I advise my patients often on what body supplements to take, what to avoid, what's good for their body and what's not. Here's a quick glimpse into my thoughts on the subject for your benefit, dear reader. If you have more questions for me please email me at email@example.com.
Dr Sonam Yadav (MD, Juverne)
What's a supplement?
An ingredient or combination of ingredients which can boost the physiologic processes of the body is a supplement. Based on what process you are trying to boost, you would choose one or many supplements. The important things to remember are these two:
1. A supplement is - as the name suggests - an add on, a top up, a helpful aid; but never a substitute for the basic needs of your body: balanced diet, exercise & rest.
2. Don't self medicate. And don't self administer a supplement. Anything that's going into your body will have an impact and thus you need to check with your doc.
What kind of supplements do people usually take for a fitter body and what do they need to know about these?
1. Protein shakes, powders and pills
There are many kinds. Soy and whey are the commonest sources. While too much soy has risk of causing feminising effects in a male; whey can worsen acne and skin inflammation in many individuals.
2. Amino acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Some of these are in scarce supply in our diet and have become popular supplements. Others are used for their specific effects - like glutamine for boosting metabolism and losing weight. However, glutamine allergy is common and can be severe. It is especially common in persons who are gluten intolerant.
Vitamins A, D & E are fat soluble and get stored in your tissues. Which means overdosing is seriously dangerous. All the other vitamins are water soluble. Which means overdosing just makes 'pricey pee'.
4. Fibre & Laxatives
Overdoing fibre especially by vegans causes bloating, aches, constipation and flatulence. Using laxatives (or colon hydrotherapy/enemas) too often can make your gut lazy and get it addicted to pills.
Using a pill to lose bloating and water weight may be a supermodel trick before a show. But using this by yourself and often means you're going to end up with issues. Electrolyte imbalance is the start of it.
6. Meal Replacements.
NO. Just no.
Things patients may say about their pills:
"But mine is herbal organic fairy dust from the other side of the Pacific!!"
"But my friend/trainer/guruji takes it and they look amazing & had no problems"
"But I read about it on Goop/similar"
No matter what it says on the label, or what you have heard - the product you're taking has an effect on the body. Don't treat the subject lightly. Most powders and pills were processed & shipped to you and sits on your shelf for months. I am not against supplements. I take some too. There is a place for supplements (just like meds) but they aren't magic pills free of risk or harm. Take them with caution. Talk to your doctor, and do your own research.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more, follow me on Instagram at @DrSonamYadav.