June 09, 2013

My Staple Supplements

A few years ago I was very "anti-supplement". What do I mean by this? It means that I avoided supplements thinking that I should be able to get whatever nutrients, vitamins or minerals from my diet and my diet alone. Now as much as I love this theory I have changed my mind over the years. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Unfortunately the soil that our food is grown in just isn't the same as it used to be. Most has been leached, treated with various chemicals and processed time and time again. This means that it just doesn't contain the same nutrients that it used to. So our food therefore doesn't obtain the same nutrient density that it used to.

2. Some things you just can't get enough of in your diet. Some examples: enough vitamin D, certain probiotic strains, high potency omega 3's, digestive enzymes (if you need them).

3. Certain conditions can alter the way your body handles and digests food ie. leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth, candida overgrowth, IBD etc. Until these conditions are under control your body will need a little support in terms of combating inflammation, digesting food and absorbing vitamins and minerals.

Here the list of supplements that I am currently using and would highly recommend!

1. Vitamin D

Yes I know you have probably heard this before but we all need vitamin D. And most of us live in places where we just can't get enough from the sun, even if we are spending a lot of time outside. At certain latitudes the sun just isn't strong enough, sometimes all year round. That is why I rely on my vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is a hot topic in the medical field right now and its deficiency has been linked to many things including multiple sclerosis, asthma, celiac disease... the list goes on.
I personally take 20 000 IU per week. And yes I know you are thinking that sounds like a lot. But I have had my levels checked and this seems to be the dose I need. I would recommend starting at 2000-3000 IU per day and then having your level checked in 1-2 months to see where you are at. Some docs will hesitate to check your vitamin D level, but if you say you are supplementing and want to ensure that your level is in the normal range it shouldn't be a problem.
You can get vitamin D in either capsules or liquid form. Either is fine, just make sure it is vitamin D3 you are getting. And if you are on the SCD diet make sure you are getting a supplement that doesn't contain any illegal ingredients! You should take your vitamin D with food since it is a fat soluble vitamin and will be better absorbed this way.

2. Fish Oil

If you know anything about the fish we eat these days you know that it is much lower in omega 3's  and higher in omega 6's than it once was based on what fish are fed. I always suggest you get fresh and not farmed fish as this will naturally increase the content of omega 3's in the fish. However, unless you are eating fish on a daily basis, it is hard to get an equal ratio of omega 3 and 6's in your diet. For that reason I rely on fish oil. I currently take cod liver oil. Yes it tastes a little fishy, but it is a pure source of omega 3's that I can trust. I would recommend 1tsp per day, taken with food. Omega 3's are a great anti-inflammatory that is especially important if you have a leaky gut or any type of inflammatory disease.

3. Digestive Enzymes

If you don't have digestive issues I wouldn't worry about these but since adding enzymes a couple years ago my bowels are much much happier. I take one with every meal, and depending on the size of my snacks I will take one with them as well. There are many brands out there but finding one that is SCD legal can be tricky. I use Future Formulations Digestive Enzymes. The best deal I have found in Calgary is at Community Health Foods.

4. MSM Powder 

Now I actually just added this into my regimen a couple weeks ago. Before then I had never heard of this supplement. What it is powdered sulphur. I know it sounds bizarre and let me warn you it tastes terrible! But around the internet you can find a ton of IBD and SCD forums talking about this powder and how much it helped their symptoms. It helps decrease inflammation and repair intestinal tissue. I still need to do a little more research to see if there have been any randomized control trials looking at this supplement. If I find anything I will get back to you! I am currently taking 1/4 tsp twice a day with meals. It does seem to be helping so far and I haven't noticed any side effects.

Ok everyone those are my staple supplements. I have others that I add in from time to time that I will post about in the future. But I figure that is enough information for one post.
What supplements do you take? Will you be adding any of these into your regimen?

As always I would love to hear from you! I hope you are having a good weekend!


  1. Where do you get your Cod Liver Oil? We're taking them in pill form, but I've heard that the actual oil is better.

  2. I order it from iherb.com
    I also get my vitamin D from there and the MSM that I am using right now :)