BRAIN HEALTH: WHY CONSULT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL WHEN TAKING SUPPLEMENTS
According to the FDA, there are more than 56,000 supplement products currently on the market. With so many supplements available, purchasing supplements through your healthcare provider can often help you differentiate a great product from a questionable product.
Many people wonder:
- Am I receiving what the label states?
- How do I determine a product’s quality?
- Can I trust the marketing and the claims made about the product?
- What and how much should I take to support my health?
At CHK Nutrition, we have found that people who work with a healthcare professional when using nutritional supplements typically receive better quality products, spend less money on trial and error, obtain better health support outcomes, and have better management of potential side effects.
Healthcare professionals hold high standards for the products they offer and understand the science associated with vitamins and supplements. In addition, they often work to ensure the best nutritional support is provided by identifying if a dosing adjustment may be needed.
Get the right answers about product quality, dosing, and lifestyle support
A healthcare professional can help you navigate the supplement jungle by answering questions, evaluating the evidence, and identifying what dose would allow you to receive the most benefits. With the conflicting information on the internet, there is no substitute for a personal expert working directly with you to support your health. This is especially true of amino acids and brain health.
Gain the Unique Expertise of Healthcare Providers who Understand the Benefits, Limitations, and Considerations of Natural Supplements
Healthcare professionals that offer nutritional supplements often:
- Spend time honing their knowledge and expertise.
- Are better equipped to evaluate conflicting research findings when compared to the general public.
- Require the highest standards for products that they use or offer.
- Choose products that uphold their professional reputation.
- Encourage companies to commit to ongoing research and strive for the highest level of quality, consistency, and efficacy.
- Better understand the considerations needed to meet your unique healthcare needs – after all, not every supplement is right for every person.
Avoid Many Common Natural Supplement Myths
Myth #1: Dietary supplements are far safer than prescription drugs because they are “natural.”
THE TRUTH: Natural doesn’t mean safe or without side effects. Although it’s true that supplements derived from an herb or other plant are “natural,” it doesn’t guarantee that they are safe. If everything made from plants was safe, we wouldn’t be told to avoid eating certain berries or mushrooms when hiking in the woods. Or, consider this question – would you consume arsenic or hemlock? We hope not! And remember, they are natural.
Many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects in the body. This could make them unsafe in some situations, which could hurt or complicate your health.
For example, the following actions could lead to harmful – even life-threatening – consequences:
- Combining supplements.
- Using supplements with certain medicines (whether prescription or over-the-counter).
- Substituting supplements for prescription medicines.
- Taking too high of a dose of certain supplements, such as vitamin A, vitamin D or iron, can cause it to accumulate in your body
- Some supplements can also have unwanted effects before, during, and after surgery. So, be sure to inform your healthcare provider, including your pharmacist, about any supplements you are taking.
Myth #2: Dietary supplements are rigorously tested and their effectiveness is backed by numerous studies and scientific proof.
THE TRUTH: To gain FDA approval, any new prescription drug has to pass a series of strict clinical trials. But dietary supplements are sold without FDA approval. For companies that are interested in making a quick dollar, they may create a product with no testing at all or use “testing” that falls well below the standards required by the scientific community.
Example: Supplement advertisements frequently boast that a particular herb has been used for a thousand years in Asia. In reality, some Chinese herbs can cause liver damage and other dangerous side effects.
In summary, before taking supplements, consult with a healthcare professional to:
- Trust nutritional supplements are tested and made with the highest quality ingredients
- Ensure proper dosing levels
- Prevent dangerous combinations with medications or supplements
Source: Estimation of number of Dietary Supplements (55,600 in 2016) – https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm516197.htm