The Importance of Supplementation and Nutrition

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Interviewer: Supplements while you’re pregnant, supplements when you’re not. Can you take too many?

HMG Physician: Absolutely you can take too many, but you should… Here’s the thing, in the American diet it’s well known that there are not enough nutrients and vitamins. And that’s because mechanized farming, industrialized farms, GMOs, pesticides, herbicides… Over all of those things, our foods are processed. Right? So, they have to put back in vitamins. So yes, you can take too many, but almost no one does. We mostly take too few.

Interviewer: What if you’re taking none right now? What should you be taking?

HMG Physician: Well here’s the thing, I like to think about Hippocrates. Hippocrates is widely called the “Father of Medicine”. He is famous, most famous, for saying, “Let food be thy medicine.” Now, that’s important. Food should be our medicine, but in medical school the curriculum today only one credit hour in four years is dedicated to nutrition. So your physician who should be telling you about nutrition got one credit hour in that. They don’t really have a chance. If that’s all they really taught us, how are we supposed to teach you as our patient. Unless we individually go out and find out that information. And yet we know that people’s diet is poor in nutrition and vitamins and minerals and those sorts of things. So just like anything else in life, it’s hard for a consumer to know what’s safe; know what’s effective; know how to take it on an empty stomach, after food, with food, things like that; how to interpret the labels and so if you can find an expert to help you, I think you get a much better product.

Interviewer: Is everyone different? Should I be taking something different from Brianne and you?

HMG Physician: Potentially.

Interviewer: Okay.

HMG Physician: To some extent there are basic things that everyone will benefit from. Depending on if you have a particular diagnosis or your age or your gender then that can be different.

Interviewer: Here’s a question: If you take a prenatal – I’m going to say pregnant, but this goes for both – and you’re nauseated, is there a reason you’re nauseated and should you not take that?

HMG Physician: Well, the reason you’re nauseated is because you’re pregnant. And vitamins can be difficult for us to take anyway…

Interviewer: Because the pill is this big. That is why I’m nauseated.

HMG Physician: Right.

Interviewer: That can happen.

HMG Physician: It can. Here’s one of the things that I find the most: people that know that supplements are important for them, that know that their diet isn’t rich enough in them they come to my office and they bring this big filled with supplements and they have a bottle of vitamin B and a bottle of vitamin D and a bottle of vitamin K and a bottle of calcium. And it’s just this huge thing. Dr. Holtorf, our Medical Director, for the past ten years has developed and tested and given patients hundreds of natural products in conjunction with a typical therapy. So he knows what the best things are and what the best natural products and he’s been able to combine them in to some supplements. Which I think you’re like, “Okay, now I don’t have to take 25 things, I can take these two things that has all of it in there.” So I think that’s important, but to that end there are things that people should probably be avoiding. Maybe they’re allergic to corn or allergic to wheat. Yeast is something you want to make sure is not in your supplements. Yeah, there is individual needs as well.

Interviewer: So what should we all try to take? When people come in what do you see most often that you say, “You are deficient in this. You need to take this.”

HMG Physician: Well everybody, and the CDC has said this, pretty much anybody that lives north of Atlanta is going to be deficient in vitamin D. Because it’s always said that vitamin D comes from the sun, the little vitamins aren’t radiating down on the wave lights or the rays of light, right? What happens is the UV radiation triggers your melanocytes to tell your liver to make vitamin D. Turns out it’s not a vitamin at all. It’s a hormone. It’s made in our body. So, everybody that lives too far north doesn’t have that angle of refraction for the UV radiation. They can’t make enough. Pretty much everybody needs vitamin D. And it’s not just for your bones, it’s great for your bones, but it’s also for your energy and your immune system and your balance. Another thing beyond vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids. The number one cause of death for men and women in America is heart disease, and omega-3 fatty acids are probably the most helpful thing we can take to prevent heart disease. And you need to take 4 grams… That’s fish oil. What happens is people buy it and they’re like, “Oh, the doctor said this was good.” And they take one or two once day. Well, you need 4 grams to meet what the studies have shown is helpful and 8 grams if you want to get the very most benefit. That’s a lot of fish oil. 

Interviewer: And not all supplements are created equal.

HMG Physician: No, absolutely not. The most important thing to look for in a supplement is quality. You know, if I go to the grocery store or you go to the grocery store, I can tell what the fresh broccoli looks different than the wilted broccoli. I can tell a big apple from a little apple, but you look at a bottle of supplements and you’re like, “I don’t know.” Right? So quality is by far the most important thing. And there are some things people can do. There is a website called ConsumerLab.com that you can join. They will show you what things have been tested. Are there impurities in it? Is it corn or wheat or yeast based? What are the… How to help you read the label. Those sorts of things. So there are things people can do just at the grocery store to know that they’re getting a good supplement. 

Interviewer: This is such good information. All things that we all need to know. And important because it’s your health we’re talking about, right? What you’re putting in your body. If you have questions that you want answered, don’t forget the Holtorf Medical Group. 

About Holtorf Medical Group

The Holtorf Medical Group specializes in optimizing quality of life and being medical detectives to uncover the underlying cause of symptoms, rather than just prescribing medications to cover-up the symptoms. We are experts in natural, prescription bioidentical hormone replacement and optimization, complex endocrine dysfunction, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease.

We’ve dedicated our practice to providing you the best in evidenced-based, integrative medicine that’s not only safe and effective, but provides measurable results.