Eat Smart, Don't Just Take Pills

"Clean your plate." "Drink your milk." Darn, again, mom's advice was right! Did you ever hear her say, fill your stomach full of a bunch of pills? No, so when you want good nutrition, the first step, particularly if trying to lose weight is to pack your diet full of nutrients. When asked for the type of pills to supplement with, I try to tell patients: my best advice is to get your nutrition from food. But if there are foods you avoid, or a day of particularly poor nutrition, or a particularly strict diet in attempt to weight loss, yes, you may indeed need to add in some supplements. We also live in the north, and local food isn't possible all year long, we have to have our food shipped, which means picking early. A new study that is getting a lot of talk on many sites and being reviewed by the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements is saying that the escalating recommendations regarding both the dietary levels and the blood levels of Vitamin D are not backed by good scientific evidence. So that now we have been telling people they should be at 50 ng/ml but maybe 20 to 30 is ok after all. So get your gyno to weigh in on your particular case. Don't just flush all those expensive vitamins because of one study. For instance one NY Times article said "evidence suggests that high levels of vitamin D can increase the risks for fractures". I take that statement and say: wait, wouldn't the people with weakest bones but avoiding medication that is specific for bone health actually be having high vitamin D intake than people with strong bones? Or maybe it was something else in their nutrition lacking? Would you have another explanation? I need to see many more facts before I really understand a confusing statement like that. Maybe these are people with really poor calcium absorption so they need the D. I'm going to carefully talk over the plan patient by patient before we make any rash claims. And we haven't even gotten to the Federal Government's recommendation of 150 minutes of exercise per week. What's your plan?!

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