Supplement Savvy

Feeling overwhelmed by supplements lately? We hear you! It seems like every blog, friend, neighbor, health care provider, morning news show and celebrity touts the “next best thing” for wellness. The supplement industry is big business – upwards of $130 billion is spent on supplements annually up from $4 billion in 2004. This is expected to double in the next 10 years!

The increase in awareness of clean eating and overall wellness in our culture is wonderful and long overdue, but some companies are cashing in big on the expectation that most people won’t be looking into the quality or whether or not it is appropriate or safe for them — it’s about the quick fix.  We burn the candles at both ends – high stress, high intensity exercise or little exercise at all, poor sleep and inadequate nutrition and expect to have a pill improve our symptoms. “We know that miracles don’t come in bottles but when used appropriately, supplements can absolutely improve our client’s mental and physical well-being. We see it all of the time!” says Ashley Mannell, RD, NP & owner of Richmond Integrative Psychiatric and Nutrition Services.

At Richmond Integrative Psychiatric and Nutrition Services, “we are firm believers that adequate nutrition and good self-care are the primary building block of wellness,” says Courtney Harden, NP. “We use the phrase – ‘you can’t out-supplement a bad diet’ often with our clients.”  Supplements are not intended to substitute real food but rather to rebalance or recalibrate deficiencies that may be caused by various illnesses & the medications used to treat them, genetic predispositions and inadequate nutrition.”

We also believe in personalized supplement protocols. We often see new clients bringing in a bag of supplements to their initial visit, confused and frustrated as to why they were recommended to take them. While we have some favorites in the practice – magnesium, essential fatty acids and B vitamins to name a few – they are not appropriate for all of our clients at all times. At RIPNS, we use simple and advanced lab testing to determine your specific needs. “Routine blood work often misses major underlying nutrient issues, which is why we dig deeper in functional medicine” comments Amy Black, NP.

We recommend high quality supplement companies that have strict standards so we know what you are getting too. “While store-bought brand Vitamin D3 if often okay, you want to be careful where you are getting your fish oil from,” warns Yana Evans, nutrition coach and patient care coordinator “Poor quality fish oil is high in mercury which is problematic in itself!”

In short, the right supplements for the right reason at the right time can be very beneficial to our clients’ overall health and well-being. If you are interested in learning more about our functional medicine approach and personalized lifestyle program, please visit www.richmondfoodandmood.com or check us out on Facebook and Instagram!