Choosing supplements can be a daunting task. In my practice I often find that clients have been taking supplements that they do not need or are harmful to their bodies. With lab testing we may find that they are still deficient in specific nutrients, despite their supplement regimen. The most common deficiencies we find are vitamin D, B12, Folate, Magnesium, Iron and Protein, but supplementing without knowing your levels is dangerous.
Your need for supplements is dependent on factors, such as:
- Do you live where there is little sunlight and need extra vitamin D?
- Have you endured chronic stress that has depleted specific nutrients?
- Do you have genetic factors that prevent you from using inactive ingredients?
- Are you at a stage of life, disease progression or specific need of healing that requires temporary supplementation?
- Are you taking acid blockers or exhibiting poor digestion that prevents you from assimilating certain nutrients?
- What is the right dosage for your age, weight and medical history?
- Are you taking prescription medications that are scientifically proven to deplete certain nutrients essential to good health?
As you can see, these are important questions to ask. It’s important to remember that something that helped a friend or family member could be harmful to you.
The supplement industry is not well regulated, so over-the-counter supplements can be poorly created and even toxic. Third party testing has shown that there is no guarantee that the contents will match what is reported on the label. In general, purchasing supplements from a local health food store that supports reputable companies is a better choice for over-the-counter supplements. My clients take advantage of the Fullscript warehouse, which supports only high-quality, third-party tested supplements, often shipped free in 2-3 days.
Once my clients address their nutrient deficiencies, they can often narrow their supplementation down to a few supplements, while getting most of their nutrients from specific foods. As a clinical nutritionist, I can guide you down that path after reviewing your intake forms and discussing your situation through a telehealth consultation. Photos of your current supplements can be sent to me via your phone. It’s a wise investment that will save you from buying unnecessary and unhelpful supplements.