But is it really better?

Let’s talk supplements. What is all the hype—a $200+ billion dollar industry, but why? People are wanting to take their health in their own hands. Less people want to take medication, they want to find other ways to fix their medical issues. I say, why not!

Now, let me be clear. I am a Doctor of Osteopathy. While having a high tolerance for alternative medicine approaches, there are many things that cannot be fixed without real medication involvement. I am sorry, essential oils will not cure cancer. Okay, whew I said—that felt good.

But my question is, why do you have to put stuff in pill form if it is natural? Why not just do it the natural way—i.e. dietary ingestion. For example, iron deficiency happens to many young women—hello, periods? You can take oral iron—have nausea, constipation, black stools—or you can just find your inner Popeye and eat spinach. Or how about calcium—chocolate milk (hey hey my runners) has 60% of your daily value in an 8oz volume.

When you take in supplements, they usually have some type of coating over them. Your body has to break that gel coating down, before the actual element you are trying to get in can even get there. But what if your body doesn’t break down that outer capsule where that absorption happens—wait, what? Let’s try that again. Calcium is absorbed in your stomach. Which means that capsule around that calcium has to dissolve and then be absorbed before the pill leaves the stomach. If it happens after it leaves the stomach, then you will just pee out the rest once the water is absorbed in your colon. Okay that was a lot. Long story short—just eat/drink your supplements. Otherwise, you will end up with VERY expensive urine.

Take home message, if you can find a natural way to make your ailments improved, have at it—just be careful. There are probably better/cheaper/safer ways to do it than with 30 bottles of supplements every day.

…until next time, #IrishDoc07

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