Supplements: does anybody ever need them?

Supplements: does anybody ever need them?

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Of course, but there is no single answer that applies to everybody.

You don’t want to waste your money if you don’t need nutritional supplements: but on the other hand, if you need them, take them to help your body function at its best.

Here are three reasons why you may need to supplement your healthy diet:

  1. You just studied your genetic makeup and found some weak spots in basic chemistry which are helped with activated forms of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 or folic acid.
  2. Your intestines have trouble absorbing vitamin D because of gluten intolerance or absorbing vitamin B12 because of missing intrinsic factor as seen in pernicious anemia.
  3. You may be taking a drug that depletes or blocks nutrients: for example statins deplete Co-Q-10, birth control pills, folic acid (and other B vitamins) and carbidopa affects Vitamin B6.

Whether you need a supplement for a month or two or for the long-term, use a quality product that is well tolerated and well absorbed by your body. Some supplements are meant for short-term usage; others may need to be used for many years. Review what you are taking every three months adding or subtracting to be sure you’re taking what your body really needs. Laboratory testing and clinical trials can help you decide what is important to take. Remember:

  1. Always start with eating healthy meals before considering nutritional supplementation.
  2. Always work in conjunction with your physicianthere may be more going on than meets the eye and you may learn something.

We carry a variety of high quality, top-of-the-line supplements in our dispensary to make it easy for you to reach your health goals for optimal health. These include Thorne, Allergy Research, Pure Encapsulation, Integrative Therapeutics and Klaire Lab.

Perfectly healthy individuals who eat organic (chemically free), whole foods prepared at home with a great deal of variety may need no nutritional supplements. Most people in the community do not fit that pattern however. In the Pacific Northwest even with careful nutrition most people will likely benefit from a quality multivitamin mineral, fish oil, and vitamin D3.

Let me tell you a story about myself as an example. Having grown up in a family that never discussed nutrition and having attended a medical school where nutritional instruction was limited, like most doctors I didn’t know how little I knew about food. I rarely thought to ever ask patients about what they ate when they came to see me with an illness. I didn’t see the point of health food stores with shelves piled high with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fish oil. But then I became chronically ill and could not get well with medications. After consulting with 12 doctors over 12 years and not getting healthier I discovered the importance of nutrition for me: As one example, vitamin B6 and magnesium citrate greatly reduced both the frequency of my kidney stones and migraine headaches. Pain was a great teacher and I began to be a student of general nutrition, not just supplements.

 

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