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5 Surprising Facts About Supplements You Need To Know

March 24, 2021

Wellness supplements are all the rage nowadays; from juice shots, to protein balls, to vitamin pills, to powdered superfoods. We want health on the go; easy to take, easy on the palate and easy to have.

 

Although, when we’re short for time, “health on the go” is not possible if it means cooking a fully balanced meal, so the next best option is to get those nutrients in quickly from supplemental pills that give us concentrated doses of anything and everything we want; magnesium, biotin, iron, probiotics, guarana, maca root, St Johns Wort, Vitamin Bs, C, D and E, and omegas 3, 6 and 9. The possibilities are essentially endless!

 

However, there are a few unknowns and issues about these supplements that we at SHŌJŌ want to address:

  • Just how easily absorbed - or “bio-available”- are the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and superfoods in these supplements?
  • What happens when these pills just sit on your shelf and gather dust?
  • What is pill fatigue and how do we overcome it?
  • Are the levels of nutrients and vitamins in the pills and powders regulated?
  • How true are the benefits that every health food product boasts they have?

And can they actually give you better skin, stronger muscles, healthy guts, quicker recovery, less fat, more sex-drive, and a longer lifespan?

LET’S START DEBUNKING.

  

1. Superman vs. The Supplement

Firstly, our bodies are remarkable things. They’re able to absorb nutrients from foods and liquids very quickly to repair, nourish and supercharge our organs, metabolism, minds and energy stores. However, when we take these nutrients in the form of pills, there is speculation as to whether we can fully absorb, or even NEED to take, these concentrated nutrient capsules.

The quick[1] answer:

YES, we can absorb the nutrients, and if you think your body needs some extra TLC, then YES you should take them. Does this mean taking 100 superfood or supplement pills in one go will make you SUPERhuman? Definitely NOT, and we would suggest NEVER to do this. There are limits as to how much we actually absorb before the rest is discarded by our bodies. Some nutrients even become harmful in high doses. Follow the dosage instructions on the bottle or online through accredited sources.

 

2. Pills: Best Before... 12 months ago?! 

Like that pile of books you’ve been meaning to read but never do, the same thing can happen to bottles of pills and supplements on the bathroom shelf....

So, do these pills have a best before or due by date? And, if someone bought a bottle of supplements 1 year ago, can they still take them?     

Well, thankfully, pure supplements or pills are unlike milk, apples, bread and other perishable foods in that they won’t go sour or toxic with age.

BUT they will become significantly less potent with time, just like a perfume.

So, there would be no point taking those magnesium tablets that have sat amongst the dust on the shelf for three years and expecting your aching body to be miraculously healed. May we suggest having a SHŌJŌ tonic and doing some stretching instead?

Generally, it’s recommended that pills are stored in a cool and dry place, as mold can still grow inside the containers or even on the pills, which CAN cause health issues.[2]

 

3. Winning the Battle Against Pill Fatigue

Ok, so, you’ve been on the vitamin pills and supplement train for a few weeks, months or even years now, and all of a sudden, pouring little mounds of tablets and powders into your mouth has become a daily case of UGH and eye rolls. Welcome to pill fatigue!

Pill fatigue is the phenomenon that occurs when our minds and bodies tire from constantly taking multiple supplements and pills 24/7 just to feel “normal”.

We can’t say that there is cure for pill fatigue... but may we offer an alternative?

Whether it’s single-serve probiotic enriched yoghurt tubs or protein powered ready-to-drink beverages (RTGs) – people are more and more inclined to take something nutritious that can be had on the go, in an instant, and that actually tastes good.

Cue functional foods like SHŌJŌ tonics! A little bottle of goodness is all you need to boost your body with essential nutrients, energy, vitamins, and a big dose of TLC.

 

4. Wait... so what’s actually in these things?

We want to do what’s best for our body, and supplementing our diets with nutrients if needed is one of the best ways we can do this, but Is there any rulebook that dietary supplements and pills must abide by regarding their levels of active ingredients, superfoods and vitamins? Are there any set minimum and maximum dosages?   

Unfortunately, no.

And THIS is why we cannot guarantee that supplemental pills are a one-size-fits-all health-cure. Instead, they could be health crippling.

Oftentimes, that $60 bottle of long-worded superfoods in pill-form is about $50 worth of air and $10 worth of actual beneficial ingredients. Sorry bank account!

What’s more, without regulation, some pills taken at normal doses may freely contain dangerous concentrations of certain vitamins or minerals which could cause harm to the body. Yep, you can have too much of a good thing!

So always do your research![3]

 

5. Myth-Busters - The Truth Behind the “Benefits” 

This leads to the next and final question – are all the benefits and superpowers these supplements and pills tout they produce actually true?

Like the answer above, as there is very little regulation around herbal supplements or pills, they can flood their marketing and stores with many unsubstantiated claims; from improving eyesight, to even turning the clock back on your age! (As of yet, this latter claim is essentially impossible to produce in even the most complex and innovative types of technology let alone a little pill!)

(And no, consuming something will not give you real wings. This isn’t Harry Potter.)

However, don’t let this news discourage you!

Many supplements and superfoods out there do have potential benefits, many of which have been studied and supported by Chinese medicine and other holistic approaches for centuries. In fact, SHŌJŌ incorporates many of these ancient ingredients in its tonic, including anti-inflammatory turmeric and circulation-improving ginseng.

 

The answer to longevity, great skin, balanced hormones, high libido, mental health and a happy gut isn’t complicated. It’s a balanced diet and active lifestyle.

Yep. That’s it.

...And SHŌJŌ is here to make sure that, no matter what time of day or how busy you are, you can have a pocket-sized nutrient powerhouse ready to go to maintain that balance. Oh, and did we mention it actually tastes good too? Win-win!

---

[1] The longer answer is a bit more complicated: YES, we can absorb the nutrients, BUT how much we end up benefitting from depends heavily on how potent the pill is, how healthy our gut is, and what foods or other vitamins are taken with it. For example, if someone has anemia (a.k.a. severe iron-deficiency) then a GP or health professional may prescribe them a temporary diet heavy in red meats and dark leafy greens and give them supplementary iron tablets or iron injections.  BUT the iron in both the food and pill form will only be completely absorbed if they have a healthy gut – or “gut microbiome” - and supplement the intake of iron with Vitamin C.

[2] Ideally, pills and pure supplements that are stored correctly can last upwards of two (2) to three (3) years.

[3]  TIP: Always google how the ingredients in your supplements will interact with any prescription medication(s) you are taking as some of the nutrients or vitamins in these capsules may have negative interactions with other properly regulated over-the-counter (OTC) prescription pills. (e.g. St John’s Wort + birth control pills = potential pregnancy or breakthrough bleeding due to St John’s Worts ability to nullify the efficacy of the pill.)




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