Are Your Supplements Working?

Are your supplements working?

What if your supplements aren’t working and you aren’t seeing any improvements?

This is one of the main supplement-related questions I get in my natural functional medicine clinic.

My patients want to know if what they are taking is really going to work and how long they need to wait until they notice a difference in their health.


Here are the six factors I always consider when managing my patients supplement regimens.

1. Your starting point

The very first thing to consider is the status of your health before taking any supplements. Since every person’s health journey is different, their starting points are going to be different as well. For example, a person with a severe nutrient deficiency is going to require more than someone who is just slightly deficient.

2. Dosage

This is where your starting point comes into play. If you don’t know your deficiencies you won’t know how much to take to make a difference. This leaves many people taking the right supplements at lower dosages than they require so they don’t end up feeling any better. If they were taking enough they would see an improvement. This is why it’s important to work with a qualified practitioner who can determine the right dose for your particular health case so you don’t waste your time. What you are taking should have therapeutic rationale and in many cases have a time frame for healing.

3. Quality

If you have checked on the internet, there are  so many options of the same kind of herb or vitamin it is beyond confusing to know which brand to choose from.

That is one of reasons I am pretty picky about what I recommend to clients.  I look at whole food options first, the quality herbal formulas and then fractional formulas from highly reputable brands.

I have worked with these brands for decades and have seen the results first hand with my patients.

If you are going to do your own research please make sure to examine the label to uncover any hidden inflammatory ingredients such as grains or sugar, as well as any artificial colors and fillers. Researching each brand can also be beneficial to learn more about the quality of the ingredients and where they source them from.

4. Your personal needs

Every person’s health case is unique and will have different requirements for healing. Even if two people have the same diagnosis their bodies may each respond differently to the same treatment. While I may sound like a broken record by now, this is another reason why it is so important to work with a practitioner who has experience taking underlying dysfunctions into account when choosing which supplements are right for each individual.

5. Absorption rate

An often-overlooked factor to consider is how well your body is able to absorb the nutrients in a supplement. Chronic inflammation and underlying gut problems can inhibit cellular absorption of these much needed nutrients. Without first addressing these underlying problems it can make the benefits of supplementation very minimal or even non-existent. Again, a qualified practitioner can run labs and take a complete health history to determine if these issues are a factor in your health case and can help come up with a plan to address them.

6. Food

No matter how many supplements you are taking, it won’t make up for a poor diet.

It’s like pouring a cup of clean water into a bucket full of muddy water – the mud will still be there but maybe just a little more diluted. The same goes for adding in supplements, you might find some relief but the symptoms will always still be there to some extent. We have to remember that food is your foundation and comes first as medicine. Supplements fill in the gaps and add support where needed.

Once we’ve taken all of these factors into account, in general how long does it take to see improvements from supplementation?

In my clinical experience you can expect to notice an improvement in your overall health anywhere between one day and four-eight weeks. It all depends on how deficient you were beforehand. If you still aren’t seeing improvements after that time frame, it’s time to re evaluate the best option for your health situation.

If you need help I am as always here to serve and educate.

Dr Pia

P.S. I offer Clinical Kinesiology in office:  This process allows me to take personalized care to the next level.  Curious?  BOOK NOW