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A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
February, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 02
Supplementation: Is It Necessary?
By Keri Marshall, MS, ND
Your need to supplement or fortify your diet depends on many factors. If everyone ate a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, organic dairy products and cold-water fish every day, there may not be a need to supplement the diet with vitamins and minerals.If everyone got plenty of exercise outside with regular exposure to sunlight, there may not be a need to supplement the diet. Unfortunately, this just isn't the case. Our busy lives prevent us from eating the diet we wish we could and from getting exercise outside, often leaving us depleted of vital nutrients.
Keeping your immune system strong and resilient by maintaining a proper diet, nutrition and exercise can be hard for any massage therapist, as well as for their clients. For those whose dietary needs are not being met, supplementation can be of great support to maintain optimal health. If your health is compromised or your vitality is depleted by stress or illness, then you may also be able to benefit from specific supplements.
The question is, just how many people are using dietary supplements regularly to maintain health? According to an October 2012 survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), 68% of American adults now take dietary supplements, with multivitamins being the most popular. Forty-nine percent of all adults report taking multivitamins, with 71% of supplement users reporting that they take a multivitamin in general, and 53% report taking a multivitamin daily. While the majority of supplement users take a multivitamin, at least 23% are taking a fish oil supplement.
What Do We Really Need?
Our bodies require essential nutrients and vitamins every day in order to function normally. Without them, our bodies begin to accumulate molecular and biochemical byproducts, such as free radicals, that may cause damage to our cells. The human body is hardwired with innate mechanisms to repair itself and return to homeostasis if fed a variety of nutrients to keep the engine running. Giving the body the nutrition it needs to carry out these functions can have a significant impact on delaying the aging process and achieving a longer, healthier and happier life.
One of the most important things you can do for your health is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. In fact, you should aim for between seven to nine servings a day. But ... not everyone eats even close to this amount of healthy plant matter and, as a result, may have difficulty obtaining all of the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain optimal health.
Many of us have heard the cliché that we should eat from the rainbow, but may not really understand what it means. Fruits and vegetables come in a wide range of colors and each of those individually colored foods has a unique phytochemical profile with an array of nutrients. For example, blue and purple foods are rich in an antioxidant nutrient called anthocyanins, which help support heart health and optimize immune function. Orange fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, which help the eyes, heart, mucous membranes and promote healthy joints.
Most Americans are not getting enough fruits and veggies and follow more of what we call "The Western Diet," which is high in "bad" fats, sugar, white flour products and fried foods. It does not provide a variety of foods nor does it provide nutritionally dense foods. And, for some with lactose intolerance or other food intolerances, vital nutrients may be limited unless there is dietary supplementation.
Conventionally grown foods today are also to blame for providing fewer nutrients than they used to due to poor soils and growing processes. So, you may be trying to eat all the right things, yet still come up short because the foods are not as nutrient-dense as you might assume.
Even more worrisome is 100% of the vitamins and minerals we eat, either through food or supplementation, are not absorbed by the body. The excess gets removed via urine and other means of excretion. Because of all of these factors combined, I would absolutely recommend to my patients that they take a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.
What About Fat?
The typical Western diet is highly deficient in omega-3s, or healthy fats, in large part because people choose to eat foods — often unknowingly — that are concentrated with omega-6 fats. And omega-3 rich foods are often difficult to find. Refined and processed foods, many cooking oils, dressings and overconsumption of corn and soy are the main culprits for increased levels of omega-6 fats in the diet. In and of themselves, omega-6s are not unhealthy, they're just over-consumed, and omega-3s, found primarily in cold-water fish, are under-consumed.
Omega-3s are considered "essential" because they are required for optimal health but cannot be produced by our bodies and, therefore, must be consumed daily through diet or supplementation. All fatty acids we consume reside in our cell membranes, where they impact every biological process in our bodies — such as cell division, circulation and blood pressure. Omega-3s are clinically proven to support the body's natural anti-inflammatory response, which in turn optimizes heart, brain, metabolic, joint and tissue health. With adequate intake of omega-3s, cells function properly, and overall health is supported.
Achieving balanced intake of these fats is important because omega-6s are pro-inflammatory and omega-3s are anti-inflammatory. It is vitally important to ensure balanced intake by limiting omega-6 foods and taking a quality omega-3 fish oil supplement, along with eating a healthy diet including fish. The typical Western diet works against this goal and, as a result, most people do not obtain the suggested daily minimum of 500 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Consumers are searching for a solution to correct this deficiency and purified fish oil supplements are a safe and effective source of these essential omega-3s.
Key to the success of any delivery system for supplementation is palatability. Fishy smell, taste or aftertaste are common deterrents to continued daily use. Research shows that fish oils only smell unpleasant when oxidation has started to degrade the oils' lipids, causing rancidity. Rancid lipids may also contain free radicals that can damage proteins, DNA, and ultimately the cells in the body. Utilization of oxygen-free processing methods, such as the patented systems used by some high-quality companies, protects the oils from oxidation and guarantees an exceptionally fresh product that tastes great and will encourage continued use.
Vitamin D is another nutrient that many people lack, in part because of excessive use of sunscreen, but also because people tend to spend less time outdoors than they used to. Most people can make enough vitamin D by spending at least 15 minutes a day outside, without sunscreen, with a good amount of skin exposed. What this means in practical terms is going for a walk outdoors in shorts and a T-shirt or tank top, without first applying sunscreen. Not everyone can do this for a variety of reasons, although with the exception of seasons and inclement weather, everyone should try to spend at least 15 minutes a day outdoors, weather permitting. The fresh air and bonus of getting exercise are also vitally key to optimal health.
The reality, though, is many of us live in places where we cannot wear shorts year round. For people who live in the beautiful Northwest, sometimes the sun does not shine for weeks on end. In cases such as this, Vitamin D can be a very important nutrient to supplement. I recommend getting a baseline test done by your primary care physician before beginning supplementation, because you then have a baseline number to track for progress. A baseline number also allows you to determine how much you may need to supplement. A recent CRN survey indicates that up to 22% of people take Vitamin D supplements daily to fortify their diet.
How To Choose
But, more than anything, people are easily confused as to how to choose the best quality dietary supplement. Products that are third-party tested are superior to those that aren't. When taking a supplement, you want to be assured that what it says on the label is, in fact, what is in the supplement. Be sure that the company is adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to ensure compliance with industry quality standards and required testing.
Finally, review the ingredients. With a small amount of education, you can spot which are quality products and which are not. Avoid unnecessary binders, fillers, preservatives and additives. Most company websites will help you discern if they have gone out of their way to produce a superior product and if you don't see it, don't be afraid to ask the company for proof of quality. Quality and absorption are key to making sure you get your money's worth to optimize your health!
Dr. Keri Marshall is a licensed Naturopathic doctor who specializes in pediatrics, women's medicine and chronic disease management. A published author and media favorite, Dr. Marshall appears regularly as a scientific and nutrition expert on national radio and TV. She is Chief Medical Officer for Nordic Naturals.
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