Many people ask “How are supplements different from the food that you eat?” Or, “Can I just eat differently so that I don’t have to take supplements?” They also ask “What supplement can I use for my symptoms?
To answer the first and second question, supplements are really just concentrated food, with synergistically added herbs. Most people, when they come into my office, are severely deficient. Also, a lot of the things people are deficient in are not commonly found in foods anymore due to “modern” farming techniques. Supplements, because they are super-concentrated food sources, can make up this deficiency quickly. For instance, one supplement we use in this office, Organically Bound Minerals, has the minerals of 90 pounds of Kelp and Alfalfa in each bottle. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could eat that, even if I wanted to (and I don’t want to!). Whole food supplements basically help correct nutritional deficiencies quickly. You could substitute whole foods for supplements, but you would get really full, and they wouldn’t taste good! (Who’s up for a 10 lb. seaweed salad?)
I’m often asked questions like “what can I take for hot flashes?” or “what can I take to lose weight?” This is really thinking about whole food supplements and herbs like substitutions for medicine. The problem with this model is that it does not address the cause of the symptom. We could give Black Cohosh to address hot flashes, and ephedrine to lose weight. But both hot flashes and weight gain are caused by hormonal imbalances. Without addressing these hormonal imbalances with whole food supplementation, diet and exercise, these imbalances actually may get worse and cause further problems down the road. The real answer, which is what we do in my office, is to use both whole food supplements and herbs to balance one’s biochemistry, and relieve symptoms at the same time.
I use whole food supplements because they are a safe, natural and quick way to relieve nutritional deficiencies and balance the body’s biochemistry. The result is a higher level of function within the body’s organ systems, leading to greater health and relief of symptoms.