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that happen to be well-sourced and considered safe but are not likely on par in terms of quality and bioavailability (potential level of nutrient absorption into the bloodstream) with some higher quality manufacturers.

Fact #6: The 'Oz Effect' Sows Consumer Confusion I like Dr. Mehmet Oz. He's a brilliant, well-intentioned man

and a true friend of integrative health. Through his significant television and web media platforms, he's educated millions of consumers on the profound power of lifestyle and behavioral change. But I do find something very troubling with Oz and several

other (i.e. Dr. Joseph Mercola) integrative-directed nutrition gurus with large followings: they seem to loudly recommend and tout the amazing healing effects of a new product or dietary supplement every single day. Consumers are constantly hearing "buy this", "take that"!

According to retailer reports, the 'Oz Effect' is huge, almost

Oprah-like, causing products to fly off shelves practically over- night. I believe this is a huge disservice to viewers of the Dr. Oz show. I'll tell you why. Drs. Oz and Mercola and scores of influ- ential dietary supplement manufacturers, physicians, media personalities and nutritionists, are causing an epidemic of ex- pensive urine! (Click to Tweet) Celebrity physician media endorsements foment massive

consumer confusion regarding dietary supplements. Again, people should get the bulk of their nutrition through food by eating a clean plant-strong diet featuring low glycemic intake, lean protein and plenty of hydration. By consuming a colorful rainbow of fruits and vegetables, one should get adequate amounts of disease fighting phytonutrients, vitamins and miner- als. However, most of us, try as we may, are incapable of meet- ing our optimal nutritional needs through food alone, bringing us to the next fact.

Fact #7: The future of Personalized Nutrition is Well-Placed

Quality Nutraceuticals Based on Actual Biological Need Some people do have specific nutritional deficiencies. Oth- ers are simply unable to absorb essential nutrients. Many can benefit from high quality supplementation ... IF they truly know what their bodies really need! Proper individual assessment is vital to maximizing the ef-

fectiveness of dietary supplementation. Simple blood tests can check vitamin and nutrient levels. Other nutritional lab work, often covered by insurance payers, can look at glycemic levels and myriad additional biomarkers such as inflammation and free radical (pro-oxidative stress) levels. In the hands of a qualified healthcare provider, i.e. naturo-

pathic doctor, integrative medicine physician or functional medicine physician, proper assessment of these biochemical markers can more accurately inform a range of dietary and supplement recommendations. All of this is tightly aimed at creating a biological milieu of properly balanced biomarkers and nutrient levels, thus genuinely making one less susceptible to a number of chronic diseases.

By repeating these labs at appropriate intervals and undergo-

ing a thorough symptom assessment from a qualified provider, supplementation recommendations can be adjusted and dosing

Natural Triad Magazine

titrated based on actual data instead of guesswork. This process forms the basis of naturopathic medicine and underpins functional medicine. Naturopathic, integrative and functional medicine focus on the causation of disease—the underlying deficits that cause so much chronic disease and the flurry of associated symptoms that typically drive patients to their doctors. Proper assessment removes the guesswork regarding dietary supplementation.

Fact #8: Natural Agents and Intellectual Property: The Reality. The natural ingredients contained in dietary supplements cannot be protected as intellectual property. If a formulator or manufacturer has a unique delivery system or attaches a distinc- tive group of agents to an already protected product or agent, intellectual property protection can be sought through the process of submitting a provisional and, later, a utility patent application.

Key Takeaways

• A balanced healthy diet should always provide the foundation of human nutrition. • Dietary supplements can be helpful, harmful or just a plain waste of money, depending on product quality, usage and actual need. • Before starting a dietary regimen that includes supplementa- tion, consumers are best served by seeking guidance from a trained integrative, functional or naturopathic doctor and un- dergoing a proper assessment to determine actual nutritional need. • Research designs originally created to test pharmaceutical agents in isolation are not always effective when studying the efficacy of dietary supplements. • There are quality manufacturers doing terrific work, fringe companies selling inferior and/or tainted products and large retail chains selling synthetically derived nutritional products with limited bioavailability. Consumers need to be made aware of these differences and encouraged to take a closer look at options.

Written by Glenn Sabin, who is a cancer survivor and the Direc- tor of FON Therapeutics, Inc. and Lise Alschuler, is a naturo- pathic doctor (Bastyr University) with board certification in na- turopathic oncology. Reprinted from with permission. exists in order to provide con- venient and open access to the biomedical research available today on the therapeutic value of natural substances in disease prevention and treatment.

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