Nutritional Supplements


Just as there is no medicine that can substitute for healthy diet and lifestyle, neither is there any vitamin that can.   I cannot find a good clear evidence based  recommendation for a particular group of supplements.  People sometimes require nutrient supplementation for a period of time, but over your life, the goal is to eat well enough that you need to supplement only a small amount.  I believe that it is a bad idea to take large doses of anything, including vitamins without clear reasons because any extra  that you take must be excreted, which raises the potential work for your detox system.  Below are the supplements I think it wise to take.  People with specific health issues or imbalances may need more, sometimes much more.

I do not sell supplements from my office, nor do I accept any money from supplements.  I do make Metagenics supplements available to my patients at cost because I believe they are high quality and because it is the only company that lets me do this  This ordering of supplements done outside of my office:  Patients call and order on their own using a code word.  I do not think that it is ever a great idea to get your information about supplements from the person who is selling them to you.  I believe it creates messy incentives.  C

Supplements and evidence: 

THE Evidence is excellent that maintaining normal weight and eating a diet high in nutrients and low in simple carbohydrates and animal fats protects you greatly.  Unfortunately, because of the way that studies are  funded in our country, there is not and probably will not be great evidence for or against nutrient supplementation beyond what is mentioned here:

Fish oil: there is ample evidence to support taking 2 grams of fish oil (EPA) a day.  It should be from cold water fish and should provide at least 800 mg of DHA.  All fish oil supplements should contain a small amount of vitamin E to avoid becoming rancid.  It is my understanding that you do not worry about mercury in this regard because mercury stores in the protein, not the fat of fish.

Calcium:  The most absorbable form is calcium citrate.  I believe that calcium should be taken with Magnesium, at half the dose.  The range for a woman is 800-1500mg of Calcium and 400-750 of Magnesium a day.  Men need only half the dose.

Antioxidant vitamin daily.  Most sources seem to agree on this  There is not, however, excellent evidence. 

Vitamin E:  The studies on this are contradictory, but they were seriously flawed. If you decide to take vitamin E, use natural mixed tocopherols adn avoid d alpha tocopherol, which may be toxic.



Though the evidence is not available for the best supplement plan for the general population, there is wonderful evidence supporting certain supplements for particular conditions:  magnesium for PMS, folic acid to prevent birth defects, B12 and folic acid for people with specific heart conditions.   Your health is the expression of a blend of your genes and your environment. The best approach is to be certain that your diet is excellent and find someone who is knowledgeable to help you with decisions about specific health issues.  Again, I recommend against getting your main consumer advise from the person who is selling you a product.