It is easy to get overwhelmed by supplements. Whether walking into an aisle in your grocery store, seeing an ad pop up on Facebook, or hearing a friend talk about the latest supplement they read about, the question always comes up… which ones should I take?
Based on my experience, I am a firm believer in supplements; however, they cannot be used in place of a healthy diet. Supplements are support to your body to assist in creating a healthy environment. What is interesting is that when a patient is undergoing conventional cancer treatment, supplements can sometimes interfere with the medications. If you are undergoing treatment, there is a website that is run by Memorial Sloan Kettering where you can look up almost any herb/supplement to see if there are interactions. You can check out this resource here: http://www.aboutherbs.com
Consulting your physician about any supplements, of course, goes without saying.
In her book, Radical Remission, Dr. Kelly Turner explains that, “The main difference between chemotherapy and vitamin or herbal supplements is that most chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells, while most supplements are designed to strengthen the immune system so that it can then remove cancer cells.”
I have accumulated a long list of vitamins, herbs, and supplements over the last 2 years. I take most of the ones that I have consistently read about from multiple sources. In fact, my mom suggested that I buy a supersized vitamin box to organize all my pills. Not from Walgreens my friends, but from Michaels!
This isn’t even all of them, because some I leave in the bottle because I only take them once a week. Not that I plan to take this many supplements for the rest of my life, but this is what I am doing for now.
The main thing you should know is that there isn’t a magic bullet. Supplements shouldn’t be used like prescription drugs where you have a symptom, pop a pill, and expect that your symptoms go away. Dr. Turner makes a simple, yet profound statement,
“Unfortunately, Americans in general have grown quite passive about taking care of their bodies. Many people think they can treat their bodies however they want and then simply take a pill when things start to go wrong.”
Does that sound like anyone you know?
Well, it sounded like me … the “before cancer” me. I used to take Advil anytime I had an ache or pain, never giving any thought to the stress it was causing my liver which works hard at detoxing our bodies. The more we subject our bodies to toxins,
the less effective our immune systems are at functioning properly. We do this everyday through pesticides on conventionally grown produce we eat, medications we take, chemicals in plastics that hold the food or drinks we consume, skincare products we use on our bodies, and pollutants in the air from exhaust or even toxic candles we burn in the house.
I heard in an interview the other day that “our bodies our fragile”. I paused when I heard that because that statement is so contrary to the way I used to perceive myself. I used to think that because I felt strong, I worked out, and I ate “right” that I was pretty much invincible.
I rarely even caught a cold.
But the fact that I had tumors growing in my body for probably years before my diagnosis makes me think that this statement is absolutely right. We are fragile creatures, and it’s important to take care of the body God gave me. Much like the saying we tell our kids, “only floss the teeth you want to keep” … we should probably heed a similar mantra about our bodies…
“Only take care of the your body if you don’t want it to fail.”
So you’re probably wondering what supplements you should you take. Well, it’s different for everyone, but here are some of the top recommendations from the book that most Radical Remission survivors take; they fall into three categories:
Category 1: Supplements to help you digest your food: Digestive enzymes to help your system break down food, Probiotics (good bacteria for your gut) and Prebiotics (what probiotics feed on). Yes it’s good to get in all three, and not just probiotics.
Category 2: Supplements to Detoxify Your Body like Antifungals, Antiparasitics, Antibacterials and Antivirals, and Liver Detoxifiers.
Category 3: Supplements to Boost Your Immune System like immune system boosters (I take Beta-Glucan) , vitamin C, certain mushrooms (which by the way are awesome to eat everyday and make sure you are eating the stems which contain more beta-glucan than the heads!), fish oil, and trace minerals, vitamins, and hormones like Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 (which is essential for those following a plant-based diet), zinc. and melatonin.
I highly recommend seeing an integrative doctor to discuss which supplements are right for you if you’re dealing with some chronic condition.
What all is in my arsenal at the moment?
(as of 6/18/2019)
- Beta Glucan (sold by Better Way Health)
- Immunity Tincture (Barlow Herbal)
- Essiac Tincture (Barlow Herbal)
- Glutathione (from Life Extension)
- Immunite Support (Fortify) Mushroom Blend Tincture
- Vitamin D (liquid drops)
- Vitamin C
- Magnesium (pill form and CALM brand powder before bed for stress relief and improved sleep)
- Morning Complete (by Activated You) this is a supplement I found through Instagram, it’s the one that Maggie Q from the show Designated Survivor is the spokesperson. I actually like it and it’s definitely helped my digestive system
- Natren Healthy Trinity probiotics
- Curcumin which is the medicinal part in Turmeric (find a supplement that includes black pepper to aid absorption)
- Green Tea (ECGC is a compound that studies have shown actively kill cancer cells)
- Reishi Max (for immune support)
- Apricot Seeds
- Moringa Seeds
- Bitter Leaves
- Green Black Walnut Blend, Cloves, and Wormwood (from Dr. Clark Store for Parasites)
- I also eat Kimchi or Sauerkraut and drink Kombucha almost daily to promote a healthy gut microbiome.
It is a long list and some days I forget to do it all, but again it’s not just one thing that is helping me, but a combination of many. I am not saying you should take all of these because it’s hard to keep up with it all, and also it’s expensive. It’s hard to know what are the main supplements to take, but this is what I am doing along with a plant-based diet, exercise, and rest regimen. And Yes… rest is still the hardest one for me, but more on that later.
I hope that was helpful to you. If so please like and share it with anyone you think could benefit from it. In general, I think everyone should get their nutrients from their food and not supplements, but if your body needs a boost like mine does, then supplements are definitely your friends 🙂
Onward and Upward!