Nutraceutical Supplementation with the Guidance of a Naturopathic DoctorBoxed, bagged, canned food as well as the plethora of sugar laden choices available around every corner have highjacked America’s health.

Packaged, processed, genetically modified foods feed millions of people per day yet many are nutritionally deficient. When food is manipulated by additives, high heat, radiation, gene sequencing and global travel much of its intended benefits are compromised. Therefore, when most consumers feel they are buying and eating healthy they are really duped by flashy advertising, packaging and lack of full disclosure regarding source and manufacturing. Because so many people are struggling financially, are educationally challenged (regarding food) or just plain lazy, rather than seek out homemade, local, organic choices it is quicker and easier to succumb to fast food.

Under the specific guidance of a naturopathic doctor, nutraceutical supplementation can be the missing link for many challenged by a lifestyle that is possibly impeding their future well being.

Dietary Supplements: A Confusing Hodgepodge of Big Business and Random Selection
The U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) passed in 1994 defines a dietary supplement as:

“ A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to supplement the diet. The “dietary ingredients” in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites. Dietary supplements can also be extracts or concentrates, and may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids or powders.”

You can find dietary supplements in almost any store that sells food, however the variety for the same supplement can be staggering. There could be five different brands and strengths each of vitamin C, D, A, E, and more; herbal formulas that promise to assist in healing various ailments; and amino acids with elongated names that one needs to take a chemistry course to understand. Regardless, many people seem are self-supplementing, potentially creating health problems as well as wasting their hard earned cash.

Global Industry Analysis, Inc. reports that “the global market for functional foods and drinks could reach $149 billion by 2018”. Functional foods and drinks can be defined as items infused with dietary supplements that offer meal replacement choices. In turn, according to Packaged Facts, a consumer goods market research and analysis group, dietary supplement sales could reach over $15 billion by 2017 (since this report, sales have surpassed by almost double).

These statistics are a perfect example of the public’s desire to naturally self-heal as well as prevent disease while avoiding conventional medicine due to financial concerns, side effects and limited success. The intention is on the right track yet the approach can, and in some cases has, become a problem. Due to lack of oversight and proper labeling many people are blindly taking supplements that unnecessarily tax their body’s system (particularly the liver and kidneys). This can create dangerous contraindications especially when combined with conventional medications.

For instance, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Institutes of Health:

  • Vitamin K can reduce the ability of the blood thinner Coumadin® to prevent blood from clotting.
  • St. John’s wort can speed the breakdown of many drugs (including antidepressants and birth control pills) and thereby reduce these drugs’ effectiveness.
  • Antioxidant supplements, like vitamins C and E, might reduce the effectiveness of some types of cancer chemotherapy.

As a result, big government (most likely manipulated by big corporations such as pharmaceutical companies) are slowly disallowing over-the-counter (OTC) sales of many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and more.  Soon, if you want to purchase a bottle of vitamin C, you may need a doctor’s prescription.

How Nutraceutical Supplements Can Surpass Basic OTC Dietary Supplements
Randomly self-supplementing is similar to groping through the dark to make a bank deposit. A naturopathic doctor can perform a full body assessment to determine the proper nutraceutical supplements needed for each individual. Information from possible blood, saliva and other body fluids in conjunction with lifestyle considerations and medical history (including currently prescribed pharmaceuticals) are all taken into consideration to administer an effective, safe dosage of nutraceutical supplementation.

Assorted research indicates the vast benefits of properly prescribed nutraceutical supplementation. Below are two examples:

Post-menopausal Bone Support – According to results published in Nutrition Research of a study by Boston University School of Medicine (in conjunction with MetaProteomics) titled:

‘Nutritional supplementation of hop rho iso-alpha acids, berberine, vitamin D3, and vitamin K1 produces a favorable bone biomarker profile supporting healthy bone metabolism in postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome’

It was concluded that,

“Treatment with rho iso-alpha acids, berberine, vitamin D3, and vitamin K1 produced a more favorable bone biomarker profile indicative of healthy bone metabolism in postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome.”

Short Term Memory – The U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health published a study on how nutraceuticals improved short term memory in beagles called,

‘Improvement of short-term memory performance in aged beagles by a nutraceutical supplement containing phosphatidylserine, Ginkgo biloba, vitamin E, and pyridoxine’.

According to the authors at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Toronto,

“Performance accuracy was significantly improved in supplemented dogs compared with control dogs and the effect was long lasting. These findings suggest that the nutraceutical supplement can improve memory in aged dogs.”

Like so many other studies, positive results on animals are more often than not eventually applied to humans. The study concurs,

“In human clinical trials, phosphatidylserine improved cognition in patients demonstrating mild cognitive impairment as well as in those with Alzheimer’s disease.”

Before you decide to ‘improve your health’ with OTC supplements, you may want to consider a more practical approach by embracing nutraceutical supplementation with the guidance of a naturopathic doctor. You will most likely not only save money but potentially ‘hit-the-ground-running‘ with the potential for improved physical and/or mental functions.

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you.  In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or click here to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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