In the last blog post, I discussed the difference between whole food supplements and multivitamins.
What about the extra cost... Is the extra cost of these vitamins and mineral supplements worth it? That really depends on the quality of the supplement. For example… Let’s pretend I need calcium supplementation. I go to the health food store and find a calcium supplement. I look at the ingredients list and find that it contains calcium carbonate. Does it work? Yes. It’s calcium. The studies that show the efficacy of calcium use this form. For a little more money, I can get a different calcium supplement that uses calcium citrate. Calcium citrate is more soluble (meaning it’s easier for your body to get it), but there is less calcium. Calcium citrate doesn’t need to be taken with food. Calcium carbonate does. The best source of calcium is dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables. The best calcium supplement for the money is calcium lactate.
A second example: B-vitamins. B-complex vitamins are very important to your health, and they affect almost every system in your body. A whole food supplement will contain foods that are rich in the B-complex vitamins. They should be in a base of liver powder because you need to support the liver to get anything done. Cocarboxylase is the ready-to-go-form of B1, so make sure that is in your product. Dessicated duodenum helps your body get the B1 easier, so it is a nice addition to any B-complex supplement.
Whole food supplements don’t have to be expensive, and in the case of supplements, more expensive does not necessarily mean more effective. Again, look at the labels to see what’s in them.
Many companies sell whole food supplements, and some claim to sell whole food supplements, but don’t. It’s best to look at the labels--are you getting the idea yet? If you can identify food products in your supplement (carrots, beets, liver, mushrooms) then you can be sure you’re getting a whole food supplement. My favorite company (if you don’t know by now) is Standard Process. They maintain high quality supplements that start with high quality soil, environmentally-friendly farming methods, nutrient-saving processing techniques, and good pricing.
Standard Process makes sure that the efficacy of their supplements is high because they only sell through licenced health care professionals. This way, the doctor is involved. The doctor can help you determine your deficiencies and your need for supplementation. The doctor can help you choose what you would benefit from most.
Nutrition is an important part of my practice. I choose supplements that not only help with neuro-musculo-skeletal complaints, but also support whole-body health. Please understand, however, that the FDA has not evaluated any statements regarding any supplements. Also, supplementation should not be a substitute for medical treatment, if you need such services. I am happy to work with your medical doctor or other health care professional to provide you with the best possible care. Sometimes if you correct deficiencies in your diet, you may be able to reduce the amount of medication you are taking (again, work with your medical doctor). If you have health complaints that you think could be helped with supplementation, please contact my office to schedule an in-office visit or a telehealth visit.