Sunday, February 8, 2009

Quality supplements

Tiffany asked a great question, how do you find good quality supplements. That can be a tricky navigation. Here is an article about how supplements are regulated:

If you are asking what we do, then here is my answer. First off, my son's specialist recommends a certain company, New Beginnings Nutritionals and that is where we buy most of his supplements. They deal with only reputable companies who can provide certificates of purity, etc. These folks specialize in the Autism spectrum so you are going to get supplements free of wheat, dairy, corn, soy and yeast most commonly as those present challenges to children on the spectrum. However, there are several supplements we can't get through those companies and here's what I do. I head to our local health food store (like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Henry's, Wild Oats). There you are presented with a plethora of options. Ask for the manager of the vitamin/supplement department. They are usually very knowledgeable about the brands they stock. As them for their recommendation. If that doesn't work, I look for brands that I know and trust and that have the USP endorsement. I also look for supplements without a lot of extra "stuff". For example, Tiffany you mentioned Wal-Mart. We started using Aloe Vera juice as a digestive support for our whole family. I found a brand, George's, that is pure aloe vera. But, if you look at a brand wal-mart carries it has citric acid and I think sodium benzoate. Now, from a previous post you would know that both ingredients are undesirable, especially in a supplement. But, the combo is AWFUL. Citric Acid + Sodium Benzoate = Benzene which is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent) that our body only excretes VERY VERY slowly. GREAATT. So, you've got this cancer causing agent that now is floating around in your body for a long time because your body can't get rid of it quickly. Yeah, sign me up! Not. The same holds true for ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and sodium benzoate. When you see those 2 combined, run far away. Check your Sprite can....and many sodas actually. Good times, good times....

Supplements are tricky, I totally get that. I look for bottles with purity statements, the USP endorsement and basically JUST the herbs you want and the cellulose capsule as ingredients. I don't buy supps at Wal-Mart so I don't even know the deal there. My guess is not high quality. Naturopaths can also point you in the right direction for good brands and many even stock supplements in their office (at least ours do). I feel that a good quality supplement can go along way towards preserving your good health. Pharmaceuticals generally have many side effects. Take Lipitor for example. My husband was on that for about a decade. We started seeing a chiropractor and he was the first to tell us all the side effects (as opposed to the doctors who put my husband on it in the first place). Lipitor can weaken muscles. Well, the heart IS a muscle. So when you look at what Lipitor is for, reducing cholesterol to avoid a heart attack, you are reducing the risk of heart attack from one problem (cholesterol) but increasing it due to another (weakened heart). Seems rather counterproductive. We started seeing a naturopath who recommended Niacin, one of the B vitamins. You have to look at the upside and downside to pharmaceutical treatments. These changes are not for everybody.

Now on to your question of how to get your husband on board. Wow, if I had a quarter for every wife/mom who asked me that. Even with dietary changes for Autism, men seem so much more reluctant. I am lucky, my husband knows I am a research freak, if I say it is safe that means I have researched and researched and researched again and feel comfortable, which means a lot for me. He is on board. I have actually MADE him read studies/data instead of just going along with my suggestions which he is inclined to do. I feel that if someone reads the data and understands WHY we choose these changes, they will stick with it. With my son's diet, my husband sees what happens when my son gets something he is intolerant of, he becomes a lunatic, screaming and melting down at the drop of a hat (my son, not my husband, lol). The extra work of his diet is worth it, I'd rather spend that time cooking/shopping than dealing with meltdowns all day. For some people (and I know many) they don't buy it. I don't know your husband so it is hard to give any input there. I guess it depends on what you are trying to change. If it is supplements, maybe ask for a trial period. You try something for a time and then evaluate how effective you think it was, no harm, no foul. Supplements are not like pharmaceuticals, they take longer to work so several weeks may be warranted. And, if your body is heavily polluted with toxins from poor diet, pharmaceutical use/etc., some natural remedies like homeopathy won't seem effective at all. Many people blow them off because they "don't work for me" when in reality if they had cleaned their body a bit they would find effectiveness. When you body comes to rely on pharmaceuticals, that is what it will need. But, if you clean it up, it will respond to more natural remedies.

I just heard a mainstream doctor talking this morning about the common cold lasting 1 1/2 weeks. Friday I felt a cold coming on. No surprise, I have a child in preschool and am around a lot of kids coughing and sneezing, plus therapy clinics, social groups, etc. Germs are plentiful. Add to that I have been partaking in some pre-Valentine's day treats, running full speed, staying up too late, etc. I started pumping the Vit. C, olive leaf extract and going to bed early. I took advantage of yesterday and took it easy, lots of vit c, supplements, epsom salt baths with eucalyptus oil, and rest. I feel better today and if I don't push it, I bet by tomorrow it will be practically gone. This is only my 2nd tiny cold this season. Not bad considering I have friends battling the same cold for weeks, even needing steroids and a nebulizer, YIKES. Can I get hit with that? Absolutely. I am just as likely to come down with the flu as anyone, it all depends on the strength of your immune system. Listening to your body and pumping it full of stuff that helps fight off viruses and bacteria will go along way in preventing you from getting sick and healing you faster if you do. And loading your body with toxins (poor diet, soda's, etc) means more work for your immune system which then takes away its ability to fight cold and flu viruses.

I hope that helps. And I appreciate your questions, you don't learn if you don't ask!!!


Stacy and Mike said...

I have recently been turned on to your blog from the enlightened homemaker's blog whom I don't know personally but I am drawn to her knowledge as I am yours. I have two sons and one daughter. I don't see signs of Autism in them however my youngest is only 7 months and at 5 months I did take him to get his first set of vaccines. My oldest completed the series and I believe he is fine but then I wonder, he is so sensitive to the wind blowing and has melt downs over it. He also has meltdowns over water being too hot or cold (when everyone around him would be fine about the temp) too much noise or attention bothers him. Anyway, whether or not he is on the spectrum he probably has toxins in him. I am a big juicer, gardener, essential oils user but I feel I am lacking in so many other ways and now I am having discussions with my husband as what to do with our youngest son to finish his vaccines or not. I probably need to go back and read every post you have written, thank you so much for this blog as it has made me more introspective and aware. Where can I start? Where do you take your kid to see what toxins are in them? Sorry this is so long, I have so many questions but I guess I'll begin there. Thank you again!

Mary said...

Hi! Loved catching up with your blog, such good stuff! Wondering if any epson salt is good. i just get the cheep stuff from walmart. any reccomendations or is it all good?