I have been using and researching nutritional supplements for over 30 years. At first, I started taking supplements because I was sick when younger. I took everything for hypertension that I could find. Then I branched out to many other kinds of supplements to experiment to see how they could enhance my health. I was very lucky because one of my first jobs after I embarked upon my new career as a Naturopathic Doctor, was at an alternative/complementary outpatient clinic in NJ. We had between 6 MD’s, DO’s, and MD Ph.D.’s. there practicing at all times. They all used nutritional supplements in their practice. The name of the clinic was the Princeton Bio Center and was started by renowned physical Carl Pfeiffer MD, Ph.D. At that time I was the manager of the Natural Pharmacy there and I filled almost every patient’s treatment schedule. In time I got to know many different kinds of supplements and the companies that made them. During this time I was sent to many large Natural Supplement shows and conventions. I met all the different reps and company owners; I got to know the integrity and conviction of each of these people and their companies. I have kept up with this research ever since.
In my practice, I only use what I feel are the very best quality supplements being made on the market. If I use any lesser quality then my patients who are usually very compromised either will not get well or may get worse. This is the main reason why I have to be very careful with the brands that I choose and use.
How do I know this and how do you know this without any formal regulations in place. First of all, there are companies that only sell to doctors. If you trust your doctor then this is a good way to not have to do the research yourself. Many companies use off-site non-related labs to test the quality and purity of each of their products 3-4 times a year and publically publish the results. So they are in effect regulating themselves but with no conflict of interest by using an outside lab to do the testing. The next way to tell is to get to know the owners and the facilities where they are made and see if the companies actually make the supplements there or do they simply buy them from a large conglomerate. If they make the vitamins on-premise then they test the raw ingredients that will be used to make the supplements to see if they have any toxins or heavy metals in each batch, or to make sure that they are of the best quality and with the utmost purity.
One last thing I will mention is that even if you do get a pure quality supplement how do you know if it will digest and absorb well in your body and not end up in the toilet. To remedy this I now use almost all whole food supplements in the form of powders; they are made up of many extracts of raw foods and many different types of probiotics. For a multivitamin, I especially like a product called Vitamineral Greens and Vitamineral Earth compounded by a Naturopathic doctor made by Health Force. They work wonders and will detox even the most severely compromised GI system gently. Here are a few of the best companies that I have found: Biotics Research, Design’s for Health, Biogenesis, Bioresource, BioImmersion.. if you go to my website every company there and every product there I have researched and used successfully with my patients.
Sincerely, Dana Churchill, N.M.D.