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I make it my business to understand nutrition and metabolism and their relation to health and disease. Fortunately, I enjoy myself at seminars. I like reading, watching lectures and demonstrations, and browsing the aisles at the health food store. There is so much to learn, and it is endlessly fascinating.
This is good news for you. You need nutritional supplementation. You don't know what to look for. I do the reading for you!
There was a time when I was skeptical of any nutritional supplements on the market. I thought it was likely that most pills and powders would contain useless fillers, inert forms of nutrients, and allergens. It turns out I was right about that.
If your diet does not supply the nutrients you need, then you must either supplement your diet or suffer the consequences of nutrient deficiency.
Patients often ask me to look at the supplements they are taking. I am happy to look at any bottles, and here is what I am looking for.
1) Minerals in soluble, bioavailable form. Avoid oxides and carbonates.
2) Capsules or softgels--not tablets--with no stearate.
3) Active forms of B vitamins in proper media.
4) Products not "packed" with zillions of nutrients. You are paying for what's in that pill. If it is high quality, it is not cheap. Limit yourself to what you really need.
How do you know what you need? Be evaluated by a professional who has the knowledge and skills to evaluate your needs. There are many valid and reliable ways to assess an individual's nutritional needs in a clinical setting.
5) No exotic or trendy ingredients.
A patient recently wrote to me, "my supplement skepticism kicks in when some one attempts to sway me to ingesting something like powdered Bolivian field mouse dung." I agree wholeheartedly.
While I do appreciate that there are very rich sources of antioxidants available in the rainforest, I do not think it is necessary to mine these sources when there are antioxidant-rich berries in abundance right here in the Pacific Northwest.
The importance of antioxidant ingestion is not at question; what I question is the need to pay extra for exotic sources.
Pay extra for useable forms, for freshness and purity (especially fish oil), and for potency. Save your money on shipping from Brazil, on algae that only grows in one lake in Southern Oregon, or for glossy advertising.
6) Reputable manufacturers who perform quality assurance testing through independent labs.
It might surprise you to learn that most of the raw ingredients for different supplement brands come from the same manufacturers in China. In fact, many brands are on the health-food store shelf are identical products with different labels to appeal to different kinds of consumers. At different prices.
With consistent research and monitoring, I am satisfied that the brands that I carry are of very high quality. If you need a nutrient and want to be sure you are getting a good product, contact us and we can help you find what you are looking for.
I hope that this information saves you money and helps you feel better. After all, if you do need a nutrient, you should take it in a form that you can actually use.
If you have a cupboard full of half-empty bottles, take some time to look through them and see what you have. If they don't meet the standards that I've laid out, toss them. Compost the pills if you have a garden, recycle or reuse the bottles. The bottles make great containers for odd screws, wall anchors, and nails!
As always, feel free to send me an email if you have any questions. I'm happy to hear from you!