The Vast Natural Products Market
There are many tens of thousands of natural products readily available for use on the marketplace today. You can easily order supplements online, walk to your nearest health food store, or pick them up at your pharmacy. While easy access to products is normally an excellent idea, when it comes to health products it can be a slippery slope. How do you know how much of any given supplement to take without lab work to insure it is even necessary? How do you figure out if that product is safe to be taken while on medication? Naturopathic doctors are experts in natural medicine and have many years of training on both pharmaceutical medications and herbal/nutritional supplements.
Also, beware of counterfeit products being sold online; only purchase from trusted suppliers or directly from the producer.
Is Natural Always Safe?
In recent times the use of natural products have skyrocketed!
However, over the years natural and safe have become synonymous and that is not always true. Take for example the harmless looking natural mushrooms on the left. Those are the infamous Amanita phalloides or Death Cap mushroom which releases a poisonous toxin when ingested. There are many documented cases of liver damage and death as a result of eating the wrong wild mushrooms.
There has also been cases of products tainted with heavy metals something that has even been reported to be present in fruit juice recently. This information is vital to you and your family because you need to know which products are safe to use. As a naturopath doctor I look for supplement companies that go the extra-mile and have outside analysis of their products to ensure that there are no contaminants and that the products contain what it claims.
Root Cause Approach
One of the things that we learn from studying medicine and pathology is that many conditions do not have a single "cause." Often, there can be multiple causes or it may even simple be unknown (idiopathic). I think it is universally accepted at this point that eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is essential for good health. Naturopathic doctors take this approach a little further because on top of the fact that most Americans are not eating a well-balanced, healthy diet. Even if they were, the nutritional value of food varies for numerous reasons:
* Food Quality: Commercially available fruits and vegetables are often picked early in order to be shipped cross-country. They are often ripened in the trucks or warehouse to look and taste good but they have lower nutritional content. This process is completed with ethylene gas, a hormone for plants.
* Soil Quality: Obviously the plants can only take and use what is in the soil, so if there are no or low nutrients in the soil than the plants will also have the same.
* Pesticide use: Many pesticides are environmental toxins that have to be processed by your body. While pesticides are important to the agricultural process to be able to provide us food. Our livers then have the task of detoxifying these chemicals which require vitamins and minerals as cofactors. Once used they are not recycled, leaving us with a potential loss of vitamins and minerals.
These are just a few examples of why diet alone sometimes isn't enough to correct a nutritional imbalance in our current environment. Our bodies have to work harder than they did in the past to keep us healthy and sometimes specific individualized nutritional supplementation will give your body the boost you need to be your best.
Also important to note is that we are all unique and have our own individual biochemical needs. Due to complicated genetic polymorphisms, that I will not get into here today, you many have a greater need for specific B vitamins, amino acids, or even exercise than other people. Come in for an appointment and let's see if we can figure out what you individual needs are.
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Important Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only; it is NOT meant to substitute professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should NOT use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem/disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please schedule an appointment or call 203-693-1429 for individualized natural medicine.
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