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About Dietary Supplements – Supplement Safely

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Even traditionally trained medical professionals have recognized that everyone needs to take a vitamin supplement. A perfect diet consisting of organic, wholesome foods is not how the average American eats.

And even if your diet consists mostly of fruits and vegetables, our soil is so depleted in minerals and nutrients that much of their nutritional value is lost. While we do need supplements, stepping into a health food store can be both overwhelming and expensive.

Often we add a new supplement because we read something in a magazine or heard something on the news, and with the best of intentions we rush to buy a bottle of that vitamin or herb. Since the FDA does not (currently) regulate vitamins or herbs, we can buy and use supplements as often as we like.

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While I’m not suggesting that the FDA step in and regulate the use of dietary supplements, I believe we would do well to learn more about proper supplementation before spending unnecessary money on supplements, or worse, instead of improving our health , we unknowingly harm it.

Supplementation doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re not already taking a vitamin/mineral supplement, you can start looking for one that’s derived from it food and no chemicals. Synthetic vitamins (made in a lab) are not properly absorbed because your cells are smart enough to know the difference between what they are letting in (food) and what they are keeping out (chemicals).

Purchasing Policies

• You’re wasting your money buying cheap synthetic vitamins from your local Walgreen’s or Costco – the liver can even become toxic from the accumulation of residual vitamin waste.
• Always take a liquid over a pill to ensure absorption.
• Consider sea aloe – it contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and trace elements and is derived from sea vegetables.
• Aloe vera and pau d’arco (purple lapacho, usually in tea bag or loose leaf form) both have healing properties.
• Always use good quality fish oil – buy cheap fish oil and you run the risk of being contaminated with mercury.
• Vitamin D3 is a must and can be easily obtained from your diet by including foods such as oily fish such as salmon, trout or mackerel. Note: It is important to have your vitamin D levels checked.
• The benefits of vitamin C are well known.

It’s also important to remember that supplements – be they vitamins or herbs – are easily viewed as “natural,” but that doesn’t mean they’re benign. Safe supplementation requires due diligence – supplements can cause dangerous interactions with certain drugs or even with each other.

A friend of mine took Ultram (a commonly prescribed pain reliever) and then added melatonin along with 5HTP (both readily available at health food stores) to help with sleep. Each of these would have been safe to take individually, but when taken in combination with Ultram, they caused a potentially life-threatening condition known as serotonin syndrome.

So definitely supplement, but certainly supplement. Google Sloan Kettering (MSKCC), the famous cancer treatment and research center. Through their website, you can look up information about vitamins and herbs and their possible drug interactions.

Thanks to Tina Marian

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