HOW HEALTHY IS HAN SIEM?
by Eduard Schaepman, on 19 May 2021
Time to talk to a pharmacist in our series of vlogs about health. And not just anyone, no, I talk to THE vitamin pharmacist of 't Gooi: Han Siem. Han was born in Deventer, the son of a pharmacist. His father was given the opportunity to run a pharmacy in Huizen and took it gladly. At that time Han did not know yet that he would follow in his footsteps, but that was his father's wish. However, at a young age Han was into sports and music, his passions. From surfing and tennis to karate and playing piano in a band, he had a sporty and artistic talent. When he was in secondary school, he already started making plans for the future: where will I be in 10 years, he asked himself, and he saw himself as an architect or a pharmacist.
Han eventually decided to follow in his father's footsteps and studied pharmacy in Amsterdam. A tough time, because the study would disappear in Amsterdam, he only had four years to complete the study. During his studies, he enjoyed life to the full, played in a band (with which he even performed at the Paradiso!) and loved the nightlife of our capital city. After obtaining his doctorate, he did the 2nd phase in Utrecht, after which he graduated as a pharmacist. Initially, he wanted to go into the industry, but when his father went on a long trip and asked him to fill in as a pharmacist, Han never left.
Han immediately saw opportunities in his father's practice and picked up a lot of business. But the real change came when he was 38 and diagnosed with heart arrhythmia. According to him, this was a result of the intensive life he led, fully engaged in business as a pharmacist, living in Amsterdam, and enjoying the nightlife as well. As a pharmacist, he knew exactly what the impact of his diagnosis was, and he decided to do something about it right away. He lived a healthier life, stopped smoking, started exercising more and looked into preventive measures. He soon noticed good results, and so his interest in complementary medicine was aroused. Many studies and investigations later, he is a specialist in the field of interaction control between the use of regular and complementary medicines and advises many residents of 't Gooi on supplement use. He is also known as the 'vitamin pharmacist'.
I already knew that Han was sporty - after all, we met at the gym. He moves an average of three hours a day, except on Wednesdays, which is his rest day. Another result of an impactful event: his shoulder dislocated during skiing and continued to dislocate. He now compensates for this by training his muscles, which can then take over some of the work from his ligaments. Han loves to cook, often having lunch with a homemade stir-fry or soup and loves chicken. He is a real bon vivant but makes sure that he has a healthy diet and buys his products as pure as possible.
Nutrition & supplements
You would expect nothing less from the vitamin pharmacist himself: Han takes a number of supplements. Basic vitamins D3, omega 3, occasional magnesium, multivitamins and, after one too many drinks, some DJ Repair powder (and I know from experience that it really works). Han does warn that every individual is different, and everyone needs different supplements. But he also says that you can get the most vitamins out of your diet by eating a varied, healthy and fresh diet. Above all, don't boil food for too long or cook it all the way through, because then a lot of vitamins are lost. And realise that some vitamins and medicines interact. Turmeric, for instance, can speed up the breakdown of medicines in the liver, preventing them from doing their job.
Health a 9, happiness a 10
Han gives his health a 9 and that last point is due to his heart. He does a lot of prevention, keeping in mind the problems that run in his family. Apart from his heart, this means that he has his blood tested, has his eyes checked, and regularly measures his blood pressure and heart rate. He gives his happiness a full 10, thanks to his family, friends, freedom, health and quality of life. His ultimate tip for us: supplements can do a lot for you, but always check the interaction between regular and complementary medicines before you start!