The supplement industry is booming as more and more doctors and patients recognize the value of nutrients, herbs, and vitamins. You can find supplements online and at the grocery store, and your neighbor and best friend may also be in on the game. But how do you know if what you are buying is actually what you are buying? How do you know whether or not you are getting a good product; a product that will work? Not all supplements are created equal and quality and efficacy can vary from brand to brand. While supplements are generally safe to take, you want to make sure you are taking something that is actually going to help you.
I want to teach you to be savvy in your choices and get the most bang for your buck. In reality, it is pretty simple: purchase your supplements from a highly reputable professional-grade source; preferably with the advice of a Naturopathic Doctor, or other health professional, who is well-trained in vitamins, nutrients, and herbs.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you buy supplements:
- Many supplements are found to be contaminated or have inappropriate ingredients. For example, herbs from China are notoriously contaminated with heavy metals. Many less expensive supplement brands may be using poor ingredients like forms of iron that are not absorbable, or synthetic forms of folic acid or vitamin E. While these ingredients are cheaper, they are not as effective. Another common issue is supplements that contain ingredients in amounts that do not have any therapeutic value. Or, they have inappropriate combinations of ingredients. While most supplements are considered generally safe, you should be cautious, even when purchasing supplements from a health food store, gym, or online.
- Do not rely on advice from your friends, the salesperson at the local health food store, or yourself when it comes to making decisions about your health. When it comes down to it, a doctor, like myself, who is well educated in natural medicine, can help you make the best well-informed choices on what to take. It will actually save you a lot of time, suffering, and money to meet with a Naturopathic Doctor who can take a full history, run appropriate testing, and generate a personalized treatment plan. While Dr. Google is pretty good at making recommendations, knowing what you really need takes a skilled doctor with a medical education.
- I highly discourage you from purchasing your supplements from sources like Amazon and eBay. If you talk to any professional grade supplement company, you will learn that these types of sales are illegal. These high-end supplement companies go to great lengths to keep their items from being sold online and with medical professionals only. There are reports of contaminated, mislabeled, and expired products being sold through such sites. These supplements are typically marked up well above retail, because they are being sold illegally, and they are likely not handled appropriately either (i.e. Is their fish oil stored in a dark, cool environment?)
- Supplements are generally safe to take. However, there are some common drug/herb and drug/nutrient interactions. It is important to keep this in mind when you go to purchase supplements, and again, it is best to have a Naturopathic Doctor review your prescriptions before you start taking things you think would be good for you.
Let us help you get quality supplements
As you may know, I have been with the Vail Valley Pharmacy for a little over a year now. We are partnered with several of these professional-grade high end supplement companies. These companies do their due diligence in creating formulations that are both pure and effective. They are thoroughly researched, vetted, and are consistently third party tested for quality. I feel confident when I sell products from these companies I do not have to worry about contamination or counterfeit or poor quality ingredients. I also know these supplements are put together by teams of scientists and doctors that are experts in this field.
We have recently teamed up with Fullscript, an online supplement store for health professionals only. Fullscript gives you access to these high end professional-grade supplements, so that you have the same peace of mind that I have when I recommend these products to you. When you order from our Fullscript store, I know that you will be getting the highest quality supplements available on the market. They are stored, handled, and delivered appropriately right to your door.
Check out our new store at https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/vvp