Guest Blog by: Vitality MediSpa and Medical Clinic
How do you choose your vitamins?
From unknown manufacturing processes to mystifying ingredients, trumped up labeling claims, and sponsored research studies, there are few topics quite as confusing as vitamin and mineral supplementation.
Yet most Americans purchase vitamins and supplements one of two ways: either buying them in bulk at a local discount warehouse, or choosing the one with the best-sounding label off the pharmacy shelf. Neither of these methods is an optimum solution for many reasons, but mostly because every human body is not created equal.
The same is true of vitamin equality—some brands don’t have the right combination of vitamins and nutrients (did you know that some nutrients can cancel out the effectiveness of others when taken together?). Other brands contain fillers, woefully inadequate levels, or non-certified ingredients that aren’t effective no matter how high their dose is.
Inadequate intake or subtle deficiencies in several vitamins are risk factors for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.” — The Journal of the American Medical Association
Put simply, taking vitamins and supplements while being “in the dark” about what your body needs is dangerous—causing imbalances, pro-oxidant effects and actually inducing deficiencies in other nutrients as a side effect. Add in some of the recently published reports about the “dangers of vitamins,” and you might think it’s better to avoid vitamins altogether…
Can vitamins really kill you?
Two recent supplementation studies sparked all sorts of “your vitamins may be killing you” headlines in mainstream media last month. Both studies implied that vitamins could be dangerous, yet what the media didn’t make clear is that both studies were based on blind versus targeted supplementation.
The first report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that vitamin E supplements increased the risk of prostate cancer by 17%.1 However critics quickly argued that the vitamin E study was flawed because only one of the eight naturally occurring forms of vitamin E was given, causing an imbalance in alpha vs. gamma tocopherols that ironically is linked to cancer 3,4 (a similar difference exists between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids).
The second report in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that the incidence of death increased in elderly women who took common supplements such as B vitamins and certain minerals.2 Critics of this study emphasize that actual nutrient levels were never tested; instead the data about pre-existing vitamin levels was estimated from questionnaires.
So how’s a body to know? Let your body tell you!
There is only one way to know exactly what your optimum vitamin supplementation needs are: a SpectraCell micronutrient test at Vitality Medical Clinic in Seattle.
This incredibly comprehensive blood test analyzes exactly what nutrients are getting inside your cells—not just floating around in the serum around your cells. A SpectraCell test directly measures the functional status of 33 nutrients and antioxidant capacity of T-cell lymphocytes—those cells with a comparatively longer lifespan relative to other cells.
The results? An in-depth 4-6 month picture of your body’s nutritional history from the inside out, along with a close indication of overall immune function—both of which enable the physicians at Vitality Medical Clinic to create a customized vitamin program designed specifically for your body’s nutritional needs.
And because Vitality’s vitamin programs prescribe only medical grade supplements (also known as “neutraceuticals”), you can be sure that you are finally giving your body exactly what it needs, in the most healthy form possible, with the greatest chance of preventing future health conditions.
Micronutrient testing is quite simply the only objective, scientific approach to vitamin and mineral supplementation.
1Klein EA ,Thompson IM Jr, Tangen CM et al. Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA 2011;306(14):1549-1556.
2Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack LJ et al. Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women: The Iowa Women’s Health Study. Arch Int Med 2011;171(18)1625-1633.
3Helzlsouer KJ, Huang HY, Alberg AJ et al. Association between alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, selenium, and subsequent prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000;92(24):2018-2023.
4Lippman SM, Klein EA, Goodman PJ, et al. Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA. 2009;301(1):39-51.