Published on September 1, 2020
Following yesterday’s post about the prevalence of inadequate intake of several of the top immune-important nutrients, we wanted to provide information to help you become aware of some common mistakes people make when taking their supplements that may result in getting less than what they think they take.
There are a wide variety of supplement products in the market today and sometimes the labels are difficult to read and understand. Today we will review what information is important to look at on supplement labels to ensure you are getting as much as you think you are, then in future blogs we will look at the information on specific nutrient supplements such as omega-3s, vitamin K, and magnesium supplements.
Serving Size Amount
One of the most important things to look at on your supplement label is the serving size amount. In the example below, the serving size is 4 capsules. Therefore, if an individual were taking just one capsule then they would be getting only one-quarter of the listed nutrients. Many times people assume that one softgel / pill / drop, etc. per day is a full serving size but this is often not the case.
Following the directions on supplement labels is also important. For the example supplement above, the suggested use directions say “best when taken 2 capsules twice a day.” Some nutrients are not stored in the body and need to be replenished throughout the day so it is important to check if that is mentioned on the label. The label above also says “may be taken with or without food.” For some nutrients, such as triglyceride-based fish oil supplements, taking the supplement with a meal is important for maximum absorption, whereas taking with a meal is not necessary for other nutrients so be sure to look at your label to see if that is something recommended for your specific supplement. Lastly, some supplements will indicate where the supplement should be stored (e.g. cold, dry place or refrigerated); following these directions will help ensure that you get the nutrients you expect from the supplements you are taking.
Could a nutrient deficiency be affecting your immune response?
Learn more about how specific nutrients play direct roles in the various processes of the immune system response to infection and be sure to get enough of each. Do you know your nutrient levels? Do you know your levels of inflammation? Find out by testing your vitamin D, omega-3s, magnesium and other essential elements (including copper and zinc), as well as your inflammation levels, with the new Immune Boost home test kit offered by GrassrootsHealth. Measuring levels is the only way to know if you are supporting your immune system and whether additional changes should be made, with supplementation, dietary changes, or both.
Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D to Help Yourself?
We’re in a time of great crisis that could be greatly affected by making sure you and everyone you know has a serum level of at least 40 ng/ml. Help us help you.
Do you know what your vitamin D level is? Be sure to test today to find out, and take steps to keep it within a target of 40-60 ng/ml or 100-150 nmol/L! Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.
GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that over 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 Index
- Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
We hope to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to establish the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction with different ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Please let us know if you’re interested in helping sponsor this project.
Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.
Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!
How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?
To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called
For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!
How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!
STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health
STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study
STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there
STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)