If you read Consumer Reports September issue – they list out 10 problems with the supplement industry. Consumer Reports is no fan of the Supplement Industry and yet on the topic of “supplements that have been spiked with prescription drugs or toxic metals, Consumer Reports” – they are right on point.
Disclaimer: I, my wife and children take supplements and I recommend them to my patients. Of course my advise is different than the people promoting supplements as the wonder cure or as a replacement to medication – which in my not so humble opinion is dangerous.
Our focus is on the word supplement not replacement – meaning your diet is where most of your focus needs to be and then supplement in a strategic manner – not taking bags full of supplements (which I’ve seen personally in practice with patients).
The internet is a great tool and people make mistakes all the time trying to DIY, in regards to self supplementation. Usually patients are over doing it and or taking supplements from deficient sources.
Since the FDA doesn’t monitor supplements – the industry is like the wild, wild, west – in regards to policing and weeding out the good from the bad. This is why, it’s more important than ever to have a trusted adviser in regards to supplementation.
My advise is to have a strategy and that strategy must make sense, be reasonable and takes into account - your lifestyle and any the medications you are currently prescribed. Also the sourcing of supplements is crucial, again since the FDA is not involved. Independent third party verification is crucial in you trusting a brand. This is like the insurance safety institiute that independentely crash test cars and then rates their performance. Now, the car manufactors don’t like the test (unless they do great), simply because their test is different than the test that the auto industry routinely performs. Meaning, putting the car in the ideal position vs real life driving condtion tests as the insurance industry performs (off center test).
Also, does the supplement manufacture go the extra mile in screening and testing for safety? Since the FDA is not around MOST(not all) manufacturers put out inferior products – because NO ONE is looking over their shoulders and they feel paying the fines is cheaper than investing in quality control equipment.
Why would anyone take supplements with all these problems?
Supplements (NOT ALL) are good and helpful – don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! In my opinion Omega -3 is as vital as air and now that winter is here Vitamin-D is crucial and deficient in most people that live in the northeast.
Most people do not know how unregulated the supplemt industry is compared to food safety. So most, (not all) base their buying on price and T.V. commercials.
Vitamins are all the same right?
WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
Think of two diamonds, both look identical – until you compare them with a microscope. One has less flaws the other has many flaws, color issues, weight, etc… Or helmets, I realize CT lets you ride without helmets. My point, two helmets look identical BUT one is crash rated higher or better than the lower rated but identical looking helmet. In both examples without a trusted adviser you may be up the creek with no paddle and even walk away from supplements all together ( a mistake) – which is what many people do, out of frustration.
Trusted advisers are hard to come by, many doctors do not want to address this subject or just say, ” everything you need can be gotten from food” (truth -ish statement).
What if you are the mom with two kids getting pulled in every direction and don’t have time to prepare the ‘correct” food on a daily basis?
What if you are a business woman that travels for her job extensively?
What if you are a guy tyring to get a little extra energy over the other guy who is sucking down coffee every 45 minutes?
What if you hate veggies or meat or fish?
What if you have chronic osteo arthritis and can’t take NSAIDs – what then?
What if you are a runner or workout daily - is food really all that is required?
That’s why just eat your veggies is in my opinion is VERY ignorant, disingenuous and misleading, because of the R-E-A-L-I-T-Y of people's hectic schedules. I did not say veggies or fruits or lean meats are bad – that is the IDEAL diet I want everyone on – is that realistic on a daily basis? Ask a mom that works or a single dad – that’s life as we all know.
I understand many people research a TV purchase more thoroughly than a supplement purchase – that is why a trusted advisor can help you save time with a strategy that is tailored, reasonable and safe.
Have a GREAT Day!