Supplement Shopping

My number one source of anxiety over this last year has been the issue of supplements. I would rather shop for a used car than decide which supplement to buy.

I have a hard time sorting through the promises. I can’t decide if we need it. I’m not sure what I’m looking for when I read the list of ingredients. I don’t know which company to trust. Does the most expensive option necessarily mean the best option?

The most haunting question for me: Is there some miracle supplement we’re missing?

Which has made me especially vulnerable to the promises.

One thing that has helped me sort through the supplement selection process is to rule out anything with magnesium stearate. There are opposing views on this subject. One side says the stearate scare is exaggerated. The other insists magnesium stearate is a toxin.

Magnesium stearate, stearic acid and calcium stearate are made with cottonseed or palm oil. The oils are hydrogenated and then added to the raw materials so that machinery will run faster.

Are these stearates added in levels high enough to do us harm? I don’t really need to know the answer. Much like with toxic mold, I can't lose to avoid it.

For an interesting look at the potential hazards of supplementation, see this article.

The magnesium stereate issue confirms my inclination to drink my nutrition. For those of us with digestive problems due to toxic injury, it makes sense to question the absorbability of the supplements.

Thus I have focused my attention on improving digestion rather than picking the right supplement. The lining of the gut is a delicate membrane and the wall behind it contains 80% of the immune system.

One of the most affordable and potent ways to boost the digestion is raw unsalted sauerkraut. Fermented cabbage produces compounds known as isothiocyanates, which in animal studies have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer. Fermented cabbage also produces lactobacilli, or friendly bacteria, which promote the growth of healthy flora.

We have acquired a taste for the dill sauerkraut by Rejuvenative Foods found in the refrigerated dairy or probiotic section of most health food stores.

There are many other ways to boost digestion. The simple process of chewing, for example. Drinking lots of good clean water. Chicken and beef broth. Eliminating processed foods.

This emphasis in our recovery process has saved my sanity as much as it has our health.

We still add to our diet in various ways, but I'm far more relaxed about it all.

I'm content to rebuild our digestive tracts, and our lives, one lactobacillus at a time.