Natural supplements, vitamins, and herbs are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This does not implyThis means that consumers must rely on the manufacturer of these products to make good quality products. History has shown many examples of this not being done.Fish oil supplements containing mercury(a toxic element proven to be neurotoxic) have been manufactured, sold, and consumed by people in the United States in the recent years. Not only is there potential for toxic elements to be in supplements, vitamins, and herbs, but there is a great possibility that forms of vitamins and minerals may be chosen because of their low cost instead of a highly absorbed type that is a bit higher in cost. This may be a case of “you get what you pay for” in our opinion. We choose to purchase supplements, vitamins, and herbs from companies that have long histories of trustworthiness, and can prove that what they put on their label is what is inside the bottle. These companies test their products and have strict manufacturing practices.
Cheap vitamins and supplements commonly use fillers in their products that have high allergenic potential. For instance, many companies use fillers like lactose(sugar in cow’s milk), which has a high incidence of intolerance in humans. Other common allergens that people may or may not know they do not tolerate well are gluten, soy, and corn. We carry products from manufacturers that design formulations that are free of these questionable ingredients.
Companies frequently manufacture vitamins and supplements in forms that the human gut cannot absorb well. When not absorbed well, side effects can occur; an example of this is calcium carbonate (a common calcium supplement). Calcium carbonate is not absorbed well, literally wasting much of the dose being taken, and causing side effects in patients such as nausea and constipation. Iron Iron supplements are another common supplement that frequently cause side effects in patients when purchased in certain forms. We have found many patients do badly taking certain forms and do well taking other forms. Choosing an formulation that is absorbed well can mean the difference between an iron-deficiency anemia resolving or going unresolved over months or years of treatment.
We can help you choose supplements that may be best for you. An individualized plan for supplementation makes sense because each of us has a unique genetic makeup, risk factors for disease, medication list, nutrition through food, and lifestyle. Many medications cause nutrient deficiencies that need to be taken into consideration when choosing which supplements to take. Our pharmacists are knowledgeable to look at your list of medications and evaluate for drug interactions and side effects as well as drug-nutrient depletions. Genetic testing reveals that many patients contain genetic defects that require specific types of supplements. We are available to discuss the available forms and combinations we carry and have found to be helpful in our patients. Knowledge is power and it is our goal to empower you pursue optimal health.