“Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet…And they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.” ~ Dr. JoAnn Manson (Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School)
According to multiple surveys and studies, approximately 50% or more of U.S. adults take a daily supplement.
This article attempts to share insight on whether or not supplementation is necessary or a good thing.
I have written this article from two perspectives. First, I share the traditional Western medical view. Second, I present an alternative view from the functional medicine perspective.
Traditional Medical View
The quote above from the Harvard professor reflects the traditional medical view. Unless there are multiple gold standard-controlled studies specifically supporting the role of supplements, the medical community invested in this viewpoint will not accept the efficacy of using supplements to support health.
I agree that supplements are not a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet. Tiger Medical Institute Physician Dr. Matthew McNamee often states, “food is either poison or medicine.”
First and foremost, we should seek health through our food choices and other good health habits.
Our culture has been trained to seek health solutions by simply taking a pill. When individuals trade good practices for taking supplements, Dr. Manson from Harvard is correct; it becomes a distraction.
Functional Medical View
Let’s begin with a definition of functional medicine. Functional Medicine is an approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease, and Functional Medicine is the form of medicine practiced at Tiger Medical Institute.
Based on this approach, Tiger Medical Institute’s physicians request extensive health history surveys from each client. Then, they interview them for 90 minutes to properly assess how they will go about testing this client to get to the root of their health issues. From these steps, testing is then customized to their health history and presenting conditions.
Based on the results of a battery of tests (including gut biome, hormones, micronutrients, genetics, and a comprehensive blood panel), our physicians create a targeted, customized supplement plan to be integrated with the Tiger Medical Institute’s eight health habits.
Regardless of the traditional view of medicine that claims supplements are not supported by research, our clients feel better based on this approach.
Tiger Medical Institute’s Eight Health Habits
The Tiger’s eight health habits include:
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Sleep Optimization
- Optimal Nutrition
- Time-restricted eating (TRE)
As Harvard doctor Manson stated, taking supplements apart from a healthy lifestyle is a distraction.
There are three significant problems with food as the only means necessary to get the vitamins and minerals we need. These include the following:
- Depleted soils from industrial farming practices.
- Processed foods produced in factories.
- Environmental toxins.
These three problems lead to lower quality food. This, in return, necessitates the need for some form of supplementation.
Based on the results of working with thousands of clients practicing holistic functional medicine, Tiger physician Dr. Matthew McNamee can facilitate improved well-being from supplementation when integrated with testing and healthy daily habits.
Therefore, provided one seeks proper medical care (whether it is the traditional or functional view) and develops a supplementation plan (based on quality medical oversight and healthy habits), one can benefit from a supplementation program.