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Keep quality in mind this new year, especially with supplements

December 30, 2018
If you have any medical conditions or are on medications, be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new supplements.

As the New Year arrives, many of us choose a health-based resolution in the hopes of making a lifelong change for the better.

Of course, I support any resolution that challenges anyone to making healthier choices, but unfortunately, a resolution can lead many to lose sight of quality when choosing one of many health or diet complementing supplements.

It is easy to get caught up in the hype of a new miracle supplement touted by celebrities, books and magazines and even easier if you don’t know what to be cautious of.

Firstly, keep in mind that even if someone suggesting a certain supplement is a famous medical professional, he or she isn’t your doctor.

If you have any medical conditions or are on medications, be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new supplements. Most high-quality supplements have a long history of safe use, but certain supplements can interact with certain medications.

While doctors might not be as familiar with supplements as they are medicines, resources are available for them to look up possible interactions, and most doctors are happy to do some research for you if asked.

Don’t let quality slip. You can find vitamin and herbal products

just about anywhere these days, but since there are few regulations on dietary supplements, be sure to skip the mass market store and buy your supplements from a trusted health food store. Health food stores are much more likely to carry supplements that have been thoroughly tested for quality and potency. They are usually somewhat more expensive than grocery and drug store brands, but the price usually includes the cost of this quality testing and higher quality ingredients. Many of these high-quality brands will only sell their supplements to health food stores.

Remember that starting a new supplement isn’t all of the work. Generally, supplements will work best when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Resolve to start a daily meditation practice, join a gym or take a class at the local yoga studio, pick a diet that is full of nutritious foods and get on a consistent schedule with your supplements. Be patient with these new lifestyle changes, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake along the line. It might take longer than you thought, but stick with it, slow and steady changes always last the longest anyway.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 14 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh@gmail.com.

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