by Dr. Filza Swalah, ND
Vitamins, minerals, and supplements can be confusing and overwhelming. With so much information out in the social world and constantly streaming into the palms of our hands, it’s no surprise that you have questions about the supplements that are in your cabinet. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of Dr. Filza Swalah, a naturopathic doctor, to help answer some of your burning questions. Let’s go!
- “Do I really need a multi if I eat well?”
Yes, I would still consider taking a multivitamin for a few reasons. First, the quality of our food is just not the same as it once was. Agriculture research shows that fruits and vegetables grown in todays soils are lacking in important nutrients like protein, calcium, iron, B2, and vitamin C. Second, although we can strive to eat a well-balanced and nutrient-dense diet every day, realities and busy schedules can prevent us from getting all essential vitamins and minerals from diet alone. Also, if you’re restricting certain food groups like dairy or wheat, you may be missing out on those nutrients. That’s why taking a multivitamin is essential to cover all your nutrient needs.
- “Why do multivitamins make your urine bright yellow?”
B vitamins, specifically B2, has a yellow pigment which shows up as bright yellow pee in the toilet bowl. The Bs, vitamin C, and all minerals are water-soluble, meaning that the body will absorb all it needs and pee out the rest. Fat-soluble vitamins, like A,D E & K, are stored in fat and remain in the body until it’s called for action.
- “How do I know if my probiotics are working?”
There are a few tell-tale signs of a balanced gut. Consistent bowel movements, less bloating, less heartburn, and less indigestion are all signs and symptoms of optimal gut health. Because the gut controls more than just digestion, you can also see changes in your skin, mood, energy levels, and immune function as well.
- “Can’t I just get vitamin D from the sun?”
There are many factors that go into optimal vitamin D synthesis, like how much skin is exposed to direct sunlight, skin’s melanin content, use of sunscreen, where you live, and even age. Another important factor to consider is the risk of skin cancer, as exposure to the sun is a direct cause. So in theory, you can get vitamin D from the sun but it can be difficult and doesn’t go without risk.
- “How do you know which omega is right for you?”
Omega-3 and omega-6 are considered essential fatty acids because they must come from food. Omega-3s is touted to be the heart-healthy fat, because extensive research shows that it can benefit the heart and even improve inflammation. Omega-6s is also considered essential. However, this fatty acid is linked with inflammation, especially when you eat a lot of it. The ideal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 should be between 1-1 to 4-1, but the Western diet includes more foods with omega-6, making this ratio more like 15-1. That’s why you might not need to supplement with this since you’re probably getting enough from your diet
You can also pick an omega based on your needs. For instance, if you want to reduce cholesterol and promote heart health, Jamieson’s Extra Strength Omega-3 is right for you. If you are looking to support brain health, Jamieson’s Extra Strength Omega-3 + MCT Oil is right for you. Both have a no fishy aftertaste guarantee so you can enjoy your omega to the fullest!