In our relentless pursuit of better health and well-being, dietary supplements have become a popular choice to bridge nutritional gaps or elevate our vitality. Whether it’s protein shakes, vitamin supplements, or fermented beverages like kombucha, these products promise to enhance our overall health. Yet, what many individuals overlook is that some supplements can contain ingredients that trigger adverse reactions in those with unrecognised intolerances. In our experience, these are the worst offenders.
Protein supplements that may make you feel worse
Whey and casein protein remains a popular choice for individuals seeking to boost their protein intake, particularly among fitness enthusiasts. This dairy-derived protein is often present in protein shakes, bars, and various dietary supplements. Nevertheless, some people are unknowingly intolerant to the proteins in cows milk. Particulary with gym goals in mind, many people don’t really pay attention to the type of protein they are taking. In an overwhelming number of people, the classic whey or casein protein supplements are not doing them a service. This is because cows milk protein is one of the most common delayed food allergies. Delayed food allergies, commonly called food intolerance, can trigger low grade and chronic inflammation when the immune system recognises and forms IgG antibodis against specific food proteins.
In the case of processed protein supplements, you are essentially providing your immune system with a mega dose of the proteins that it may be trained to recognise as an invader. This means instead of helping you build and repair muscle tissue, that whey or casein protein isolate may be contributing to inflammation and slowing your recovery, leading to fatigue and reduced performance. This intolerance can also manifest as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach cramps when consuming cows milk proteins. Those experiencing such symptoms should consider transitioning to plant-based protein sources, like pea, hemp, or rice. However, if you really want to be sure, test your blood serum to determine which protein is best for you.
B vitamins are essential for various bodily functions and are commonly included in dietary supplements. Unfortunately, many B vitamin supplements contain yeast-derived ingredients, which may cause issues for those with yeast sensitivities or allergies. Intolerance to yeast can result in a range of symptoms, from digestive problems to skin rashes and respiratory issues. To avoid these complications, individuals should seek out yeast-free B vitamin supplements or explore alternative sources for these essential nutrients. Those with yeast intolerance also need to be aware of supplements like brewer’s yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii/cerevasiae, and fermented products like kombucha, saurkraut, apple cider vinegar and kimchi.
Kombucha: The Fermented Beverage
Kombucha has soared in popularity as a health drink due to its probiotic content and potential digestive benefits. Produced through tea fermentation, this beverage relies on yeast and bacteria cultures in its production process. While most individuals can enjoy kombucha without issues, those with yeast sensitivities or histamine intolerance may experience adverse reactions, including gastrointestinal discomfort, skin problems, or headaches. If you suspect a yeast or histamine intolerance, or better yet have confirmed this with ImuPro testing, it’s wise to limit or avoid kombucha and consider probiotic supplements with different bacterial strains.
Bovine Gelatin in Supplements
Bovine gelatin, derived from cowhide and bones, is a common ingredient in various dietary supplements, including supplement capsules and gummies. However, some individuals may be intolerant to bovine gelatin or adhere to dietary restrictions that exclude cow-derived products. This is particularly important for those with Mammalian Meat Allergy. Symptoms of intolerance may encompass digestive discomfort and skin issues. For those with gelatin sensitivities or dietary preferences, it’s essential to seek supplements employing alternative binding agents like plant-based cellulose or agar.
Spirulina, a blue-green algae rich in nutrients, has gained popularity for its potential health benefits. It is commonly found in supplements in the form of capsules, tablets, or powders. However, spirulina may pose problems for individuals with algae sensitivities or allergies. In our experience, many patients have discovered through ImuPro testing that they are intolerant to their spirulina supplemet. Symptoms can range from digestive discomfort to skin reactions. If you suspect you have an intolerance to spirulina, it’s advisable to explore alternative nutrient sources or consult a healthcare professional for guidance.
Hidden Allergens and Cross-Contamination
In addition to specific intolerances, supplements can also pose risks for individuals with allergies. Many supplements are produced in facilities that handle allergenic ingredients such as peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. Cross-contamination can occur during manufacturing, leading to unintended exposure to allergens. To reduce this risk, individuals with allergies should meticulously scrutinise labels, choose allergen-free supplements, and contact manufacturers for allergen-related information.
Dietary supplements offer a convenient way to support our nutritional needs and overall well-being. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the concealed dangers that these supplements may pose to individuals with unidentfied intolerances. Whether it’s spirulina, whey protein, yeast-derived ingredients in B vitamins, bovine gelatin, or allergen cross-contamination, staying informed about supplement contents is vital for your health. If you suspect a supplement is causing adverse reactions, consult with a healthcare professional to identify the underlying cause and explore suitable alternatives. Remember, the path to better health involves making informed choices that align with your unique body and requirements.