How to Shop for Supplement with Confidence?
The medical community is recognizing the role that nutritional supplementation plays in promoting a healthier lifestyle. Dr. Ricardo Maribona, Fort Myers Board Certified foot and ankle surgeon explains, “My staff and I have chosen to take a proactive approach to emphasize prevention and wellness rather than the treatment of illness symptoms.”
- What nutritional supplements should I be taking?
- What supplements are best for certain conditions?
- Do any of my supplements interfere with my medications?
- How do I know if my supplements are the best quality?
Many patients have turned to supplements and weight management systems. Statistics show that Americans spend $70 billion each year on supplements and another $30 billion in the quest to lose weight. Patients would prefer to receive wellness information, services and nutritional support from their own trusted health professional. Instead, the majority, go elsewhere, such as a national chain health food store to purchase these products. This is where the consumer can be led astray from well meaning employees of these stores who may have little to not training. “These store clerks who know little about an individual’s health or medical history and should not be advising the consumers.” Explains Dr. Maribona. “There are now a growing number of health care professionals providing the best nutraceutical-class products that are scientifically proven and professionally recommended to meet their health care needs of the patient.” Education is still needed on the part of the patient so as to optimize the health benefits of nutritional supplements.
Nutritional supplements should have rapid absorption, and a superior delivery system to increase bioavailabilty. As such these substances should have no fillers or binders that could delay and/or limit absorption. Normally, when a tablet, capsule, pill, or even some liquid vitamin or mineral supplement is ingested, the body must work for up to four hours to digest and absorb the nutrients, if it accomplishes this at all. During this lengthy breakdown process, a large percentage of the nutritive value is lost. None of the fillers, gelatin capsules, binders, coatings, and lubricants common to conventional manufacturing is necessary and thus reduce efficacy of the supplement. Ideally, the nutriceutical should be in a natural isotonic form for better absorption.
What nutritional supplements should I be taking?
“There is no blanket answer to this question, as each person will have different nutrient needs and deficiencies.” Explains Dr. Maribona. Due to declining soil and food quality and the ever-increasing presence of toxins in our environment, there are times when it truly isn’t possible to get everything you need from food, “Though in a perfect world, this would be possible!” Dr. Maribona says. A large majority of food we consume is shipped long distances and is stored for long periods of time. This causes the depletion of vitamins in these foods, including the important B-complex and C vitamins. More than 70 percent of the fruit and vegetables produced in the United States are genetically bred to improve visual appeal and crop yields, not nutritional value. “Food we eat has lower nutritional values than our ancestors’ food supply.” Explains Dr. Maribona. Erratic eating habits, insufficient chewing of food, eating on the run, and stress contribute to poor digestion, making it difficult for our bodies to extract all the nutrients it needs from food. Pharmaceutical drug use has escalated over time. Most medications deplete essential nutrients, making people more vulnerable to deficiencies.
Additionally, if you have any noticeable health symptoms it can be a good clue that there is a nutrient deficiency (or rarely, a toxicity) in the body. This should be addressed by your healthcare professional with including a good history and examination that may even involve laboratory work up.
What supplements are best for certain conditions?
For starters, supplements are meant to supplement. No pill or potion can replace a healthy diet. An orange, for instance, provides not only vitamin C but also beta-carotene, vitamin A, calcium, and fiber; a vitamin C pill contains just vitamin C. That said, the reality is that most of us aren’t eating 9 to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. It makes sense, then, to fill in the nutritional gaps with a supplement — in this case, the multivitamin, which a recent Harvard Medical School report in the Journal of the American Medical Association recommends to cover nutritional shortfalls. Knowing this there are a variety of supplements geared to specific conditions such as Many nutrients have been proven to prevent or aid in the treatment of health conditions like high cholesterol, arthritis, neuropathy, muscle pain, joint pain, circulation problems, restless legs and poor wound healing.
For example, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis etc. can be helped by the following:
Although it’s best known as a cold fighter, there is an impressive body of research showing that vitamin C can do much more than help tame sniffles. A hardworking antioxidant, vitamin C offers two added bonuses: it helps the body deal with stress, and it boosts the activity of another outstanding anti-inflammatory, vitamin E.
A powerhouse anti-inflammatory, curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, the spice used in curries and other Indian foods. Research has shown that curcumin is as effective as cortisone for treating arthritis of all kinds. In addition, curcumin lowers cholesterol and improves circulation and digestion.
From ginger ale to gingerbread, the spice ginger is familiar to most of us. Ginger (but, unfortunately, not ginger ale or gingerbread) contains some 500 different substances, and only a few of them have been examined so far for healing properties. Yet, long before science began studying Ginger, it was used for medicinal purposes, particularly fighting inflammation. Many arthritis sufferers swear by ginger supplements, and it’s also an effective remedy for motion sickness and other types of nausea. Ginger’s benefits go way beyond easing motion sickness, though. Studies have shown that it decreases inflammatory responses linked with injury, surgery and connective tissue diseases.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant. That means it can help protect against harmful substances in your body called free radicals, which can damage DNA and lead to cancer and other diseases. Vitamin A also has anti-inflammatory effects. The evidence shows that a lack of enough vitamin A has been linked to inflammation in the intestines, lungs, and skin.
This member of the B vitamin family is plentiful in foods like beef, turkey, vegetables, and fish. Because vitamin B6 is water-soluble, the body is constantly ridding itself of it, so you need to restock it daily through diet. Some studies show that a lack of vitamin B6 can increase inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, leading to more joint damage. And inflammation from RA may further deplete the body’s vitamin B6 stores.
The same vitamin that works with calcium to strengthen bones can also help protect against inflammation. Vitamin D can be found in fish, liver, beef, egg yolks, and some fortified foods. Vitamin D is also produced in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. The evidence shows that Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a number of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 1 diabetes. Taking vitamin D supplements may help reduce inflammation in people with these conditions. Vitamin D supplements may also reduce the inflammation associated with age-related diseases.
Vitamin E is another antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Common food sources include nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables. The evidence Vitamin E comes in several different forms and the Alpha-tocopherol also might be most effective for easing inflammation.
Pycnogenol is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation, generates collagen and helps to dilate blood vessels. The antioxidant power of Pycnogenol is 20 times greater than vitamin C, and 50 times greater than vitamin E. Pycnogenol is French maritime pine bark extract from the bark of mono-species pine trees grown exclusively in Les Landes de Gascogne forest in southwest France. Pine Bark Extract counteracts the danger of free radicals by stimulating cells to double their antioxidative power while catching free radicals in the blood stream. Pine bark extract defends the skin against the free radicals produced by UV rays, stress, and environmental damage, nourishing the skin from the inside out. Pine bark extract helps maintain healthy joint mobility and flexibility, and its anti-inflammatory activity helps relieving the ache and pain.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids(Fish Oils)
An alternative treatment with fewer side effects that also reduces the inflammatory response and thereby reduces pain is believed to be omega-3 EFAs found in fish oil. The Omega-3 fats help fight inflammation throughout your body.
Do any of my supplements interfere with my medications?
Authors have noted that the five most likely supplements to cause drug interactions are St. John’s Wart, Gingko, Kava, Digitalis, and Willow. The medications that interacted with supplements the most often are Warfarin (Coumadin), Insulin, Aspirin, Digoxin and Ticlopidine (Ticlid). Saint John’s wart has the most severe interaction warnings. It decreases the effectiveness of many medications, including Alprazolam (Xanax), Amitriptyline (Elavil), Imatinib (Gleevec), Midazolam (Versed), Nifedipine (Procardia), and Verapamil (Calan), and it interacts with a number of atypical antipsychotics like Risperdal and Zyprexa. Warfarin (Coumadin) is known to have more than 100 interactions with supplements. With these types of interactions it best to have your health care professional involved in the recommendation and prescribing of any nutraceutical supplements.
How do I know if my supplements are the best quality?
Read labels carefully to see what nutrient forms are included. These are listed in parentheses after the name of the nutrient. For some nutrients, there’s no special form to look for. Any kind of Vitamin C, for example, synthetic or natural, is acceptable. Vitamin E and beta-carotene, however, are another story. For these two ingredients, the natural forms are definitely superior. A supplement successfully meeting our rigorous testing and auditing criteria receives the USP Verified Mark. When you see the USP Mark, it means the supplement: Contains the ingredients listed on the label, in the declared strength and amounts. The supplement does not contain harmful levels of specified contaminants. The product is made according to FDA and USP Good Manufacturing Practices, using sanitary and well-controlled processes. Look for an expiration date and make sure the product is fresh. If there is no expiration date on the label, buy something else. The contact information should be easy to find on the packaging. If not, don’t trust the company.
In order to serve your needs, we are proud to provide you with a complete line of high quality, science-based nutritional supplements called nutraMetrix Advanced Nutraceuticals. These supplements are isotonic capable providing maximum absorption.
“We believe that nutraMetrix Advanced Nutraceuticals is one of the best science-based supplements available. This ensures that your wellness dollars are well spent on effective, high quality products and programs that can actually benefit your health.” Dr. Maribona explains.
For more information, visit my website at www.nutraMetrix.com/DrMaribona, or speak to one of my staff members for more information on how you could benefit from our wellness program.
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