What to look for when purchasing supplements

1 06 2010

In my practice I’ve seen many patients come in with a shopping bag or tackle box full of pills, proudly showcasing the huge number of supplements they take. Many supplement takers eat an unhealthy diet, skimp on sleep, remain sedentary, and live high stress lives. I’m dismayed that people think taking pills or dietary supplements, natural or pharmaceutical, is a reasonable substitute for a healthy lifestyle and life-affirming diet. Therefore, if you’re hoping to find the magic herbs, supplements or nutrients that will enable you to skip the the first 6 steps to optimal aging and hormone balance as outlined in my new book, you’ll be disappointed to know there aren’t any. If you are already following the first 6 steps as much as possible, there are exceptional quality supplements, often referred to as “nutraceuticals,” that can certainly help in your quest to attain hormone balance and optimal aging.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all supplements are alike, no matter what the manufacturer or label may claim. Make sure the supplements you take are made in facilities that have pharmaceutical certification or are certified for good manufacturing practices (GMP) by the NPA (Natural Products Association), NSF (National Sanitation Foundation International), or TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia). This certification ensures that the products you use are of exceptional quality.

Besides coming from GMP-certified companies, ideally the supplements you take should be scientifically evaluated to verify the presence and concentration of active constituents. Few supplement manufacturers conduct clinical trials on their formulas to document safety and effectiveness. This is because research is very expensive to perform. However, purchasing supplements that are documented for safety and effectiveness is a reliable investment in your health.

In addition to quality assurance and evaluation via clinical trials, look for bioavailable forms of nutrients and dosages. Consider the supplements you take to be as important as any medications prescribed by your doctor. In fact, you may consider them to be more important than medications since they can help you prevent the “polypharmacy” that is standard of care for aging Americans (remember, 25% of all Medicare patients use six or more drugs every day).

Using one of the most respected pharmaceutical supplement companies in the country, I have created my own unique anti-aging formula (based on what myself and my husband take every day) that contains what I believe to be the essentials for Optimal Aging and Hormone Balance. This unique daily formula was designed to support adrenal gland function and resistance to stress, and to promote optimal brain, bone, cardiovascular, hormone, and immune function.

These twice-a-day packets contain a multivitamin and mineral supplement and a potent antioxidant “green food” that includes the ORAC equivalent of 4-5 servings of organic fruits and vegetables. Extra vitamin D, bioavailable folate, reduced Coenzyme Q10, fish oil, and resveratrol enhance optimal aging and youthful energy levels.

To find out additional information, please visit my clinic website.

In Health.