If you are anything like me, you understand how overwhelming supplements can be. We can all picture ourselves strolling down the aisles of Whole Foods thinking, “should I buy this newest powder that creates energy, builds stamina, strengthens the immune system, supports detoxification, promotes weight loss, increases hair growth?” Everything now claims to help you look younger, feel healthier and of course live a complete and happy life. But, in all seriousness, who the hell knows what to choose anymore! Now when you go to a coffee shop your normal five-dollar coffee can cost you up to fifteen dollars once you add the mushroom extract and CBD oil, because it’s really “working”- right? The real question is: are we spending our money on claims or actual results?
In effort to answer this question and make the understanding of supplements easier, I went straight to the expert, Dr. Apostolos Lekkos, who is a functional medicine doctor extraordinaire and a dear client of mine here in Santa Monica. Dr. Lekkos helps patients struggling with all kinds of health issues, from autoimmune disease to gut health; as well as, being on the cutting edge of regenerative and stem cell therapy. He is your guy to go to when it feels like you have tried everything else. I decided I needed to interview him and get to the bottom of all my supplement questions
What do we really need to be taking?
Briana (B): The overwhelming part is, OH! Now I must take this. I read about this and I should be taking that too! But all the supplements are not great for everyone.Dr. Apostolos Lekkos (A): Right. It gets overwhelming. There is so much information out there and how do you weed through it?
B: So, what really are the best supplements to take not only to promote good skin but for good gut health and good sleep and stem cell regeneration? And all the things that could keep us healthier.A: So, I call those the core supplements. When people come into see me they may be on a list of things but at the end of the day they are on this core. This is what I think everyone needs to be on.
One of them is really good a multivitamin, that’s super important. Then I think everyone needs to be on Vitamin D, everyone has low vitamin D. Everyone needs to be on a good probiotic. I like everyone to be on clean fish oil. Not Costco stuff.
B: Ha! How do you know if it’s clean or not?A: Because they are 3rd party tested for heavy metals and PCBs and things. A good over the counter brand is Nordic Naturals. Pure Encapsulations has good fish oil as well.
You always want to buy high quality supplements. They are called nutraceuticals. Nutraceuticals are supplements that are pharmaceutical grade.
I love an Adaptogen which is something to combat stress response. So, I like Ashwaghanda or…
B: That’s what I was going to ask you about! That was on my list of questions…Adaptogens, you do believe they work?A: Oh yeah! I love them. So Ashwaghanda, Rhodiola or Relora those are the 3 I like. And I like to have something to help you detox, a liver support. My favorite product is called Liver GI Detox by Pure Encapsulations. That supports all the liver detox pathways to help you detoxify your body because what is going to get you sick later in life with cancers and things is stress and toxins.
So, the last thing I like is Curcumin. Curcumin, if you can pick one thing from the earth, because it has anti-cancer effects, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory. It helps cholesterol, it’s the best supplement ever.
So those are the 6 core things I like.
- Multi Vitamin.
- Vitamin D.
- Fish Oil.
- Liver Detox.
Now it’s time to talk about the fads!
A: I love CBD. CBD has also been shown to decrease cortisol in human studies.
B: And how do you feel CBD is absorbed best and is most effective?A: It depends on what you need it for. If you need it for anxiety and you need it on the spot, I like people to vape it. But if I need it for a sustained duration then I will do the sublingual oil, like a tincture or an oil under your tongue.
B: What ratio do you use for the CBD with the THC?A: Well CBD will come in its own pure CBD form and that’s all it is CBD no THC. But if there is sprinkle of THC in there that helps activate the CBD a little bit better, so everyone is different in their body response, so you want to have a pretty high ratio, so they don’t feel high. You want to hit 15:1 or 20:1 somewhere in there.
B: That’s great information about CBD. Because now you know you see it in everything and you go to the coffee shop and they can add CBD to your coffee. And I’m thinking this is a load of bullshit.A: Ha! Yeah, I don’t know what they are putting in. Who knows? It might help a little bit but…
B: I mean what kind of quality is it?!A: Yeah, you just don’t know.
B: It’s so faddy. So basically, just make sure you know it is good quality and where it comes from. And speaking of fads, what about collagen? Do you think it is actually do anything?
- A: Okay, so I like collagen. I put it in my coffee every morning. I use Great Lakes collagen because it is hydrolyzed. Great Lakes has been checked for heavy metals and it’s clean. So, there is some research out there but not a ton.
So, you want the hydrolyzed collagen because the hydrolyzed means that the collagen is broken down into small components. So, you have better absorption of the collagen protein and it gets into your gut wall. That’s where bone broth has the problem. Bone broth collagen is not hydrolyzed. So, you are not absorbing it like you are a hydrolyzed protein powder.
B: So, you would say then it’s better than to get collagen in a powder form that is hydrolyzed vs bone broth?A: Right; for the collagen. Yeah, so bone broth is another big fad thing. Yes, there are nutrients in bone broth, but it is not a ton. There are minerals and amino acids, but does it affect the body that much? I’m not sure. There are not a ton of studies on it, but I like it for gut health. I like the bone broth because of the gelatin in the bone broth. Gelatin is the breakdown product of the collagen. I like it because it does help the lining of the gut and does help the balance and growth of the bacteria in the colon. So that’s mainly why I like bone broth for the gut health.
This interview was such an amazing source of information! Dr. Lekkos helped me get to the bottom of my questions and gain a deeper understanding of supplement information. My takeaway is do your research and ask the experts. Being educated and informed is liberating! Choose companies that are transparent and that produce supplements of the only the highest quality. But, ultimately, listen to your body and what it needs! If you have any questions for Dr. Lekkos please contact him here or if you want to chat with me, please reach out!
To learn more about Briana, click the link below to read her bio!View Briana’s Bio »
To learn more about Dr. Lekkos, click here.