Nutrition, Supplements, and Health

Nutrition, Supplements, and Health

“As long as I cut my calories, does it otherwise matter WHAT I eat?” “Do I need vitamins and minerals?” “Do nutritional supplements really work?” “Is there a nutritional option to my prescription medications?” “If I simply take a ‘one a day’ multivitamin, isn’t that enough?” “My friends are getting cancer and heart disease, can I improve my chances with nutrition?” These are examples of the types of questions I address with patients every day.

Those of you who know me know that I believe optimum nutrition, including supplementation, is not only powerful in its effects on body function, but mandatory if we want to enjoy optimum health. Explaining all aspects of nutritional supplements is far beyond what I can do in this brief article, but here are some highlights of research areas revealing that nutrition has powerful effects.

As a disclaimer, the FDA has made very clear that nutritional supplements, as a category, cannot be intended to “diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease”. As soon as they have that intention, they become “medications” in the eyes of the FDA. I certainly agree we don’t want to make them medications!!! So, be advised, nutritional supplements are intended to be that, supplementation to a prudent diet, to help assure all nutritional needs are being met so that you have the best chance for optimum health!

With that in mind, I’ve put together some of my findings from research on how specific supplements support various areas of health.

Research evidence indicates optimum nutrition supports or is associated with:

  1. Cancer risk (in addition to weight control and proper foods, consider…)
    Supplement examples: green tea extracts, vitamin D-3, vitamin K-2, CoQ10, multivitamins, vitamin B-6, selenium, calcium, magnesium
  2. Energy and Metabolism (i.e. fatigue, weight gain, inactivity)
    Supplement examples: green tea, caffeine, American ginseng, capsaicin, multivitamin, vitamin B6/B12/D, magnesium, resveratrol, iron (if deficient), acetyl L-carnitine
  3. General Anti-Aging (slow telomere shortening on DNA, eye support, lower homocysteine)
    Supplement examples: multivitamins, vitamins C/D/E, resveratrol, lutein, zeaxanthin, choline, betaine, omega 3 oils, vitamin K-2
  4. Brain support with aging
    Supplement examples: multivitamins, vitamin B6/B12, folate, zinc, choline, betaine, phosphatidylserine, ginkgo biloba, omega 3 oils, acetyl L-carnitine
  5. Heart health
    Supplement examples: multivitamin, vitamin C, tocotrienols, mixed vitamin E, vitamin K-2, omega 3 oils
  6. Blood Pressure
    Supplement examples: vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium citrate, resveratrol, omega 3 oils, green tea extract, coQ10
  7. High Cholesterol and Triglycerides
    Supplement examples: tocotrienols, red yeast rice, berberine, omega 3 oils, or guar gum fibers, niacin
  8. Diabetes Type 2 and Metabolic Syndrome
    Supplement examples: berberine, and guar gum fibers, American ginseng, magnesium, DHEA, resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, cinnamon
  9. Bone thinning and muscle weakness (osteoporosis, osteopenia, sarcopenia)
    Supplement examples: calcium, magnesium citrate, vitamin D, vitamin K-2, potassium citrate, DHEA
  10. Mood: Depression (and Anxiety)
    Supplement examples: magnesium, vitamin D, B-1 and B-12, omega 3 oils, St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP
  11. Insomnia
    Supplement examples: melatonin, 5-HTPmagnesium
  12. Migraines
    Supplement examples: riboflavin, magnesium, 5-HTP

If you are like most Americans, you’re concerned about the “reflex” prescription writing by the medical establishment in our country currently. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not reimburse physicians for the time that is required to research, understand, and explain nutritional treatments to patients.

Taking charge of your own health destiny, using the power of a healthy lifestyle, fitness activities, stress management, health-promoting foods, and appropriate nutritional supplements can empower you towards optimum health!

Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M. is a nutrition & weight loss specialist and the Founder & Medical Director of the Center for Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, P.A.

Dr. Tague is an Alpha Omega Alpha honors graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Tulane. Dr. Tague is board certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. His medical practice has focused on optimum health, nutrition, and weight loss since 1996.

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2 thoughts on “Nutrition, Supplements, and Health

  1. My wife and I are on a bit of a road trip. Today celebrating the 50th anniversary of some dear friend in Albany, NY. Next Saturday, I’ve the privilege of doing a wedding in Madison, WI for a couple I’ve been mentoring.

    Currently we are in a motel in watching people eat wAy unhealthy. Last night we scoured the town for a grocery store with much better foods. Today, people have been asking me, “Did you get that here?” as they see us eating better than what is offered.

    Even in the worst of food places, commitment to eating healthy, is so much better than eating whatever is available. Sure, ’tis a bit of an inconvenience, but it was a late night bit of fun in the rain to ask, “What will we find.” So far this morning, 6 out of 10 people here are obese, one family severely. Extra sad.

    Not to judge these people. They are eating what’s available. But a little overweight girl just said to her obese Dad, “I’m full, but I don’t feel good. Can I have another waffle?” Ugh!

    Keep up your exceptional work. We both know, you with your medical and nutrition practice, and me with my whole-life mentoring, those we can help to make better choices will be the one who will be changing our world for the good. I am deeply grateful for all you are doing for health in all ways.

  2. Thank you for the suppliment breakdown in your article “Suppliments, Nutrition and Health”. As I have achieved my weight loss goal thanks to your help, and I found it very helpful in determining what suppliments I’ll need while in this transition and eventually when on my own. Your regular emails keep me on track and motivated to take better care of myself on a daily basis.