Re-order Here

Nutrition information and articles by Boise Integrated Chiropractic

Nutrition and Supplements

Fish Oil - more harm than good?

As long as you haven't been living under a huge slab of basalt for the last decade, you are probably aware of the many reported health benefits of fish oil.  From heart disease to dementia to joint pain, it seems that fish oil has a lot of promise.  The research has been quite consistent, and it does indeed provide a myriad of benefits.  That being said, there are some things that you should understand before you go drink a whole vat of cod liver oil. #1 - More is not always better.  One of the reasons that they are finding so many advantages to taking a fish oil supplement is that it helps bring into balance the omega 3-6-9 ratio, since most Americans are lower in the omega 3's found in fish.  We are able to synthesize omega 9's in our bodies, but we need to get our omega 3 & 6 from diet.   Most experts agree this ratio should be about 1:3, but the Standard American Diet (SAD) is usually closer to 1:20, which might help explain our epidemic of heart disease in this country.  However, you can take too much of these omega 3's and swing the pendulum the other way.  What we want is a balance.  You can also achieve this balance by consuming less of the foods high in omega 6 such as vegetable oils, cereals, pasta, grains, and grain-fed meats.  Keep in mind that grass-fed meat can be higher in omega 3 than fish, but this kind of meat is not readily available in Big Box stores.  You would need to get this from a local farmer (which is where you should be buying anyway ;). #2 - Another RATIO issue -  When buying anything other than whole food from the store, you should be reading labels!!!  This rule holds true for fish oil as well.  What you'll notice is that fish oil has two major sources of omega 3 fatty acids - DHA and EPA.  You want to look at the percentage of these to the total oil in a serving to give you an idea of potency.  For example, one capsule of fish oil might be 1000mg (1g) of fish oil, but only contain 200 mg of omega 3's.  That is about 20% potency.  While you aren't going to see 100%, you will see some closer to 70 or 80%.  This means you have to take four times as many of the less potent capsules to get the same result.  Since these are usually large pills, you really want them to be potent.  Also, this might explain why that brand is so "cheap."  Our target is usually 1000-2000mg of omega 3's (DHA, EPA) per day. #3 - Toxicity Issues - As a general rule, the larger the fish, and the higher up the food chain, the more toxic buildup it will contain.  The larger fish will consume all the other life below them, and whatever comes with it.  When you buy quality supplements, they are processed in a way to remove any mercury, PCB's, etc...  Do you think some cheap-o brand at the big box store is going to do that?  No way!  They are going to keep it as cheap as possible.  That is why there was a class action lawsuit in California against some companies.  They were finding toxic substances in their fish oil - leading to birth defects! #4 - Rancid Oil Stinks -  Have you ever smelled rancid oil?  If not, then take some olive oil, microwave it for a minute...leave it out for a month, then go take a whiff of it.  That is what a rancid oil smells like.  The whole reason for taking a fish oil is for its health benefits, so the last thing you want to do is take rancid oil, which is harmful to your health.  Can you imagine realizing that you are paying to make yourself less healthy when you thought you were doing something right?  So, you want to know how to test your fish oil for rancidity?  Try these tricks: Trick #1 - The Sniff Test - yep, just cut that capsule open and take a whiff.  It shouldn't smell really fish, and it certainly shouldn't smell like a rancid oil. Trick #2 - The Freeze Test - stick your fish oil in the freezer overnight...cut it open the next morning and see what happened to the oil.  If it is frozen, then you have a poor quality oil.  If it is still liquid (even if more viscous), then it is probably a pretty good form of the oil. Trick #3 - Burrrpppp - Excuse you!  If your Fish Oil is making you burp a bunch, then it might be nasty.  If you still have your gall bladder,and you're getting those fish burps, then you either have a poor quality oil, or you have sluggish digestion (likely slow bile from liver/gallbladder).   So, quality really does matter.  Then what brands of fish oil do I recommend?  Metagenics, Designs for Health, Standard Process, Pharmax, or Nordic Naturals (the Pro line).  These companies follow quality manufacturing guidelines and can be trusted for purity and potency.  Remember, patients of Dr. Noah Edvalson can purchase supplements through our website on the Supplement Order page.  

Choosing Nutritional Supplements - Quality Matters

Not all Nutritional Supplements are Created Equally

Are you wasting money on cheap supplements that won't improve your health?  As I always say, "the most expensive supplement is the one that doesn't work". The most daunting task before any health-conscious individual is deciphering the media hype, advertising bombardment, and conflicting recommendations made by healthcare providers about nutritional supplementation.  Do you feel comfortable in selecting the right supplement for your current condition? Do you know what else is in the pill, what dosage to take, and which form is most effective?

To make it through this maze of information, and to get the expected results, it is essential for you to have a trained and qualified advocate to guide you through it. Despite a struggling economy, one industry that continues to grow is the nutritional supplement market.  Not only have large retail stores tapped into the market by starting to dedicate large sections in their aisles to supplements, but we are now seeing complete enterprises built around this product trend.  With increasing consumer frustrations and skyrocketing costs in our current model of healthcare, more and more people are taking their health into their own hands. 

This paradigm shift puts more focus on diet modification, exercise, and nutritional supplementation. This strategy can prove to be very effective for disease prevention, but doesn't come without risks and pitfalls. Keep in mind that even though some supplements can have a profound therapeutic effect, they should still be seen as just that - a supplement. The foundation of your health should be built upon regular exercise and a quality diet that is right for your body type. The media would have you believe that some vitamins are a cure-all, or that only their proprietary blend could possibly be effective for relieving your symptoms.

If you have ever tried self treatment with supplements and been disappointed, it is very likely that you weren't using a quality product at the right dosage.  When you get a prescription from your medical doctor for an infection, you take the antibiotics on a very strict regimen, but do you ever grant your supplements the same respect?  Do your supplements deserve that respect?  Where you turn for advice on this subject is of vital importance.  You owe it to yourself to find a trusted source you can turn to with all of your questions about supplementation.  This source should not be an unqualified clerk at your local big box store, but rather an adequately trained healthcare professional.

Even among healthcare practitioners, there can be a wide range of opinions. Part of the reason for this is the lack of training required to give nutritional advice - think big box store clerk here.  You might also be surprised to find out that most MD's and DO's receive little to no formal nutritional training in medical school, but rather have their focus on prescription drugs as a treatment for disease.  You should not hesitate to ask your health care professional what kind of training they've had specific to diet and nutritional supplementation, as this will clearly affect how they respond to your questions on this topic.  Some providers may be very opinionated or defensive in order to discourage questions on a topic where they lack knowledge. So, which healthcare providers are likely to have substantial training in nutrition?  Naturopathic Doctors, Doctors of Chiropractic, Dietitians, and Nutritionists would be a good place to start your search.  These professions typically have multiple classes about nutrition, and focus on the use of diet modification and supplements for the treatment of various conditions. 

Regardless of what the individual learned in their core program, there are many informative seminars and certification programs now available on the topics of nutrition.  Ask your trusted source how they received their training. Another advantage of working with a healthcare provider trained in nutrition is the quality of products they utilize. There is a big difference between nutraceutical grade supplements (found only through licensed healthcare practitioners) and those found at retail stores.  Part of the reason for this discrepancy is the lack of regulations within the supplement industry. To distinguish themselves as professional grade, some companies have imposed strict regulations upon themselves. These steps for quality control ensure better products.

Here are several key advantages of a quality supplement company: - test for toxic metal contaminants like mercury and lead - use only the most absorbable forms of minerals - meet the latest FDA Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) guidelines - use therapeutic ratios and dosages - don't allow any potential allergens such as wheat, soy, corn, nuts, and dairy - is based on scientific evidence - use vegetable-based capsules and fillers   Here are some key things to look for in your supplements: - GMP certified label - avoid FD&C color additives - avoid any Stearate lubricants (decrease absorption) - avoid lactose or other allergens - avoid plasticizers like propylene glycol - avoid synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals - avoid animal-based gelatin capsules - dissolve easily in diluted acid (try diluted vinegar)   A wonderful resource for comparing the various supplement brands is www.consumerlab.com.  They conduct tests on various supplements to verify ingredients, preservatives, and check for contaminants. The results from some of their tests are startling, as they have found many retail supplements that don't contain any of the nutrients they claim.

If you are seeking optimal health by adding nutritional supplements to your lifestyle, you will save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration if you find yourself a qualified healthcare practitioner to guide you on your journey. Utilizing the right supplement to support the function of your body's physiology can have a profound effect on your health, while spending money on cheap imitators will only lead to frustration and disbelief in natural solutions to health issues.

Choosing Your Nutritional Supplements

Not all Nutritional Supplements are Created Equally

Are you wasting money on cheap supplements that won't improve your health?

Nutrition

The most daunting task before any health-conscious individual is deciphering the media hype, advertising bombardment, and conflicting recommendations made by healthcare providers about nutritional supplementation. Do you feel comfortable in selecting the right supplement for your current condition? Do you know what else is in the pill, what dosage to take, and which form is most effective? To make it through this maze of information, and to get the expected results, it is essential for you to have a trained and qualified advocate to guide you through it.

Despite a struggling economy, one industry that continues to grow is the nutritional supplement market. Not only have large retail stores tapped into the market by starting to dedicate large sections in their aisles to supplements, but we are now seeing complete enterprises built around this product trend. With increasing consumer frustrations and skyrocketing costs in our current model of healthcare, more and more people are taking their health into their own hands. This paradigm shift puts more focus on diet modification, exercise, and nutritional supplementation. This strategy can prove to be very effective for disease prevention, but doesn't come without risks and pitfalls.

Keep in mind that even though some supplements can have a profound therapeutic effect, they should still be seen as just that - a supplement. The foundation of your health should be built upon regular exercise and a quality diet that is right for your body type.

The media would have you believe that some vitamins are a cure-all, or that only their proprietary blend could possibly be effective for relieving your symptoms. If you have ever tried self treatment with supplements and been disappointed, it is very likely that you weren't using a quality product at the right dosage. When you get a prescription from your medical doctor for an infection, you take the antibiotics on a very strict regimen, but do you ever grant your supplements the same respect? Do your supplements deserve that respect? Where you turn for advice on this subject is of vital importance. You owe it to yourself to find a trusted source you can turn to with all of your questions about supplementation. This source should not be an unqualified clerk at your local big box store, but rather an adequately trained healthcare professional.

Even among healthcare practitioners, there can be a wide range of opinions. Part of the reason for this is the lack of training required to give nutritional advice - think big box store clerk here. You might also be surprised to find out that most MD's and DO's receive little to no formal nutritional training in medical school, but rather have their focus on prescription drugs as a treatment for disease. You should not hesitate to ask your health care professional what kind of training they've had specific to diet and nutritional supplementation, as this will clearly affect how they respond to your questions on this topic. Some providers may be very opinionated or defensive in order to discourage questions on a topic where they lack knowledge.

So, which healthcare providers are likely to have substantial training in nutrition? Naturopathic Doctors, Doctors of Chiropractic, Dietitians, and Nutritionists would be a good place to start your search. These professions typically have multiple classes about nutrition, and focus on the use of diet modification and supplements for the treatment of various conditions. Regardless of what the individual learned in their core program, there are many informative seminars and certification programs now available on the topics of nutrition. Ask your trusted source how they received their training.

Another advantage of working with a healthcare provider trained in nutrition is the quality of products they utilize. There is a big difference between nutraceutical grade supplements (found only through licensed healthcare practitioners) and those found at retail stores. Part of the reason for this discrepancy is the lack of regulations within the supplement industry. To distinguish themselves as professional grade, some companies have imposed strict regulations upon themselves. These steps for quality control ensure better products.

Here are several key advantages of a quality supplement company:

- test for toxic metal contaminants like mercury and lead

- use only the most absorbable forms of minerals

- meet the latest FDA Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) guidelines

- use therapeutic ratios and dosages

- don't allow any potential allergens such as wheat, soy, corn, nuts, and dairy

- is based on scientific evidence

- use vegetable-based capsules and fillers

Here are some key things to look for in your supplements:

- GMP certified label

- avoid FD&C color additives

- avoid any Stearate lubricants (decrease absorption)

- avoid lactose or other allergens

- avoid plasticizers like propylene glycol

- avoid synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals

- avoid animal-based gelatin capsules

- dissolve easily in diluted acid (try diluted vinegar)

A wonderful resource for comparing the various supplement brands is www.consumerlab.com. They conduct tests on various supplements to verify ingredients, preservatives, and check for contaminants. The results from some of their tests are startling, as they have found many retail supplements that don't contain any of the nutrients they claim.

If you are seeking optimal health by adding nutritional supplements to your lifestyle, you will save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration if you find yourself a qualified healthcare practitioner to guide you on your journey. Utilizing the right supplement to support the function of your body's physiology can have a profound effect on your health, while spending money on cheap imitators will only lead to frustration and disbelief in natural solutions to health issues.

GMO Foods linked to sterility, infant mortality, more...

Ever since first learning about the widespread harm inflicted by Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), I have always tried to keep an eye on the lawsuits and allegations against Monsanto - an enormous corporation responsible for many shameful products including:  Agent Orange, Aspartame, DDT, PCB's, RoundUp, rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, aka rBST), and more.  To give you an idea of the history of this company, just start typing "Monsanto" into Google and you will get a list of negative correlations.   You can also read the Monsanto article in Wikipedia about this company, or read about how the stricken country of Haiti revolted when they heard Monsanto was going to dump free hybrid seed to them after the devastating earthquake (sounds charitable, doesn't it?).   That is just background info, but the real point of this post is to share with you the recent findings of Russian scientists that should really affect how you vote with your grocery dollars. The results were to be expected, but provide us even further motivation and evidence for avoiding genetically modified foods whenever possible.  The experiment involved giving different groups of hamsters a GM and a non-GM diet.  The group given the genetically modified soy diet developed serious side effects in just 1-2 generations.  Results included hair growth inside the mouth, sterility, and an infant death rate FIVE TIMES that of the non-GMO rate.  To read the full article, please visit the Huffington Post site. This is a real slap in the face to all those claiming that organic food is over-hyped.  The real problem with organic food is that it is UNDER-regulated, leading to a lot of imitators and rule breakers. So, what can you do?  Don't try to be drastic and do a 180 degree lifestyle change overnight, but you can certainly start to make some serious changes in your shopping to see some serious improvements in your health.  A great place to start is by picking up a free guide on "How to shop for non-GMO foods" at your next appointment at Boise Integrated Chiropractic with Doc Noah.