The wonderful world of supplements can be a bit overwhelming. Many supplements are available over-the-counter, yet this should not be taken as a license to self-prescribe or self-dose. Everyone’s health needs are different and an individualized health plan is vital for reaching optimum health. You may not even need a supplement, or you may need more of one supplement than you do of another. Often, over-the-counter supplements (especially those in tablet form) contain binders, fillers, and additives. Magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, starch, microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, simethicone, vegetable gum, talc, and propylene glycol (primary ingredient in antifreeze), are just a few of the most common additives you might find listed as “other ingredients” or “inactive ingredients” on the package supplement label.
The forms of vitamins, minerals and other substances used in products can be very important. For example, consider Vitamin E. Studies indicate that using the isolated form of Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) can increase risk of cardio vascular events in someone diagnosed with heart disease. However, using the full spectrum of Vitamin E as it occurs naturally, (mixed tocopherols and mixed tocotrienols) can decrease risk and even help improve heart health. Bargain brands and other OTC Vitamin E often contain the cheaper isolated form of Vitamin E. Additionally the synthetic vitamins are missing the tremendous volume of important nutrients that occur in very small amounts naturally.
Your Naturopathic Physician knows about things like this and can guide you to making better choices. It is because of the preponderance of research that shows that whole foods are the best that we primarily use whole food nutritional concentrates for oral use at Portland Clinic of Holistic Health. Our primary oral nutrient support is Standard Process – a whole food nutritional concentrate leader setting the standards for over 75 continuous years.