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Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs. Are They Good for ME?

Good day all and happy Tuesday. This week I am talking supplements. In these times, many people are wanting to stay away from traditional/Western medicine, and are interested in supplements/herbs, foods and lifestyle changes to get and stay healthy. It is an exciting time. But, just like anything else we put in our bodies, not everything advertised is good for you, means it is good for YOU as an individual. This is why I like to approach people as individuals with personal goals, lifestyles and preferences when it comes to treatment.

It is important to remember the following when considering supplements:

  1. When taking multiple supplements, that some contain the same vitamins/minerals/herbs and this may mean you are taking a lot more than you need or is beneficial.
  2. Some interact with each other.
  3. If you are taking supplements/herbs plus traditional pharmaceuticals or medications, these can have significant interactions, as well.
  4. Not all supplements/herbs are safe for certain health conditions.
  5. Some vitamins and minerals are fat soluble. This means that they will build up in your system over time and cause problems. Those that are water soluble means that if you are taking more than you need, your body gets rid of the excess, and you are wasting your money.

    Conclusion:

    All of these scenarios can lead to adverse outcomes one way or another. More information on certain supplements, possible side effects and interactions, one good resource for herbs is Herbs at a Glance | NCCIH (nih.gov) and another resource for vitamins/supplements is Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know – Consumer (nih.gov). I like these resources, specifically, because it provides scientific data and what is currently known about many supplements without bias about whether or not you should take them or name brands (i.e. try to sell you something). Not all supplements are created equal, they can contain artificial fillers and chemicals, not contain the dose reported on the bottle, or not have proper protocols in place to keep you safe. I admire those of you that want to remain healthy. But, I encourage you to sit down with your doctor (or me) and discuss all the medications you are taking, including any supplements/herbs.

    By: JoBeth Augustyniak, DO; Owner Uplift Family Medicine, Certified Family Medicine Physician by AOBFP

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