It almost goes without saying that we’re big fans of nutritional supplements around here. We encourage you to get as many vitamins, minerals and nutrients as you can by eating a healthy well-balanced diet, of course.
But we recognize that environment, gut health, age, food quality and, well, life can sometimes get in the way. That’s when supplements can help take up the slack.
Which is why you might be surprised to find out that today, instead of telling you about supplements you should think about taking, we want to tell you about six times you should skip the supplement.
Biotin is great for strengthening hair and nails. You can stock up on this vitamin by eating more eggs, nuts and legumes. If you’re fighting hair loss or weak nails you might also consider taking a biotin supplement.
But if you’re going to have any thyroid testing done skip the supplement and be sure to let your doctor know you’ve been taking biotin before you take any tests. Biotin, also called vitamin B7, vitamin H, and coenzyme R on some ingredient labels, can trigger false results on thyroid tests.
People take CoQ10 for a variety of reasons including fighting lagging energy levels, heart conditions, and migraine headaches. But if you’re taking a prescription for high blood pressure skip the supplement until you get a thumbs up from your doctor.
You see, one of the things that CoQ10 is really good at is naturally lowering blood pressure. In fact, in some cases folks taking CoQ10 are able to avoid prescription hypertension drugs altogether. But when you combine it with a prescription blood pressure drug there’s a risk of it driving your BP down too low.
Glucosamine has a well-deserved stellar reputation for supporting joints and fighting off painful arthritis symptoms. But here’s the thing. It turns out glucosamine only works if your joint pain is caused by problems with your cartilage. If your joint discomfort is linked to a loss of synovial fluid—the natural lubrication in your joints—than skip the supplement because glucosamine can’t help you.
So you’re probably wondering how you know which kind of joint issue you have. Well your doctor can help you with that, but there are also some clues you can look for at home. Typically, when joint issues are caused by cartilage loss you start to feel a bit of relief within a couple of weeks of starting on glucosamine. But if you haven’t started to feel some measurable improvements by week 12 you might want to switch to a hyaluronic acid supplement, instead. HA helps your body produce synovial fluid.
If you’re anemic an iron supplement can help restore your energy levels. But if you haven’t been diagnosed with anemia or an iron deficiency skip this supplement unless your doctor advises you to take it.
If your energy slump isn’t caused by drooping iron levels taking the mineral will not help anyway. But even more concerning is that iron is an easy nutrient to get too much of since it’s also found in a number of foods. An iron overdose can cause organ and cell damage, so use this one only as directed by your doc.
Potassium is a mineral that’s critical for life. It helps your nerves to function and your muscles to contract. In fact, potassium helps your heart—which is a muscle after all—contract. And healthy levels of this mineral can help lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
You need at least 100 milligrams of potassium a day for your body to simply function properly, however the recommended amount is 3,510 milligrams daily, which few folks are getting. But unless your doctor says you should be taking it skip this supplement.
While your kidneys help to regulate the potassium in your blood things like age, diabetes and heart failure can impair your kidney function allowing potassium levels to skyrocket leading to dangerous heart rhythms and even heart failure. Instead, raise your levels naturally with foods that are rich in potassium such as avocados, potatoes, spinach and bananas.
6. Vitamin E:
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which is crucial for protecting your body against free radical damage and preventing LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. Recent research has revealed that more of us may be deficient in this important vitamin than we once thought. It’s believed that metabolic syndrome (or pre-diabetes), which a third of American’s have, could cause a chronic deficiency.
So taking vitamin E might seem like a good choice for many folks. But if you’re on a blood thinner you should skip this supplement. Vitamin E is a natural blood thinner, so when it’s combined with a prescription it can cause your blood to become too thin, leading to bleeding.