By: Jonathan Tait, D.O. – 9/1/2015

There is an epidemic sweeping the nation. What I refer to as “super supplementation” in an attempt to achieve better health.

Fairly regularly I see patients for consultations that are not taking 2, 3, or 4 supplements, but upwards of 12, 15, or even 20 daily supplements.

I can tell you that nutritional science is really difficult to conduct, and can be very challenging to precisely show cause and effect. What I can tell you is that deficiencies or excesses have been shown to cause symptoms and illness. Sub-optimal levels of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients may be harder to detect, as symptoms may be more subtle, but they can also cause problems.

This is commonly where I start some investigation with patients by testing to sort out the symptoms to correct and treat the underlying problem. I feel this is a much better approach than “hopeful supplementation”. This is where folks take everything they read in the magazines at the grocery store checkout and hope that will deliver better health.

Common symptoms of micronutrient and mineral deficiencies

Fatigue, headaches, malnutrition, digestive disorders, depression, mood swings, aggressive behavior, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and hypothyroidism, osteopenia or osteoporosis, hypoglycemia, diabetes, allergies, joint pain, numbness, tingling, or burning pain.

The list goes on.

Everything you put in your body (and what you don’t but need) will effect how you feel and function.

Essential minerals are just that, essential, for optimal function and the life of the cells within your body that they support. They are required in the appropriate amounts, at the appropriate times, to maintain important biochemical processes, for example working as enzymes in chemical reactions.

Similarly, vitamins are required in the proper balance for you to function at your best. Vitamin or mineral insufficiencies, excesses, or imbalances can lead to sub-optimal function of the body, chronic symptoms, and even lead to illness.

Certain elements, such as mercury or cadmium, may accumulate in the body due to chronic exposure and may lead to illness at very small amounts. Further accumulation can become toxic, showing up as chronic unexplained symptoms.

Why do deficiencies or imbalances occur?

  • Poor nutrition or inability to maximally extract nutrient from the food due to various reasons.
  • Medications can deplete the body nutritionally.
  • Excess stress
  • Improper supplementation causing excesses

Examples of common deficiencies and symptoms:

  • Zinc – poor wound healing, weight problems, depressed libido, hair loss, and impotence.
  • Magnesium – cardiovascular problems, depression, and anxiety.
  • Copper – joint pain, elevated cholesterol, anemia, and reduced resistance to infection.
  • Manganese – back and joint problems, hypoglycemia, and allergies.

Examples of common excesses and symptoms

  • Lead – fatigue, constipation, insomnia, emotional disturbances, hyperactivity, and learning disabilities in children.
  • Aluminum – associated with Alzheimer’s disease, osteopenia or osteoporosis due to depletion of phosphorus in the body (critical for bone heath)
  • Arsenic – fatigue, skin problems, and tingling in the extremities.
  • Cadmium – fatigue, tissue aging, musculoskeletal pain, anemia, and hypertension.

What can be lurking in your environment?
Metal accumulation is particularly problematic. It most often is associated with environmental exposure through everyday living, but may result from lifestyle choices (smoking being #1) or exposure in industrial work environments.

Common sources:

  • Cadmium – cigarette smoke
  • Nickel – hydrogenated oils
  • Aluminum – antiperspirants and antacids
  • Tin – some toothpastes and cans
  • Lead – tap water
  • Mercury – tooth fillings and fish
  • Copper – water pipes, pots, pans

Certain metals are normally present within the body in small amounts and are needed for function of the cells. However, with excessive or continual exposure, or ineffective detoxification and elimination by your body, they can accumulate.

Accumulation can inhibit enzymes and reactions within the cells of the body, impairing nutrient delivery into the cells, and elimination of waste products out of the cells. In time the cells are weakened and the tissue, organ, or organ system they comprise within the body begins to lose function or malfunction.
How can deficiencies, excesses or imbalances be discovered?

Standard laboratory studies, like those ordered at your annual physical, are not sufficient to detect some of the problems mentioned above.

The reason is that they are sampling the environment around the cells, or what is circulating in the body on the way to the cells. Because they do not evaluate what is going inside the cells of your body, where the chemical reactions are occurring, they cannot evaluate whether or not your body has adequate nutrients, minerals, and essential elements for optimal function of the cells.

Specialized testing offered in my office can make quick work of truly knowing what your body needs to perform at its best.

 Are your supplements working for you?

 In the world of what I call “super supplementation” where many people are taking 10, 15, or even 20 supplements daily, how do you know if they are having the desired action?

How do you know if they are having unintended side effects from an excess in the body?

How do you know if they are a waste of your hard-earned money?

simple test I commonly perform can tell you exactly what your body needs, and equally important, what it doesn’t need.

My mantra is test, don’t guess.

Time to stop the “super supplementation epidemic” and adopt my “strategic supplementation” method.

We now have the ability to find out what your body really needs and get you feeling your best as soon as possible. The test costs less than what many “super supplementers” are spending on a monthly basis.

Committed to your health (and saving you a buck or two on supplements),

Dr. Tait

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