We recommend nutritional supplements to all of our patients. Most people are deficient in several basic nutrients, and some are severely deficient. There are also a number of nutrients, such as essential fatty acids found in fish oils, vitamin C and others that the human body does not produce on its own. These must be obtained through diet and supplementation. Although most Americans have plenty to eat, the quality of our soil and food has declined, and many food choices are depleted of nutrient value.
Toxicity or overdose from vitamins and minerals is extremely uncommon. It is difficult to take too much of them. If iron toxicity is excluded, injury from nutrient excess is rare indeed. Most side effects involve abdominal discomfort or diarrhea, easily managed by reducing the dose or switching to a different formulation. Additionally, some vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin A and Vitamin D can be prescribed in much higher doses over short periods of time than what is recommended daily for use in patients with an acute infection.
The argument that vitamin supplementation only leads to expensive urine is frivolous, and ignores a wealth of evidence that nutritional supplementation prevents disease and improves the outcome of chronic illness. Indeed, the current medical literature is full of evidence-based research strongly supporting the roll of supplemented nutrients in the prevention and improvement of disease states. Many patients we have treated have experienced improved health and sense of well-being from nutrient supplementation, which sometimes disappeared when the supplements were stopped.
Not all supplements are created equal. Many commercial preparations contain only small quantities of targeted nutrients. They may have inferior ingredients, contain undesirable additives and toxins or may be formulated with forms of ingredients that are not readily absorbed and utilized by the body. We see this, for example, with chelated minerals which have much higher absorption than their cheaper counterparts. Sometimes products made for large chain stores are made in huge batches. You cannot know how long bottles were sitting in a warehouse before they were sold, or if they were exposed to high temperatures causing them to become rancid or change in chemical composition.
Professional quality supplements ensure that you actually receive nutrients in the appropriate amounts as shown on the labels. The doses are usually guaranteed to be what is on the label on the expiration date, not just on the date of manufacture. They are prepared and processed in special facilities that meet strict industry and FDA standards for purity and potency. Smaller batches ensure freshness. All of our IPM labeled products are pharmaceutical grade and are tested under strict quality control. The companies we choose for our patients are reviewed for their standards and quality. We often meet with company representatives and sometimes their executives to review products for use in our practice. When we have a choice, we choose the formulation based on the research backing that particular product.
Doctors at IPM recommend a trio of items to most of our patients
A combination of pharmaceutical grade vitamins, trace minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants formulated in therapeutic doses, to ensure the function of a multitude of enzymes affecting all body systems. Contains the highest quality ingredients in the most bio-available forms.
Chelated Cal Mag
An encapsulated formulation of these two crucial minerals. Calcium feeds the bones and is important for muscle function, while magnesium is required for over 150 enzyme processes. Calcium and magnesium should be provided together to help maintain healthy balances of both. These are separate from what is contained in our multivitamin for dosing purposes. Easily absorbable and utilized in the body.
Mega Omega Balance
Fractionated omega-3 fatty acids (EFAs) in a triglyceride form of fish oil, which help maintain vascular health, neurological function, and are clinically shown to reduce inflammation.
Many supplements can be added to these basic items to provide support for specific situations and conditions.
Your doctor can help you decide the correct product to take in appropriate doses. What is right for you may not always coincide with the recommendation on the bottle. You may feel the effects of taking a nutritional supplement right away. However, some products must be taken for a longer time period of weeks or even months before effects can be measured or seen. Ask your doctor for more information.
If you are not sure about what nutritional supplements you should take, bring your questions and even your bottles to your next appointment. We might find that there is a specific nutrient or product that can be added or changed in your regimen that will greatly benefit how you feel, or will assist you in achieving a specific target value, such as blood pressure or lipid level.
In all, we have nearly 300 products covering more than 20 different groups of conditions. These products may allow us to reduce or eliminate prescription medications in many cases.
Allan Sosin, MD