Supplements Pros and Cons 2…

As promised in my first supplements pros and cons post where I talked about a statin and niacin, here is what I settled for as far as taking the remaining four supplements on the list my diligent Nurse Practitioner recommended to lower my blood sugar and cholesterol.

Vitamin C:  Years ago when I asked my obstetrician about taking vitamin C he said,

“It won’t do you any harm, if you take more than your body needs you’ll just pee it out!”

I took the pre-natal vitamins he prescribed everyday (with no added C) for all the lives I grew inside me and my hair and nails thrived.  They still thrive to this day as I enter empty nest, supplement free, so who knows about those extra vitamins?!

Terri Fites, The Homeschooling Doctor, says I could take the C if I wanted to but cautioned me on the quality of the product.

“Choose a natural one,” she wrote, “made from roses and foods rather than those manufactured in a lab.”

Like the B vitamins, C is complex meaning the full benefit comes from the whole.  Ascorbic acid marketed as Vitamin C is a fraction of the whole vitamin occurring naturally in potatoes, onions and citrus fruits.  Like the niacin, it needs all its cronies to walk the talk.

Terri eloquently painted me a word picture,

“Imagine a building complex. There’s not just one place, there are many which come together to make the building…what if the ‘wing’ of the complex you’re supposed to be in is missing? ”

I’d never get there!

Since vitamin C has been shown to reduce cholesterol and I already eat onions, citrus fruits with my berries and some potatoes, my whole food intake should be sufficient.  But my sugar level is high so Terri recommended instead of eating fruit, chok-a-blok with fructose, for a meal I could mix my salads with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil and eat my apples and berries for dessert…instead of chocolate trifle…she is too funny!


So bye-bye Bakewell tart and pavlova, hello grapes and cantaloupe.  Let’s pray I see a downward trend on my glucose levels next time I give up some of my blood for analysis otherwise I’ll be reaching for the chocolates again.

And talking of chocolate, meet Chocolate Covered Katie.

Terri, absolutely empathizing with my sweet tooth, sent me this link when I worried about the only negative side effect I’ve had so far with this drastic change in my diet, weight loss.  I’m sure my body will eventually plateau when it recovers from the shock of no refined or processed foods.  In the meantime I may use some of Katie’s recipes when I’m feeling the urge to inhale cake!

Kyolic Garlic:  I have a little book called Honey, Garlic and Vinegar,


that sings the praises of garlic eaten in its natural form.  Hubs and I eat a lot of garlic, not quite as much as the Arabs I shared cramped, hot, elevators with in Beirut, Lebanon, when I was young.  They ate it raw, straight from the stem, bulb by bulb, rather like we Brits eat spring onions.  In those days I didn’t eat garlic, I was a child and my mother only used salt and pepper as seasonings, but I was told, by my cosmopolitan friends who also lived abroad, that had I joined them in their heavy garlic consumption I wouldn’t faint from the overwhelming fumes drifting with me all the way to the 12th floor where our apartment was.

Garlic is a miracle vegetable comprised of a dozen or more cloves.  There are studies behind it that show it to be a good, potent supplement which could be used to battle high cholesterol.  But why take a supplement?

“I use on average a clove of garlic every day in what I cook,” Terri emailed me, “Could you do this?”

“Heck yes!” I emailed back and set my garlic press on the counter!

Tip from Terri:  At the start of meal preparation crush the garlic directly onto the cutting board and leave for 10 minutes to allow activation of its nutrients.

“Part  of what is thought to lower the cholesterol is the sulfur component,” she told me, “So onions would be valuable too.  My family eats no less than one onion a day.”

I had visions of placing hamburgers or chicken on a bed of softly, sauteed onions and garlic, or eggs lightly scrambled with tender, fragrant leeks (also in the garlic and onion family), mmmm, pure, gastronomic heaven packed with lots of nutrients!

Tip to Self:  make sure everyone in the household at Footlights is eating like portions of garlic and onions to temper the heady aroma of the Mediterranean on everyone’s breath!

Omega 3:  Hubs takes this supplement so I was on nodding terms with it and growing up in London there was always a tin of cod liver oil capsules on our breakfast table during the cold months that spanned three seasons.  My Mum gave it to us to ward off colds never imagining for a moment that it was also good for our hearts and reduced bad cholesterol…whatever that was!

It is a great supplement as long as it’s not a cheap and nasty one, Terri suggested Nordic Naturals.  If the fish oil is subjected to high heat or sits improperly on shelves (slouching & leaning) it’s going to break down and become rancid in the bottle!

Most happily my new diet includes food that is rich in Omega 3, remember all that fish from my previous post?  Tuna, salmon, trout, herring, swordfish, sardines and mackerel, fresh, frozen, canned however it can be found?  If I eat enough treasures from the sea then I can skip the fish oil capsules.


And last but by no means least, CoQ10:  I have read this is an absolute must when taking a statin (Lipitor).  Statins interfere with CoQ10 production so it needs to be taken daily if I take the Lipitor.

I’m not taking the Lipitor but I can boost my body’s manufacture of CoQ10 (declining daily as I age) by eating organ meats such as beef heart…


Fortuitously Hubs and I are buying a quarter cow this week and asked for the heart but I believe it’s already been taken, along with the entrails…darn we just weren’t quick enough!

In a nutshell, if I can fill my grocery basket with foods that don’t need labels, and eat:

six cups of vegetables,

a whole onion,

several cloves of garlic,

meat/fish to my satiety level,

some carbs like beans and potatoes,

fruit for dessert,

nuts and seeds for snacks,

and lots of kisses,

every day,

I can pass on the supplements.

And if I still find myself hungry at odd times I can treat myself to a slice of granary bread or a dairy product…I have a sneaky feeling that doesn’t mean ice-cream!

Oh, and I nearly forgot, in this new world of mine where all those extra treats and goodies, that kept my figure well covered, are banned, I can still have the occasional glass of Champagne.



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2016-10-07 21:52:08 Reply

Those sugar’s better come down or I’m quitting my job.

Nah, they’ll come down.

You lived in Lebanon! That’s so neat! We loved a little Lebanese restaurant in St. Louis. It was called Saleems: Where Garlic is King! So your comments on Lebanon made lots of sense!


    2016-10-10 20:01:38 Reply

    I’m on vacation in California at the moment visiting my son and have noticed lots of changes in my body because of eating pasta, a tuna burger with the bun and a little piece of bread pudding with rum sauce! Much much more noticeable than when I quit all that stuff cold turkey a few months ago…AMAZING!! So a compelling incentive to seek out the right food even when eating out…I can feel the difference!

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