A quarter of the Dutch population uses supplements. Work that all? And how do you use them the right way? Nine questions to journalist Willem Koert author of the book Legal PEP.
What are supplements?
Koert: “Supplements have different types. There is now much to do about supplements in which all kinds of forbidden pharmacological substances. This is my book. I have focused on supplements that natural substances: substances which occur in nature and a health-promoting effect.”
Does it make sense to take? Can we not better to simply eat healthy?
“Healthy eating is a prerequisite for good health: whole food nutrition, you get most of the essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements are indeed within.”
“Some nutrients can in certain areas the quality of your life improve”
“But there are also substances in herbs and plants that we ingest. For example, because they are in the rain forest or the mountains grow. Nutrients which, in principle, without the can, but that in certain areas the quality of your life can improve.”
“Traditional peoples used for centuries, herbs-, plant -, and paddenstoelextracten. For example, for a better mood, a better resistance, faster healing of wounds or fatigue to dissipate.”
“We did that in Europe in the past as well. But here is that knowledge with the rise of modern medicine a bit lost. We look, sometimes even down. In the media often appear negative messages about supplements. Studies, in which, however, results often remain underexposed.”
Traditional peoples used for centuries, herbs-, plant -, and paddenstoelextracten. (Photo: Thinkstock)
The effects of supplements has a scientific basis?
“That certainly does not apply to all supplements. But there are indeed hundreds of studies done in which test subjects supplements used in which supplementation, however, to positive results.”
“Laboratory animal research says nothing about the effects in humans”
“In my book I treat only supplements the effect of which in research is demonstrated. And then also in humans. Laboratory animal research doesn’t say anything about the effects in humans.”
What are the supplements going?
“Include supplements that the mood is improving, the brain better work, colds may occur, help with weight loss and muscles bigger and stronger.”
“Some supplements may your mood improve, colds, or preventing help lose weight”
“Sometimes extracts of house-garden-and-kitchen herbs and plants. Did you know that your athletic performance will increase if you have red beets to eat or rodebietensap drink it?”
Do you have more examples?
“For countless. With zinc you restore faster from a cold. Astragalus softens hay fever. Panthetine is a natural cholesterol reducer. Saffron is a natural gemoedsbooster. From tyrosine go you better study. With silicon, to fight your wrinkles from the inside out. And ashwaganda is a herb for more muscle.”
How to use supplements wisely?
“Buy them in a physical store, which is to be checked. On the internet it is often more difficult to figure out where a producer comes from, and what the composition of the substance is that he is offering.”
“Buy supplements online, but in a physical shop”
“When you buy something on the internet and promises to the producer that you are a slimmer, stronger, or better in bed, please be extra careful. Of weight-loss, bodybuilding and sekssupplementen is known that there is often prohibited and dangerous pharmacological substances.”
“Try to find out whether the means is legal in the Netherlands. For example, through the app of the Dopingautoriteit.”
When you should not be using supplements?
“If you’re sick. Supplements are not medicines. Do you have anything under members, go to a doctor. Do not experiment with supplements. Use them even when you are using medicines. Some supplements will have an effect on the operation or the side effects of drugs.”
“Supplements are not drugs, go to a doctor if you have something under the members”
“Still a no go: if you are breastfeeding or are pregnant. Folic acid and omega 3-fatty acids can be, but many other substances to make the immune system extra alert. You don’t want that if there is a child in your belly is growing with a different DNA than that of you.”
It Is also completely harmless?
“The danger lies not in the supplements itself, at least not in the case of natural resources, but in the way in which supplementation handles. From psychological research we know that some of supplementengebruikers unhealthier and more dangerous to live.”
“People who a weight loss supplement take, for example, more calories to consume. By the supplements, they have a sense of invulnerability.”
“On the other hand, is that only a small group. It is also known that supplementengebruikers generally healthier life. In fact all major studies in which researchers for years people follow, it appears that they have many more years of life than people who do not supplements swallow.”
That is due to the supplements?
“That is difficult to prove. People who supplements to ensure their health is to support or promote, life generally healthier. Supplements swallowing is often part of their healthy lifestyle.”
“So would everyone supplements have to use. They are not a panacea. But if you use them as a springboard for a healthy lifestyle, than they can on several fronts to help the best out of yourself.”
Willem Koert is a science journalist. His book ‘Legal PEP’ was published at the beginning of may.