03 Feb Your Top 5 Health Questions Answered by a Naturopath
Dr. Laura Belus, ND
Want to improve your health but don’t know what vitamin or supplement you need to be taking for maximum results? The best way to get started is with the basics, which is exactly why I put them all together in the Get Healthy Resolution Box. However, sometimes we need a bit of extra information to achieve our health goals. Here are a few of the common questions I get to help steer you in the right direction.
Q1: I was wondering what supplements/food you suggest for someone trying to combat mild psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that is known to produce dry, itchy patches. And mostly on elbows, knees, and parts of the face or scalp. It is a condition that can be helped with and anti-inflammatory diet and several natural remedies. Many psoriasis sufferers also have low vitamin D levels. I highly recommend getting your levels tested then considering a supplement of up to 4000IU of a liquid vitamin D3 formula depending on your blood results. For topical use on the skin, you may wish to try a soothing formula specific for psoriasis. Many of the psoriasis specific products contain calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients such as vitamin E, calendula and nettle.
Q2: My husband and I are thinking of having another baby. When should I start taking my prenatal again, and is there one you would recommend?
In order to help you best prepare for another pregnancy, a high potency prenatal vitamin is recommended at least 3 months before conceiving. I recommend a formula with activated forms of b vitamins (including folic acid) and easily absorbed iron to minimize any stomach upset or constipation. Since prenatal vitamins don’t contain omega-3s (a healthy fat needed for brain development and supporting a healthy pregnancy), taking a separate dose of fish oil or plant based omegas is also highly encouraged.
Q3: What are best natural supplements to prevent osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is defined as low bone mass, which can greatly increase your fracture risk from a simple slip or fall. Using natural minerals and vitamins to help rebuild bone density, so osteoporosis prevention can start as early as in your 30s.
Many people know about the positive effects of supplementing with calcium; however, it is not the only nutrient needed to strengthen bone. In fact, other very important components such as phosphates and collagen are important building blocks. This is why a combination of a calcium product and collagen supplement is an excellent choice.
In addition, having two vitamins, namely D & K2 are vitally important for making sure the nutrients we consume for bone health actually end up in the bone (and not in our arteries, for example).
Keep in mind, the best prevention of osteoporosis is weight-bearing exercise to strengthen the bones under low-moderate amounts of pressure (walking, climbing, light weights, etc.). Adding regular exercise to your health regime with the proper bone building nutrients will yield the best results.
Q4: What are the best probiotics to boost your immune system?
There are many probiotics on the market these days, and many of them have different uses. When it comes to your immune system, most of the common illnesses we get start in the respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat, lungs). Therefore, keeping our body’s defenses high in these areas with good bacteria should focus mostly on the strain Lactobacillus. A moderate dose of 10 billion daily should be adequate to keep your immune system boosted; however, if you are prone to infections, increasing your dose to a product with 15 billion or more would be more suitable.
Q5: My child is a picky eater and I would like to start her on a multivitamin. I’m concerned about buying a product with too much sugar. What would you recommend?
Children can be picky eaters at any age. Keeping them on a multivitamin from their early years is highly encouraged! However, some brands can be loaded with artificial colours and sugars, so being aware of the ingredient list is important. Look for products sweetened naturally with natural sugars, and no preservatives — chewable and liquid formulas always work well.
Dr. Laura Belus is a naturopathic doctor that focuses on detoxification and hormone balance for weight loss, stress management, and greater energy. She believes in making simple, yet powerful, changes to diet & lifestyle habits that create lasting results. She practices at the Natural Health Clinic of Halton in Oakville.