The average MD practicing in the US healthcare system has received a minimal amount of training on how to use nutrition and nutritional supplementation to aid in therapeutic programs with their patients. The current standard of care most often includes the recommendation of a pharmaceutical product to resolve patients’ symptoms.
Over the years, many MDs noticed that pharmaceuticals often addressed only the symptoms of a patient’s problem and did not resolve the root cause. Research and clinical practice have changed a great deal in the last century, and a new approach to the patient as a whole person has led many physicians to practice ‘integrative medicine’. These physicians, like myself, have acquired additional education in the use of food and dietary supplementation as a means to strengthen the body’s integrity so it may begin to heal. It is now becoming more common to augment traditional pharmaceutical use with nutrition. Nutrition and the use of herbal or food supplementation is another viable option available to help bring full resolution of health problems and for patients to recover their sense of wellbeing.
The Couri Center offers a number of options for patients to grow their understanding of how to improve and maintain health through the use of nutrition, and I frequently recommend the use of nutritional supplements to patients to increase the needed components in their diet. There are some basic nutritional deficiencies that have become more common in recent years, and the body many not have the tools to heal without additional support.
As a physician, my oath is to first ‘do no harm’, and with that commitment to my patients, we at the Couri Center research and evaluate the supplements that we recommend for two important reasons: the first is that we want what we recommend to support the best possible health outcomes, and the second is that we want what we recommend to be safe and with legitimate ingredients so that everything you receive from us has genuine value.
There are a number of reasons we carry therapeutic professional products at the office:
To ensure efficacy. The best supplements to support your health are those manufactured by a professional company that uses the highest quality ingredients, in the ideal forms for the body to absorb, to create pharmaceutical grade products.
As a service to patients. We maintain direct relationships with product manufacturers so you don’t have to, which saves you time and money.
Safety. We are able to evaluate the quality of products to make sure they are stable, well formulated, effective and tested – meeting FDA, GMP, NSF and WHO (World Health Organization) standards. All this ensures safety and purity for you and your family. We order direct from manufacturers so we know where the product came from and store it carefully to maintain integrity.
In the search for supplements, there are a few guidelines of what to look for and what to avoid.
Avoid purchasing supplements online – Third party resellers like Amazon or EBay do not guarantee the authenticity or quality of the products that are sold on their websites. Supplements and perishable items are more vulnerable to mishandling. There have been many instances among professional companies of complaints from patients about products purchased online, and they may turn out to be past expiration or counterfeit.
Avoid purchasing supplements at national chain retailers. In early 2014, GNC, Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens were formally investigated for having either counterfeit nutritional products in their stores or products on the shelf that did not meet the label claim in substantial, and in many cases, health-diminishing ways. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/news/20150203/retailers-fake-supplements
Avoid purchasing low cost supplements. Many low cost supplements are in forms the body cannot absorb, the dose is too low to be supportive, or there are additional ingredients that do not support health or can cause allergies. With high quality supplements, you will have better dosing and absorption without added fillers, so less is more. If you see an ad on the Internet for half price product, there is likely an issue with the product.
Purchase local from an authorized reseller. When purchasing from a local independent retailer you can avoid counterfeit products and improve your local economy. For every $100 you spend with independent businesses, $68 stays in your community.
Ask questions. Companies that manufacture pharmaceutical grade products test rigorously and participate in their own monitoring for FDA compliance and will be willing to show you the test results. Look for GMP, NSF, and non-GMO labeling and certifications on products.
At the Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women’s Health, we provide the best evidence based healthcare options to our patients and part of that commitment is to ensure that we do so with the utmost integrity.
To Your Health, Dr. Couri