Monday, June 23, 2008

Nutritional Supplements

A blog reader asked, "Could you share with us your choice of supplements and health foods as well as your sources of these?"

When I was first diagnosed with cancer more than two years ago, I saw a naturopath and did some research on vitamins and supplements that were specifically recommended for women with breast cancer or undergoing treatment for cancer. Here are the supplements I'm taking now (Click on the supplement name for information):

CoQ10
Flaxseed oil
Milk Thistle
Vitamin C
Vitamin B6
Multivitamin
Calcium/Magnesium
Selenium
Acidophilus
Zinc
Glutamine

I get all of my supplements, except for Acidophilus, from the U.S. or Australia because they're much cheaper than they are in Singapore. Be aware that many brands do not contain the dosage that is indicated on the label. And many contain animal products and synthetic fillers.

I don't believe pills are a substitute for food. I wish there were a way for me to get all these nutritious elements in food, but there isn't, so I'm supplementing my diet with vitamins where needed.

As for health foods, I eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit, organic when I can. In Singapore, I shop at Super Nature, Tanglin Marketplace, and sometimes order online from Green Circle Farm. Cold Storage also has organic veggies and fruit, but a very limited selection. I eat brown rice, not white. I eat whole grain bread from our local bakery, not supermarket bread and never white bread. I eat some beans and nuts but not as much as I should.

I get hormone-free fresh New Zealand salmon from The Fish Wife. She's a lady in Singapore who pools orders for various salmon products once a month. Her e-mail address is: fishwife@starhub.net.sg.

I prefer to eat whole, natural foods rather than processed, packaged food. When I do buy packaged food, I read labels. I avoid foods with ingredients I don't recognize or can't pronounce. I avoid preservatives and artificial coloring or flavoring. I also avoid sugar because sugar feeds cancer cells.

In the U.S., I like shopping at Whole Foods, which my brother-in-law calls "Whole Paycheck" because it's pretty expensive. But they have some dry goods I can't get in Singapore, such as organic looseleaf lemongrass and vita mate tea.

If any of you have some good tips on nutritional supplements and good sources for healthy foods, please share!

9 comments:

ALI KATI said...

When I was ill, a good friend of mine recommended Eniva products. The two that I tried were the Vibe vitamin solution and the bio-chlorophyll liquid. I'm not sure if it was just a placebo effect but it definitely made me feel a whole lot better. I believe the liquid form allows for better absorption.

They're not cheap, so at the moment, I've reverted to pills including chlorella pills.

Yi Ling said...

Hi Shin,

Thanks for your candid sharing about breast cancer. I got to know your blog from Molly's website and has had the privilege of being about to know what's happening in your battle with this dreaded diseases. I have an aunt who was a cancer survivor and i know its really not easy to carry on living once you are diagnosed with cancer.

Francesca Giessmann said...

Shin: No advise on more supplements.. like u I try to get most that I need from foods.. just funny comment ( as pleas feel free to NOT post)- My husband jokes that since we left the US he bets money that the Whole Foods Financial have gone way down and the y don't know why... I miss it though but cannot complain because here in Switzerland we have very good food, mostly everywhere..
big kiss and how are u feeling????

lisacc said...

Hello Shin, this is Lisa (ex Middle East Business News). I'm currently working with Steve Doyle who told me about your blog. I didn't realise you had become ill again, I am so incredibly sorry to hear of your suffering and amazed at your positive attitude.

I can't begin to imagine what it must be like for you. I can perhaps understand a little what it is like for your family since my own mother currently has terminal cancer, after initially surviving breast cancer a few years ago. But me and my brother are grown up (supposedly!) whereas your children are so young.

I really hope that one of the miracles we read about happens for you, as I am hoping it will for my mother. I know one has to be realistic, but the whole ordeal is just a little less bleak with hope.

Love and best wishes to you and your family and I will keep reading your blog for updates, as well as pass on any useful information such as the supplements you list here to my mother.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin,
Thanks so much for helping to put together this list of supplements. I know your are very thorough when it comes to researching a topic, this list is invaluable.

Warmest Regards,
Karin

Shin said...

lisacc,

I've been looking for you! None of the e-mail addresses I have for you work anymore and I even tried contacting you through your blog, but couldn't find a way.

Send me an e-mail through my gmail address above?

Laura said...

Hi Shin, I came to know of your blog as I was looking up health supplements. I am sorry to hear of your battle with breast cancer. My mother recently underwent surgery for this. God was her strength and I pray that He will be yours as well. I am writing also in response to your question on health supplements. I found Ruby Reds with natural ingredients very good. http://www.newvitality.com/shop/ruby-reds.aspx

Supplements said...

pretty nice site and unique content for people.

B. Grow said...

With so much confusion and misinformation on the subject of dietary supplements, I wasn't surprised when a young athlete told me that he wasn't taking any because he was nervous the products could be tainted with steroids or contain a stimulant or diuretic banned by his federation? Articles like the one in Sports Illustrated’s May issue on the supplement industry that reported, “the screening company Informed-Choice found that 25% of 58 supplement samples it tested contained steroids and stimulants banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)” don't help the confusion. Let's be clear, what are the supplements being tested? The article talks about disreputable companies, but not listing the supplements tested puts all supplements on a ban list, questioning even their Vitamin-C. I would imagine they probably tested the ones they suspected- those I call “gangster supplements.” You know, the ones with the ingredients that are impossible to say that promise testosterone boosting or weight loss, the ones that should be on the government banned list.