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The Mistakes People Make With Supplements


By Dr. Dana Myatt

Do You Make These Mistakes with Nutritional Supplements?

  1. You don't know the manufacturer (so you don't know if the product is pure and potent). Some people buy their supplements from the vitamin discount houses or Big Box Bargain Warehouse Stores, without knowing the purity or potency of the product.

There is no control by the FDA to insure purity or potency of nutritional supplements.

[Dr. Myatt's side note; Why don't they do something useful and oversee quality of supplements instead of simply trying to outlaw all natural remedies?] See this week's discussion of the new FDA rules...

When you "buy cheap," you have no idea if you are even taking the supplement or herb you think you are. Remember, a nutritional supplement that doesn't work is no "bargain." I suggest you shop for bargains when you buy shoes and suits and a new car or wide-screen TV, not when you buy food and nutritional supplements that your life depends on.

  1. Don't take the recommended dose (or take it hit-and-miss). "It's so hard," I hear people whine, "to take all these supplements every day." Gosh, very few people forget to eat (even though many would be better off skipping a few meals).

People remember to do anything they believe is important. Those who understand the value of taking the right supplements in the right doses will remember to take their supplements as directed. And those who whine about "it's so hard" will continue to convince themselves that it is hard. Why make a mountain out of a molehill when you can make a molehill out of a mountain?

  1. Don't take the highest quality, most easily assimilated forms of nutrients. (Or use the cheap stuff - see # 1 above).
  2. Keep old supplements around for years past their expiration date.  (How could this happen? See #2 above.)
  3. Take every "new" thing that comes along instead of using "proven" remedies.
  4. Fail to get professional holistic medical help if you have a serious health concern OR if your self-care fails to provide results.
  5. Take good stuff, but in "fairy dust" doses. That "one-a-day" vitamin pill or that combination product with all the good stuff on the label as a "proprietary blend" may look like a great deal - but if the doses it contains are so small as to be meaningless, well, they are meaningless!
  6. Rely on health and "medical" advice from the sales clerk at the health food store, your next door neighbor (who is a car mechanic or an accountant), or Uncle Dick (who's an investment broker). Hello? If you have a medical condition or want good advice, you need a qualified medical professional to help you. You don't take your car to the medical doctor for repair, do you? Or consult your hairdresser for a legal matter? They why consult a non-medical person for your medical and health care?
  7. "I read everything" (and as a result, you don't know anything)! The internet is exactly that - a huge net. And just like trolling for tuna, you'll pull in dolphins and sharks and turtles and bottles and a lot of other "unintended stuff." The problem is, most laymen and even many doctors don't know how to critically evaluate the quality of what they are reading. As a result, you can make yourself crazy with all the conflicting information being thrown at you.

My advice? Find a few medical and holistic health experts that you trust and read those newsletters exclusively. Be very slow to accept other information as true unless you are highly confident of the source.

  1. "Mix and match." Some people who are "into" alternative medicine go to a conventional doctor, an holistic doctor, and maybe a chiropractor, an acupuncturist and a nutritionist as well. Unless these various health practitioners all work together and cooperate with each other's care, they will all have a different set of recommendations for you to follow.

What some people do is follow one or two recommendations from each practitioner. As a result, their "health program" isn't a program at all - it's a patchwork quit of mix and match supplements that are not necessarily working well together.

Like the "I read everything" problem above, you'll wind up being confused and your program is less likely to produce the best results. One of your healthcare providers should be the "gatekeeper," overseeing the coordination of all other treatments and making recommendations about which things to include and which to exclude. I serve as the "gatekeeper" for my private practice patients, even when they have a conventional primary care physician. Be sure you have a doctor whose skills you trust to perform this function for you. It is unlikely to be your conventional doctor because he/she will no little or nothing about your best alternative choices.



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