By Dr. Yuri Belopolsky
According to the National Institutes of Health website, “the majority of adults in the United States take one or more dietary supplements either occasionally or every day.”
Food supplements are widely available today. Vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations can be found in pill form, powders, tinctures, bars, concentrated juices and infused foods. This market is exponentially growing, and supplements are readily available to consumers in grocery stores, health food stores and natural pharmacies. Consumers often shop for these products without doing any research. For example, there is a vast variety of Vitamin C on the health food store shelves. It can be overwhelming and make your head spin before you find what you really need.
People turn to supplements in an attempt to slow down their declining health or to support their well-being. Supplementation is becoming more and more popular, and you should be aware of what supplements you need and how the supplements can benefit you.
Many supplements produced by different manufacturers are identically labeled, but that does not mean that those bottles contain the same product or ingredients. The quality of the ingredients in the product varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, and it is not always easy to determine the best product for your particular health needs. We strongly recommend that people take only medicine (including supplements) prescribed by a knowledgeable health care professional.
Food supplements are not “just a form of food”. They are medicine, and as any medicine, they are not appropriate for all individuals. As with any medicine, “natural products” may have undesirable side effects.
If your doctor says, “Do not take supplements because I do not know how they work”, I would suggest seeking another health care professional who is more inquisitive and has taken the time to learn about the appropriate therapeutic use of vitamin/mineral supplements and herbs.
In our office, we use herbal products and food supplements that we have carefully selected from the overwhelming choice of food supplement manufacturers. We have been refining our pharmacy for the last three decades and have researched the effectiveness and quality of the supplements that we offer to our patients. When recommending supplements, we will consider all of your health care needs and recommend appropriate and supportive supplements. Supplementation is most effective when you maintain an on-going relationship with your health care provider.
If you have questions about the products that we carry in the clinic, please call us at 207-240-4100.