Ah supplements. Those pills, powders, and potions that promise us the world, but rarely deliver much of anything. The fitness industry is largely run by the supplement companies that feed us biased information in cunning effort to get us to spend more money on things that they sell.
What works and what doesn’t isn’t always apparent. It’s important that we have an unbiased source that tells us what works and what doesn’t. Today, we have a blog post from a guy who’s created that source. His name, Sol Orwell, and he’s been kind enough to clear up some of the confusion regarding a few popular supplements.
Note: I’ll tell you more about how he’s helping clear the air on the supplement industry after this fine blog post.
Two supplements that work
Vitamin D is a great supplement for overall health. Optimal levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with improved bone and skeletal health, improved muscular control in the elderly, improved cardiovascular health and an elevated mood state. Enough vitamin D will even protect the neurons in your body, as well as lessen the risk of depression.
Vitamin D is both safe and effective. A daily vitamin D dose should be between 2,000 to 5,000 IU. People with a diet high in vitamin D should opt for the lower dose, whereas people in dark and cold climates may want to aim higher.
Vitamin K is another micronutrient. Similar to vitamin D, hitting the optimal level of vitamin K is very difficult through diet alone. Keep in mind, most diets will provide enough vitamin K to prevent a deficiency. The difference between a deficiency and the optimum level is almost tenfold.
Higher daily doses of vitamin K (in the 500 – 1,000mcg range) have been shown to reduce the calcification and stiffness of arteries. It also has potential benefits for pancreatic function, glucose control and may even reduce inflammation in the brain.
Vitamin K works with Vitamin D to promote bone formation and maintenance.
Two supplements that don’t work
Tribulus terrestris has interesting potential benefits. It has shown promise in alleviating kidney stones, and may also be a powerful antioxidant. It even has libido-enhancing properties.
At no point, however, does tribulus terrestris boost testosterone. It has been repeatedly shown to have no efficacy. Yet, it is still sold and marketed as a testosterone booster, since it is safe and cheap to combine with other supplements. The libido-enhancing effect often causes a false positive for testosterone enhancement, as people often attribute their higher libido to the perceived boost of testosterone levels.
Surprisingly, D-AA makes the list of supplements that don’t work. D-AA has been found to increase testosterone for a period of up to 12 days, but testosterone returns to normal levels a month after supplementation, and some anecdotal reports even claim that testosterone will dip below normal levels after this period of time. D-AA is a poor testosterone booster since the spike it provides is very short-lived, and may even be counterproductive in the long term.
Supplements can help you, or hurt you.
Supplements can be your best friend. Whether you want to build muscle, burn fat, or become a healthier person, the right supplementation can give you a boost that whole foods may not be able to. What we need is a group of doctors and researchers that dedicate their time to deciding what does work, and what doesn’t.
As I mentioned earlier, Sol, along with a team of doctors, have created that resource: The Supplement Cheat Sheat.
And this team has recently expanded to include a medical doctor, two PHD’s, and a pharmD. This ‘cheat sheet’ goes above and beyond your usual supplementation advice. You’ll learn how to feed your body the right nutrients to become a healthier person. Heck, this is something I use on a regular basis to determine whether or not I’m making the right choices with my vitamins and supplements.
I highly recommend that you grab a copy of the Supplement Cheat Sheet, and start making the right choices with your nutrition.
Note: we have a sale until end of the week (friday midnight EST), $10 off, and how it has lifetime updates.