As an orthomolecular/functional medicine practitioner, the three most common concerns I hear about is whether or not high-dose supplementation is necessary, effective, and safe. I want to take a moment to cover each of these concerns individually.
Some medical doctors say supplementation is not necessary.
If you ever come across a medical professional who tells you that you don’t need vitamin supplementation if you eat a balanced diet, you should run for the exit as fast as you can. These doctors, in my opinion, should not be treating patients.
Any doctor who says something like this has demonstrated their ignorance of research that has been done over the last more than four decades. It really blows my mind how these “medical professionals” can say that eating things like bleached bread, pesticide-induced foods, genetically-modified meats, allergy-producing dairy products, and simple carbohydrates that do nothing for you nutritionally is a safe and balanced diet.
I want to point out here that most doctors in today’s culture receive only 3 credit hours of nutritional education. That’s one class, one semester. While they can’t do anything about the curriculum, it is their responsibility to stay up to date with recent studies, especially in the areas of medicine they know very little about. They cannot possibly treat their patients completely with such limited and narrow-minded knowledge.
Sadly, nearly all of our foods are processed, which strips them of essential nutrients, or significantly depletes them at the very least. Nowadays, you would need to take in 5000 calories consistent mostly of fats to get even the minimum recommended dose of vitamin E, and you would need 12,000 calories a day just to get the minimum amount of chromium. The highly processed and toxic foods we take in has created a culture that is severely deficient in one or more essential nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C.
A good, quality multivitamin can combat this problem. Some people with chronic diseases will need additional supplements as well. A daily multivitamin has been shown over and over again to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration, dementia, and various forms of cancers.
So, again, if you have a doctor that is saying vitamin supplementation is not necessary, get as far away from them as you can.
Some have tried vitamins without much benefit
If you’ve been taking one multivitamin a day for years and haven’t noticed much difference in your declining health or energy, then you may not be taking enough. Every human body is uniquely different. While one person may need 1000 mg of vitamin C, another person would benefit more from taking 3000 mg of vitamin C instead.
Most name brand multivitamins like Centrum One-A-Day do not have nearly enough vitamin/mineral concentration in their product. Additionally, they are chock full of additives, fillers, and other chemicals that make them hard to digest. Our Essential Therapeutics formulas have at least fifty times the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of essential nutrients!
The current RDA system is completely outdated and has not taken into account the fact that the foods we eat and the environment we’ve created depletes our systems of these nutrients at significantly larger rates than when the system was first created many decades ago. Suggesting only current RDA’s of vitamins and minerals is putting you at great risk of developing disease.
These recommended allowances were created for people who wanted to avoid simple viruses and diseases, not for people looking to treat chronic symptoms and live at optimal health, which is what high-dose vitamins and minerals will offer. Current RDA’s aren’t adequate for 21st century lifestyles.
One hundred years ago, our ancestors did not have to worry about supplementation. This is because they ate fresh harvested food from mineral-rich soil that was free of chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, and genetic modifications. Foods weren’t loaded with preservatives and simple sugars, and the foods were not robbed of nutritional benefits.
Some say that extremely high doses of supplements can’t be safe.
A constant argument for high-dose supplementation is that it “may cause adverse reactions.” I’ll note here that the American Medical Association reported that the total number of deaths from vitamin and mineral therapy between 1983 and 1990 was zero.
However, deaths caused by medical errors and prescription drugs is the third leading cause of death in Americans, only behind heart disease and cancer. Over 250,000 Americans die every year as a result of medical therapies, with 113,000 of those being caused by prescription medications.
This is not to say that problems cannot occur while on high doses of vitamins and minerals, but if side effects arise, the therapy can be stopped immediately without adverse effects and this nearly always solves the problem. Most of the time, all that is needed is a dose adjustment. However, working with a specialist in this type of therapy will significantly reduce any slight chance of experiencing adverse reactions.
I have used high-dose supplementation for well over a decade and I have never once seen a patient experience a bad reaction. Instead, I see the opposite. I see my patients thrive and become healthier and stronger.
Drugs don’t make you healthy. They can be helpful. They can be life saving and sometimes are your only choice, but they don’t make you healthy. Functional medicine and my practice, focuses on finding and fixing causes, not merely covering up symptoms.
You can read or listen to some of my past success stories, patients who were able to reverse their fibromyalgia through using functional medicine and using the protocols I discuss on my Teleconferences and in my book Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-high doses, but the right doses and combinations of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids.