example, deficiencies of vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, iron, zinc and manganese can all contribute to anemia. Indeed, in some circumstances prescribing one nutrient can exacerbate the deficiency of another. Iron is, for example, a zinc antagonist. Both are frequently deficient. Prescribing excessive amounts of iron can exacerbate an undiagnosed or untreated zinc deficiency. Since zinc is a critical nutrient for fetal development this could have seriously detrimental effects during pregnancy.
Examples of positive nutrient synergies include calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and EPA which can help support healthy blood pressure when taken in combination. Similarly, vitamin C, vitamin E or beta carotene supplements may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, taking these together may reduce your risk much more.
At Xtend-Life, we choose only the most effective forms of each ingredient, ensuring we use a form that is known to have superior bio-availability (e.g. Pyridoxal-5-phosphate for Vitamin B5 instead of the common Pyridoxine, which is about 1/5th the cost), and that has full compatibility with the other ingredients in the formula. This is important as we believe that most companies don't adequately consider the compatibility of ingredients and the specific doses needed of each ingredient to ensure all ingredients help to deliver the intended benefits of the formula as a whole. This is an important process that helps to ensure an optimal finished product.
The principle of synergy is a fundamental aspect of the optimum nutrition approach. You may find that by eating the right foods and taking the right combination of nutrients at lower doses that you get better results. Such is the power of the synergistic effect of nutrients. Either way, synergy is a very good thing. It brings us back to the basics: For good health, it's important to eat a wide variety of whole foods.
Here are a few tips to bear in mind:
- There is no substitute for whole foods which contain hundreds of health promoting substances, many of which are still not yet fully understood.
- Eat a varied diet, choosing from a wide range of different kinds of food.
- Don’t supplement individual nutrients without also taking at least a very good all-round multivitamin and mineral supplement.
- Don’t supplement with a large amount of a single antioxidant nutrient (e.g. vitamin C). Ensure that you use a product that contains a range of complimentary antioxidants.
If a person has a specific health concern it is unrealistic for them to expect to correct that concern unless they address their general health because of the interdependency of all the organs and systems. Very often conditions are misdiagnosed and the symptoms may be due to something else.
Total Balance the ultimate synergistic blend
Total Balance helps give your body the best possible foundation by providing the 'fuel' which may be deficient in the body. This family of comprehensive multi-nutrient formulations contain unique blends in addition to an optimized multivitamin/mineral formula and age-defying ingredients. The real value of Total Balance comes with its ability to deal not with one, but a large range of conditions through systemic, hormonal and natural chemical balancing.
Some of the ingredients have specific health benefits, and others are 'co-factors' that help those more specialized ingredients to optimize their efficacy. When combined, these provide synergistic benefits and make the product more effective. This is why a synergistic combination of effective ingredients is so much more effective at supporting general health than single ingredients.
For more in the series:
Part 1 of 5: All Your Questions Answered
Part 2 of 5: Will I Overdose on Supplements?
Part 3 of 5: Why Do Vitamin Forms Matter?
Part 5 of 5: Why Choose Xtend-Life?
In good health.
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