Updated: Feb 27
We all know and believe that a good diet is all we need - that if we eat well, get in all our greens, 5-6 portions of fruit and veg, we will get all the nutrition and nourishment we need to be healthy. Occasionally we may need to take a couple of extra vitamins to support us through a cycle or a season. Right?
Unfortunately, that is not the entire story. With intensive farming and soil nutrient depletion, and the fact that much of our food travels far, sometimes across the globe, is stored for long periods, and often ripens on the road, not on the plants - our food does not longer contain the nutritional value it once had. These days, even with a healthy diet, it is improbable, if not almost impossible, to gain all the necessary micronutrients from your food.
There is a growing concern about nutrient deficiencies in most countries around the world, and although a healthy diet filled with a variety and food representing all the colours of the rainbow is essential and creates a strong foundation, the need to supplement - but with wholesome food micronutrients - is beneficial and becoming a requirement rather than a pro-active self-care action.
And therein lies the rub. There is no shortage of supplements available. Where do you start, what brand do you choose, and what do you need?
It is estimated that up to 90% of supplements available today are synthetic, even prescribed. The body does not recognise synthetic supplements in the same way as natural whole-food supplements. This availability to the body is what we refer to as bio-availability. Synthetic vitamin C will not only not easily be absorbed and utilised by the body but achieve the same absorption level. The doses are also increased, putting strain on the body's digestive and detox pathways, e.g. the gut, kidneys, liver and more.
Our bodies digest and absorb nutrients more effectively when combined with other nutrients, especially when paired as they show up in nature. An orange has over a thousand compounds. When consuming a whole orange, the compounds work in synergy in your body and deliver more benefits. This differs from taking a single isolated compound such as Ascorbic Acid labelled as vitamin C. When taking a whole food supplement, you may not get all 1000 compounds because it's not a whole orange - but you certainly will get a lot more.
Someone explained it to me once using this analogy:
Giving you a synthetic supplement - Ascorbic Acid/Vitamin C - is like handing you a steering wheel.
Giving you food - an orange - is giving you the car.
Giving you a genuine whole-food supplement is like a car that is missing hubcaps or the bumper. It’s not perfect, but it gets the job done.
And when you combine the whole-food supplement with a healthy, nutritious diet filled with fresh food, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats - you are on your path to building a longer, healthy life filled with vitality.
Knowing al of this, even for me as a Health Coach, I found it overwhelming to find a wholefood supplement:
That I trust, and that works for me
That is affordable and worth what I spend - because affordable still doesn't mean cheap.
It simply means that I find it worthwhile sacrificing other things I would want to spend my hard-earned money on rather than these supplements.
That is produced by a company that invests and continuously updates and improves products with the latest science and information available from clinical trials.
So what is my go-to daily supplement for myself and my family?
It is the dōTERRA Lifelong Vitality pack or, for short, LLV.
In developing and updating this supplement, dōTERRA employs the latest science to put together the best combination of whole-food nutrients in effective doses, ensuring all of the main elements that we need to help to support vitality and healthspan.
LLV is made up of three distinct components to support our health, with three supplements with carefully balanced compositions to play a particular role in supplementing our nutrition and health needs
Alpha CRS is a proprietary blend of botanicals and provides cellular support. This powerhouse of antioxidants and plant polyphenols provides the protection that the body needs to support many of the main systems within the cells, especially with producing energy, antioxidant status and anti-inflammatory status within the cells - keeping the cell healthy. Alpha CRS also has elements that help support mitochondrial function, which helps to give you more energy it also includes a blend of core factors such as coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, and acetyl l-carnitine. It also included Ginkgo biloba - the latest science is showing the benefit it has on the central nervous system and neural systems.
xEOMega provides us with Essential Fatty Acids, especially Omega-3 - our polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are essential to many of the processes and systems in our body, our cells, our immune response and inflammation. Our bodies need a balance of omega-3 and omega-6. We obtain omega-6 very easily from our daily diet, but Omega-3 is tougher. Supplementation of Omega-3 is hence essential. The Omega's in xEOMega come from fish oils and algae. This is supplemented with a range of vitamins. Science shows us that vitamin D and Omega-3 work together to support anti-inflammatory effects in our cells. It also contains astaxanthin which is a powerful antioxidant, and a combination of essential oils that also provide anti-oxidative value but also help keep the fish oils stable and preserve them, preventing them from going rancid within the cells. There is also a Vegan based version that contains the algae-derived Omega-3's.
Microplex VMz Essentially Microplex VMz is a multivitamin which provides 22 essential vitamins and minerals and 40 whole-food-based nutrients to support the growth, functioning and maintenance of cells, tissues, organs and systems throughout our body. Some of these minerals are particularly challenging to obtain from modern-day diets due to soil nutrient depletion. What makes these supplements so different from the average vitamin you find in a store is that it has been put together so that our bodies recognise the nutrients, and this makes them bioavailable and absorbable in the best possible way without putting our bodies under additional strain.
Individually each one of these supplements is highly effective, Science is proving more and more the benefits of combinations of nutrients. Vitamin D and DHA (Omega 3) are known to help with immune support as they work synergistically. So by combing these three supplements the sum of all three becomes greater than the parts.
Not only are these products the result of using the latest science, but dōTERRA also conducted clinical trials starting as far back as 2017 with measured results on cardiovascular health and more, and for some of us, perhaps more importantly - so many people using this supplement range have felt better and noticed significant differences in the energy and health levels.
Using these supplements in addition to a healthy diet with lots of fresh, seasonal, local and organic vegetables & fruits, and high-quality proteins, drinking enough water, and regular movement, whether it be yoga, walking, jogging or something more intensive, will provide you with a good foundation for health and recovery.