I’ve gotten this question twice in my life before. The question makes as much sense to me as me taking “supplements” does to the person asking the question.
Meaning, the question is faulty. I do not “believe” in supplements. To the contrary, I am convinced by the sum of my knowledge and available evidence that various substances are beneficial to my body, and consequently, my life, and some of those are best ingested in uncommon forms.
Truthfully, I make very little distinction between “food” and “supplements” at this point in my life, so long as I am convinced both are overwhelmingly beneficial – if not outright necessary – for the best and highest quality of life possible to me.
This means that when I scarf down dark chocolate, I am fully aware that there are compounds in the saturated fat difficult to find elsewhere, and as far as I am aware, those compounds are beneficial to my health.
This means that I purposefully eat at minimum 1 tablespoon of coconut fat 4 to 5 times per week – be it used as a cooking oil, in a shake, or simply eaten outright from the jar – because I am hyper aware that coconut oil is rich in various fatty acids difficult if not impossible to find elsewhere.
If I hated dark chocolate would I consider taking a pill type supplement that contained the same compound? Yes. This doesn’t mean I would do it, but I would consider it.
If I hated the taste of coconut fat, would I take coconut oil in capsule form? Absolutely. I love coconut though so this is not even a distant thought outside of this blog post.
The same concept applies to a whole host of popular foods and corresponding supplements. The butter I eat copious amounts of for example is rich, yellow, and fully grass fed. It is high in Vitamin k2.
If I did not have easy and consistent access to this butter … guess what, I would immediately consider other sources of K2, including a pill form if available.
One of the coffees I drink on a consistent basis is also mixed with chicory root – which I am convinced has positive effects on my digestive system. If I hated coffee or did not have access to that coffee would I consider taking a chicory root supplement or concentration of some kind? Yes.
I take fish (krill right now) oil every day. If all of the animal products I ate came from nothing but animals that ate what they were meant to eat in the first place, would I still take some type of fish oil? Probably not (in any significant quantity that is, relative to what I consume now).
The reality is though that most of the animal meats and products I consume come from animals sucking down food they were not meant to eat – at the very least, throwing off the ratio of omega 3 to 6 fatty acids in their resulting fats, that I eat in turn.
Taking fish oil as a counter weight to this is probably a little more crude than we would like to think, but I do think it’s better than nothing, and in addition, there are potential benefits independent of this in taking some type of fish or krill oil.
The list goes on and on – even including whey protein shakes I recently started making again – which, when made in the way I make them, are a meal to me, not a “supplement” (meaning I add tons of ingredients to the shake).
(Old video — skip the flax, less honey).
The point being that I seek to nourish my body and maintain my health in the best, most effective, and efficient way possible.
And you know what? I’m probably never going to sit in the sun for 30-60 minutes a day, 6 to 7 days a week, bare chested, getting adequate vitamin D exposure, for the rest of my life.
If I had to, I would, but I don’t.
Instead I eat 6,000 IU worth every day I am not in the sun for a very long period of time, along with some fat. That 6,000 IU comes in the form of small, high quality pills, and I am fine with that.
Right now I have access to freshly iodized salt. I eat some almost every day. If I were to travel again for a prolonged period of time, I would consider bringing an iodine supplement with me.
And so on, and so forth.
Hopefully my point is getting across here – that while I do not aim to nourish my body with pills and powders packed and produced in a factory or lab, I’ll do so if no better alternative is left to me and I won’t bat an eye about it.
– Anthony Dream Johnson