2 min|Dr. Maya Kuczma

4 Reasons You May Need to Take Supplements

Wellness, Health

4 Reasons You May Need to Take Supplements

Supplement recommendations are everywhere. Walk into a grocery store or health food store, and you may feel overwhelmed with the choices, while simultaneously feeling lured into buying products based on sleek packaging and broad promises. All of this may leave you wondering - do I need supplements?

In a perfect world, we would be able to get everything we needed from the food we eat. However, there are multiple factors working against us that lead to most of us needing some form of supplementation during our lifetime:

Not Eating Enough of the Good Stuff

Nutrient depletion is incredibly common in the Western world, even in the face of excess caloric intake. (1) A plate full of ultra-processed foods consists mostly of nutrient-depleted foods, while also taking the place of healthier, nutrient-dense options. If your diet doesn’t consist of mostly nutrient-rich foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and animal proteins, you may need to supplement.

The Good Stuff…. Ain't what it used to be

Levels of nutrients within soil are decreasing worldwide due to industrialized agricultural practices. (2) It’s likely that efforts to improve size, growth, and resistance to bugs within crops, has led to a trade-off between yield and nutrient content. (3) This means we no longer get the same bang for our buck when it comes to eating nutritious food.

Inflamed, Upset Gut

Many gut conditions can interfere with our ability to absorb the nutrients we need. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), celiac disease, food sensitivities and food allergies, intestinal inflammation, and decreased stomach acid can decrease nutrient absorption, and lead to malnourishment, even if we eat a healthy diet. (4,5,6,7,8)

Side Effects of Common Medications

Many common medications, such as oral contraceptives, statins, corticosteroids, some antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can deplete nutrients in the body or directly interfere with nutrient absorption. Using these medications, especially long-term, can raise our requirements for nutrients; these increased requirements cannot always be met through diet alone.

If any of these factors are part of your life, you may benefit from supplementation. However, it is important to determine which supplements are right for you. Working with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) can help to sort through the noise of supplement recommendations coming from friends, magazines, and social media. We’re here to help - contact us today to book an appointment with an ND.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6817492/
  2. http://www.fao.org/soils-portal/soil-degradation-restoration/global-soil
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15637215/
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/small-intestinal-bacterial
  5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coeliac-disease/complications/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23937486/
  7. https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-014-0187-1
  8. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00365520903434117
Popup disabled