know your supplements

Many of us buy supplements from Health Food Stores, without a second thought to how they will work for our individual make up, our nutritional needs, whether they are safe or not, and if they even work! How do we know which ones are right for  us?

Many supplements, and even medications are available over the counter from many Health Food and Drug stores. One would think that if supplements and medications are available OTC then they must be safe, otherwise the FDA would not allow it. However this may not be the case. The FDA regulates what health claims can be printed on the package, but there is no control over the quality or it’s contents.

My biggest concern as a Naturopathic Physician is the interactions between medications, supplements and herbs (this includes Med/Med, Supp/Supp, and Med/Supp interactions). Most people don’t even mention to their Physician what supplements or even their entire list of medications they are taking, so no-one is acting as the gatekeeper, and many Physicians wouldn’t know the interactions anyway. An example of a condition is High Blood Pressure and the herb Licorice, or weight loss herb Garcinia. Both herbs can increase BP which may be a problem in someone with already elevated BP.

With the latest work in Epigenetics, we can now predict how certain nutrients and medications work (or don’t work) given our genetic make up. Many of us are taking medications and supplements that don’t work well with our genetics (we may have methylation problems or a polymorphism in a detoxification pathway of certain drugs/meds/nutrients/herbs.) This can be tested, along with nutritional testing to find deficiencies. Many people are wasting money taking supplements that are not needed or don’t work for them, not to mention the quality.

If you are interested in learning more about how your medications and supplements are working for you, please schedule a consultation. We offer genetic and nutritional testing and can create a comprehensive treatment plan that works for you.