Supplement use, safety and how to get a good product

We often get requests from people with questions about supplements, most often supplements they’ve prescribed themselves, bought online, or had a friend or family member recommend.

When we get such requests, we encourage them to schedule to come in for a “supplement audit”. During such audits, supplements are brought in and you review them together with one of our providers. We look at what is being taken, why it’s being taken, dosage taken, when and for how long it’s been taken and we answer any questions that may come up. You do not need to be a patient to request a supplement audit. Please contact the clinic for cost & availability.

As many patients know about us at Nature Cures Clinic, we hold a fairly conservative view on supplement use. We see it as our job, as integrated medical providers, to provide guidance, support and direction in their use because it can be very difficult to determine what a good, safe, effective supplement is, how much to take,  or where to get it.

Here is a basic overview of our recommendations on supplement use. As with all elements of medicine, please do not initiate or discontinue a supplement, nutricuetical or medication without the support of your medical health provider.

General Advice for Safe Supplement Use:

1) Use sparingly & in the lowest effective doses : As integrated medicine experts, we are equally skeptical about those pushing pharmaceuticals as we are those pushing nutraceuticals. If you have been told or read online that you need handfuls of supplements every day, please give us a call. There may be better options for you.

2) Be of the highest quality as verified by independent or 3rd party testing:  Not all supplements or nutraceuticals are created equally. You want to ensure what you think is in the supplement really is, in the quantities and forms listed. You also want to trust that what you think isn’t in there- actually isn’t (like Mercury). We review supplement reports from independent labs, subscribe to professional quality assurance groups and recommend consumer-friendly organizations to our patients. Have questions about your supplements? Give us a call.

3)Be free of additives, fillers, coloring and non-nutrient agents: The saying is too often true: you really do “get what you pay for”. Generally, the cheaper the supplement, the more fillers, coloring agents and other non-nutrient additives you are getting. It costs more to make supplements without added fillers. It also costs more to produce vitamins and minerals in forms that are optimally utilized by the body.

4) Be a cautious consumer and find a trusted source for advice before purchasing:  “Dr. Google” is all too often used as a source for supplement recommendations. Self-prescribing supplements and other remedies comes with some risks, most importantly- your health is unique, just because a supplement was good for someone you know, doesn’t mean it will be good for you. Before you buy consult. If you don’t know who to call, give us a ring.

A note from us: The supplements we use, prescribe and sell at Nature Cures Clinic, are done so for convenience for patients and to ensure patients have available what we recommend. Many of our patients have heard us say “we don’t care where you get it, we care what you get”. We stand by this statement out of integrity to our patients and community.

If you would like to schedule a supplement Audit with one of our providers, please give us a call 503-287-4970 to schedule.

Growing Smarter Kids

A Canadian study found that eating more fruits and vegetables was associated with better academic performance among high schoolers.
A second study looked at brain performance in children 6 to 14 years old before and after one year of taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement. The results are hardly surprising: there was a significant improvement on two different attention tasks than kids not taking the supplements.
Ironically, what are the most commonly prescribed medications for school aged children? Of course they are medications for attention deficit. How much more sensible would it be to supplement these kids with multivitamins than to “supplement” them with pharmaceuticals?