Vitamins & Supplements
The use and importance of supplements depend on your lifestyle, health, and nutritional intake.
Table Of Contents
- Are Supplements Important
- How Do You Evaluate A Supplement
- What is the difference between a Vitamin, a Nootropic, and a Whole Food Supplement
- Does Dr. Starr Recommend Supplements
- Does Supplementation Assist Brain Training
- Are There Risks to Taking Supplements
- Do Supplements Cure Mental Illness
- What Does Dr. Starr Take Every Day
- Are Supplements For Everyone
Are Supplements Important?
The use and importance of supplements depend on your lifestyle, health, and nutritional intake. Those in good health, eat a balanced organic diet, and take care of their bodies may not require supplementation. However, if you have multiple external stressors such as pollution, poor access to clean water, and natural food supplementation may be an essential adjunct to a healthy brain program.
How do you evaluate a supplement?
1) The Brand
The supplement should come from a company with an ethos dedicated to health. Often nutrition lines are started by someone who began searching for a loved one who was ill or for their health. Buying any supplement off the shelf in a big box store will probably not be as well-designed by someone who produces recipes with love and attention.
2) Contents and Ratios
I have been using supplements since my days as a competitive skier, and I have recommended them for patients and clients for decades. Thus, I have become astute at recognizing a supplement thrown together from random ingredients to a combination of nutrients formulated together in a way that makes sense.
Does the supplement contain Vitamins A, D, E, or K? As these are fat-soluble and can build up and become toxic in the body, it is vital to ensure that these particular substances are not over-represented.
Is there a Vitamin B Complex, and if so, what are the ratios of B Vitamins?
Cyanocobalamine, also known as Vitamin B12, is vitally essential for central nervous system functioning. This particular vitamin can be poorly absorbed by the gut and should be higher than other B Vitamins such as B6 and Pyridoxine.
3) Process and Source
Where are the sources of the nutrients from? Are they isolated, analogs, or whole foods?
The optimal ingredients are sourced from whole fruits and vegetables. This allows the body to engage in the nutrients’ micro metabolism, so various enzyme systems do not shut down via downstream modulation. In other words, you need to use it or lose it.
The process by which the supplements are made and stored is also important. Generally, I tend to avoid supplements in a clear bottle. The active molecules in the vitamins are activated by light, and this destroys their benefit. Supplements should always have third-party testing and approval. There is no sense in throwing money away on inactive supplements.
4) Proprietary Ingredients
I tend to avoid recommending anything with Proprietary Ingredients. These additives are not listed on the product label, and therefore it cannot be determined what their effect might be on an individual.
The prices of supplements vary widely. It seems that if you put a brain on the label and add the word “Neuro,” the price doubles for the same supplement. This is purely a marketing ploy.
Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs when evaluating your need for a supplement. If you are dealing with physiological, financial, or safety needs, perhaps those deserve more time and energy than finding the right supplement.
6) Would Dr. Starr Take This?
Yes, this is my final criteria before I recommend it to friends, family, and clients. After I have evaluated the above for any supplement, I ask myself if I would use it. If the supplement fails the test above, the answer is a resounding no, and I do not recommend using it.
What is the difference between a Vitamin, a Nootropic, and a Whole Food Supplement?
Nootropics are known as smart drugs. These are specific compounds that are believed to increase intelligence, attention, stamina, and creativity. Whole Food Supplements are ground-up particles of a specific food such as grapes. Vitamins are specific classes of compounds that are isolated from a food source. Vitamins are divided into two groups, fat-soluble and non-fat soluble.
Do Nootropics Work?
Perhaps, but there is conflicting data on who should take them, the dosage, and what kind is the best. Do research, ask experts, and use good judgment.
Do Supplements Work?
They are supplements, so by definition, the effects are indirect. They supplement biochemical processes.
Does Dr. Starr Recommend Supplements?
Dr. Starr has decades of knowledge and experience in alternative mental health treatments and can evaluate what supplements may be additive and what may cause side effects. All supplements are specific to the individual.
Does Supplementation Assist Brain Training?
Our anecdotal evidence supports improved benefits in healthy individuals with an active lifestyle and good nutrition. We have noted that some people who supplement have faster results. However, this has not been scientifically validated.
We recommend Flow Stimulant Free Work-Out Formula before Neurofeedback.
Are There Risks to Taking Supplements?
You should consult your PCP if you are taking medication, have a health condition, or any other condition that would preclude you from using bio-active supplementation.
Do Supplements Cure Mental Illness?
Mental illness is not strictly curable, therefore no. However, nutritional deficiencies that go unnoticed can produce neurological and psychological effects. Thus the symptoms of psychiatric and neurological disorders related to a general medical condition are curable via supplementation.
What Does Dr. Starr Take Every Day?
This Multi-Vitamin by Driven Nutrition
This product has everything my system requires, even when I cannot get proper nutrition. It is a good balance of various nutritional components but has nothing fancy to upset my system. It is not intended to improve daily performance but to maintain health and avoid chronic disease. Additionally, there is a gender-specific formulation that takes to account the metabolic differences between men and women.
This Essential Fatty Acid (Omega 3)
The benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids have been extensively studied over the past three decades. A deficiency in Omega-3 has been linked to heart disease, stroke, depression, anxiety, and attention problems.
An Omega Fatty Acid belongs to a group of organic hydrocarbon molecules that contain a specific number of carbons and cannot be synthesized by the body. They must be ingested from food sources. This is why this group of compounds is called Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). The typical Western diet has a shortage of Omega-3s and a plethora of Omega-6s and 9s. This ratio has been linked to obesity, skin issues, and other chronic health and well-being problems.
For Food Supplementation
Antioxidant support is integral to any tailored supplement program. Although the above multivitamin does contain an adequate amount of antioxidants and free-radical scrubbers, there is considerable evidence to support improved immune system functioning and improved mental functioning into older age with significant antioxidant supplementation.
If I am having Sleep or Stomach Issues
Even peak performers have off nights and days. This can occur when food may not agree when traveling or preparing for a large event.
For Peak Performance At A Task
Are Supplements For Everyone?
It would be absurd to think that this cocktail will work for everyone. The idea is a gentle formulation that will be additive for most and do no harm in the least.
If you are taking medication, or have some underlying condition, you must consult your PCP before adding anything to your regimen.
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