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Navigate the Supplement Aisle_Final

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>> Hi, and welcome back. Have you ever found yourself wandering up and down the supplement aisle at a pharmacy or health food store, staring blankly at the rows of bottles and not knowing where to start or which brand to buy? Are you unsure of what to say when clients ask about supplements? If you've ever been in either of these scenarios, you're not alone. We're here to help you make sense of it all. In this lecture, we'll cover tips and tools to help you and your clients navigate the often confusing supplement industry. We'll provide you with some general information about supplements that you can explain to your clients. Let's start by tackling the most common question that comes up about supplements. Are they regulated? The short answer is sort of. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration or FDA, oversees the supplement industry, but it's up to the manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements to evaluate the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the FDA requirements. The FDA is responsible for taking action against any adulterated and misbranded dietary supplement after it reaches the market. But by then, damage may have already been done. As you can imagine the FDA has a lot on its plate and the supplement industry is a massive market. The FDA stipulates that supplements can only contain ingredients that are considered safe. And any supplement that enters the market must be what it says it is on the packaging. So what is safe? This is where it gets tricky. Supplements are a self-regulated industry. The FDA states that it's up to the manufacturer to ensure that the products it manufactures or distributes are safe, any claims made about the products are not false, or misleading, and the products comply with the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations in all other aspects. The FDA does also require that supplements be manufactured in a facility that follows good manufacturing practices or is GMP certified. GMP certifications are in place to maintain that supplements are honest in their ingredients, strength, and purity. So the FDA sets the standards, but from there, it's largely an honor system to get a product on the market. The FDA doesn't test or approve supplements without reason to, but they'll send out warnings to companies if they have reason to believe they aren't complying with these guidelines after a product is on the market. What all this means for your clients is that it's very confusing to choose a good supplement even for the most savvy buyer. Having you in their corner with an excellent understanding of choices and options that are available will make a big difference for them once their healthcare provider has given them a green light to take a supplement. Looking for a supplement can be overwhelming, between the options that exist online from practitioners and in health food stores and pharmacies. How can you pick up the slack to determine safety and quality where the FDA and a self-regulated industry can't keep up? There are few important factors to consider. One is sourcing. You want to buy from brands that are clear about where their ingredients come from. Two, additives and fillers. As a general rule, you want to avoid any additional ingredients that are unnecessary or will add more toxins. Three, testing. Sometimes testing can be found on websites by third-party certifications or through transparent marketing. However, it's generally best to stick to trusted brands. And four, efficacy. Are the supplements effective and are they in an absorbable form? This includes whether a vitamin needs other nutrients in order to be effectively utilized by the body. And five, research. Does the company provide clinical and general studies? Do they have a team of scientists or doctors? Let's consider each of these factors in further detail. One, sourcing is a huge sales point for many supplement brands, as with food, where ingredients come from is very important. Unfortunately, it can be easy to be swayed by an inauthentic marketing. Organic is important, but maybe even more important is knowing if the supplement contains any contaminants or adulterants. For example, MegaFood, which is a whole food supplement brand test their soil and final product for heavy metals and contaminants. Trusted brands have built a reputation over time. Always check to see if a brand is transparent about their sourcing. It can be helpful to read between the lines and understand what's most important to a particular brand, then you can decide if you share the same values. As you're drawing conclusions keep in mind that testimonials aren't always accurate or authentic. It's better to speak with someone who has had many years of experience seeing patients who take various supplements, like your doctor. You may have seen a new catchy term called "Seed to Shelf" that companies use to tell that they have their own farms and oversee every part of the process. This can be very expensive, but keep in mind that the cheap stuff can be full of things you don't want like pathogens, heavy metals, and overall, low quality ingredients. Number two, additives and fillers. The best supplements use the least amount of fillers. There are many reasons that companies use fillers, flavorings, colorings, and preservatives. They are trying to make production easier and faster, make the pills easier to swallow and help them be more shelf-stable and make them more appealing to their eye, nose, and palate. That being said, less fillers means the safer, more bio-available supplement. Many artificial colorings and flavorings can cause reactions for individuals who are sensitive to them. So it's really important to check labels to see if either artificial color or artificial flavor is on there. Testing can be hard to navigate. However, there are third-party certifications that can be helpful. Two seals of approval that deal with identity, potency, safety, and adulteration of supplements, or USP verified, and NSF International. These certifications confirm that what's on the label is what's in the product and that there are no contaminants. However, be aware that these don't account for GMO use or efficacy. And keep in mind that a supplement company must pay to have their product tested and certified. Again, these are usually for potency and verification of ingredients, not efficacy. When researching a supplement brand, check to see what testing they've done. Heavy metal testing, aflatoxins, chemicals, these can all be helpful clues in finding the product that's right for you. Four, efficacy. Is the supplement absorbable and usable? By now we've all seen it from gummy vitamins to extracts and capsules, to probiotics for the coating that helps the bacteria resist stomach acid, but what does it all mean. How do we know if a product really works and if your body can absorb it? Are you paying for a quality product or an expensive urine? When a company touts to have special technology or features to prove absorbability, the best approach is still to enquire about results from your practitioner. There are many variables in any given study, each of which can change the way the results are interpreted. And so all of these details must be placed in contacts. Ultimately, a testament to efficacy is hearing about how real consumers respond to the product from a trusted source or expert. Also keep in mind that third-party certifications we just mentioned, don't account for efficacy. Some cheaper brands have logos for certification signifying that their labels are accurate and their dosage is safe, but those labels don't have any way of assessing efficacy. If a supplement is synthetic and can't be absorbed, then it isn't effective. Bio-individuality also comes into play when talking about efficacy. If someone takes a supplement that isn't right for them, it won't be very effective. Sometimes the sales channel of a product itself can provide a sort of third party testing of efficacy. For example, if doctors distribute a product, they can directly see how impactful it can be or not. This is why many practitioner brands sold through practitioners themselves, seemed to hold a higher standard than consumer brands that are sold on shelves. Just be sure to do some research and who is manufacturing them. Five, research. The scientific rigor of a company can be important. How much did they invest in research and development, and who is on their team are factors worth considering? Some companies work with doctors or chiropractors, or herbalists. These experts can have tremendous value when it comes to formulation since they work with patients daily and can see the results unfold. You may also want to consider products that are doctor-recommended. This doesn't ensure quality standards, but you can research that doctor and see if your values align with theirs. However, something to keep in mind when it comes to research of supplements is that anything found in nature can't be patented like a drug. Therefore, if you do a study on your product, someone else can come along and make and sell the exact same thing. This doesn't make research on supplements very cost-effective. For this reason, some companies choose not to invest too much in research. Another thing to consider that there can be various studies and claims made about the same ingredients. For example, product X may contain turmeric, which has been shown to decrease inflammation, product Y may have the same amount of turmeric, yet it doesn't produce the same effect. This exemplifies how can founding factors complicate many studies since nothing operates in isolation. It could be the combination of turmeric and some other ingredient in product X, that's producing the degree of the effect that's being claimed. Most products have more than one ingredient and their synergistic effect may not be measured. Some companies will take the extra step to conduct testing relevant to their product combination and the amount of ingredients in their product. This kind of testing yields valuable information. Remember, just because a supplement contains an ingredient doesn't mean that ingredient exists in an appropriate amounts. Very few supplements pursue this level of testing and those that do are mostly higher dosage and sold through practitioners. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that those that aren't rigorously tested aren't good. A single ingredient or a time-tested formula can be effective as well. As the quality of testing increases, so does the cost. And every business has to weigh the cost-benefit ratio. For some, a simple study of their product may be enough for their needs. And remember, supplements aren't drugs. They've been used over time and generally regarded safe if used appropriately. So some companies may decide it's not worth it to do extensive testing. Now that we've discussed the five factors to consider when looking for a quality supplement, sourcing, additives and fillers, testing, efficacy, and research, let's talk about how to support your clients with this information. Remember, it's not your job to recommend or dose, but you can educate. Here are the few pointers. Get to know your nearby health food stores and their employees who are most knowledgeable in supplements. Two, form good relationships with local doctors and healthcare practitioners. Three, understand what to look for in an expert or a trusted source. And four, become a behaviourist. Help your clients incorporate the protocols provided by their practitioners into their routine. Ask if they need help staying on top of things. There are many benefits to working hand-in-hand with other practitioners. You can direct clients to them for resources. Functional medicine doctors can be especially great to partner with, or for clients interested in Eastern medicine, get to know some practitioners of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. Additional practitioners are additional sources of support for your clients. Each has an important role to play. When it comes to supplements, medical professionals can test nutrient levels and conduct lab work to determine deficiencies. It's also good to encourage your clients to have regular checkups with their doctors and blood work to make sure that any supplements they're taking are having a positive effect. You can also help your clients to advocate for their health by making sure they're asking their doctors about dosage and any contraindications with medications and test levels. Remember, most doctors are very busy and it's easy for bits of information to get passed over. When you're looking for knowledgeable sources about supplements, stay away from those who tout instant remedies or cure-all solutions. Overnight cure-alls are not valid. Encourage your clients to be smart consumers and practice being a smart consumer yourself. This means learning how to do your own research and developing a critical eye. With experience, this gets easier over time. You want to empower your clients to make decisions. This is a reminder that you don't have to be the expert. Some clients want a first step, but ultimately they want to feel empowered to make their own choices. Remember, as a Health Coach, your job is to support clients with food and lifestyle. The first step of a healthy lifestyle is to look at how well your clients are being nourished by what they eat and what they're doing in their lives. Whole foods, water, exercise, and social interaction are all essential nutrients. Before encouraging your clients to spend money on supplements, encourage them to join a gym or a new hobby group. These practices can do wonders for health and wellbeing. To recap, supplements are largely self-regulated. When it comes to choosing a supplement brand, look for trusted companies that are transparent about their sources, have been tested for contaminants, are free of dangerous additives and fillers, are effective, and have research that's specific to their product or its ingredients. You can convey this information to your clients to help become informed consumers. Also, when you're speaking to your clients about supplements, it's helpful to be able to direct them to a trusted source. This can include both medical practitioners and health food store educators. Help your clients stay accountable to their regimens by tracking all of their supplements and informing their primary care physician of everything they've been taking to protect against potential interactions. Lastly, you can help clients incorporate suggestions from their practitioners into their daily routine. Compliance is the hardest part of any protocol. Do you feel more comfortable now about navigating the supplement aisle and talking to your clients about this topic? Share what you've learned in the Facebook group and be sure to let us know if you have any questions. See you soon.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 55 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Mar 29, 2018

Navigate the Supplement Aisle_Final

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