At the Utah Wellness Institute, we are often asked the questions, “Why do I need supplements?” and “What makes your supplements different than what I buy at the local big box store?”
We often hear the comment, “If my grandparents didn’t need supplements, then I don’t need them either.” Our grandparents lived in a different time where soils were rich in minerals and not over-cultivated, and where far fewer chemicals were encountered on a daily basis.
Pesticides, herbicides, and household cleaning chemicals can cause hormonal imbalances, and today’s mineral-depleted foods do not provide adequate repletion for our bodies.
At the Utah Wellness Institute, we spend significant time researching the many supplement suppliers, and we analyze every ingredient. We only provide supplements with ingredients derived from whole-food sources; this ensures optimal absorption by the body.
For example, there are organic and inorganic forms of iron. Organic iron is easily absorbed when obtained from whole-food sources like beef and spinach. Inorganic iron, in the form of a metal, would never be absorbed by the body and can cause constipation and gut issues.
Many supplements at local stores are derived from inorganic substances which, rather than helping provide nutrients for your body, may actually harm it instead.
A common patient complaint stems from the lack of explanations on supplement bottles. The ingredients are listed, but what is it for? Why do I need this specific supplement? To help address those questions, listed below are our most commonly purchased supplements with explanations.
1. Catalyn and Gluten-Free Catalyn: If we chose just one supplement for our patients, this would be it. A whole-food multiple vitamin, mineral, and enzyme supplement. “Whole food” is the key – nearly all other vitamin supplements on the market have synthetic ingredients not recognized by the body. Catalyn is all natural – nothing synthetic.
2. Vitamin D3: Actually a hormone, not a vitamin. An immune system booster and mood enhancer. Good to take regularly, but especially during winter (less Vitamin D from the sun) and times of illness. Should always be taken with a meal that includes some fat.
3. Bio-Dent: Vitamins/minerals to strengthen teeth, help prevent cavities. Chew if possible.
4. EPA/DHA and Tuna Omega Oil: Fish oil concentrates with Omega-3 fatty acids. Promotes healthy metabolism, improved cardiovascular function, joint comfort, memory and skin health. Along with Catalyn, we recommend it be taken daily.
5. Iodoform: A natural form of iodine absorbed by the thyroid gland and supports the formation of thyroid hormones.
6. Iron Response and Ferrofood: Excellent source of whole-food and organic iron. Great for those with low ferritin levels (anemia) or those without a diet rich in iron. Most doctors prescribe inorganic iron called ferrous sulfate, which can cause stomach pain and constipation. We recommend only whole food sources of iron.
7. Evening Primrose Oil: EPO is one of the best working supplements for women’s hair loss or thinning. Reverses the effects of dihydrotestosterone which can cause hair loss. After about 3 months of taking two of these capsules, patients begin to see new hair growth. (Does not apply to men’s hair loss.)
8. Total Hormone Support: Likely our most popular supplement and is all about energy. Helps all your hormones work together more effectively leading to higher energy levels. It is a combination of hormone-enhancing herbs that help overcome fatigue, sleepiness, drowsiness, and lethargy.
9. DHEA: Naturally created by the body’s adrenal gland, this is a stress-handling hormone. Patients with low DHEA levels generally do not handle stress well. Helps regulate fat and mineral metabolism, endocrine and reproductive function, and energy levels.
10. HPA Adapt: The main rebuilder of the adrenal glands, it helps your body better handle stress. Strong adrenal function is critical for strong thyroid function, so anyone with low thyroid problems needs adrenal support.
11. Hyaluronic Acid: You may have heard of glucosamine sulfate (ground up chicken cartilage) and chondroitin sulfate (shark cartilage) being used to help joints. No study has shown these two supplements improve joint health. However, one supplement has many positive studies: hyaluronic acid, or “HA.” This is the one supplement we recommend that, over time, rebuilds cartilage in arthritic, worn out joints. Helpful for knees, ankles, hip joints, shoulders, and spinal discs.
12. Zypan: A natural source of hydrochloric acid. Used as a digestive aid by providing acid to your stomach. Helps rebuild normal stores of stomach acid, thus reducing heartburn.
13. Gastrex: Supports digestion and stimulates cleansing of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Very helpful for those with heartburn and ulcers. A great replacement for acid-blocking medications like Oemeprazole, Nexium, and Pepsid AC. In our opinion, those drugs are dangerous to the kidneys and harm digestive function in the long run.
14. Immuplex and Congaplex: A strong mix that strengthens the immune system. Immuplex is best taken before or as you begin feeling ill, and Congaplex is best taken while ill.
15. Calcium Lactate: A whole-food source of calcium easily absorbed by the body. Builds strong bones and teeth. The most common form of calcium that people take is calcium carbonate; do NOT take this form. It is very poorly absorbed by the body and can cause kidney stones.
16. Gymena Sylvestre: The only supplement we have ever found that actually decreases sugar cravings. If you are constantly craving sweets, this can help.
17. Melatonin: A pharmaceutical grade melatonin for better sleep. Three milligrams is usually all that is taken at bedtime.
18. G.I. Benefits: Used for patients with any autoimmune disease to heal leaky-gut syndrome. All autoimmune diseases have one thing in common: leaky gut or intestinal hyperpermeability. The main ingredient in G.I. Benefits is the amino acid glutamine.
19. Empower Plus: A product from Canada we use to help our patients get off of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. A complete protocol exists for getting off of those medications; it should not ever be done “cold turkey.” Empower Plus is a combination of nano-minerals specifically designed for brain function. We also use it for children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.
20. Greens Mix: This is one of Dr. Jones’ favorite supplements. A powder that combines 40+ vegetables and fruits, enzymes, and probiotics into a very tasty green drink. Can be taken in place of a vitamin/mineral pill. It is one of the few green drinks that really tastes great! If you are not eating 12 fruits and veggies every day, this is the quick and easy way to do it. Most green drinks taste like…this one is great!
21. Gluten Flam: Helps reduce the effects of gluten sensitivities by more completely digesting gluten. Provides support to the intestinal barrier, which helps prevent reaction to inflammatory foods. If a patient needs to be gluten free, and by accident consumes gluten, this supplement can be taken to mitigate the negative effects.
22. Glysen: A combination of plant enzymes, vitamins, and minerals for optimal support of insulin sensitivity and blood sugar metabolism.
23. Estrovite: A great supplement for women with hot flashes and night sweats during the menopausal years.
24. Whey Protein: Sweetened with stevia, this powder is rich source of healthy protein without synthetic sweeteners and sugar substitutes (acesulfame, sucralose, etc.). A great addition to breakfast and post-workout smoothies.
25. d-Mannose: If only more women knew about this simple little white powder. d-mannose is a simple sugar that does wonders eliminating bladder infections without the use of antibiotics. It should be taken 3-4 times/day as soon as a woman begins to sense the “burning” sensation of a bladder infection. Tasteless.
If you have questions regarding these or any of our supplements, please ask one of our clinicians for more information.