I call bullshit on oversimplified info on supplements

The amazing peeps at Harvard are trying to help the average shopper interested in their health with an article on why information on nutrients and supplements (and I think herbs too) is so confusing and overwhelming.

Simply put it comes back to the science: what formulation of the nutrient was used in the scientific trials, what dosage, what gender were the participants, what age were they, how long did they take the nutrient for and importantly were the participants healthy or sick?  Even more confused? Well that’s not surprising!

sonia mcnaughton, newcastle, naturopath, herbalist, supplement, nutrition, thyroid, pms, pcos, graves, hashimotos, evidence based naturopathy, evidence based medicine, acne, menopause

In short has the person giving you the advice read the original research or are they aware of the original research specific to differing formulations, dosage, duration of treatment and suitability for population groups? I’m often reading blogs my clients ask me to check out for them on thyroid issues, menopause & PMS and I am pretty frequently amazed/horrified by the misinformation being peddled by clearly caring and well meaning human beings who just unfortunately haven’t read the original research.  ‘Cause only when you know this level of detail can you draw a conclusion on whether or not you will get the sorts of results you are after.

I call this ‘bang for your buck’!  A simple strategy of only using nutritional supplements and herbs that have been tested on people that are similar to you.

Personally I think it is just not ethical to lump all the results of all the trials on a specific nutrient/herb together, mash them up, and spit out a universal one liner.

Sonia McNaughton, naturopath, herbalist, newcastle, vitamins, minerals, nutrition, confused, vitamin d, magnesium, thyroid, pms, acne
Image: floliving.com

Let me give you an example I hear almost every day:  a client will ask me if magnesium is good for their thyroid disease/ weight problem/ muscle soreness/ constipation/ skin issues/ period pain/ mood disorder/ sleep issues etc etc because they are beginning to suspect their very expensive bottle of magnesium is not working for them.

Well if we dive into the detail here for a moment different formulations of magnesium at differing dosages have been shown to help with most of these concerns, however, the type of magnesium may mean you are taking a pill you hope will help with your period pain when all it has been tested to do is relieve constipation!  Or you are taking too small a dosage to have any impact at all and wondering why you are the only person not on the magnesium bandwagon.

This is one of the reasons why I became an evidence based natural therapist – yes it is more work but it is also more rewarding seeing my patients’ health improve!

You can read the article that started this conversation, some might say rant, here.  


Have you ever been given advice on a nutrient or herb that you later found just simply did not work for you?

Sonia x


For more information or to contact me for a consultation (02) 4968 2157

Main image: smartypantsvitamin.com



Healthy, delicious, fast lunch

Keeping on track with my 2016 goals gets hard when I’m time poor!  What I need is a quick and healthy meal to help me stay alert, calm and full throughout my busy afternoon while lovin’ my liver.
Challenge accepted!
Carrot & Beetroot Salad (with thanks to Everyday Cookbook)
1 carrot
2 beetroot (raw)
½ green apple
¼ red onion
Blitz together in food processor / Thermomix 3 secs (speed 5 for Thermie lovers).
Dump into large bowl & take 1 serving for lunch. Cover tightly and enjoy the rest with dinner.  I don’t find I need a dressing with this salad as the beetroot, carrot, apple and onion all get very moist when you process them together.
This salad is paleo, AIP (autoimmune paleo/protocol), thyroid friendly, Mediterranean diet friendly, low calorie, low fat… let’s face it this salad should join the UN it crosses so many different diet boundaries!
I add a tin of Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon to this meal to boost the protein, calcium, essential fatty acid content and most importantly for me personally balance my blood sugar levels so I stay energised and calm all afternoon!
wild alaskan salmon_sonia mcnaughton naturopath herbalist
I drain the tin into a sink and with a fork mush the bones into the salmon flesh so they become one with the salmon.
Making the salad and adding the salmon takes only a few moments so really most of my 5 minutes is spent cleaning up!  I rinse the food processor bowl and drain it on the sink and pop my leftovers in the fridge.  I also had time to spare to take a quick pic & upload to Facebook 😉
For more quick and healthy lunch ideas check out my Facebook page: SoniaMcNaughton.Naturopath or make a time to see me (02) 4968 2157 at Mayfield Medical Connection.
Do you have a healthy ‘go-to’ lunch idea you can make in less than 5 mins? I’d love to hear it!

Energy-Boosting, Craving-Busting Snacks

Busting Cravings
Busting Cravings

Do you find you are looking for something to pep you up to get through the day?  Is the diet coke / coffee and chocolate afternoon snack more than the occasional go-to food?

I was talking fatigue and craving-busting strategies with my gorgeous friend Leah who is a mum to 2 active boys (3yo & 18months), a professional singer

Leah & Luke
Leah & Luke

with a busy performing schedule and a part-time student.  Leah was asking me for snack ideas that were portable, affordable, healthy and most important of all helped her juggle all her daily balls…. challenge accepted. Continue reading “Energy-Boosting, Craving-Busting Snacks”

Fighting Fatigue, Boosting Energy

Feeling fatigued is a wide-spread problems for about 20% of our population who possess so little energy their exhaustion interferes with their ability to enjoy a normal life (9).

Are there evidence-based solutions that boost your energy that don’t leave you crashing and worse-off?

The simplest, natural treatment for fatigue is rest and sleep. Sadly this solution is often not possible or effective in cases when the lack of energy is caused by an underlying health problem, medication, or chronic long term stress (9).

Thankfully there are a wide range of solutions that are effective, affordable and easy to implement.

For a quick overview of the fatigue busters check out the mind map below.  For more detailed information I’ve included the evidence-based rationale behind each of the strategies. Continue reading “Fighting Fatigue, Boosting Energy”