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  • Writer's pictureKathy Ozakovic

What Supplements Should I Take?

I work on a food and lifestyle changes first basis. However, supplements can be part of the plan depending on goals, underlying medical conditions, symptoms/presentations. I am referring specifically to nutrient, vitamin and herbal supplements here (not food supplements which I also use, recommend and supply as necessary). I use and recommend high quality natural supplements. I personally use and supply from the Metagenics, Designs for Health, Bioceauticals and a few other smaller brands. Most over the counter supplements are not tested for quality and do not deliver what they say they do. Understanding what and how much to achieve the desired outcomes is crucial. Read about my supplement stash and detox post breast explant surgery.


Being highly active, having a highly demanding job, living a busy lifestyles, previous surgeries/injuries all contribute to depleting our vitamin and nutrient stores faster. Furthermore, living in high density cities being exposed to toxins (fumes, concrete, even people) also contributes to our bodies breaking down faster. Enter supplements - a strategy for different seasons of life. The timing and combination of supplements matters depending on your goals and your lifestyle to maximise their absorption and potential health benefits.


My supplement protocol is updated every 8-12 weeks. The initial detox post explant surgery was an intense 12 week journey. Given I have been through it thoroughly once, I see myself detoxing more lightly only once yearly now that I have reduced emotional and chemical stressors on my body. I have expanded on most of the supplements in my personal stash. Keep in mind I do not take all of these on a regular basis. They are used strategically. The order of supplementation was also very crucial post surgery which I have not shared here and am happy to advise individually as necessary (book discovery call here).


Currently I am taking on a daily basis: Vitamin D, Omega 3s, Vitamin B Complex, TriMag.

On a weekly basis to help my liver heal: NAC, Glutathione, VitaminC.

Occasionally I am taking: Mag Threonate, LTheanine, Joint Collagen, Active Muscle Collagen, depending on my training and study regime.

Other favourites I will occasionally take, mostly when traveling: TriGanda (Ashwaghanda), TriMag Restful Night, NeuroCalm Sleep, Paleo Fibre, ZymeGest, Berberine, ArmaForce.


CONCLUSION

I’m putting the conclusion here in case you don’t read to the end! I want to highlight the below regime is and was individualised to me. It is not medical advice. DO NOT COPY. Book in a consultation for an individualised approach to YOUR health journey needs. If you choose to use any of the below supplements without the guidance of a practitioner you do so at your own risk. Some of these may interact with medications you may be currently taking. Understand that this is not to be taken lightly.


Furthermore, what this blog shows is through personal experience of breast implant illness and explant surgery I have learnt a lot! I didn’t just blindly go on any one protocol; I did my research and chose my supplements accordingly. It took a good week to put together a personalised 12-week protocol I followed coming out of explant surgery. I got to know the herbs, how they impact the body, what organs they were benefiting. All in conjunction with a healthy diet. I credit my health and wellness knowledge, mindset, the application of this knowledge and the support system I handpicked, for my speedy recovery post explant surgery. In a way, the studies and lifestyle habits I created over the last 7 years prepared me for a successful explant surgery.


THE BASICS - appropriate for most generally healthy individuals.


Vitamin D

Do you know your Vitamin D blood levels? A General Practitioner will not tell you unless it is severely low below 50nmol/L, whereas an endocrinologist wants to see your Vitamin D at 80 nmol/L to optimise hormones. However, look into the research and you will learn that a Vitamin D level of 100 – 140nmol/L will actually help prevent some types of cancers.


So, what is your blood level of Vitamin D? Ask your GP to check your Vitamin D levels during your next blood test. This will determine the dosage of supplementation. Monitoring the levels of Vitamin D will give us an idea of how good your absorption is. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so be sure to take it with Omega3s to improve absorption, but even then, if you have a poor gut lining you may find absorption is low. With sedentary jobs on the rise, being indoors more, not getting enough nature, the risks of skin cancer, not waking up early… we are experiencing low vit D levels all year round. Vitamin D is crucial in energy production, lowering inflammation, keeping a healthy and happy mood.


Omega 3s (fish oil)

Our food supply and processed foods are high in omega 6s which in the absence of enough omega 3s causes inflammation. We can’t get enough by eating oily fish 3x weekly (and who even does that nowadays?) If you want to know more about omega 3s read my blog: WHY YOU NEED MORE OMEGA 3s THAN YOU THINK


Magnesium

Most people who have a ‘normal’ magnesium level in their blood tests exhibits symptoms of low magnesium. This may be an indication the reference ranges the medical community is using are outdated.


Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. It is also required for energy production. The type of magnesium matters. There is a variety of types of magnesium targeting the different body systems, providing different health benefits. Magnesium is crucial to the nervous system, cardiovascular system, skeletal system, muscular system, gastrointestinal system, women’s health and metabolism. The type of magnesium an individual uses will depend on their lifestyle, baseline health, symptoms and the benefits they want to incur.


My choice: TriMag Active – a blend of magnesium citrate, magnesium glycerophosphate and magnesium aspartate dihydrate to enhance muscle performance, support energy production, electrolyte balance, support muscle health and cardiovascular health.


Cognition boosters

Magnesium threonate: Crosses blood brain barrier, improves memory and cognition, brain and central nervous system health. I love this stuff.


L-Theanine: Health benefits include decreased cortisol (decreased stress), decreased anxiety, decreased inflammation post exercise, improved cognitive function (memory and attention). What I love L-Theanine most for is that consuming L-Theanine with caffeine allows the caffeine to work its brain-boosting benefits without it raising blood pressure or inducing anxiety. The ideal ratio is 2:1 (L-Theanine : Caffeine) whatever amount of caffeine you’re having, double the amount of L-Theanine, both are in mg. Most effective when consumed 1 hour before caffeine.


Gotu Kola: Traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Western herbal medicine to support the nervous system, help the body adapt to stress, improve memory and cognition, brain tonic.


Berberine – Insulin Sensitivity

Berberine is derived from a plant and has been found to help the body regulate BGLs and increase insulin sensitivity (i.e decrease insulin resistance). The long traditional use of berberine for maintaining blood sugar in Ayurvedic and Chinese paradigms has been validated by current clinical evidence. Think of Berberine as a natural version of metformin. Metformin is a man made pharmaceutical to help regulate blood sugar levels (BGLs) in people with Type II Diabetes. Knowing that as little as 1 nights poor sleep makes us as insulin sensitive as if we have TIIDM, I keep Berberine on hand for those occasional long nights when work/personal development takes priority!


Berberine has also been found to act as an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immune modulator. While killing harmful bacteria, berberine is also known to have little effect on the beneficial bacteria. Therefore, berberine may also in this way induce healing of the gut lining. Berberine has also been found to help maintain healthy triglyceride, cholesterol levels, assist in liver health, and has antioxidant properties reducing oxidative stress, keeping our cells healthy and keeping us young.


PERSONAL - Kathy detoxing post breast implant explant surgery

Quick backstory: For 6.5 years of my life, I had breast implants made of silicone with 40+ toxic ingredients. Back then, I knew nothing about this. I knew very little about the body, how it functions, the immune system, what is going to happen intrinsically when I undergo breast augmentation. Once I knew better, I took responsibility and learnt how to support my body in ridding itself of the nasties. First step being explant surgery (taking the implants out of the body was an 8 hour surgery - thank you Dr Eva Nagy, oncoplastic surgeon) followed by a detox. As part of my healing process, I actually moved out of Sydney into a tree dominant city.


Below are the supplements which helped my body detoxify and heal. I will keep these very brief given they are very specific to me and my explant surgery. If you are going through an explant surgery please seek advice by booking in a discovery call. You may need to adjust the plan to suit you better! Food first still matters. No point taking supps if your diet is causing inflammation. The order in which you take these supplements also matters which I have not specified here. These are NOT to be taken all at once. This program takes anywhere between 3 - 6 months and should NOT be started straight out of surgery.


DETOX – was completed in stages over 12 weeks focusing on each major organ

  • Thermophase: Herbal and Nutritional Support for Liver Detoxification. Conjugating amino acids, milk thistle and green tea for liver detoxification and protection against reactive toxins.

  • G-Tox: Gastrointestinal and Kidney Detoxification Support, Supports alkalinity and assists waste elimination. Includes the detoxifying green spirulina, cleavers and coriander.

  • Lymphatox: Herbs Arctium lappa (Burdock) and Urtica dioica (Nettle) are traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to purify the blood.

  • Glutathione: A major intracellular antioxidant to protect body cell components from oxidative damage.

  • NAC: Renowned for its ability to replenish stores of hepatic glutathione. However, it is also found to be independently useful in repairing liver injury as it helps to improve hepatic oxygen delivery and consumption. With NAC as the precursor to glutathione, it can support phase II liver detoxification. Phase II requires glutathione for conjugation of toxins for elimination.

  • Vitamin C: Supports healthy immune system function, supports the immune system to fight illness, maintains skin health, supports collagen formation, supports a healthy stress response in the body


HEAL - leaky gut and poor nutrient absorption - ongoing, currently 9mo post surgery

  • Annatto-E™ 150: Antioxidant Reduces free radicals formed in the body, Relieves inflammation, Maintains healthy cholesterol, Supports cardiovascular system health

  • Sulforaclear: Broccoli Seeds and Sprouts with Vitamin C for Detoxification and Antioxidant Support.

  • Glutagenics: Ingredients in Glutagenics have been shown or traditionally used to relieve mild gastrointestinal discomfort, pain and minor inflammation, protect gastrointestinal mucosa and gut integrity, aid digestion. Used during early stages post surgery, within first 3 months.

  • GI-Revive: Helps reduce mild gastrointestinal tract inflammation. Basically the DFH version of Glutagenics from Metagenics. However, they do have different herbal base ingredients. GI-Revive is more comprehensive. Used 9 months post surgery.

  • Alergenics: Support for mild allergy reflief and healthy immune activity. Supports gastrointestinal immune function and liver detoxification processes. I love the mushrooms in this formula Reishi and Shiitake which I credit for staying healthy when everyone around me was getting the flu. Baical skullcap, glutamine, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin D act upon tight junctions of intestinal epithelium improving leaking gut syndrome.

  • Parex: I took the opportunity to get rid of a (supposedly harmless) parasite I knew I had.

  • Probiotics: Ultra Flora Intensive Care (LGG – rebuild the gut lining, especially post antibiotic use), Ultra Flora Soothe (L.Plantarum – known benefits for IBS), Ultra Flora Spectrum (broad range of live bacteria, given I had 2 weeks antibiotics post-surgery I wanted to ensure my gut flora recovers quickly!)

  • Collagen: to aid with wound healing and gut health.

  • Pain relief: I switched to natural pain relief (decreasing inflammation and pain) to decrease the effects of all the medications on my gut. I discussed this with my surgeon! I used Inflagesic™ with curcumin and boswellia. Research has shown it is as effective as paracetamol without the gut cramping side effects.


FATIGUE (ENERGY)

  • NR Supreme: for NAD+ replenishment which can support energy production, support healthy aging, provide antioxidant support. I assumed my NAD+ pool was diminished due to severe inflammation (evident in the pathology of my breast implant scar tissue), severe oxidative stress and severe immune activation that would have occurred due to having breast implants.

  • Iron: Initially, I also supplemented with Iron but my blood test results showed that I was not absorbing any of it! So, I got an iron infusion. Read more about Iron in my blog: IRONING OUT THE FACTS

  • Also crucial for energy production Vitamin D and EnergyX magnesium formula.


May I gently remind you that supplements are not meant as a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle. Supplements are meant in conjunction with, to compliment your health promoting lifestyle. As such, during my personal recovery I prioritised sleep, movement, emotional hygiene (crying, journaling, reading, talking to my support system), mindset, spiritual practices. The 6 pillars to wellness.

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Did you find this blog helpful and informative? Tag & Share with your friends who would love it too! Sign up for my Free NuFit Wellness Newsletter to stay in the loop. Attend my Wellness Workshops. Promoting consciousness in food choices helping people heal. Dietitian & Wellness Coach, Health Presenter, Gut Health Specialist - Kathy Ozakovic.

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KEYWORDS: Supplements, Supplementation, Vitamins, Minerals, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Omega3s, Cognition, Fatigue, Explant, Surgery, Collagen, Berberine, Natural, Remedies, Medicine, Detox, Heal, Healing, Breast Implants, Wound, Leaky Gut.

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