Is the form of a supplement important?

The quick answer is yes. Absolutely. AND, we should always be looking first to spend our time and money on picking good foods high in the nutrients we are concerned about.

Food vs supplemetns

For minerals, I do prefer zinc picolinate. For calcium and magnesium, I always recommend chelated forms, and there are many (citrate, malate, aspartate, etc.). I don’t usually care which chelated form they take so long as there is no magnesium oxide or calcium carbonate in the product.

For patients with documented methylation defects (e.g. MTHFR 667, high or highish homocysteine, or a high normal MCV), I prefer Continue reading “Is the form of a supplement important?”

How do you help patients get off medications?

I frequently get asked by practitioners new to functional medicine how and when to take patients off of medications.

vitaminmyth

When I am thinking of helping a patient get off a medication, I always have lifestyle, diet, and nutriceutical interventions in place first. The time to consider whether to taper off of a medication is after several months of consistent practice and clear benefits from lifestyle changes.  Continue reading “How do you help patients get off medications?”

Retort: To the Atlantic Magazine’s Smear of Supplements: “The Vitamin Myth”

vitaminmyth

I was appalled by the article that appeared in the Atlantic Jul 19 2013: The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements. Not surprisingly, Atlantic did not publish my toothy critique–which I’ll now copy below:

Atlantic did not print an even-handed article. The Author, Paul Offit, spends most of it building up then vigorously tearing down Linus Pauling–as if that alone would make his bizarre case against vitamins. Then he hand-picked studies that supported his conclusions and completely failed to mention anything to the contrary. To suggest that the benefits of vitamins are a complete myth and to unabashedly suggest that no-one should take vitamins goes *way* too far. This guy and his wobbly conclusion are both puntable. Shame on you Atlantic! How about some balance?

I’d have to look into it, but if the half dozen headline worthy anti-vitamin studies I have investigated in the last 10 years are any clue, I’d expect to see that many of the studies that supposedly “invalidated” the benefits of vitamins were using synthetic forms (ineffective or toxic). In these cases, all we really learn is that the cheap synthetic forms don’t work. Continue reading “Retort: To the Atlantic Magazine’s Smear of Supplements: “The Vitamin Myth””