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Monday, Aug. 1, 2016



Balance is imperative

Vitamin supplements flood commercials, grocery and health food stores. Is there a thing as too many vitamins? How does one balance supplements and diet?

Registered dietitian Amanda Bowman of Medical Nutrition Therapy Specialists, LLC, said the Food First philosophy is key when thinking about vitamins.

“Our diets play a huge role in making sure we get what we need, and you always want to utilize the Food First approach. It is how our bodies are designed. We get things through food that we haven’t even begun to understand yet, and that we can’t utilize properly from any pill, powder or magic potion,” Bowman said. She said a wellbalanced diet with a variety of foods helps us to intake vitamins our bodies need.

She also recommended using fresh, organic foods, which are typically packed with more vitamins than packaged, less-fresh versions.

Solely receiving vitamins via food may not be enough, though, depending on an individual’s biochemical individuality, Bowman said. Deficiencies may cause an individual to need oral vitamins.

“Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are much more common in the U.S. than we have been led to believe. For example, most of the chronic inflammatory disorders that are so often under or misdiagnosed all originate at broken metabolic processes health-care professional, like a registered in relation to how we break down dietitian, when considering supplements. and utilization vitamins, minerals and Beware of so-called health experts, she phytonutrients,” Bowman said. said. For example, registered dietitians She said that metabolic issues can arise for a variety of reasons, including physical stress, mental stress and genetics. Something as simple as lack of sleep can cause issues with metabolic pathways.

“In order to correct them and stop the impending disaster, we need to completely re-evaluate our are licensed and credentialed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Though many RDs might identify as a nutritionist, the sole term “nutritionist” does not always mean a professional is credentialed. RDs must meet strict requirements to obtain and keep lives and take the steps necessary their license. to stop the looming disasters from “Because of the dangers, I don’t occurring, and that requires assistance recommend anyone try to utilize from adequately trained professionals,” supplements without working with a Bowman said, stressing that overall trained functional nutrition dietitian health does not solely come from eating right or exercising. It’s a whole mind and body venture.

Though vitamins and supplements do or certified sports and cardiovascular nutrition dietitian, other than for a general multivitamin supplement if they have no other health issues. And even then, make not require a prescription, Bowman said it’s important to work with a licensed sure it is verified by an outside third party [like the USP, NSF, CL, Informed Choice, or BSCG] for strict quality and purity standards,” she said.

The supplement industry is not regulated in the same way as the drug industry. While Bowman worked with the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense supplement safety committees, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency randomly tested 10 commonly-used protein powders. Eight of those powders contained heavy metals.

What you take or don’t take vitamins with can also have an effect. Bowman recommends taking multivitamins with food but said that iron is best taken with a form of vitamin C like orange juice on an empty stomach. Iron can also cause constipation, so users should be careful with this supplement. In the world of supplements, balance is imperative.

“More is definitely not better when it comes to supplements. Water-soluble vitamins and minerals will be excreted in the urine – you can generally tell by the neon color – but this does not mean that you are absorbing and utilizing everything correctly.

You flush what you don’t need,” she said.

Bowman will begin a six-month series of public workshops at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 13 at Cohab, where she will cover topics like this and others. More information on the series, named “Untying the Knot,” will be posted to the MNT Specialists Facebook page.

“Supplements have their place but should only be used when necessary and under the care of an absolutely trained health-care professional,” Bowman said.


1. Is it third party–certified or verified?

2. Does it have five ingredients or less?

3. No ingredients listed as blends, proprietary blends or delivery systems on the label.

4. You can pronounce the names of all the ingredients on the label.

5. No more than 200 mg of caffeine per day.

6. No promise of a quick fix.

7. All ingredients with daily value established and daily value nutrients no more than 200 percent (exceptions: fish oil and glucosamine).


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