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What's in Your Vitamin Cabinet?

Sounds like a familiar credit card commercial, but the health supplements you buy can reveal the way you look at health. What I suspect you will discover is that your thinking process is very similar to that of a doctor prescribing a medication. Ironic, in your attempt to use alternative health measures, in effect you very well may be following the same footsteps of mainstream medicine.

The give-away that shows you are using a medical based thinking approach, is when you use the words “good for” to bridge a remedy to a symptom. See if you agree with these statements.

Lipitor and red rice yeast are good for high cholesterol. Metformin and cinnamon are good for high blood sugar. Boniva and calcium are good for osteoporosis. Ambien and melatonin are good for insomnia. Prozac and St. John's wort are good for depression. Ritalin and fish oil are good for ADHD. Ibuprofen and turmeric are good for inflammation. Diuretics and hawthorn are good for lowering blood pressure.

Each statement above paired a pharmaceutical and nutraceutical remedy to a specific symptom or health condition. This is a common diagnostic procedure with most doctors, health care facilitators, and health seeking consumers. This approach has particular value in acute situations. And it should be keep in mind that it is a medical approach. That is okay if you really need it. But I believe it is being way over-utilized. And it is not a holistic approach.

The problem with this logic is there are hundreds or thousands of symptoms and each can be caused from almost the same number of different reasons. This linear diagnostic thinking is just not comprehensive enough. Rise above the game of matching symptoms to products.

I ask you to do an experiment. Go to Whole Foods or Central Market and just hang out in the “health food” supplement section. Invariably there will be a shopper spending time reading the labels and trying to decide which bottle of health to purchase. What are they looking for on that label? Would they really know the right one when they find it?

Nutritional supplement design is an extremely complicated science. I have studied nutritional science for more than 30 years, and I can not tell you the purpose of many of the items listed on the label. Now….after I do an assessment, I can however tell you exactly what net effect I would like a supplement to achieve. Then it becomes a matter of choosing the precise supplement, designed to achieve that particular outcome. For that I rely on the manufacturers tech sheets and accompanying research design behind their product. Any good and reputable nutritional manufacturer will be able to provide that data.

Without knowing your particular metabolic needs, you are condemned to choose based on symptoms. Retailers know this and name their product so that it calls out to your primary concern. That is why you will see many nutritional retail products with eye catching names like Energy Booster, Immune Enhancer, Gut Buster, Fat Destroyer, Brain Blaster, etc…

You will notice most of the supplements I provide have names that do not sound like a sales pitch. Check these out and try to pick one that would help you: Formula ES, Oxygenic G, Complex P, Oxy Tonic, Diphasic AM, or Proton Plus. There are many others but hopefully you get the idea. In fact I will not let you buy one of these without first making sure you need it.

If you have high cholesterol, did you ask the doctor why it is elevated? Did you know cholesterol can elevate due to low thyroid function? Thyroid function can be lowered by weak adrenals. Adrenals can become weak due to prolonged stress. Prolonged stress can be caused by....almost any physical, mental, or chemical imbalance.

So should you take a statin drug to lower cholesterol? My suggestion is not until you investigate at least some of the possible causes. So should you treat the thyroid or the adrenals? Maybe, but what if the adrenals are being chronically stressed by some low grade infection or something about your lifestyle that you are not even aware of?

It can seem like finding a needle in a haystack.

For these reasons, I suggest using a diagnostic procedure that measures endocrine reflexes combined with blood lab results, all while considering the functional relationship between our chemistry and neurology that regulates our metabolism. When this information is correlated with your symptoms, it takes on a whole different meaning by displaying an unseen dance of metabolic, endocrine, and neurologic processes. These systems should flow together effortlessly and when they don't, they form patterns of imbalance responsible for undermining your vitality and health. This is a Functional Medicine plus Metabolic Therapy approach.

Stop guessing with your health and use an approach that delivers certainty. Lab-work has become more accessible and inexpensive than ever before. It just makes sense to use this technology coupled with the functional knowledge of biochemistry to regain your health and live longer and stronger.

PS. The most expensive nutritional product is the one that does not work.

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