3 Ways to Get the Most From Your Vitamins and Supplements

Untitled design (32)What Vitamins Should You Absolutely Be Taking?

Almost everyone takes a vitamin or supplement.  In the U.S., we spend nearly 1.5 billion dollars each year on supplements and vitamins. [1]  Nearly half of all Americans take at least 1 vitamin or supplement.  How do you now if it is the right vitamin for you?  How do you know if the level of the active ingredient in the vitamin you buy is enough or too much?  How do you know if the vitamin quality is worth what you are paying for it?  How do you know if the supplement is really helping you?

If you do a Google search for vitamins or supplements, you will see millions of results.  Many articles state that vitamins are a waste of money.  Some articles say that if you do not take a vitamin, you cannot be healthy – scaring you into thinking you need to rush right out to buy a vitamin.  And, of course, there are thousands of vitamin companies that want to sell you the latest and greatest vitamin that will make you live a very long and healthy life, lose weight, improve your energy level, improve your sex life, balance your hormones, etc.  Recently, Dr. Oz was criticized for “peddling” various products on his television show.

In our office we practice functional medicine.  Click here to learn about functional medicine. We balance a patient’s chemistry using, vitamins, supplements, creams, gels, and dietary and lifestyle recommendations.  It is clear then that we believe vitamins and supplements can be a good thing.  However, we do not believe that every person needs to take lots of vitamins for the rest of their life for good health.  In fact, too much is just as bad as none at all.  So, how do you know what vitamins to take?

  1.   Get Tested.

    Dr. Oz was accused of endorsing “quack remedies” on his show.  Dr. Ungar has had lunch with Dr. Oz and appreciates how he has brought alternative and natural health to the mainstream. Generally, the products he discusses on his show are not generally bad. However, what Dr. Oz (and people who “sell” vitamins) do is recommend a particular vitamin or supplement for everyone regardless of that person’s specific case history and body chemistry.  Some of the supplements recommended by these sellers will work for some people.  But are you part of the “some?”  The only way to find out is to see a doctor who will do thorough testing of all of your body’s systems – hormone levels, adrenal function, thyroid function, GI function.   Vitamins, supplements, dietary changes should then be used to bring your body back into balance and full function based on the results of that testing. [Click to Tweet]

  2. Buy Quality Supplements.

    Do you need to spend more to get good quality vitamins?  Yes and no.  The best answer is to buy vitamins that have research to back up their efficacy and that a doctor who knows exactly what you need recommends.   [Click to Tweet]  This is not to say that you should only buy vitamins from a doctor’s office (although this is usually the safest bet). You can buy vitamins on-line or from your local vitamin store but before you do, have the testing done and ask your doctor if these over-the-counter vitamins are right for you and if the amount of active ingredient is enough or too much to help you meet your health goal. You will also need to watch the filler included in drugstore vitamins.  You could be sensitive to that filler, which could negate the vitamin’s benefits.

  3. Get Retested and Make Adjustments.

    After your first testing, you doctor may recommend supplements to bring your body back into balance.  Balancing the body’s chemistry is a process.  You don’t achieve good health simply by taking some vitamins for a few weeks.  In order to see how you are progressing and to decide whether to continue, stop or adjust levels of your supplements, retesting is necessary.   Be wary of any practitioner or vitamin seller who suggests that you should just take a supplement forever without a personalized clinical basis for that recommendation.   Your goal (and your doctor’s goal) is to bring your body back into balance and then only take supplements needed to keep it that way. [Click to Tweet] In many cases, that might be nothing!

Some vitamins and supplements are necessary for some people based on their specific body needs.  Criticism of vitamins and supplements is warranted when this rule is not applied like above.   Applying this rule, the results speak for themselves in black and white (test results) and in the lives are patients live.  We see people meet their health goals in our office every day.  Click here if you would like to hear from a few of them.

Do you take vitamins or supplements?  Do you know if they are helping you?

Caroline Boardman
February 3, 2016


Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

[1] https://www.exercise.com/faq/how-much-does-the-average-american-spend-on-supplements

I’m Not a Celebrity – Do I really Need to Detox My Body?

Juice (2)

Moving Thought Forward About Detoxification

Detoxification programs!  Do I have to drink some weird concoction or skip food altogether? Will I be living in the bathroom or sleeping my day away? Celebrities are always telling us that they keep healthy because of this detox or that detox.  But, do they really work?  Are they necessary for the “regular” person?
I have no doubt in my mind that detoxification methods absolutely work for the human body!!  WebMD states “…our bodies naturally detox every day.”[1]   As a Chiropractor, my clinical experience allows me to see first-hand the positive health impacts that come from detoxification on patients’ blood work and symptomatology. Positive long-lasting effects often stem from the detoxification process.  So, the question is not whether a detox will work but instead – what kind of detoxifying should I be doing?
Most people associate a detox with a colon cleanse where they essentially would be on stand-by for the latrine.    We must understand that there are many ways that the body detoxifies.   Exposing yourself to a variety of detoxification methods is important to living your days out on this earth with greater vigor and excitement for your daily tasks.  There is no doubt that we poison our bodies each day with a variety of toxins.  We experience toxicity in mental, chemical, and physical forms.  I personally believe you should focus on purging those negative build-ups as a regular part of maintaining your health.  After all, you change the oil on your car every 3-5K miles; do you ever clean the filters in your body? [Click to Tweet] It is worth considering new options for lifestyle management.
Dr. Oz mentions the major detoxifying organs on his popular TV show.  He says, “The kidneys are like the micromanagers of detoxification.”[2]   Other detoxifying organs are the lungs, skin, and colon.   Once you understand what actually detoxifies the body, it becomes more clear that one must consider the types of detoxification practices that are available.  If you are unsure whether a detoxification protocol is right for you, I recommend contacting a qualified functional medicine or holistic primary care physician for safe guidance.
What are some popular and effective methods to practice detoxification?  The website GAIAM offers 10 options for detoxification.[3]
  1. Eat plenty of fiber
  2. Cleanse the Liver
  3. Take vitamin C
  4. Drink more water
  5. Breathe deeply
  6. Transform stress
  7. Practice hydrotherapy
  8. Sweat
  9. Dry-brush your skin
  10. Exercise
There are also many good quality detoxification systems available from a doctor’s office that help detoxify the organs and balance your body’s chemistry.
In reality, your body is detoxifying right now!  But, the rate of detoxification varies by person, where they live, what they eat, etc.  Why not enhance the body’s natural detoxification process?  The refreshing idea is that after reading this blog, you now hold a greater innate potential to purify the mind, body, and spirit.
Everyday holds the potential for something greater than the day before.  Embracing the idea that we have capabilities to enhance our natural detoxification forces encourages us to continue to move forward and embrace optimal ideals and actions.   So next time you think of detoxifying, don’t wait. Embrace the innate potential you hold within! [Click to Tweet]
Tell us how you detoxify your body?
Dr. Andrew Kender
August 16, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.

[1] http://www.webmd.com/diet/detox-diets-cleansing-body?page=2
[2] http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/organs-detox-your-body
[3] http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-ways-detoxify-your-body