Quality of Vitamins, Supplements Matters

Are You Taking the Right Supplements?

By: Peter Egan Jr

I had a discussion with an acquaintance recently who was questioning the legitimacy of vitamins and mineral supplements.

She described how she had been taking vitamins and nutritional supplements and had experienced no noticeable impact.

Vitamins are for real. However, like any other product, not all vitamins are manufactured to the same level of quality.

Comparative Guide to Nutritional SupplementsThere is a comparative guide that serves as a non-official clinical nutrition industry standard as a reference for the relative quality of several hundred of the world’s largest supplement manufacturers. The book is called Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, and it reports on objective scientific research involving the bioavailability and/or absorption rate of each known product from several hundred of the most widely distributed manufacturers of vitamins and nutritional supplements.

A low-quality supplement is poorly absorbed (if at all), and is a complete and total waste of money. According to the CGtNS Fourth Edition, this accounts for the overwhelming majority of products found in places such as grocery stores, pharmacies and even specialty nutrition shops. In the 4th Edition, there were only a handful of manufacturers of the hundreds evaluated whose products scored a 3-star (out of a possible 5) for the majority of their products. Very few had more than 1-in-5 or so meet the 3/5 mark, while the few that scored remarkably better than the rest were nearly 4, 4/5 and 5-star rated across-the-board, with their lowest scoring products almost always better-rated than the overwhelming majority of companies’ best-scoring product.

If you’re serious about optimal nutrition for preservation of good health, disease prevention or whatever other reason, it’s a book you should at least have a look at if not buy (I don’t know the author and have no financial interest in the book’s sales). The reason I’m suggesting it is because I find it to be a remarkably good resource for a topic about which I am passionate and about which I believe that the consequences for poor decision-making are significant enough to merit learning as much as possible.

I didn’t buy it. My mother, a nurse practitioner and clinical nutrition expert, gave it to me as a gift. I have read it more than any other book – fiction or non-fiction – in the time since she passed it along to me.

Point being, and the reason I mention all of this, is that the absence of noticeable results described by the acquaintance could very well be the byproduct of poorly produced supplements or supplements which were improperly stored post-manufacture, decreasing the effectiveness and potency of the products themselves.

The question everyone should be asking mightn’t be “are supplements for real?” Rather, the better question may well be: “am I taking the right supplements?”

My advice is that if you care enough about the bottom line, get the book or ask someone who has it how your brand stacks up against the rest.

I’m not going to plug any particular brand of supplements in this post, but I welcome anyone curious enough to pursue an answer to either get the book or email me and ask me how your brand compares. I’ll be happy to answer in good faith. However I want to be perfectly clear that the reason I am offering is so that nobody mistakes the intention of this post to be the promotion of a book I didn’t write, buy or in any way benefit from its success. On a similar token, I don’t benefit from the promotion of any supplement brand except for my mother’s, which did not exist at the time the book was published.

However, I care about my own health, and I myself take a plethora of vitamins, minerals and supplements. I only buy from those manufacturers whose products are rated 4-stars on-average at the very minimum (according to the CPNS 4th Edition), and I have noticed a monumental difference in terms of my own personal health and productivity in the time since I began regularly taking high-quality vitamins and supplements.

Vitamin D3 and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Vitamin D3 Supplements May Help Slow ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

According to one of several studies unveiled at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, mixed in between a pair of studies further confirming how Vitamin D helps delay the process of neurological decline associated with Alzheimer’s Disease was a potentially groundbreaking bit of research, the cognitive treasure of Chafic Karam, a fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Vitamin D3 and ALSKaram and associates authored a study entitled “Can Vitamin D Delay the Progression of ALS?” The study was conducted throughout the 2011 calendar year.

The study involved 37 patients, all of whom suffer from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). All 37 were examined for a nine month period leading up to the point at which the testing of the hypothesis began. Twenty of the ALS patients were administered 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day, while the other 17 were administered no vitamin D.

The patients were reexamined every three months. During the nine months leading up to the administration of what I can only presume were relatively well-made, top-shelf vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements, both groups showed similar progression in the ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R). However, upon the administration of the vitamin D supplements that began to change.ALS

At the three, six and nine month reexamination intervals, the group being administered the supplements showed slower rate of decline than the test group, which was being given no supplementation.

This suggests a possible relationship between down-the-road ALS treatment regimens and a possible role for vitamin D supplementation therein.

With the seemingly endless list of diseases and conditions which can be prevented or the symptoms of which lessened with regular sun exposure and/or vitamin D supplementation, it wouldn’t come as a major surprise if ALS is just the latest debilitating condition the name of which can be added to the aforementioned list. Or so we hope…

Source:  Karam C, Scelsa SN. Can Vitamin D Delay the Progression of ALS? Med Hypothesis. 2011;76(5):643-645

EGAN Wellness Center Supplements Now Available Online

Supplements Now Available Online

All of the high-quality dietary and nutritional supplements available at the EGAN Wellness Center and Med Spa can now be purchased conveniently online and delivered right to your home no matter where in the world that may be!

For years Nurse Practitioner Egan has identified the very best nutritional supplement manufacturers across the globe and offered a superior collection of the very best of the best at her clinic in Covington. Now, customers and patients no longer need to visit the clinic in person or even place an order by phone in order to purchase these supplements, many of which are available only through a physician.

Customers and patients can browse from the full catalog of health-enhancing supplements from the world’s premiere supplement manufacturers directly from Mrs. Egan’s website. Just visit PamelaEgan.com and click on the link entitled “Supplements” from the main navigation menu (see below).

EGAN Wellness Supplements

Pamela Egan Supplements

From the Supplements menu, simply choose your manufacturer from one of the world’s premiere supplement manufacturers. Just click the link for your preferred manufacturer, select your supplement(s), complete the simple and convenient online checkout and within 2-3 days your supplements will arrive right at your door.

Due to the large selection of products available, Designs for Health and Metagenics each have their own supplement shopping portal specific to their brand of supplements. All other supplement manufacturers’ products will be available through the EGAN Wellness Center & Med Spa’s Bonanza shopping booth. This includes but is not necessarily limited to Douglas Laboratories, Xymogen, Ortho Molecular Products, Newtropin, GHW Supplements, NuLiv Lifestyle and any others not listed here.

If you have a particular request or if the supplement you wish to purchase isn’t yet available through the EGAN Wellness shopping portal, please let us know and we’ll add it to the booth just for you.

Nutrition and Disease Prevention: Poor Nutrition linked to Chronic Disease

Nutrition and Disease Prevention

By: Pamela Egan, NP-C, CDE, ABAAHP, MN

Prioritizing life and health maintenance is essential to achieving health and longevity. Diet, exercise, stress reduction and the avoidance of toxins are all key elements of health.

To operate optimally, the body needs a number of different vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The 13 essential vitamins are divided into two groups, fat soluble and water soluble. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble and can be stored by the body. B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble – with the exception of vitamin B12 and they cannot be stored.

Medical foods represent an entirely different scientific and medical approach to managing health conditions. They are formulated with macro-and micro-nutrients that are recognized by scientific principles to support the dietary management of a disease or condition, and are to be administered under the supervision of a physician or license healthcare practitioner. Furthermore, they must be specially formulated and processed to provide nutritional support as part of an ongoing doctor-supervised dietary management program to treat a specific therapeutic or nutritional need. Medical foods contain nutrients in therapeutic amounts that typically cannot be acquired through normal dietary measures.

High quality nutrients are different that low quality nutrients such as those that you find inHigh-Quality Multivitamin, Mineral Supplement the drug store or over the counter.

Many of the negative vitamin studies reported throughout the course of the past decade were conducted using extremely low quality, drugstore and supermarket brand vitamins and nutritional supplements. Medical foods that are manufactured and packaged under GMP-certified conditions assure the highest quality and clinical reliability. Nutrisearch by Lyle MacWilliams is a good comparative guide to nutritional supplements or the lack thereof. The effectiveness of medical food programs have been evaluated in numerous clinical intervention and observational studies and published in well-known healthcare journals.

Medical whole food nutrients have been designed to support the management of a variety of chronic conditions including those associated with:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Atopic disorders

For questions or more information relating to this article, Ms. Egan can be reached at 985-892-3031 or www.pamelaegan.com.

Research Shows Those Who Take Vitamin, Nutritional Supplements Are Healthier

Vitamin, Mineral and Nutritional Supplements May Boost Health, According to Study

By: Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP Diplomat, CDE

Research indicates that taking a single, daily multivitamin is not adequate to ensure optimal health. What’s more, not taking taking nutritional supplements at all may actually be harmful to your health. This according to a new study consisting of hundreds of individuals that was conducted by a team of scientists from the University of California, Berkley, Out Lady of Mercy Medical Center in New York and the Shaklee Corporation of California.

The results showed that the more vitamins and nutritional supplements individual participants took, the healthier they were. Those who took the most nutritional supplements had better concentration of homocysteine, C-Reactive protein, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as lower risk of prevalent elevated blood pressure and diabetes. Supplement use showed that when a cell is nourished nutritionally by adequate levels in the blood serum, the optimal concentration reduced chronic disease that results from starvation of the cell.

It is significant to note that the supplement takers took more than just a daily multi-vitamin. They consumed a lot of tablets every day. More than half of them took, a B-Complex, vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin E, calcium with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, lecithin, alfalfa, co-enzyme Q10, reservatrol, glucosamine, and an herbal immune supplement. A majority of women consumed gamma linolenic acid, a probiotic, whereas men consumed additional saw palmetto, soy protein and zinc supplements.

According to the conclusion of the abstract:

This group of long-term multiple dietary supplement users consumed a broad array of vitamin/mineral,
herbal, and condition-specific dietary supplements on a daily basis. They were more likely to have optimal concentrations
of chronic disease-related biomarkers, and less likely to have suboptimal blood nutrient concentrations, elevated blood
pressure, and diabetes compared to non-users and multivitamin/mineral users.

The study was published in Nutrition Journal. The full text may be freely accessed at http://www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/1475-2891-6-30.pdf.

How to Indentify Quality Vitamin and Nutritional Supplements

Not All Supplements Are Created Equal

By: Pamela Egan, MN, NP, CDE, ABAAHP Diplomat

With regard to vitamins and the many various other nutirtional supplements, expert nutritionists have long stressed the importance of supplement quality in terms of both ingredients used to manufacture a given supplement as well as the manufacturing process used to make the supplement. While many health-conscious individuals by now have hear or read that ‘not all supplements are created equal’, for many such a statement is too vague to have any real meaning in terms of understanding which supplements are worth the investment, which are not and how to discern the difference between high-quality and low-quality nutritional supplements.

How is one supposed to know a “trash” vitamin from a “whole food nutrient?” Most of the nutritional supplements that are readily available to the average consumer both in America and abroad are low-grade chemicals stuffed with fillers that contain little-to-no nutritional value to humans when ingested orally (the standard method of ingestion). While the consumer may never know the difference, the overwhelming majority of the so-called “affordable” supplements found in drugstores and major retail chains (or most anywhere else typical health-conscious consumers shop for vitamins and supplements) are not adequete to ensure proper nutrition and avoid or reverse nutritional deficiencies.

“The word is out (that) it pays to take your vitamins”, said Lyle McWilliams, author of the highly esteemed Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. McWilliams is an author, educator, and biochemist. In his Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, McWilliams graded 1500 nutrients on absorption, bio-availability, lack of chemicals, dyes, fillers, and if the product is anti-allergenic.

The bottom-line according to McWilliams is that nutritional supplements should be manufactured to pharmaceutical-model GMP, rather than to the food-model GMP that most U.S. supplement manufacturers use. Compliance with pharmaceutical-model GMP gives consumers assurance that the supplements they consume meet stringent pharmaceutical standards for content, potency, and dissolution, and do not contain unwanted impurities.

Amazingly, the nutrients that most Americans have access to have virtually no nutritional value. Some of these include: Centrum, One-a-Day, Equate, Kroger, Members Mark, Nature Made, Puritan’s Pride, Rexall, Rite Aid, Walgreens.

The top-rated products offering the most nutritional value are medical grade and mainly found in clinicians’ offices. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t have access to these without a doctor’s referral. The top-rated supplement brands include Creating Wellness Alliance, Douglas Laboratives, Egan Wellness Clinic, TrueStar Health and USANA. Sadly, the overwhelming majority of people who actually do take supplements on a regular if not daily basis as a means of promoting good health have never even heard of any of the aforementioned brands which actually DO offer high-quality, readily absorbable and bioavailable nutrients.

The good news is that high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade nutritional products are becoming easier to obtain, and no longer require a doctor’s visit and subsequent referral just to get access to them. One place everyday health/nutrition-conscious consumers can find high-quality nutrients is the vitamins and nutritional supplements shop at the Egan Wellness Clinic. Egan carries only those brands considered to be of an elite level of quality as determined by the objective criteria set forth in McWilliams’ supplement guide.

When considering the countless numbers of people who waste big money on our hair and nails, justifying doing so by attempting to make up the difference by saving a few pennies buying cheap supplements from major retailers and even brand-name nutrition shops (where cheaply-made supplements cost a fortune but are substantively no better than the grocery store brands). From a wellness or preventative medicine standpoint, the notion that a person would think nothing of blowing a small fortune on vanity items and/or services while skimping on the quality of nutrients that person ultimately puts into his or her body as a means of promoting good health is beyond rational explanation and defies logic — at least when it involves a person who claims to care about his or her own health.

If your cells are starving to death nutritionally, they will age prematurely, hence disease sets in. When that happens, there will be little to show for all the money spent on looking good while feeling less-than-ideal.

To learn more about the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements and/or how to learn what to look for in discerning effective supplements versus those that are a waste of money, check out the official website of the Comparative Guide: http://www.comparativeguide.com/.