The Trouble with Supplement & Nutrition Advice

The Trouble with Supplement & Nutrition Advice

Spring is right around the corner. This is the time of year where people often are reigniting those New Year’s resolution to get healthy. Often with health programs, people start to ask questions about supplements and nutritional support.

In my practice, I see a lot of people struggling with where to turn for this type of advice. There’s a ton of information out there coming from a variety of sources. Websites, blog posts, Facebook, online webinars, independent brand representatives, healthcare practitioners, friends, family and support groups are among the leading resources.

Many see the most obvious choice would be their primary care physician. Unfortunately, I’ve also talked to some patients frustrated with the limited time available for their doctor to speak on the subject. This forces them to go elsewhere for answers.

Where should you turn for nutritional and supplement advice?

In the state of New York, there are few guidelines concerning who can recommend supplements. Unfortunately, in the United States, a lot of training related to nutritional supplements is vendor-driven. When the driving force behind such training is for the sale of a particular product, the person selling it may simply be restating manufacture claims. This means they may be unwittingly offering a solution that doesn’t truly address your needs or worse, one that exacerbates your condition.

It can be particularly difficult to discern which resources are credible and which are biased. Consequently, I see situations like the following often:

A patient comes in having heard specific advice from a friend selling X Brand of supplements. Though the friend’s heart and desire to help others may be in the right place, often the friend giving the advice has been trained only by the brand they represent and has little, if any, unbiased training in nutrition.

A patient attends an online webinar where a person has created a program that is safe and effective for everyone. It’s an expensive program, but if you sign up after the webinar, you can get it at a discount.

A patient headed over to a local chain retail outlet and talked with a brand representative that was in the store who mentioned the brand’s significant benefits compared to the others in the store.

Looking to avoid biased advice?

Whenever you are seeking guidance on nutritional supplements, look for practitioners that have some type of training that goes beyond vendor-driven initiatives. Along with nutritionists and dietitians, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and functional medicine doctors are three such disciplines where practitioners have access to a variety of training in nutrition.

Working with a trained healthcare professional often results in a more simplified, streamlined program to target one’s particular needs.

Are you looking for help sifting through the mountains of information on supplements or nutrition? At Ronald Pratt Acupuncture, your overall well-being is my top priority. Nutrition has always been an integral part of my practice, as well as my education. I would be happy to help you weed through the misinformation and identify diet and supplement choices that are right for you and your unique lifestyle and wellness goals.