Find the Right Supplements for You

Supplements are supposed to do just what their name says -- supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle. With so many choices out there, from vitamins and minerals to herbs and enzymes, how is a person to determine which supplements are right for their needs? Plus, different price points and too-good-to-be-true claims can make choosing a supplement seemingly impossible.

Dr. Lafferty can help by making recommendations as to the type, quality, and dosage of supplements that maximize your wellness. Consider the following when looking for the right supplements for you.

Why consider supplements

Healthy behaviors and eating are some of the best ways to improve your health. The gift of good health extends to your family, too. Supplements assist you in achieving the goal of good health and expedite your path to feeling better, having fewer sick days, and improving your quality of life.

The supplements you need depend on your age, the quality of your diet, any medical conditions, and your risk of developing health problems.

Consider possible nutrient deficiencies

Dr. Lafferty may find, through blood tests or your symptoms, that you’re deficient in specific nutrients. These may include calcium, which helps you maintain bone density, iron, which is essential for energy and oxygen usage, and omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain health.

If you’re deficient in these nutrients and are unlikely to be able to boost them through your diet, a supplement might be the best option. For example, calcium is readily available in dairy products, but if you’re lactose intolerant and tend to avoid dairy, a supplement makes sense.

Sometimes you only need a supplement to correct a deficiency for the short term. Take iron, for example. You can build up your iron levels with supplements and then work to add more red meat and iron-rich green veggies to keep your levels at a normal level through your diet.

Always ask Dr. Lafferty about recommended dosages of supplements, and check in as to whether they should be used for the long term.

Look for high quality

Supplements enter your system and stay in your bloodstream. You want a high-quality product to become part of you. Plus, if you’re going to invest in these pricey products, you want to make sure they’ll do their jobs.

Ask Dr. Lafferty to recommend reputable brands of supplements. Supplements promoted by celebrities or “doctors” on TV are not guaranteed to be the best, especially if there’s no clinical research behind them to back up the endorsement. Trust Dr. Lafferty, who knows your health history and goals.

Supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. If you’re not sure about a supplement, check, NSF International, and US Pharmacopeia (USP). These independent organizations test to see if the ingredients on the label are actually in the product. These organizations cannot tell you if the ingredients provide the advertised benefit, however, or if the supplement is right for you.

Consider the specifics

Always clarify the appropriate dosage with Dr. Lafferty and check if any supplements shouldn’t be combined with medications you take or procedures you’re to undergo. For example, St. John’s Wort can reduce the efficacy of certain blood thinner medications.

Also, do your research as to how the supplement you do choose fits into your diet. For example, your body absorbs iron better when you take it with food high in vitamin C, such as orange juice. But, if you take the iron supplement alongside your morning coffee, you reduce its effectiveness.

Dr. Lafferty is well informed about supplements and can help you navigate the multiple options. His knowledge of your health history, medications, and dietary needs is invaluable when trying to find the right supplements for you.

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