Supplements: To Take or Not to Take?

I have been helping people with their health issues for 30 years now and I believe I have learned a lot of things over those decades. I have learned we do not necessarily always know the truth. Medical opinions change with increased knowledge and better information.

I remember when we told everyone to quit eating eggs if you needed to lower your cholesterol. Well, now we have decided it is okay to eat some eggs in moderation. It used to be common practice to advise all women to take calcium. Now, not so much. Calcium probably will not hurt you, but it also probably does not help as much as we thought.

Medical advice and opinion tend to shift and change all of the time. There are some basic truths (at least, I think there are) that still make sense. For instance, if you have high blood pressure, you should do everything you can, including taking medication if necessary, to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. This will dramatically lower your risk of heart attack and/or stroke. Getting regular sleep is really good for your overall energy and mood. Regular exercise will increase your energy and enhance your life. Still true!

Supplements are very popular today. I personally take them and I think they are helpful. However, recently I was listening to a popular wellness radio show and the host was taking lots of supplements. He was recommending all sorts of stuff to help with weight loss, memory, fatigue, energy, skin, bloating, and a multitude of other common ailments.

I tried to calculate how much it would cost to take everything he was recommending as a must-have. NO ONE could afford to spend that kind of money! It was over a thousand dollars a month.

Again, I am not against supplements. I take them myself. But I think some common sense should be used in deciding which supplements to take. Part of the problem of deciding what to take is filtering through all the noise around supplements.

Many mainstream doctors avoid recommending supplements altogether. We have been trained to look for documentation of efficacy through double-blind studies. It is really hard to find long-term, double-blind studies when it comes to supplements. I know there are a few good studies, but they are often biased in their design.

Over the next few weeks, I will blog about my thoughts and recommendations on supplements. I will not quote any studies. These recommendations will be based off of my personal experience and my own research of available information (which changes frequently).

I hope you will find this information practical and informative.

Wishing You an Amazing Life,

Dr. Curtis Brown