Do You Know How Good Your Supplements Are?

Are you as confused about effective supplements? And your health? And do you really know how good your supplements are?

The honest truth is that I don’t know enough myself. It’s a confusing subject and my primary research hasn’t reassured me at all.

You see, there’s so much marketing and self-serving bovine excretia flowing over our media, the average person hasn’t a prayer of understanding or keeping up with the data flow. I know when I decided to lose weight and improve my diet, I immediately felt lost and completely out of touch. There were so many “helping voices” out there, I surely didn’t know where to turn. Or, frankly, in which direction to turn.

This information will be a work in progress. Much like ourselves I note.

Consider it a snapshot of the current state of the art and as I learn more, I’ll update right here. Simply understand, as I said above, it’s a work in progress.

I wanted to get a snapshot of the industry before I began so started searching around on random topics.

It wasn’t pretty.

For starters, the industry is a well-protected one with significant Congressional support in the U.S.

A Time Magazine article said:

“1994 law, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which prevents the products from the scrutiny and approval given to other drugs. “I could pretty much create something this afternoon in my kitchen and sell it and not have to do any kind of testing ahead of time,” author Catherine Price” 
You can read the Time article here.

Price wrote a book outlining the industry and its “issues” here on Amazon

OK, but what about the size of this business?

Well now, we run into a few problems getting numbers. There are a multitude of small companies promoting products that fly totally under anybody’s radar. And the industry itself got into a “PR war” between two competing groups arguing whether the industry was a 12 Billion or 37 Billion.

But those numbers dwarf in comparison to the 278 Billion projected for 2024 by Globe NewsWire.

What we can agree on is this is big business.

But It’s All Safe. Right?

Well, here we go again. If you note the U.S.A. regulations above (the largest consumer market for supplements) there are no testing requirements as there are for other foods. As long as you make no outright medical claims on the label, you can sell it as a “dietary supplement”.

And the FDA said

But There Must Be Controls On Production

Well not that I was able to discover. In fact, one of the things I discovered was that you could start your own supplement company quite easily. And if you don’t know how to do this (yet) you can take a course here on Udemy

Celebrities

One of the most famous author/podcasters Tim Ferriss (The Four Hour Workweek etc) got his start this way. He formed a company, sold it and funded his empire.

And celebrity endorsements are legion. Here’s an interesting report on which celebrity is endorsing which product and data about the product.

Speaking of sports celebrities and products

Consumer Reports magazine reported in March 2012, “We’ve had more than 400 recalls of spiked products since 2008,” says Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., director of the FDA’s division of dietary-supplement programs. Most were marketed for bodybuilding, sexual enhancement, and weight loss.” That, by the way, was in 4 years.

Are you confused yet? Or a bit hesitant to take a look at your own supplements?

I am.

I’m starting to investigate and research every supplement I’ve read about or take and will report back to you on some of the more interesting information.

Interested in what I write? Click here for updates when I post something new.

Here’s Why You Need To Think About Deconditioning

For the second year in a row, I wound up with a serious cold in January that flattened me for 4–5 weeks. It wasn’t that I just had a cold. It was I could barely lift my head off the pillow. (As an aside, my physician says I likely had pneumonia and if it happens again to “drag my butt into her office!”)

My sense though it was a Christmas cold delivered by a team of children and grandchildren from different schools and continents who believe in hugging Papa.

  • I’ll risk the cold to focus on the love.
  • But now I understand the price that might be paid.

The Issue of Deconditioning

During a significant period in my life, I was involved in “Conditioning” and being physically fit. It’s only the last two years with being sick for a month, I’ve discovered “Deconditioning .“

And yeah, I’m starting to face the fact I’ll never play hockey for the Leafs (which may be a good thing), make the Olympics, drive for NASCAR or… Well, you get the picture I’m sure.

Consider The Following Data: Muscle Weakness & Atrophy In Seniors

This is what happens to a senior citizen who is in bed for a month with almost total inactivity. Carefully look at the time frames involved. We’re not talking months here — we’re talking weeks and even days.

  • A loss of strength 10- 20% decrease in muscle strength per week (1 1–3% per day)
  • 3–5 weeks of complete immobilization can lead to a 50% decrease in muscle strength
  • Loss of muscle mass -3% loss within thigh muscles within 7 days.
  • Loss of bone density due to increased resorption caused by the lack of weight bearing, gravity, and muscle activity on bone mass
  • Increase in resting heart rate (4 4–15 beats within the first 3 3–4 weeks then plateaus)
  • Decrease in blood volume ( 5% in 24 hours, 10% in 6 days, 20% in 14 days)
  • Body Fluids Shift 500–700cc of fluid from the lower extremities shift to the thorax (also known as central fluid shift)
  • Change in Heart Function Increased stroke volume/cardiac output/left end-diastolic volume
  • Depressed levels of aldosterone & antidiuretic hormone
  • By the 3rd day of bed rest there are reduced insulin-binding sites (net effect is decreased blood & plasma volume)
  • After 2 weeks of bed rest, it takes 2 weeks of resumed activity before the glucose response returns to normal

Deconditioning : the consequence of bed rest (pdf )By: Colleen S. Campbell MSN, AARNP — BC, CRRN — A.

From A Personal Perspective

I was down, flat on my back for all of January two years running. I wasn’t bed-ridden in the sense of the data above (I remained mobile but not much of it.) It took me several months last year and several months again this year just to become functional again. This means I’ve had first hand experience with the above results albeit not as extreme as someone who was totally bedridden.

I’m too embarrassed to discuss the personal fitness measurements of such mundane things as situps, pushups and squats. Let us say those are not my finest characteristics at the moment.

I note the only saving grace was that I had to get up for bodily functions. I wasn’t totally bedridden as I could stagger to the bathroom and back.

Working outside this year seems more challenging than last year. I expect as the spring rolls on into summer and I get back to working on the dry stone walls and other projects, I will recover a significant amount of that strength.

I’m also clear as I recover functional fitness, I have to push my body to a higher level and that’s going to take both effort and a plan. I have the plan, I’ll get back to you whether the effort shows up.

But There’s A More Important Component of This

There’s a small part of me — a small voice in my mind — saying “To hell with all that exercise. You get along just fine on most things and you never did like all that strength training stuff even when you were young and played high level sports.

“Let it go… Doug, you’ll be fine…”

And for the first time, I understand what being a senior means when it comes to illness and recovery. And of doing it again and again. Of having to drag up the motivation to recover rather than accept the status quo. Of listening to that siren song of your complaining body over and over again. Of being tired, so very tired.

Let Me Be Clear: I’ve Ignored That Voice

I’ve ignored the voice. I’ve had practice dragging my body to the next fitness level when I was younger and involved in competitive sports. I know the pain of it and I remember the effort.

Friends haven’t though and I now understand the decision they took and (perhaps) why they did what they did.

But just as a voice speaks when I go down stairs because of a fall on slippery steps, I’m now aware of a second voice.

It won’t stop me either but it’s now a part of my operating system.

Final Thought On Being Young

I also understand when you’re young why it would never cross your mind to even have a voice such as this.

After all, I didn’t and I don’t see why any other young person would either.

But sometimes it’s good to know what’s ahead around a curve so you know how to deal with it when/if it does suddenly appear in yourself or a loved one.

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Doing Stupid Things Deliberately

I’ve been interested (and somewhat involved) in a variety of activities and research into fitness and life extension for the past few years.

In that time, I’ve run across some seriously smart people trying really dumb things.

On the stupid-front, I just read a post from an individual who decided to try some cold water activities.    Note, that after he does it, he says you shouldn’t. Then why…

But instead of doing a 5-minute cold treatment in a river in a shower or at the edge of a natural watercourse, this individual decided he’d go swimming out in the freezing water for a full twenty minutes against a strong current.

And then celebrated because his body went into shock, with bowel releases etc etc, the marks of full body temperature collapse.

In short, medically-speaking, it was a good try to kill himself.

There’s dumb and there’s just plain stupid. This was both.

For the uninitiated, cold water immersion has some very interesting and positive effects on human metabolism and telomere length. 

But there’s cold and then there’s just plain stupid.

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Do you think this kind of thing is stupid or would you do it?

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