A nutritional supplement is a product consumed to support, or supplement, your diet, address a nutritional deficiency, prevent disease, or maintain good health. Supplements can include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, herbs, botanicals, and other natural substances.
Dietary supplements are legally required to be labeled as such, although they don’t have to be approved for safety by the FDA before they are marketed. Makers of supplements also don’t have to prove their marketing claims. Generally, the FDA can’t take action until a supplement enters the marketplace. This is one of many reasons why you should consult with your doctor before taking supplements.
Optimal health is a state of physical, nutritional and psychological balance. Proper supplementation, in conjunction with diet and lifestyle changes, can play a critical role in restoring and maintaining balance and, ideally, preventing the imbalances that cause people to become chronically ill in the first place. Supplements are intended to support a healthy diet, not replace it.
The chronic illness epidemic in our country is due in large part to chronic degenerative and inflammatory diseases. These conditions are most commonly caused by a poor diet, inadequate exercise, and stress.
The fact is, most chronic illnesses can be prevented and even reversed. This is accomplished not with prescription drugs, but with a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan and lifestyle changes that address the root cause of the problem. Supplements can be an important part of this equation. Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are just a few examples of preventable, reversible chronic illnesses.
While supplements alone will not cure any disease, they can make you more resilient to certain diseases. Supplements can help reduce inflammation, remove harmful toxins from the body, improve gut health and function, protect bone health, reduce stress, improve energy, and regulate gene expression.
Depending on the physical condition of the individual patient and what we uncover through examination and testing, we often prescribe supplements as part of our clinical nutrition program.
We only prescribe doctor-recommended, pharmaceutical-grade supplement brands. These supplements have passed rigorous testing to confirm the ingredients on the label are actually contained in the supplement. This isn’t the case with most supplements. Keep in mind that taking more than the recommended dosage of certain supplements can be harmful, so they should only be taken after consulting with your doctor.
It’s important to understand that every chronic illness has a “pre” stage. Prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Osteopenia is low bone density that is not quite as low as osteoporosis. Elevated blood pressure is a warning sign for hypertension. Inflammation can be a warning sign for many chronic, painful conditions.
We don’t wait to act until a condition advances beyond the “pre” stage and turns into a more serious problem. Our goal is always to prevent disease and restore and maintain balance. The right nutritional supplements, when taken correctly, support these goals without the harmful side effects of prescription medication.
Use of supplements as medicine predates written history. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans used plants for healing as far back as the Paleolithic period of 60,000 years ago. Written records of herbal medicine exist from ancient civilizations of the Middle East, while many Asian cultures have been using herbal remedies for thousands of years.
The word “vitamin” was first used by Polish biochemist Casimir Funk in 1920. “Vitamin” is derived from the Latin word “vita,” which means life, and “amine,” because scientists believed vitamins contained amino acids.
Are you dealing with a chronic condition and suspect a nutritional deficiency could be part of the problem? Do you want to know what supplements you can take to maintain balance and prevent disease? Schedule an appointment at Natural Healthcare Center. Bring your healthcare records, diagnostic imaging, test results, prescriptions, and current nutritional supplements. We’ll review your records, discuss your history, answer your questions, and offer recommendations to address your specific condition – all at no charge. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.