On this episode of Healthytarian Living, host Evita Ochel features returning guest Dr. John McDougall to talk about nutrients from supplements, isolates, and extracts, and how these impact our health versus nutrients from food.

When we talk about supplements, many people consider it a healthy and smart habit to take supplements. But nothing isolated, extracted, or synthesized will ever be an adequate or even safe replacement for real food, which was perfectly designed for our body.

Topics covered in the video include:

  1. Dr. McDougall shares about how his focus has changed through the years as a medical doctor. (1:57)

    • commentary on the positive changes in the vegan/plant-based movement
    • commentary on the environmental urgency to go plant-based
  2. A background into understanding supplements and where they came from.(8:47)

    • overview of deficiency diseases like Beriberi, Pellagra and Scurvy
    • incorrect use of supplements for chronic, lifestyle diseases
  3. Assimilation of nutrients from food versus nutrients from supplements. (15:33)

    • what happens when we get nutrients from food
    • what happens when we get nutrients from supplements (17:13)
    • effects of supplemental and food oils (fish oil, flax oil, etc.) (22:30)
    • saturated vs unsaturated fat and the problems with vegetable oils
    • omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (25:40)
    • folic acid, prenatal supplements and pregnancy (31:53)
  4. Guidance about vitamin B12. (37:12)

    • where it comes from
    • what dosage is best

    “Almost all cases of vitamin B12 deficiency seen in patients today and in the past are due to diseases of the intestine, and are not due to a lack of B12 in their diet.” ~ Dr. John McDougall MD

  5. Guidance about hormone-vitamin D. (41:25)

    • understanding healthy sun exposure
    • effects of vitamin D supplements on bones
    • what studies done on vitamin D show
    • the vitamin D, inflammation and diet connection
    • how much sun is enough for sufficient D levels (49:44)

    “Low vitamin D in the blood is a result of being ill, not the cause of sickness.” ~ Dr. John McDougall

  6. Guidance about probiotics. (53:50)

    • the diet and supplement probiotic connection
    • human intestinal colonization from birth (56:16)
    • how to best nourish intestinal health
  7. Closing advice from Dr. McDougall. (1:01:05)

    “Just to be on the safe side, don’t take vitamins.” ~ Dr. John McDougall

Comments, Questions & Feedback

To share any comments, questions or feedback visit the video page on YouTube or the Healthytarian Community on Facebook.

Additional Resources:

  1. Dr. McDougall’s articles about supplements

  2. Dr. John McDougall’s Vitamin D Supplement Risk article

  3. Dr. McDougall’s Beneficial Bowel Bacteria article — Aug 2005 newsletter

  4. 2015 NBJ report on supplement industry

Books by Dr. John McDougall