If we all got the recommended 8 – 9 hours of sleep each night, walked the much feted 10,000 steps a day, glugged down 6 to 8 glasses of water, avoided stress and ate 5 portions of fruit and vegetables (or should that be 10 portions?!) daily, we’d feel amazing. Right? Wrong!
You can have an exemplary diet, exercise regularly and lead an incredibly ‘healthy’ lifestyle, but still not be providing your body with everything it needs.
Tiredness, poor digestive health, brain fog and lack of energy, could all be signs that you aren’t giving your body the vitamins and minerals it requires to function properly. Could taking a vitamin supplement be the game-changer you’ve been waiting for? Here are seven reasons why you might need to use a vitamin patch and how they could improve your health:
1. Mind the gap
According to a US study, a whopping 80% of people don’t get the recommended amount of nutrients they need for good health from food alone. There’s been no similar study done in the UK as yet, but as a comparable Western country, with the same sort of population demographic, it’s likely the levels of people missing out are also high here.
They found the main nutrients lacking were: potassium, fibre, choline, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, b12, D, E, and C. Eating as healthily as possible, with plenty of vitamin-rich foods will help you fill these gaps, but many of us will also benefit from taking a supplement or slapping on a vitamin patch.
Something broad-spectrum, like our Multivitamin Plus patch, is a good start. Or if there’s something more specific you know you’re lacking, opt for a more targeted option, like the B12 Energy Plus, or the Vitamin D3/Calcium Plus patch, excellent for upping your levels of these kinds of crucial nutrients.
2. Ageing reduces our ability to absorb nutrients
As we get older, our bodies can become less efficient at breaking down and absorbing the nutrients from our foods. Ageing reduces the amount of many of the digestive enzymes which deconstruct food into the simpler forms used to repair cells or give us energy.
Advancing years mean you’re more likely to be taking medication that can interfere with vitamin absorption. You’re also more prone to becoming sensitive to gut irritants like gluten and dairy, and to suffer from bacterial overgrowth. All things that can mess around with your gut’s ability to absorb the good stuff.
Supplements can be used to help replace what your body can no longer process properly. Patches are particularly useful if this is you, because they totally bypass the gut, you can read more about this and the other advantages of dermal delivery here.
3. Antioxidants can fight off harmful chemicals
Even if we choose to buy largely organic produce, we can still be exposed to pesticides and herbicides. 75% of the UK has illegal levels of air pollution. Even the water we drink is treated with chemicals like chlorine and trihalomethanes and can also contain arsenic, radium, lead and mercury salts, as well as potentially harmful nitrates and pesticides.
All these chemicals create free radicals that can attack our digestive and immune systems. Want to fight back? Try a patch bursting with antioxidants, like our Glutathione Plus patch. Antioxidants, in particular glutathione, are natures best defenders of your body and can help to send those free radicals packing. Kapow!
4. Exercising increases your nutrient needs
As we discussed in last month’s blog, alongside its manifold benefits, exercising can put additional strain on the body and increase your need for certain nutrients. If you exercise frequently, you’ll almost certainly benefit from supplementing with iron and Vitamin B, which can both be depleted. Omega 3, Vitamin D, Biotin and Vitamin B12 are also essential for building muscle and burning fat.
5. Less than perfect diet
Turning to a takeaway or ready meal when it’s been a busy week, or overindulging on chocolate (or wine!) can happen every now and then – you’re only human! These lapses can play havoc with our digestive systems and make it harder for our bodies to extract the nutrients required to keep us feeling A OK.
While certainly not a replacement for healthy eating, supplementation is a useful tool for plugging the gaps when we slip up in the diet department. Nutritional therapist Katherine Caris-Harris recommends supplementing with therapeutic nutrient doses to help re-balance your body if you aren’t feeling your best.
6. Preventative care
Vitamin supplements won’t make you immortal (sorry!), but, giving your body more of what it needs can help you to stay healthy by keeping your immune system in tip-top condition.
Some essentials we’d recommend (especially going into cold and flu season) are Vitamin D, known to improve your immune response to disease (and in some cases has contributed to better outcomes for covid-19 patients), Zinc – essential for immune cell development and communication, Vitamin C, the big daddy of the anti-oxidant world, proven to reduce the duration and severity of infections and B-complex vitamins – also essential for the proper function of the immune system. Our Immune Defense Plus patch contains all these goodies, plus therapeutic herbs like Echinacea, Elderberry and Olive Leaf extract.
7. Soil depletion
While the NHS advice is that we SHOULD be able to get all the vitamins and minerals we need from a balanced diet, all fruit and vegetables are not created equal in terms of nutrient content. Research has shown that oranges in the 1950s were packed full of Vitamin A and C, but to provide the same amount of these nutrients in 2020, we’d have to eat 20 oranges! Oranges are delicious, but realistically…
This is because, due to the overuse of pesticides and fertilisers, soil today is believed to be 70 – 100% lower in minerals than it was 100 years ago. This means that sometimes using a vitamin patch is a more efficient way to get higher quantities of certain nutrients into your system.
Why a patch rather than a tablet?
Patches are slow release and offer topical delivery that bypasses the stomach and liver; meaning those suffering from IBS, a leaky gut or malabsorption problems will benefit more than from taking oral supplements.
With a patch, nutrients are delivered more directly into the bloodstream and may therefore increase bioavailability and lead to a better response from the body. We recommend patches are worn for 8 hours, which means slow, small quantities of nutrients are released gradually – way more beneficial than the ‘megadose’ many oral supplements provide, most of which are pretty much immediately excreted!
How do you know which supplements are right for you?
Having a full blood count blood test with your local GP is a good start. This should pick up any major deficiencies in essential vitamins like B12 and D, as well as checking whether you have low iron levels.
If you’d like a more comprehensive test, that delves a bit deeper, we’d recommend Thriva, who offer highly specialised testing that will help you get to the root of any deficiencies you might have.