A scientist studying whether supplements work needs 4 days to take his health from good to good

  • Richard Bloomer investigates supplement manufacturers’ health claims for a living.
  • He said there are some great ingredients that can be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.
  • Bloomer takes vitamin D for metabolic health and fish oil for her heart.

Richard Bloomer has spent more than two decades researching supplements and how safe or effective they are.

He founded the Nutraceutical and Dietary Supplement Research Center at the University of Memphis, a laboratory that tests whether products deliver the benefits they claim, partly out of his own personal interest in their potential health and partly as a means to provide consumers with accurate information. .

The supplement industry has been growing steadily in recent years, with surveys indicating that more than half of American adults take these products, according to the American Medical Association. By 2028, the market is expected to generate around $308 billion worldwide, according to Statista.

Supplements are not regulated by the FDA before entering the market in the same way that drugs are, making the market a tricky place to navigate.

“There are a lot of supplements that probably aren’t worth our time and money, but I think there are a lot of things that do have value. It’s just a matter of figuring out which ones have value and why,” Bloomer told Business Insider.

He has been using supplements for many years along with a healthy diet, exercising around five times a week and focusing on good quality sleep and stressed the importance of all three.

“These things I think are so valuable and supplements will never replace them,” he said.

However, in his research, he has seen evidence to suggest that certain ingredients can improve different aspects of health, such as physical performance and cardiometabolic health.

Bloomer shared the four supplements she takes to take her health from good to good.

fish oil

Bloomer takes a good-quality fish oil every day for heart health and to prevent inflammation, she said.

It uses a liquid form that contains a combination of the omega-three fatty acids EPA and DHA and combines it with a shake or meal replacement drink.

“It also has a good flavor, it’s not fishy at all, but orange or lemony, and it does a good job,” he said.

Omega-three fatty acids are known to be good for heart health in a number of ways, including lowering triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, slowing the build-up of plaque, a substance that hardens and blocks arteries and lowers blood pressure. , according to Mount Sinai.

Fish oil has anti-inflammatory effects, which some evidence suggests may be protective against muscle soreness and damage from going to the gym. A small study found that men who took three grams of fish oil capsules daily for four weeks experienced less muscle soreness after exercise than those who did not.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus and is needed for healthy teeth, bones and muscles. Although it can be obtained from some foods, such as egg yolks and red meat, sunlight is the best source.

Bloomer takes 1,000 international units of vitamin D3 daily because she said most people in the US are deficient.

“I’m out a good amount. So for me, and I’ve had my blood levels checked, a thousand is about right.” However, he recommended that people talk to a health care provider to find the right dose for them.

He also takes vitamin D3 for its helpful metabolic effects, he said. Research suggests there may be a link between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk of developing metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including hypertension.

multivitamin

Bloomer also takes a good quality multivitamin daily, although she acknowledges the body of evidence suggesting they are useless.

“If people say, well, it’s just going to be excreted in urine, they’re probably right. A lot of these things you don’t need will be excreted in urine, but it’s just a cheap insurance policy.”

He added: “It’s a few cents a day and people who are very active and exposed to large amounts of stress, there is some literature that suggests they could benefit.”

Business Insider previously reported that emerging evidence suggests that multivitamin supplements could improve memory in people over 60.

Protein powder

To make sure you’re getting enough protein throughout the day, Bloomer two or three protein shakes a day. Protein is essential for many body functions, including muscle growth and retention.

“I think for people who are on the go and very busy, it’s a really nice way to make sure you’re getting good quality nutrition without sitting down and eating a meal,” she said. “It’s relatively cheap, and you can get really good quality protein these days.”

Bloomer uses a whey isolate because it seems to reach the muscles faster, he said. But in the past he has used soy, pea, egg and other protein powders. “I think most powders, the quality is pretty decent,” he said.

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