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Where Are You Buying Your Supplements?

By Expert HERWriter
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Soapbox alert! Normally I write about cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and the like but today I am riled up because of a recently published article in "Pharmacotherapy" titled "Key Articles Related to Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Cardiovascular Disease: Part 1."

The authors reviewed several studies about several herbal or vitamin therapies and their benefits on various conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart failure and more. Many of the studies might have found something positive but the authors ended their summaries with words like, "but more studies will be needed to recommend this therapy," "provides modest support but should not be recommended," " its unique results require confirmation in larger clinical trials," and " although whether these improvements are clinically significant is unclear."

Just give it to them already!

Many of the supplements reviewed were things like: garlic, fish oil, zinc, L-carnitine, ginkgo biloba, dark chocolate, resveratrol, and CoQ10.

What I find as a Naturopathic Physician is that many people put themselves on these supplements because they "heard" they would be good for them, but they don't ever consider the quality they are buying.

If you're going to buy an herb, then buy it from an herbal company that specializes in herbs. If you buy it from a discount big-box store or national grocery chain, then you are going to get discount quality for a reason.

I have had many patients buy a supplement from me (I am very critical of where I buy my supplements from), then buy a "replacement" at a drug store only to tell me the effects wore off and it doesn't work anymore. I respectfully disagree. I think the potency and quality is junk and therefore it's junk in your body.

Last week a patient brought in her fish oil to see if I approved. We cut it open and squished out some of the oil and it smelled horrible! I asked her to throw the entire bottle away. I explained she was putting rancid old fish oil into her body which was doing a lot more harm than good. Another patient brought me her multi-vitamin and asked if she was absorbing it. I had her put the tablet in a cup of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to simulate her own stomach acids breaking it down. She said it took two days to fully break down in the cup. Imagine all the stock-piled multi-vitamins floating around in her intestines!

My point is, vitamins, minerals, and herbs DO work. They work really well in my practice and in the practice of many other providers but you have to see someone who knows what they are doing and use a brand that is good quality and potent. But they can't be rancid and definitely not filled with binders, fillers, and dyes. Who needs red dye in their supplement?

Add a Comment4 Comments

I could not agree more! Not only does one need to know if the body is absorbing the nutrients in their supplements, but more importantly are the cells absorbing the nutrients...
I utilize this laser scan technology to measure antioxidant absorption in the body's tissue or cells, this way I can know that they are where it is needed. Long term protection against oxidation, sickness and disease is not just in the blood, but in our body's tissue, or cells.

To your Health!
Bill Muth
[email protected]

April 11, 2010 - 11:56pm
Expert HERWriter

My favorite supplement review board is www.consumerlab.com

March 31, 2010 - 10:10pm
EmpowHER Guest

The best fish oils are highly-purified and should be refrigerated. I don't like buying fish oils that have been sitting on a shelf for months on end. I question the freshness of an oil that's been sitting at room temperature. The best fish oils should be tested by a third-party laboratory or come with a Certificate of Analysis to ensure you're getting a highly-purified product that's been tested for mercury, PCB's, dioxins and other contaminants.

March 29, 2010 - 9:31pm
EmpowHER Guest

Much better idea to buy a juicer and juice every day. You get all your vitamins this way and they are of the best quality, if you use organic vegetables. A great juice would include kale, celery, yellow pepper, carrot, romaine, sprouts, etc. and a quarter of an apple for palatability.
I have seen amazing results since starting juicing. Way better that something which has been hanging around on a shelf for God know's how long.

March 29, 2010 - 11:46am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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