Supplement Vitamins and Minerals?

Although we are healthier than ever before, the World population's general health is deteriorating. There are more and more "Lifestyle Diseases"  and almost half the western population suffers from some kind of chronic illness. The human population has been advancing and our life expectancy has increased year after year. But for the first time in decades we see that the life expectancy of newborns is lower than that of their parents. These days you easily get sick and it is very hard to stay healthy. But I believe that we can have a great influence on our health by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Are vitamin and mineral supplements essential for good health?

Is it good to supplement vitamins and minerals? Today, the debate flares up on the use of vitamins and minerals. It especially focuses on the high-dose supplements. Scientists claim that if you eat healthy and varied you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. According to them, high-dose supplements are unnecessary and even dangerous to your health. Many studies have shown time and again the benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements, because nutritional deficiencies are very common nowadays .

Nutritional supplements have been used safely for decades and Europe and the US are very strict on safety regulations. Studies shows that only 2% of Westerners eat according to the nutritional guidelines. So what is a good balance between nutrition and supplements?

I believe that modern day diets contain too few nutrients. Therefore, I am advocating the use of high-dose supplements in conjunction with a healthy diet. Even a 100% organic diet does not prevent a lack of nutrients. This defect is easy to overcome by supplementing. But it is very important that you go for high quality supplements.

Supplements are sold everywhere, but unfortunately the quality is not always up to par. A lot of famous vitamin brands that advertise on TV and in magazines, and various private label brands do not match the vitamin structure of your body and are often filled with bad additives (in Europe E-numbers). These products are often cheaper but the compounds are poorly absorbed by the body. When it comes to supplements you are be better off spending a little more money on a multivitamin that your body can utilize for 100%.

Good quality brands that I believe in include Solgar, Vitals, Aov, Bonusan, Ortholon and Orthica . These brands are available at specialty health & wellness stores or drugstores. Some are organic and some are not. All brands have a special focus, and their own vitamins & minerals composition.

Most of all, just like with any food you eat, you need to read the labels on the package of vitamins and research what is in it. Ask someone who specializes in vitamins on what vitamins you should use, instead of deciding yourself what vitamins to take. That way you have a better chance to avoid error or overdosing. You will get the right dose of the right vitamins and hopefully it will help you to feel great!

Best, Daan Kelderhuis

First published by Daan Kelderhuis on January 20th 2014, updated in 2020.

Risks of birth control pills

Many women today suffer from menstrual problems. There are many causes that can create this discomfort. For example, it can be caused by - as crazy as it might sound - artificial light. In this day and age, we aren't subjected to natural physical regulation of light and dark anymore. Our daily routine does not evolve around the time of Day and night like it did centuries ago. But most of the complaints are actually caused by something most women use: birth control pills. Starting to use birth control pills too early on in your life can be one of the causes. The birth control pill is now widely accepted as a contraceptive, and seem to help a lot of women to manage and regulate their cycle, as well as prevent pregnancy. But most women only know the benefits of the Pill, but there are also many negative effects. Many women do not know that the use of birth control pills can cause many health problems. These little pills can affected more than 150 body functions. So I think every woman should know the benefits and risks of the use of birth control pills. The more information you have as a woman, the better you can take care of your body.

By using a birth control pills you have a higher risk to get:

  • Overweight
  • Insulin resistance
  • High blood pressure
  • Thrombosis
  • Heart disease
  • Hormonal cancer (except for ovarian cancer )
  • Fungal infections
  • Ageing of the cervix
  • Using birth control pills before the age twenty years can affect the development of the body as it is in its development phase

The pill is not only used for birth control, but also for various disorders in the body's of women and young girls. Think about skin conditions and severe menstrual problems amongst others. Many of the conditions to which the pill is prescribed for stems from a hormonal disbalance. My personal opinion is that this is not a good idea to prescribe the Pill for these conditions. Especially when women and girls have problems caused by a hormonal disbalance why would you give them synthetic hormones? In this case the Pill doesn't solve the cause but only suppresses the symptoms. And often you will see that the problems only increase. It is good to know that the pill can contain synthetic hormones that are four times stronger than natural hormones. Looking at it form a biochemically point of view, women taking the pill are in a state of pregnancy as a result of the constant increase of their estrogen levels.

When there is an imbalance of female hormones, I think it can be much better resolved by means of natural herbs, a balanced diets, and/or dietary supplements. Most hormonal symptoms are caused by an excess of estrogen and a deficiency of progesterone. The use the Pill only increases the estrogen levels in your body. Luckily there are many herbs and supplements that have a positive effect on the balance between estrogen and progesterone .

An alternative to the contraceptive pill is a copper IUD. A copper IUD does not contain hormones, biut is also does not provide a 100% protection against pregnancy. But then again, the pill does not either. The combination of a copper IUD with the use of a condom does provide almost 100% reliability. So there are many options to manage the cycle of a woman with less discomfort. Do some research online and you will find many great (herbal) options to help relieve pain and regulate hormone levels.