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A warning about multivitamins + our supplement philosophy.

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A warning about multivitamins + our supplement philosophy.

Apologies for the dramatic subject line, but there's no getting around it. Taking too many (or the wrong types) of supplements is bad news.


According to: the news.


The latest research on multivitamins and other self-prescribed supplements has been released.


And it looks like those colourful 'broad-spectrum' pills, full of promises and Olympic endorsements, may actually contribute to diseases like cancer.




Is this you?


It’s so easy to breeze through your local health food store grabbing a multivitamin here, a hair mineral supplement there - and all the while thinking - these are good for me! (And, even if it IS all marketing hooey, they surely can’t be BAD).


But! The co-author of a recent study has this to say:


“We are not sure why this is happening at the molecular level, but evidence shows that people who take more dietary supplements than needed tend to have a higher risk of developing cancer,” Byers said in a statement released by the center.


Back awaaaaay from the B-complex.




What they’ve found


Numerous studies have raised concern over the safety of vitamin pills.


In 2012, a study Published in The Journal of the American Cancer Institute showed that while a diet high in whole fruits & vegetables significantly lowered cancer risk, taking excess supplements actually increased it.


Others conducted on antioxidants such as beta-carotene, found that taking just one extra dose could increase lung cancer risk by up to 20%. There were similar effects for folic acid (synthetic folate) and vitamin E.


Is whole, organic food looking good yet?


Regan Bailey summed it up when he said: “The majority of scientific data available does not support the role of dietary supplements for improving health or preventing disease.”


Why supplements might harm, not heal


These are our beliefs based on observation, knowledge of the human body and advice from practitioners we trust.


Supplements are our best guess at something naturally perfect. They are not the real deal. Ascorbic acid ('Vitamin C'), for example, is a synthetic replica of just one part of a bigger whole. Found in foods, Vitamin C consists of a complex web of co-factors, supportive nutrients, antioxidants, bioflavonoids - and other magical bits we haven't as yet identified. Sure, ascorbic acid has (positive) effects for people, but at what cost? Are we stressing the body by giving it something only semi-recognizable? What are the long-term ramifications? What are we missing out on?


Many supplements (especially those made into pills) contain excipients - extra material & ingredients - to bind, fill and make them into neat little white nuggets. These ingredients are often left off the label and are commonly derived from GMO crops such as soy or corn.


Processing techniques - bleaching, heat-treatments, chemical extractions - do not have to be disclosed. They are not 'ingredients' and remain veiled in supplemental secrecy.


Was it made from quality original material? We maintain utmost care in sourcing our food, no? Organic, local, grass-fed. But in the face of a powdered or encapsulated thing, forget that it has a back-story too. It was once a raw material.


Our biggest beef with supplements


Are we really learning to be healthy?


Every time we pop a pill in lieu of getting out in the sunshine, eating fruits & vegetables, indulging in traditional, nourishing fare - we sell ourselves short. We refuse to embrace our biological needs - needs that, if met, would see us soar with very little medical/supplemental intervention. Instead, we buy into the idea that we are irreparably broken. (And all the while, paying for the privilege).


Sure, supplements kick things into gear, help us enjoy quicker results and/or support us during a transitional process but do not represent a sustainable solution. Living in accordance with our biological needs is the solution. You heard it here first.


What are the alternatives?


We value food-based supplements, those made according to tradition & physiological intelligence. In our Enliven Organics shop we stock the best whole-food prescriptions that are safe, time-honoured & recognisable to the body.


There’s a big difference between synthetic retinol (Vitamin A) and fermented cod liver oil. See for yourself.


And most importantly - personalise your prescription. See a practitioner, ask Kristy, our holistic health coach, have functional testing done.


Be smart about how you supplement and do so with intent. Not only will it save you money, but it will protect your body - a beautiful thing that knows how to run efficiently all on its own thankyouverymuch.


Over to you: are you a serial pill-popper? What supplements do you take and why?


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